Office of the Provost

The University of Michigan Faculty Handbook

16.B Leaves Related to Professional Development

16.B.1 Sabbatical Leaves

Members of the tenured faculty who have completed six years (12 terms) of service in the professorial rank at the University and have tenure are eligible to apply for sabbatical leave. (In some academic units, clinical instructional faculty members may be eligible for some form of paid leave.) Terms on scholarly activity leave or leave without salary do not count toward sabbatical eligibility. Sabbatical leaves must be recommended by the appropriate chair and dean and approved by the president or a designated representative. The application should include a statement of a well-considered plan for spending the leave in a manner calculated to contribute to the professional effectiveness of the applicant and the best interests of the University (bylaw 5.14; SPG 201.30-2).

A sabbatical leave may be granted for the individual’s entire appointment period or for one-half this period, the appointment period being either 12 months or the University-year. The term during which an individual is eligible for a sabbatical leave is determined by the individual’s appointment history.
The instructional faculty member granted sabbatical leave for the entire appointment period receives one-half of the faculty member’s regular salary. If the leave is for one-half the appointment period, the individual receives the total regular salary for the period of the leave.

A member of the instructional faculty on sabbatical leave may not render service for compensation in the University or another institution or enterprise. This does not preclude, however, the acceptance of a fellowship or other assistance in research. In this case, the source of additional funds and the fact that their use materially aids the planned research program of the staff member must be fully set forth in the request for sabbatical leave, or if not known at that time, before the effective date of the sabbatical leave. Salary replacement received from a fellowship or other assistance in research, including the sabbatical leave salary, may not exceed the staff member’s regular salary.

A faculty member granted a sabbatical leave is required to return to the University for a period of at least one year following the completion of the sabbatical leave. In the event the faculty member does not return to his or her duties at the University following a University-sponsored sabbatical, he or she will be expected to reimburse the University for the funds it contributed to the leave.

16.B.2 Scholarly Activity Leaves

Scholarly Activity Leaves not in excess of one year may be granted to members of the regular instructional faculty by the president or a designated representative on recommendation of the dean (Ann Arbor campus) or chancellor (UM-Flint or UM-Dearborn campus). These leaves may be granted to permit acceptance of prestigious fellowships or to permit acceptance of a temporary appointment at another institution when this appointment would, in the interest of the University, permit engagement in scholarly activities that are not otherwise practicably available and that will significantly enhance the individual’s professional effectiveness. Scholarly activity leaves are usually without salary, but if the award or available salary is less than the instructional faculty member’s regular salary, at the dean’s request, a supplement may be provided by the unit to maintain the staff member’s regular salary or a portion thereof. Supplements may be provided only if permitted by the rules of the fellowship or the other institution involved. For further information, see SPG 201.30-4.

16.B.3 Intergovernmental Leaves

The University, on occasion, enters into agreements with agencies of the federal government that allow for the temporary assignment of University faculty to roles in those agencies (or for similar assignments of federal employees to roles within the University). These agreements are intended to enhance cooperation between the University and federal agencies; to take advantage of unusual expertise, skills, or talents; or to provide professional development opportunities. They are for a specified and limited duration. For further information, see SPG 201.30-5.

16.B.4 Duty Off-Campus

When a faculty member’s duties require activities at a site away from one of the three University campus locations for a period of one month or more, the faculty member is placed on duty off-campus status for the appropriate period. Duty off-campus status for instructional faculty is reported to the Regents. Since University assignments and salary are continued during the period of duty off-campus, there is no effect on benefits. For further information, see SPG 201.90.

16.B.5 Librarian Professional Leaves

Librarians are encouraged to participate actively in professional library organizations and in subject-oriented professional groups related to the librarian’s role in the University. Reasonable requests for professional leave with salary will be granted for the duration of a meeting and should be submitted in advance to the immediate supervisor and department head. Requests will be approved subject to the staffing requirements of affected units. Additional information on professional leave policy is available for University library faculty in the Library Personnel Manual published by the Library Human Resources Office. Staff of other libraries should consult their supervisors.

16.B.6 Leaves of Absence Without Salary for Professional Reasons

Excused absences without pay for longer than 21 consecutive calendar days must be covered by a leave of absence. Leaves of absence without salary are granted for personal circumstances or for professional circumstances, including education, government or public service, outside teaching, or unique research opportunities.  See section 16.C.6 Leaves of Absence without Salary for Personal Reasons (Including Child Care Leaves ) and SPG 201.30-1.

The president or his or her designated representative may grant leaves of absence without salary on recommendation by the dean or director to members of the instructional faculty for periods of up to one year, and to archivists, curators, librarians, and research faculty. Only the Board of Regents may grant leaves of more than one year in duration and extensions of leaves beyond one year for instructional faculty when an appropriate request is made on recommendation by the department head, the dean or director, and the president. Leaves of absence for instructional faculty will be reported monthly to the Board of Regents.

For information about benefit coverage during a leave, refer to the Benefits website at

Faculty Handbook: Leaves, Absences, Holidays, Vacations, and University Closures: