Faculty and librarians at the University of Washington may be considered for sabbatical leave–referred to officially as paid professional leave or professional leave with pay.

Faculty Sabbatical Information

The purpose of a sabbatical is to increase the scholarship and professional development of the faculty and thereby enhance their capacity for service to the University. This type of leave from academic duties is a privilege granted normally to those of professorial rank to afford them the opportunity for study, investigation, and research. Sabbaticals are governed primarily by Executive Order 33 (EO 33).

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 returning from a previous sabbatical leave. Eligibility is calculated in academic years, not quarters. The year in which a sabbatical takes place is considered the ‘sabbatical year’, even if the sabbatical was only one or two quarters in duration. After returning from a sabbatical, a faculty member begins accruing time toward their next sabbatical in the academic year immediately following the ‘sabbatical year.’ Assistant professors in clock-managed ranks are not eligible for sabbatical until after they have been reviewed and approved for tenure and/or promotion.

Sabbatical eligibility may be delayed if the faculty member took other types of leave during the service accrual period. The Office of Academic Personnel will review the leave history, taking into consideration the nature, duration, and percentage of leave, and will make a determination of its impact on sabbatical eligibility on a case-by-case basis.

Salary Support during Sabbatical

Per Executive Order 33, standard levels of sabbatical salary support 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 sabbatical 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 one of the standard leave percentages listed above. While funding could come from a variety of sources, units are not obligated to provide salary support for non-tenure eligible faculty 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 Section E.

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 2022-23 academic year is $20,166. 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, a faculty member may use external sources of support to fund the portion of their salary that is 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). 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 before 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 who wish to engage in outside work while on sabbatical leave must be approved for Outside Professional Work for Compensation (via Form 1460) prior to submitting the sabbatical application. As part of the sabbatical plan, faculty should highlight the difference between outside work and the proposed sabbatical activities. A copy of the approved form must be attached to the sabbatical application.

A note about fellowships: UW faculty and librarians often participate in fellowships concurrent with an approved sabbatical/leave. UW requires pre-approval for certain outside activities including, but not limited to, those involving teaching at other institutions or outside compensation (including in-kind). The Office of Research advises fellowship recipients to follow UW’s Outside Professional Work for Compensation approval process. This process helps ensure compliance with institutional policy and the Washington State Public Ethics Law.

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 timeline 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 chair/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 chair/director/campus dean memorandum included, the packet goes to the dean/chancellor who evaluates the application’s merit and administrative feasibility of the leave.
  • Step 5: By the deadline established annually by Academic HR (AHR), units forward to apleaves@uw.edu  all sabbatical packets that have the support of the dean/chancellor, as well as this completed template listing all faculty applicants within the school/college/campus. In preparation for provost-level review, each individual sabbatical packet should be submitted as a single PDF ordered as follows:

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 chair/director/campus dean, dean/chancellor, and provost may be required.
  • Upon completion of a sabbatical, a brief report should be emailed to the provost through 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

The purpose of this leave type is 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 Libraries. Leave of this type is a privilege granted to those with permanent or continuing status.

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 calculated in academic years commensurate with the unit’s standard service period. The year in which a sabbatical takes place is considered the ‘sabbatical year’, even if the sabbatical was only one or two quarters in duration

After returning from a sabbatical, a librarian begins accruing time toward their next sabbatical in the academic year immediately following the ‘sabbatical year.’ 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.

Sabbatical eligibility may be delayed if the librarian took other types of leave during the service accrual period. The Office of Academic Personnel will review the leave history, taking into consideration the nature, duration, and percentage of leave, and will make a determination of its impact on sabbatical eligibility on a case-by-case basis.

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: The 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 2022-23 academic year is $20,166. 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, librarians may use external support for those portions of their salary that is subject to the 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 before 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.

Outside Work

Librarians who wish to engage in outside work concurrent with sabbatical leave must be approved for Outside Professional Work for Compensation Outside Professional Work for Compensation form (Form 1460) prior to submitting the sabbatical application. As part of the sabbatical plan, librarians should highlight the difference between outside work and the proposed sabbatical activities. A copy of the approved form must be attached to the sabbatical application.

A note about fellowships: UW faculty and librarians often participate in fellowships concurrent with an approved sabbatical/leave. UW requires pre-approval for certain outside activities including, but not limited to, those involving teaching at other institutions or outside compensation (including in-kind). The Office of Research advises fellowship recipients to follow UW’s Outside Professional Work for Compensation approval process. This process helps ensure compliance with institutional policy and the Washington State Public Ethics Law.

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 where the leave was spent and the principal accomplishments, including their application to the improvement of library services at the University of Washington Libraries.