Requests for Sabbatical

College of Engineering faculty with tenure who have completed 12 terms (fall or winter) of service to the University since hire or since their last sabbatical may plan sabbatical leave activity to conduct research, to develop a deeper understanding of research needs or manufacturing challenges, or to learn new techniques and procedures. Sabbatical activity may also take place at government, higher education, research, or other non-profit organizations.  Please scroll down for information on changing an existing approved sabbatical leave.

Requesting the Leave:

Faculty members should fill out the sabbatical request form and submit this to their department chair. Sabbatical leave plans should include a paragraph explaining in detail the proposed research, an indication of the place(s) (institution(s), city(s)) where the proposed work will be carried out, including where the majority of time is to be spent, and a description of any employment relationship.  Please check with your department chair for the appropriate departmental deadline for submission. All sabbatical plans must be fully described and approved at the departmental level (by the chair or committee, depending on departmental policy) and by the College Executive Committee. Any significant change in plans after approval is received must be similarly disclosed.

Salary Funding During a Sabbatical Leave:

Faculty members on a one-term sabbatical receive full College funded salary for that term; those on full-year sabbatical receive one half of their College funded salary over the full academic year. Faculty on a one-term sabbatical will receive TIAA-CREF benefit contributions at the full time rate or 100%. Those on a full-year sabbatical (i.e., equivalent to a 50% appointment) will receive one half of their TIAA-CREF contributions. The University’s policy on sabbaticals appears in Section 201.30-2 of the Standard Practice Guide (SPG).

College of Engineering faculty requesting a full-year sabbatical may seek funding for the balance of their academic year compensation from internal as well as external sources within the following guidelines:

  • Sabbatical effort may be charged to sponsored research projects with approval from the sponsor. Sponsor approval or DRDA’s confirmation that such approval is not required must be documented when the appointment is submitted.
  • Sabbatical effort may be charged to faculty discretionary funds with approval from the chair and dean. Approval will be based on the sabbatical plan, and will require documentation that all other faculty support obligations – such as student and research fellow funding or offset requirements – are being met.
  • Total employment compensation, regardless of source, may not exceed the academic year compensation rate. The term of the academic year sabbatical is September through May.
  • Cost of living expenses at remote locations generally are not an allowable charge to University funds.

Faculty Obligations:

A report to the chair is required, in accordance with UM Standard Practice Guide (SPG), from the faculty member upon completion of the sabbatical leave. This report is to be completed using the ADAA Web Sabbatical Report Form.  This form will automatically generate a report via an email transmission to the chair of the department, as well as a notification to the ADAA office that the sabbatical report has been received. The ADAA office then sends confirmation of reports to HR Records and Information Services.

A faculty member granted a sabbatical leave is required “to return to the University for at least one year following the completion of [the] sabbatical.”

Faculty members eligible for a retirement furlough “must not have taken a sabbatical leave during the four years preceding the beginning date of the retirement furlough.”

Conflict of Interest and Commitment and Consulting During Sabbatical:

In accordance with the SPG, a faculty member on sabbatical leave shall not render service for compensation in the university or another institution or enterprise.  This does not preclude, however, the acceptance of a fellowship or other assistance in research.  Refer to the SPG for additional details.

Timeline for Approval:

Information on requesting sabbatical leaves is sent out each December to the Department Chairs from the ADAA Office.  Sabbatical leave requests, including a cover letter of endorsement by the Department Chair are due to the ADAA office in January for the following academic year for consideration by the College Executive Committee. Exceptions to the guidelines provided above must be fully detailed in the sabbatical request and approved by the department chair before submission to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Following Executive Committee Approval, the requests are submitted to Staff Records, and the Provost and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs. University letters of approval are usually sent out in mid to late April.

Current academic year sabbatical information is located at:

Changes in Sabbatical Leaves after Executive Committee Approval:

Changes to approved sabbatical leaves must be requested, with full justification, and submitted for Executive Committee approval. Please note that the timeliness of a change in plans is important; in particular, salary payments may be impacted.  Faculty should prepare a memo requesting the change or cancellation of the sabbatical and submit this to their department chair for approval.  If the change involves a substantial modification to the Form J already submitted, a new Form J should be attached to the memo.  Once approved at the department level, the request should be submitted to Sherry Hall in the ADAA office for Executive Committee consideration.  If approved by Executive Committee, the ADAA office will forward a request to Academic HR and when approved, will notify the faculty member, department chair and department unit administrator.