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Sabbatical Leave for Staff Procedure - 63.08.13b

College Policy Number/Title:

Howard Community College (HCC) sabbatical leave for staff employees will be considered according to potential institutional benefit and contingent upon availability of financial resources and other considerations. Full-time, budgeted administrative, professional/technical, and support group members who have completed five years of continuous full-time employment at HCC are eligible to apply for sabbatical leave for staff with pay and the college portion of benefits to pursue professional growth objectives or to carry out special projects specified by the administration.  Time granted for other types of leave, other than paid sick leave, will not be included in the calculation of total years of continuous service. Such leave, however, will not interrupt the accrual of years of continued service. Applicants must complete an additional five years of continuous service from the end of their prior sabbatical leave for staff to be eligible for another. Any full-time administrative, professional/technical, or support group member facing retrenchment may be considered for sabbatical leave for staff, regardless of length of service, if retraining is appropriate and approved.

Leave proposals will be evaluated against the following criteria:

  • evidence that the objectives of the sabbatical leave for staff would contribute to the attainment of the college's goals and objectives;
  • evidence that the objectives of the sabbatical leave for staff would contribute to the professional growth of the individual;
  • evidence of past achievements within the institution as measured by such factors as merit, promotion, service, etc.; and
  • evidence that attainment of objectives of the sabbatical leave for staff are realistic in terms of time, costs, and the staff member's ability to achieve goals based on past experiences and formal educational background.

Individuals applying for sabbatical leave for staff may choose a leave period of three or six months with full pay or one year at half pay. As an alternative form of sabbatical leave for staff, an eligible employee may propose a leave to fit individual plans and college needs, providing that the total period of leave does not exceed one year. 

The following list outlines the application process for sabbatical leave for staff:

1.      A proposal outlining leave objectives is submitted with a completed request for leave form to the employee’s supervisor for review and approval at least three months prior to the commencement of the proposed leave period.

2.      The employee’s supervisor evaluates the proposal, including the estimated costs of replacement, and forward with comment to the area vice president or president.

3.      If the area vice president supports the requested sabbatical leave for staff, the request is forwarded to the president with actual costs of replacement.  Leave of three months or less are considered for approval by the president; leave over three months require board approval.

4.      The candidate is notified whether the request is approved or disapproved in a timely fashion.

The granting of sabbatical leave for staff is contingent on the college's ability to maintain continuity of service and the availability of adequate financial resources. If insufficient funds exist to meet institutional needs, the president may curtail or cancel sabbatical leave for staff. If, after approval of the leave, it becomes necessary for the college to cancel a sabbatical leave for staff, the applicant will receive priority for sabbatical leave for staff when funds allow, if the proposal still meets the specified criteria. If an individual has been recommended for sabbatical leave for staff and withdraws the application or decides not to take leave, the applicant will not receive priority if the leave is requested again later. Either the original proposal in updated form or a new proposal must be submitted if leave is again requested. 

Staff members granted sabbatical leave for staff are required to return for one year of employment following completion of the sabbatical leave for staff. Sabbaticants will be required to sign an agreement prior to the acceptance of sabbatical leave for staff 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. If an individual's position is abolished during the period of sabbatical leave for staff, the leave compensation does not have to be repaid to the college.

Upon completion of the sabbatical leave for staff and within 30 calendar days following return from leave, the employee must submit a report detailing the results of the leave, including: 

  • an account of activities during leave, e.g., travel itineraries, institutions visited, persons consulted, etc.;
  • a statement of specific outcomes achieved; and
  • a complete accounting of all sources of financial support other than the sabbatical stipend.

If, while on leave, an individual finds that the sabbatical leave for staff proposal cannot be completed as originally approved, the individual must inform the area vice president or president in writing of the changes being proposed. Upon review by the vice president or the president, the employee will be notified of what changes are acceptable relative to leave conditions and requirements. 

In the event that the leave project is not carried out in accordance with the approved plan or modifications, the employee on leave will be required to reimburse the college in full or part for funds expended in connection with the leave.

Discovery of unreported outside compensation during the period of leave will result in the immediate reduction in a commensurate 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 for staff have been completed, the employee will be required to return a commensurate amount to the college within six months of the discovery of the unreported compensation. Individuals will be required to agree to the above conditions prior to the granting of the sabbatical leave for staff.

The sabbatical leave for staff salary will be the base compensation normally applicable for the leave period excluding any fellowship, stipends, or other funding sources. It will be either the annual base salary pro-rated for three or six months or half of the annual base salary for a full year of sabbatical leave for staff.

  • Individuals on sabbatical leave for staff are eligible to receive the full college contribution to benefits during the leave period and the employee will continue to contribute to those benefits as specified in the employee benefits program.
  • Employees may be eligible for merit depending on the outcome of approved projects.

Sabbatical leave for staff is not accrued.

Individuals do not accrue annual or sick leave while on sabbatical leave for staff.

There is no automatic leave sequence for sabbatical leave for staff.

Effective Date: 12/09/16

President's Office Use:  VPAF

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