Both faculty and librarians at the University of Washington (UW) may be considered for sabbatical leave–also referred to as paid professional leave or professional leave with pay.

Faculty Sabbatical Information

Purpose

To increase the scholarship and professional development of members of the faculty and thereby enhance their capacity for service to the University. Leave of this type from academic duties is a privilege granted normally to those of professorial rank to afford them the opportunity for study, investigation, and research.

Governing Policy

Eligibility

A faculty member becomes eligible for sabbatical no earlier than their seventh academic year of service to the UW or their seventh academic year of service after return from a previous sabbatical leave. Eligibility is not calculated in quarters, but rather in academic years. As such, service time accrual starts in the academic year immediately following the previous sabbatical year (the year during which a sabbatical occurred, regardless of duration). Assistant professors in clock-managed appointments are not eligible for sabbatical until after they have been reviewed and approved for tenure and/or promotion.

Salary Support during Sabbatical

Per Executive Order 33, standard levels of salary support during sabbatical are as follows:

  • 100% salary for a leave of 1 quarter
  • 75% salary for a leave of 2 quarters
  • 67% salary for a leave of a full academic year (i.e., 3 quarters for a 9-month service period, 4 quarters for a 12-month service period)

Sabbatical approval is contingent upon sufficient resources to fund the sabbatical at one of the above standard levels.

Tenured faculty can expect their appointing unit to provide salary support for the tenured portion of their appointment commensurate with their approved sabbatical percent. The minimum level of salary support provided by the unit is determined by multiplying the faculty member’s tenure value by the respective standard salary level indicated above (i.e., 100%, 75%, or 67%).
(Tenure value) x (% standard sabbatical salary level) = % salary support expected from the unit

For example, if a faculty member with 50% tenure is approved to take a 2-quarter sabbatical, the amount of salary support provided by the unit would be calculated as follows:
50% tenure value x 75% sabbatical salary level = 37.5% salary support expected from the unit

Faculty with partial tenure are expected to provide the balance of salary support necessary to maintain a standard sabbatical leave percentage of 100%, 75%, or 67%.
Non-tenure eligible faculty (i.e., WOT, research, and teaching track) must demonstrate sufficient funding to fully support their requested sabbatical at a standard leave percentage of 100%, 75%, or 67%. While funding could come from a variety of sources, non-tenure eligible faculty shall have no expectation of salary support from the unit unless otherwise explicitly committed.

If a faculty member secures outside grant support that is budgeted for salary, such funds may be applied to increase the faculty member’s pay during sabbatical up to their full salary, and used thereafter to reduce the UW’s contribution. A faculty member’s salary while on sabbatical may not exceed the regularly established full salary, except as provided by Executive Order 33.

Statutory Limits

State law limits the actual dollar amount of general state and local funds the UW may pay to faculty while on sabbatical. The maximum monthly salary limit for those on sabbatical during the 2021-22 academic year is $20,190. Sabbatical applications should be reviewed to ensure this limitation to state-funded sabbatical salaries is not exceeded. Since this limitation applies only to general state and local funds, faculty may use external sources of support for those portions of their salary that are subject to the statutory limitation. The use of external sources must be consistent with the requirements of the sponsor.

Timing

It is expected that requested sabbatical quarter(s) will fall within a single academic year and align with UW’s established quarter start/end dates (autumn 9/16-12/15, winter 12/16-3/15, spring 3/16-6/15, summer 6/16-9/15). Please note, summer quarter sabbaticals are only available to those with 12-month service periods.

Faculty members requesting a sabbatical distributed over multiple years must discuss their plans with their unit administrator in advance of submitting an application. Approval of sabbatical quarter(s) within a given academic year does not extend to nor guarantee approval of quarters occurring in subsequent years. If sabbatical quarters are requested across multiple academic years, a separate application is required for each year in which the sabbatical occurs. Each application must be submitted during the appropriate annual application period in accord with unit timelines and the submission deadline established by the Office of Academic Personnel.

Outside Work

Faculty wishing to engage in outside work concurrent with sabbatical leave must complete and receive approval of an Outside Professional Work for Compensation form (Form 1460) prior to submitting the sabbatical application. As part of the sabbatical plan, faculty should take care to highlight the difference between outside work and the proposed sabbatical activities, and attach a copy of the approved form to the sabbatical application.

Application Process

  • Step 1: In the academic year preceding their eligibility year and in accord with unit due dates, the faculty member submits a sabbatical application packet to their unit leadership that includes:
    • A completed Faculty Application for Sabbatical Leave
    • A detailed sabbatical plan outlining:
      • How the sabbatical time will be utilized
      • The time sequence for completion of their sabbatical project/plan
      • The names of any foundations or institutions with which the faculty member expects to be affiliated during sabbatical
      • Special resources available for the proposed project/plan
      • The source and amount of any supplementary grants or salary
    • A current CV
    • Any other materials as requested by the unit and/or that the applicant believes may provide useful context (e.g., letter of support, letter of invitation from a host institution, etc)
  • Step 2: The appointing unit verifies the faculty member’s eligibility and shall not consider requests from ineligible faculty.
  • Step 3: The department chair/school director/campus dean evaluates the sabbatical packet and adds one of the following:
    • Memorandum of support that highlights the plan’s merit and anticipated benefit to the University, expresses confidence in the applicant’s ability to accomplish the sabbatical plan, and confirms the administrative feasibility of the leave
    • Memorandum stating the rationale for denying the sabbatical application
  • Step 4: With the department chair/school director/campus dean memorandum included, the packet goes to the dean/chancellor who evaluates the merit of the application and the administrative feasibility of the leave.
  • Step 5: By the deadline established annually by Academic HR (AHR), those sabbatical packets that have the support of the dean/chancellor shall be forwarded to AHR for provost-level review. Packets should be prepared as a single PDF ordered as follows:
  • Step 6: Upon notification of provost approval, the unit notifies the faculty member and processes the leave through Workday as appropriate.

Return to Service and Payback Obligations

Following the sabbatical leave, the faculty member must return and work for the University for the period of one academic year at the appointment percent they held prior to going on sabbatical. Regardless of the duration of the sabbatical, no portion of the year in which the sabbatical occurred shall count toward fulfilling the return to service obligation. Failure to return for the required period shall constitute an obligation on the faculty member’s part to repay any remuneration received from the University during the sabbatical leave.

Additional Considerations

  • The unit must notify AHR of proposed changes to the timing or duration of an approved sabbatical; additional approval of the department chair/school director/campus dean, dean/chancellor, and provost may be required.
  • Upon completion of a leave, a brief report is to be submitted to the provost via email to apleaves@uw.edu. The report should state where the leave was spent and the principal accomplishments, including how those accomplishments apply to teaching or research effectiveness.
  • Faculty who were converted to the professorial teaching track in September 2020 should review these additional sabbatical eligibility details

Librarian Sabbatical Information

Purpose

To afford the librarians at the University Libraries the opportunity to increase their knowledge, further their scholarship, expand their skills, and enhance their professional development. The common objective is to enhance the librarian’s capacity for service to the University of Washington Libraries. Leave of this type is a privilege granted to those with permanent or continuing status.

Governing Policy

Eligibility

A librarian with permanent or continuing status becomes eligible for sabbatical no earlier than their seventh academic year of University service or their seventh academic year of service after their return from a previous sabbatical leave. Eligibility is not calculated in months or quarters, but rather in academic years commensurate with the unit’s standard service period. Service time accrual starts in the academic year immediately following the ‘sabbatical year’ (the year during which a sabbatical occurred, regardless of duration of the sabbatical). It is expected that the unit will verify eligibility before considering the sabbatical request and will not consider requests from ineligible librarians. The process for submission of sabbatical applications is prescribed in the Librarian Personnel Code Chapter IV Section F.

Salary Support during Sabbatical

Per Executive Order 33 and consistent with the Librarian Personnel Code, UW Libraries will provide salary support during sabbatical as noted below. Note: Percentage of salary support will be commensurate with the number of quarters impacted by the leave:

  • 100% for a leave of up to 3 months (occurring within 1 quarter)
  • 75% for a leave greater than 3 months, but no more than 6 months (occurring within 2 quarters)
  • 67% for a leave greater than 6 months (occurring within 3 or 4 quarters)

If a librarian secures outside grant support that is budgeted for salary, such funds may be applied to increase the librarian’s pay during sabbatical up to their regularly established full salary, and thereafter to reduce the UW’s contribution. A librarian’s pay while on sabbatical may not exceed the regularly established full salary, except as provided by Executive Order 33 and, as applicable, the Librarian Personnel Code.

Statutory Limits

State law limits the actual dollar amount of general state and local funds the UW may pay to those on sabbatical. The maximum monthly salary limit for those on sabbatical during the 2021-22 academic year is $20,190. Leave requests should be reviewed to ensure this limitation is not exceeded. Since this limitation applies only to general state and local funds, librarians may use external support for those portions of their salary not payable by the UW because of this statutory limitation. Use of external sources must be consistent with funding agency requirements.

Timing

Requested sabbatical leave should fall within a single academic year (7/1 – 6/30, annually) and start dates should align with UW’s payroll quarter start dates. Ideally, librarians will apply for sabbatical in the academic year preceding the academic year in which the leave occurs. Librarians should submit their applications by the submission date established annually by the Office of Academic Personnel and no later than 6 months in advance of the proposed start date of leave.

Librarians requesting a sabbatical distributed over multiple years must discuss their plans with their unit administrator in advance of submitting an application. Approval of sabbatical leave in one academic year does not extend to nor guarantee approval of sabbatical leave in a subsequent academic year. If sabbatical quarters are requested across multiple academic years, a separate application is required for each year in which the sabbatical occurs. Each application must be submitted during the appropriate annual application period in accord with the timelines outlined above.

Application Process

  • Step 1: Librarians who wish to apply for sabbatical must first follow the process outlined in Librarian Personnel Code Chapter IV Section F.4
  • Step 2: Upon completion of the process described in the Librarian Personnel Code and preferably by the deadline established annually by the Office of Academic Personnel, sabbatical packets that have the support of the dean of University Libraries shall be forwarded to AHR for provost-level review. Packets should be prepared as a single PDF ordered as follows:
    • UW Libraries Application for Sabbatical Leave
    • Unit supervisor or dean letter recommending support for the application
    • Letter requesting leave as described in Librarian Personnel Code Chapter IV Section F.4 (also known as the sabbatical plan)
    • A current CV
  • Step 3: Upon notification of provost approval, the unit notifies the librarian and processes the leave through Workday as appropriate.

Return to Service Obligation

Per the Librarian Personnel Code, a librarian granted a sabbatical leave agrees to return to the University of Washington Libraries for a period of one year after the leave.

Additional Considerations

  • The unit must notify AHR of proposed changes to the timing or duration of an approved sabbatical; additional approval of the dean and provost may be required.
  • Per the Librarian Personnel Code, within one month after the conclusion of the leave, a written report of the activity during the leave will be submitted to the dean of University Libraries and to the provost. The provost’s copy should be submitted via apleaves@uw.edu. The report must state how and where the leave was spent and what the principal accomplishments were, including their application to the improvement of library services at the University of Washington Libraries.