Staff HR Policy D-753.03
Institutional Effectiveness Criterion: Culture

Sabbatical Leave Faculty Procedure

A sabbatical leave policy was originally adopted at Northwestern Michigan College in 1957. Three reasons governed the instituting of the system.

First, such a system properly defined and administered may be a principal means of raising the scholarly, scientific, aesthetic, and professional accomplishment of the faculty. While this adds to the prestige of the College, perhaps of greater importance, it brings to the classroom more stimulating and recently informed instruction. However, the most valuable consequence of this sort of accomplishment is to strengthen the image associated with a top faculty member and to give form to the idea that the good teacher is a student, a researcher, an artist, a direct contributor in the dynamics of unearthing a new truth, and as such, a model to be imitated by the undergraduate.

Second, such a system is evidence to existing or prospective faculty that this College is interested in faculty quality and in a practicable means of raising or renewing the same. This College regards with more than ordinary interest a system that does something concrete to ensure excellence of teaching.

Third, such a system gives the faculty member a stake in his or her future at this College. The faculty member is always building an investment which will make his or her services as a faculty member more valuable to the College.

  1. APPLICATION AND APPROVAL PROCESS FOR SABBATICAL LEAVE
    The following schedule for the application to and granting of sabbatical leaves is established.
    1. November 1:
      An annual statement will be issued by the president. This statement, which will identify the long-range academic needs of the College, is intended to help current and future sabbatical leave faculty members plan leaves that will be beneficial to both the individual faculty member and the College.
      Applications will be acted upon according to the following procedures:
      The faculty member applying for leave must submit to the administration a completed Sabbatical Leave Application along with a written prospectus showing how the leave will enhance the employee's value to the College and the profession. In general, leaves proposing graduate study toward an advanced degree, organized research, scholarly or creative production, pertinent travel or foreign residence, and retraining for retrenchment will be allowed.
    2. November 1 -January 15:
      Stage One: Faculty members must secure the endorsement of one peer and the Academic Chair relevant to the sabbatical leave request. The Academic Chair will examine both the academic merit and institutional value of the proposed leave requests. These endorsements must be included in the Sabbatical Leave Application for faculty. 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.
    3. On or before January 15:
      Stage Two: Faculty member will submit the endorsed application to the Center for Instructional Excellence (CIE).
    4. January 15-February 15:
      Sabbatical requests will be submitted to the Vice President for Educational Services (VP-ES) by CIE and taken before ESIMT for review/evaluation/ prioritization/approval.
    5. February 15:
      1. Sabbatical requests are due back to CIE from VP-ES/ESIMT with approval(s)/prioritization(s) attached.
      2. Professional Development Leave Activity requests are due to CIE with Academic Chair endorsement.
    6. February 15-March 1:
      Sabbatical requests will be viewed by the CIE Advisory Board alongside the Professional Development Leave Activity requests to determine funding from the SPDL budget. The CIE Advisory Board will prioritize the requests and forward their recommendations to the Vice President for Educational Services.
    7. March 1:
      SPDL (sabbatical and professional development leave activity) recommendations will be forwarded to the Vice President for Educational Services by the Center for Instructional Excellence.
    8. March 15:
      Sabbatical recommendations are sent to the president from the Vice President for Educational Services.
    9. April Board Meeting:
      Sabbatical leaves are put on the Board of Trustees consent agenda for approval.
  2. ELIGIBILITY CREDIT FOR SABBATICAL LEAVE
    Each full-time contract year of service will earn three credits toward sabbatical eligibility. If a faculty member is taking a full-year or one-semester sabbatical, credit toward a subsequent sabbatical will begin accumulating when the faculty member returns to normal duties.
    1. In order to be eligible for sabbatical leave, the faculty member must have accumulated 21 credits. Under special conditions related to the uniqueness and quality of a sabbatical opportunity, a faculty member might be allowed to go on leave prior to full eligibility.
    2. Accumulated terms toward a sabbatical leave have no cash or legal value. They represent simply an ethical intent which the College proposes to honor if possible and if within the defined limits.
    3. Leaves of absences without pay will not count toward sabbatical credits.
    4. Sabbatical leaves may not be accumulated.
  3. LIMITATIONS
    While those eligible for sabbatical leave may apply when they have earned sufficient credits, the number and type of sabbaticals to be approved will be left to the discretion of the president.
  4. ELIGIBILITY
    Each regular faculty member is eligible to participate in the sabbatical leave plan. It allows leaves for approved purposes as often as every seven years.
  5. TYPES OF LEAVES AND PAYMENT SCHEDULES
    1. Full-year leave at 50 percent of the base salary. Base salary shall be interpreted as that salary which is in effect in the year for which the leave is granted.
    2. One-semester leave receives 100 percent full base salary during the period of absence.
    3. Expenses associated with planning the sabbatical leave, such as long-distance telephone calls and travel, will be covered by the faculty member.
      Payment arrangements shall be made with the Office of Human Resources at the time contracts are issued. Payment is made through payroll and is subject to payroll taxes.
      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 employee's retirement.
  6. MICHIGAN PUBLIC SCHOOL EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT SYSTEM (MPSERS)
    Michigan Public Schools Employees Retirement System credit is not earned during sabbatical, nor are contributions made to MPSERS. (The faculty member may purchase this service under MPSERS guidelines.) Payment arrangements for the contributions missed during sabbatical shall be made with the Office of Human Resources at the time contracts are issued. Payment is made through payroll and is subject to payroll taxes.
  7. OPTIONAL RETIREMENT PLAN (ORP)
    Both the faculty member and the College will continue to make Optional Retirement Plan contributions for sabbatical earnings.
  8. OBLIGATION TO RETURN
    The faculty member shall be returned to the same position the faculty member held when leave commenced or to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment.
  9. OBLIGATION TO REPORT UPON RETURN
    A detailed report of activities while on sabbatical leave is required. This report will be made in writing and submitted to the Vice President for Educational Services and the Center for Instructional Excellence (CIE) within 60 days after returning to normal assignments.
  10. EXPENSES
    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 faculty member on leave.
    The Director 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.

If any provisions(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 provisions(s).

Authorized on 11/20/09

Revised on 1/30/06; 11/15/06; 11/20/09

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