Staff HR Policy D-753.02
Institutional Effectiveness Criterion: Culture

Sabbatical Leave - Staff Procedure

Northwestern Michigan College provides opportunities for exempt staff to take sabbaticals in order to encourage professional achievement which contributes to the effectiveness of members of the staff and to the value of their subsequent service to the College.

    A sabbatical leave may be granted to any member of the executive, administrative or professional staff who has completed seven years of service with the College, of which the last three years shall have been in an executive, administrative or professional staff position. Paid leaves shall be granted for the purpose of encouraging professional achievement which contributes to the effectiveness of members of the staff and to the value of their subsequent service to the College; acceptable forms include:
    1. Formal classroom courses
    2. Hands-on work or research
    3. In-depth study of other institutions.
    4. Employment with government, business or other educational institutions.
      Sabbatical leave will be granted only when the proposed purpose warrants it, and when the interests of the College will not be seriously impaired by the employee's absence. This would imply that a limited number would be granted in a given area at any one time.
      A staff member may not be granted a full one-year sabbatical leave more often than once every seven years.
    Sabbatical leave applications should be submitted by January 15, before the fiscal year in which the leave will take place. Completed applications for sabbatical leaves shall be submitted to the applicant's immediate supervisor, and then to the executive staff member for review and recommendation before forwarding to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources. The Associate Vice President of Human Resources will review the request and, in consultation with the executive staff member, make a recommendation to the President. The application is available by selecting the appropriate form at S:\Human Resources\Public\Forms\Policy Forms\ or by contacting the Office of Human Resources.
    Sabbatical leave will be granted at full pay for a period of no more than 6 months, or at half pay for 12 months.
    Sick leave and vacation days previously accumulated shall not be forfeited, but shall be credited to the employee upon return to active service. Sick leave, vacation, or other leave days shall not be accumulated during sabbatical leave.
    A staff member on sabbatical leave who is employed by an outside organization will receive only the difference between their outside salary, if it is less, and their salary from Northwestern Michigan College.
    It is the responsibility of the Sabbatical Leave recipient to check with the Office of Human Resources to determine how a sabbatical might affect years of service reported for the staff member's retirement.
    Michigan Public Schools Employees Retirement System credit is not earned during sabbatical, nor are contributions made to MPSERS.
    Both the staff member and the College will continue to make Optional Retirement Plan contributions for sabbatical earnings.
    The staff member shall be returned to the same position the staff member held when leave commenced or to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment.
    A detailed report of activities while on sabbatical leave is required. This report will be made in writing and submitted to the staff member's supervisor and Executive Officer within 60 days after returning to normal assignments.
    Staff on leave may attend sabbatical-related conferences and other professional development opportunities with the approval of their supervisor and the appropriate member of President’s Council. Proposed professional development expenses must be submitted with the sabbatical leave application. It is recognized that certain sabbatical programs may require the purchase of equipment and material that would benefit the College beyond the term of the sabbatical and become the property of the College. Proposed expenses for such equipment and material must be submitted with the Sabbatical Leave Application. Only those special equipment and material purchases approved at the time of the application will be funded by the College. Otherwise, all sabbatical-related expenses will be paid by the staff member on leave.
    The Associate Vice President of Human Resources or designee has the authority to make an exception to this policy and procedure, in consultation with the appropriate executive staff member.

The Associate Vice President of Human Resources, in conjunction with the appropriate employees, is responsible for the development and publication of any procedures or guidelines that may be necessary to administer this policy effectively.

If any provision(s) of this policy or set of bylaws conflicts with laws applicable to Northwestern Michigan College, including the Community College Act of 1966, the Freedom of Information Act, or the Open Meetings Act, as each may be amended from time to time, such laws shall control and supersede such provision(s).

Authorized on December 15, 2006
Revised October 21, 2022