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Sabbatical Leave for Faculty Procedure - 63.08.13a

College Policy Number/Title:


All Howard Community College, full-time teaching faculty members are eligible to apply for sabbatical leave.  Eligible faculty members must have completed five years of continuous full-time service to the college to be eligible for sabbatical leave except as specified in the following paragraph concerning retrenchment.  Time granted for other types of professional leave, other than paid sick leave, will not be included in the calculation of total years of continuous service. Sabbaticants must complete an additional five years of continuous service following their prior sabbatical to be eligible for another.

Any full-time faculty member facing retrenchment may be considered for sabbatical leave regardless of length of service if recommended by the supervisor to retrain for a suitable position that might be available concurrent with the date of retrenchment.


The following criteria will be used in determining the ranking of sabbatical leave proposals. Each of the criteria is evaluated by each committee member using a scale of 1(low) to 5(high).

  • Evidence that the objectives of the sabbatical leave, if attained, would contribute to the attainment of the college's mission, goals and objectives;
  • Evidence that the objectives of the sabbatical leave, if attained, would substantially contribute to the professional growth of the faculty member such as projects designed to improve teaching competencies;
  • Evidence of past achievements within the institution as measured by such factors as merit, promotion, service, etc.;
  • Evidence that attainment of the objectives of the sabbatical leave as proposed are realistic in terms of time, costs, and the faculty member's ability to achieve goals based on past experiences and formal educational background;
  • Evidence of support in the form of recommendations from other institutions, foundations, immediate supervisors, or persons concerned with the proposed plan or project; and
  • Length of eligible service.

Length of Sabbatical

Individuals applying for sabbatical leave may choose to take either six months or one full year.  As an alternative form of sabbatical leave, a faculty member may propose a leave to fit individual plans and college needs, providing that the total period of leave does not exceed one year.

Sabbatical Leave Committee

Membership on the sabbatical leave committee will consist of one faculty member from each academic division.  The academic deans will appoint a non-probationary faculty member from their division to serve a term of two years.  Faculty may not serve on the committee during a year in which they are going to apply for sabbatical.  The designee of the vice president of academic affairs (VPAA) will serve as an ex-officio member of the committee.

The sabbatical leave committee will establish whatever operational procedures it deems appropriate and consistent with the purpose of sabbatical leave.  The committee is empowered to reject applications which are incomplete or late.  The committee will rank each eligible candidate who has applied for sabbatical leave in terms of the criteria stated.  The recommendations of the sabbatical leave committee, in rank order, will be submitted to the VPAA for review and/or approval and then to the president for review and/or approval.

The committee is also charged with reconsideration of sabbatical leave proposals submitted and approved in prior years but deferred for whatever reasons.  Deferred leave proposals must be updated by applicants and resubmitted to the sabbatical leave committee for review and ranking.

Application Process

Applicants will complete a "sabbatical leave application" form and forward it to their department chair and dean by September 5.  Upon review by the dean, applications are due to the VPAA by September 15.  The dean should provide electronic confirmation to the applicant acknowledging the submittal of the proposal.  The department chair and dean will comment on the proposal and forward the application to the VPAA with an estimate of the cost of replacement relative to existing position control/budgeted salaries.  Electronic copies of all proposals will be distributed to the committee members.  Based on the recommendations of the sabbatical leave committee and the comments of the department chair and dean, the VPAA will consider and recommend to the president candidates for sabbatical leave with a final estimate of the replacement costs.  Candidates will be notified by the VPAA regarding recommendation for approval prior to submission to the president.

The president will evaluate the comments of the department chair, dean, and VPAA and recommend candidates for sabbatical leave to the board of trustees before the November board meeting.

Cancellation of Leave

Sabbatical leaves are contingent upon approval of the college's operating budget by local government.  If the college's proposed budget is reduced to the point where there are, in the judgment of the president, insufficient funds to meet institutional needs, sabbatical leaves will be curtailed or cancelled.  If, after approval by the board of trustees, it becomes necessary for the college to cancel a sabbatical leave, the applicant will receive first priority for sabbatical leave in the next fiscal year if the resubmitted proposal meets the specified criteria for priority ranking.

Appeal of Sabbatical Leave Recommendations

An applicant for sabbatical leave may appeal the recommendations of the sabbatical leave committee by appealing to the VPAA.  Appeals should be in writing and provide evidence based on the criteria established for sabbatical leave indicating why the rank order assigned should be altered.

Post-Sabbatical Leave Service Requirements

Faculty members granted sabbatical leave are required to return for one year of employment following completion of the sabbatical leave.  Sabbaticants will be required to sign an agreement prior to the acceptance of sabbatical leave that they will return the full amount of compensation received while on leave if they should not return to the college for at least one year of service.  

Upon completion of the sabbatical leave, the recipient will submit a report of the results of the leave within 30 days following return from leave.  The report will include:

  • an account of activities during the leave, including travel itineraries, institutions visited and persons consulted;
  • a statement of progress made on the sabbatical leave program as proposed in the application and an explanation of any significant changes made in the program;
  • an appraisal of the relationship between the results obtained and those anticipated in the sabbatical leave program statement; and
  • a final accounting of all sources and kinds of financial support other than the sabbatical stipend.

If sabbaticants find that the sabbatical leave cannot be completed as originally approved, the sabbaticant must write the VPAA explaining what changes are being proposed.  The VPAA will then notify the sabbaticant of what changes are acceptable, if any, relative to the leave conditions and requirements. In the event that the sabbatical leave project is not carried out in accordance with the approved plan or modifications, then the VPAA will take appropriate action.  Such action may include, but is not limited to, requiring that sabbatical funds for the project be returned in full.

Funding of Sabbatical Leaves

In order to maintain appropriate fiscal and administrative controls, the college will attempt to fund sabbatical leaves for up to five percent of all full-time instructional faculty members.  The college will work toward a "break even" cost in administering the sabbatical leave program.  Sabbatical leave applications should be reviewed and approved by October 31 so that needed funds can be incorporated in the budgetary proposals for the fiscal year in which leave funds will be needed.

The college encourages eligible faculty members to seek external funds, which would directly enhance the purpose of the sabbatical leave.

  • Non-salary funds (travel, materials, etc.) obtained from outside sources directly applicable to the purpose of the sabbatical leave will not reduce the sabbatical leave stipend.
  • Salary funds obtained from outside sources which directly relate to the attainment of the specific objectives of the sabbatical leave will not reduce the sabbatical leave stipend unless the total amount of the outside salary funds and sabbatical stipend exceed the sabbaticant's current salary or its prorated equivalent in the case of a six-month sabbatical leave.  Activity required to earn or receive this outside salary must not interfere directly or indirectly with the purpose or time available for which the sabbatical leave was granted.
  • Other outside funds which, in addition to the sabbatical stipend, exceed the current salary or its proration will result in the sabbatical stipend being reduced a like amount until it equals the current salary or its prorated equivalent.  The sabbatical leave committee may recommend that additional remuneration above the current equivalent salary will be allowed if it is essential to the success of the sabbatical purpose or incidental on a monetary basis.

Discovery of unreported outside salary will result in the immediate reduction in a like amount of the sabbatical stipend if the leave is still in process.  Should funds remaining in the sabbatical stipend be inadequate to liquidate the additional unreported remuneration, or should the sabbatical leave have been completed, the faculty member will return a like amount to the college within six months of the discovery of the unreported remuneration.  Sabbaticants will be required to formally agree to the above conditions prior to the granting of the sabbatical leave.

Compensation and Benefits

The sabbatical leave salary will be the base compensation normally applicable for the sabbatical period, excluding any fellowships, stipends or other additional amounts.  It will be either the annual base salary prorated for a half year or half of the annual base salary for a full year of sabbatical leave.  These amounts may be reduced if external funding is acquired.

The college will continue to provide benefits during the sabbatical period including term insurance, medical coverage, disability insurance, retirement based on actual salary paid for the year, and tuition reimbursement for graduate study as an approved component of sabbatical activities; sabbaticants will also continue to contribute to those benefits requiring employee contributions.  Sabbaticants will not accrue vacation days, personal days, or sick leave while on sabbatical.

Sabbaticants will be eligible for merit increases for the period of the leave.  Completion of sabbatical leave objectives may qualify the sabbaticant for merit depending on the results of the sabbatical project.

Faculty members on sabbatical leave, who hold multiple-year contracts, will return with a multiple-year contract, pending completion of sabbatical leave objectives.

Effective Date:  12/11/15a

President's Office Use:  VPAA/VPAF

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