Faculty Leaves and Special Academic Assignments
Handbook of Operating Procedures 2-2210
Faculty Leaves and Special Academic Assignments
The University of Texas at Austin
Executive Sponsor: Executive Vice President and Provost
September 1, 1997
Regulations of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System regarding leaves without pay are contained in Rule 30201 of the Regents' Rules and Regulations. See Section 3.7 of the same chapter with respect to requests for leave without pay for political purposes. The following describes the types of leaves as well as non-instructional assignments available to faculty at The University of Texas at Austin.
I. Faculty Leaves
Faculty members may request two types of leave: (1) leave without pay and (2) leave from the instructional budget. A "leave without pay" is defined as a period of leave during which the faculty member does not receive compensation from any source of funds administered by the University for either all or part of his or her regular appointment. A "leave from the instructional budget" is defined as a period of leave during which the faculty member is released from the faculty salaries budget and is paid from another funding source(s) administered by the University. In both cases, or for any combination of the two leave types, the form Faculty Request for Leave must be completed and submitted. The leave request must include a justification explaining why the leave is in the best interests of the University and how it will increase the teaching effectiveness or scholarly productivity of the individual. It also should specify what the faculty member will be doing while on leave and from where he or she will be receiving compensation, if any. When a leave of absence without pay is requested for significant personal reasons (e.g., parental leave) the reason for the leave should be stated on the leave request form.
Faculty members who will be on partial or full-time leave without pay should ascertain the effect of the leave on their medical insurance and retirement benefits by consulting the Insurance and Retirement Group of the Office of Human Resources. Faculty who will be absent from campus and who serve as Principal Investigators also should determine whether any arrangements need to be made with their funding agencies for disposition of their grant(s).
- Leaves Without Pay
The maximum leave that can be approved is one academic year, i.e., through the end of the fiscal year in which the leave begins. Leaves without pay for up to one year are granted under most circumstances, provided the department so recommends and can make satisfactory arrangements for staffing any classes the faculty member is scheduled to teach. Except for reasons of health, continued graduate study, and public service or other activity that reflects credit on the institution and enhances an individual's ability to make subsequent contributions to the institution, a second consecutive year of leave will not be granted. Requests for extensions of a leave without pay for a second academic year must be fully justified, and in no case should a faculty member expect an extension of more than one year. Except in very unusual circumstances a third consecutive leave of absence for one year will not be granted.
Effect of leave without pay on probationary status: an academic year during which a faculty member is on leave without pay from the University for all of the fall and/or spring semesters shall not be counted as part of the probationary period related to the acquisition of tenure.
- Leave from the Instructional Budget
A faculty member on leave from the instructional budget (also known as release time from the instructional budget) continues to hold a full-time appointment paid from a funding source(s) administered by the University. This category of leave comprises research appointments to contracts and grants administered by the University, to Faculty Development Program awards and other non-faculty salaries, to institutional research awards, and to awards from external funding agencies when the funds are administered by the University. The maximum leave that can be approved at any one time is one academic year, i.e., through the end of the fiscal year in which the leave begins. A separate request must be submitted for extension of a leave from the instructional budget beyond one year.
Faculty Research Assignments: Faculty Research Assignments (FRAs) are funded jointly by the Faculty Development Program and the faculty salaries budget in the applicant's department. Upon notification of an FRA award, the faculty recipient should complete the Faculty Request for Leave form, which must be approved by the department chair and dean to implement the leave.
When a leave from the instructional budget is funded using institutional sources (e.g., Faculty Development Program), one of the factors considered in awarding the leave is the benefit that will accrue to the University. Therefore, the recipient of such an award is expected to return to his or her normal duties at the University for the period of at least the academic year following the leave. If the recipient elects not to return, he or she shall have an obligation to reimburse the institution for University funds expended in support of the leave.
Effect of leave from the instructional budget on probationary status: period during which a faculty member with the academic rank of Instructor or Assistant Professor holds a full-time appointment in the University for both the fall and spring semesters of an academic year while on leave from the instructional budget (i.e., is appointed full-time from any combination of funding sources administered by the University) shall be counted as part of the probationary period related to the acquisition of tenure.
II. Other Academic Assignments
The following faculty assignments do not require submission of a Faculty Request for Leave form. Periods during which a faculty member with the academic rank of Instructor or Assistant Professor receives one of these assignments will count as part of the probationary period related to the acquisition of tenure.
- Special Faculty Assignments
A request for a special faculty assignment normally is initiated at a chair or dean level and must be approved by the department chair and/or dean, and the Executive Vice President and Provost acting for the President. Each request must be accompanied by a full description of the duties of the faculty member while on special faculty assignment.
- Dean's Fellows
Dean's Fellows are allocated to schools, departments, and programs with approved Performance Based Instruction System plans and are funded out of instructional salaries. Nominations are made by the faculty member's department using the Request for Dean's Fellow Assignment and Unbalanced Teaching Load form and must be approved by the dean and by the Executive Vice President and Provost. These assignments must be related to research or curriculum development, and each Dean's Fellow nomination must be accompanied by a full description of the duties to which the faculty member will devote his or her time while on the assignment.
Previously HOP 3.10