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Faculty Leave Information

For information about expectations of faculty, including attendance, please click here.

Family and Medical Leave (FML)

The University recognizes the importance of achieving a healthy balance between work and family obligations and is committed to supporting our employees through certain measures to promote a “family-friendly” environment. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law designed to help employees balance the demands of the workplace and the needs of their families by allowing for unpaid job and benefits protected leave for certain family and medical reasons. Faculty members who are seeking Family Medical Leave should submit a Family Medical Leave Request Form from University Human Resources (UHR). The Office of Staff Relations in UHR receives and reviews and processes the request. For more information, please see

Leave Without Pay

Procedures for Faculty and Administrators

The following instructions are based on the University System of Maryland's Policy on Leave Without Pay for Faculty and the University of Maryland, College Park's Guidelines and Procedures for Faculty Leave of Absence Without Pay.

A Leave Without Pay (LWOP) should not significantly disrupt the program of the faculty member's academic unit(s), and should benefit the University. Benefits may include: Support for the University's mission of teaching, research, and service; Development of University-derived innovation, or entrepreneurial activities; Public service, or improvement of the public welfare; or Enhancement of a faculty member's professional competence or stature. A faculty member may also request a LWOP for personal reasons.

Opportunities that may merit a LWOP include:

  • Public service. A LWOP may be granted to allow a faculty member to serve in a position in federal, state, and local government agencies or to perform some other form of public service that requires a temporary interruption of normal University activities.
  • Private/for-profit Sector Engagement. A LWOP may be granted to allow faculty to serve in positions within the private/for-profit sector to foster collaboration, entrepreneurship, and innovation.
  • Non-profit and Non-governmental Institution Sector Engagement. A LWOP may be granted to allow faculty to serve in positions within the non-profit or nongovernmental institution sectors such as foundations or national academies that are intended to foster collaboration and/or to serve the public good.
  • Personal Reasons. A LWOP may be granted for specific, unusual personal circumstances. Such LWOP may be needed in cases of significant personal situations, such as poor health or unusual family obligations.

Duration of a LWOP

A LWOP is typically for one year or less. Extensions of LWOPs beyond one year are discouraged and will only be approved upon demonstration of exceptional circumstances by the faculty member.

LWOPs for periods greater than one year that are deemed to benefit the University (as identified in Section IV.C.1.a-c of the policy) require a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the faculty member, the faculty member’s Unit Head(s), and other relevant parties, as appropriate. The MOU requires approval of the Senior Vice President and Provost. Click to download the LWOP MOU template. [Note: this MOU template, reviewed by the Office of General Counsel, is provided as an example and for convenience.]

Terms of a LWOP

A LWOP can be:

  • Partial. The LWOP enables a faculty member to reduce the amount of their service and still receive compensation, pro-rated by their percent FTE. However, if a faculty member falls below 50% FTE, they will no longer be eligible for benefits. For specific concerns regarding the impact on benefits, the faculty member should consult with the University's Benefits office.
  • Full. The LWOP eliminates a faculty member's service to the University as well as the compensation received for that service.

The LWOP does not count toward the period used in determining eligibility for sabbatical leave.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for a LWOP, a faculty member must be employed on a full-time term or continuing contract; and normally, have been employed at the University as a faculty member for at least one year prior to the beginning of the proposed leave. Exceptions must be approved by the Senior Vice President and Provost.

Before Applying

If applicable, a faculty member requesting a LWOP must:

  • Obtain any necessary approvals from University oversight bodies prior to applying for a LWOP.
  • Work with appropriate University entities to develop and obtain approval of any memorandums of understanding related to the intended leave if applicable and necessary.
  • Contact the Benefits Office regarding the impact of the LWOP on benefits eligibility.
  • Submit a request in writing to the Unit Head at least six months in advance of the leave. Requests submitted less than six months may be considered when there are unusual circumstances. Requests must contain:
    • A description of the purpose of the leave;
    • A description of how the leave conforms to the requirements of the guidelines articulated in this policy and procedures;
    • A plan to minimize disruption of the academic program;
    • Attestation by the faculty member that the faculty member has obtained any necessary and applicable University reviews and approvals; and,
    • Attestation by the faculty member that they will comply with any necessary University requirements determined necessary for their LWOP request.

How to Apply

Faculty members initiate the request by logging into the LWOP system and completing the online submission form. Faculty should submit any supporting documentation (e.g., signed MOU, invitation/appointment letter).

By submitting the LWOP request, faculty members indicate that they agree to comply with the University's LWOP policy requirements and conditions. After the request has been submitted, notification of the request is emailed to the faculty member's next level administrator (typically the department chair) for further consideration, followed by review and approval of the Dean. LWOP requests for faculty members with joint appointments will be reviewed by all relevant unit heads. The President has designated the Senior Vice President and Provost as the final approving authority for all LWOP requests. The decision by the Senior Vice President and Provost is final and not subject to appeal or grievance.

The UMD Policies on Faculty and Staff Parental Leave and Other Family Supports are intended to support eligible faculty and staff in balancing professional and family demands during and after the addition of children to their family (by birth, adoption, foster parenting, and legal guardianship) through measures to promote a family friendly environment. The Parental Leave workshop provides faculty and staff members who are considering or preparing for the addition of children to their family and/or those managing employees who are preparing to go on leave an overview of the University’s amended Parental Leave Policy. During the workshop we will cover topics such as when and how to request parental leave, eligibility requirements, the paid leave assurance period, and how parental leave interacts with Family Medical Leave and other leave benefits. For more information regarding the Paid Parental Leave benefit for faculty, please refer to

Professional Leave for Librarians

The following instructions are based on the University's Policy on Professional Leave for Librarians.

  1. An applicant for a professional leave must initiate the request by completing the Professional Leave Request Form and attaching a detailed summary of the professional project (see below) and a current curriculum vitae. Applications must be submitted at least 6 months in advance of the proposed professional leave, and the librarian must agree to comply with the university's professional leave policy. The Professional Leave Form must include the specific dates for which the leave is requested and must fall within the faculty member's annual contract period. (A librarian may request any 6- or 12-month period.)
  2. The Summary of the Project should describe:
    • the specific project or work which is expected to be accomplished during the professional leave
    • the value of this project to the mission of the library system
    • the location where the project is to be conducted and other relevant travel/study plans
    • tangible products or results expected from professional activities
  3. These materials should be submitted to the Dean who is responsible for verifying the eligibility of the applicant and completing the form. The Dean must attach a brief letter that explains why the librarian merits a professional leave and the expected benefits of the professional leave to the librarian and the library system. Professional leaves must be more than automatic awards for service.
  4. Additionally, the librarian must have completed six years of full-time (100%) service to UMCP at the time of an initial request or since the previously granted professional leave. Normally, semesters when the applicant was on an approved Leave of Absence Without Pay (LWOP) or partial LWOP do NOT count toward service toward a professional leave.
  5. The Dean must sign the form and forward it to the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, 2117 Main Administration Building, for review and approval by the Provost. After a decision is reached by the Provost, a letter will be sent to the applicant, with copies to the Dean and payroll and personnel officers. The original material will be kept in the Office of the Provost.

Note: Faculty on professional or sabbatical leave continue to have the same benefits coverage. They also continue to accrue annual leave and sick leave at either full rate (if receiving full pay) or half rate (if receiving half pay).

Sabbatical Leave

Sabbatical leave is a discretionary leave accorded tenure track/tenured faculty members who meet the eligibility requirements as described below and articulated in University of Maryland Policy and Procedures on Sabbatical Leave For Faculty. Our online sabbatical leave system is designed to facilitate sabbatical leave applications. We require that faculty members initiate a sabbatical leave request and that administrators approve the request through our online system. 

Faculty Request Procedure and Requirements

Before beginning your application, you should have the following information available:

  • A PDF copy of your most current dated CV
  • A brief summary (no more than 2,000 characters) of your planned sabbatical project, describing the project or work you expect to accomplish and the benefit you expect to derive, as well as the benefit to the University. You should also explain where your project will be conducted and what the tangible products or results will be. You can create this summary directly on the application form, or you can compose it elsewhere and then paste it onto the application form.
  • Any additional relevant documentation (e.g., request for approval of additional compensation, fellowship award letters, and/or relevant compliance reviews such as conflicts of interest or commitment). Note: The Division of Research conducts compliance reviews and faculty members and/or unit heads should contact the Research Compliance Office regarding such matters.

Faculty who plan on engaging in activities that provide remuneration (e.g., paid consultancies, fellowships, visiting faculty positions) while on sabbatical must, per University policy:

  • Seek approval from the President for outside compensation.  The request for authorization of outside compensation can be submitted after you have submitted your request for a sabbatical, or you can submit it at the same time. 
  • Ensure that there are no potential conflicts of interest or commitment. Faculty should check with the University’s Research Compliance Office regarding potential conflicts of commitment or interest or other compliance considerations.

Faculty members are responsible for compliance with these policies and any Federal, State, and University/University System of Maryland regulations before applying for a sabbatical, and administrators are responsible for verifying faculty member compliance.

Faculty who are not yet tenured, but who expect promotion to tenured rank within the next six months, can also use the online system to request a sabbatical, as long as the start date is after the estimated date of tenure, and the faculty member meets other eligibility requirements, such as length of service.

After logging in with the link below, you will see a form that has been pre-populated with information about your college and department. If there are any errors in this information, you should contact Faculty Affairs or your department administrators.

Enter the required dates or indicate the appropriate semester for your leave, and then paste your project summary in the summary text box. If you are requesting an academic or calendar year sabbatical, please first confer with your unit's budget or payroll officer to find out how your sabbatical request may affect your benefits. Also note that you must request your sabbatical leave at least six months in advance. As stated in University policy, the Department Chairperson or equivalent academic administrator has discretion to waive the six (6) month application period on a case-by-case basis upon submission of supporting justification, provided all applications are received on or by ninety (90) days prior to the commencement of the proposed sabbatical leave.


Faculty are required to attest that they will abide by the requirements of the sabbatical policy. This includes attesting to:

  • Having read the sabbatical policy;
  • Having ensured that there are no potential conflicts of interest or commitment, or any other potential compliance issues as per University/USM policies and regulations;
  • Seeking permission to receive outside compensation while on sabbatical;
  • Committing to writing and submitting a sabbatical report within 90 days (three months) of the end of the sabbatical; and
  • Committing to return to the University upon completion of the sabbatical and to continue service for at least one year.

More specifically, faculty are required to attest to the following:

Sabbatical Leave is granted with the understanding that this leave will not substantially disrupt the academic program of the unit. I attest to having read the Sabbatical Leave policy, and that I will abide by it; ensuring that my sabbatical activities do not present any conflicts of interest or commitment, or violate any other compliance requirements as per University policies; having sought approval for outside compensation, if applicable; committing to submitting a sabbatical report within 90 days (three months) of the end of the sabbatical; and that I shall return to UMCP at the termination of the leave to serve for at least one academic year/fiscal year.

Use the browse button below the project summary to upload your CV file. Check the box labeled "I attest," which will indicate your acceptance of the University sabbatical leave policy. You can save your Sabbatical request as a draft by clicking the button labeled “Save as Draft”. This enables you to return to the request to add additional details or documents. If your request is complete, click the Submit button. Notice will be sent to your unit head automatically. 

You will be copied on all the email notifications sent by the system. You can also check the status of your application by logging in to the system a second time. Logging in a second time also gives you the opportunity to update or cancel your application. You will also need to return to the system to create your sabbatical report.

If you should need to cancel or update your sabbatical application, you may do so at any time.  Making any change to your sabbatical application will restart the workflow.

Who is eligible?

According to University policy, you are eligible for sabbatical leave if you have six years full-time service or service of at least 50% FTE as a tenure-track or tenured faculty member, and you are tenured at the time the leave commences. If you have already had a sabbatical leave, you must have completed an additional six years at full-time or at least 50% FTE to qualify for another leave. Please note that semesters where you are on leave without pay or working at less than 50% FTE are not included in the calculation of your sabbatical eligibility.

Submitting the Sabbatical Report

Faculty members are required to submit a sabbatical report within three calendar months (90 days) of the completion of their sabbatical. Create your report directly in the system by opening your sabbatical request and then clicking the button labeled “Add Sabbatical Report”.  You can save your work as a draft and then return to it. When the report is ready, click the submit button and your chair and dean will be notified to log in and review. 

If your report is not submitted within the required time frame, your six-year eligibility period will begin from the date of receipt of the report. 

Administrative Procedures

At the department level: Unit Head

When a faculty member applies for sabbatical leave or updates an application, you will receive an email notification to review the request. Log in to the Leave Portal and choose List Sabbaticals from the Sabbaticals menu. Requests that are awaiting your review will be highlighted in blue and marked with a status of “Awaiting Your Review”. You can also look at other requests on your list.

Clicking the faculty member's name will display the information in his or her application, including the project summary. If the faculty member's application seems fine as it is, there are spaces on the form for you to appraise the project, as well as to comment on how it conforms to the University's mission and how the faculty member's workload will be covered. This information is required before your approval of the leave can be recorded. Finally, your name and the date appear, along with an attestation regarding the University's sabbatical leave policy. You can also upload other documentation, and specify whether it will be visible to the faculty member. After you have clicked the appropriate action button (e.g., Approved, Denied), email notice will be sent to the dean with a copy to you and the faculty member. 

If you feel the project needs revision before you can approve it, you can enter your comments in the text box labeled "If requesting more information," and then click the "Request More Information" button. The faculty member will receive email notification of your comments as you type them on this form. Following their revision, you will receive another email notice about the application.

Faculty are required to submit a report of sabbatical activities within 90 days of their return. You will be copied each time the faculty member is reminded to submit the report. When the report is submitted, you will be notified to log in and review it. You can access a faculty sabbatical report  from the sabbatical list, by clicking on the faculty name, or you can choose List Reports from the sabbaticals menu. After you have reviewed the report, the dean will be notified to review. 

At the college level: Dean

When a department head approves a faculty member's application for sabbatical leave, you will receive an email notification of the action, including a link to log in to the Leave Portal. You can also use the link below to log in. After logging in, you will see a list of sabbatical requests in process. Those that are ready for your review will be highlighted in blue, with a status of “Awaiting Your Review”. 

Clicking the faculty member's name will display the information in their application, as well as the department head’s comments. You can make a comment or request more information as necessary. You can also upload other documentation to include with the request. 

After the faculty member has submitted a sabbatical report and the chair has reviewed it, you will be notified to review the report. Choose List Reports from the sabbaticals menu. Those that are ready for your review will be highlighted in blue. 

Faculty on professional or sabbatical leave continue to have the same benefits coverage. They also continue to accrue annual leave and sick leave at either full rate (if receiving full pay) or half rate (if receiving half pay). Faculty on professional or sabbatical leave with FTE of less than 50% (that is, faculty with a part-time appointment before going on sabbatical) will not be eligible for benefits while on sabbatical, and will not accrue annual leave and sick leave.

Sabbatical Login