Academic Affairs Manual (ACD)

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Effective: 2/28/1961

Revised: 7/1/2011

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ACD 705: Sabbatical Leave

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To describe sabbatical leaves

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Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual - 6–207
Office of the Provost of the University

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Administrators with faculty rank who have completed six years of full-time service at ASU

Faculty members who have achieved tenure and completed six years of full-time continuous service with the rank of assistant professor or higher at ASU

Academic professionals who have achieved continuing status and completed six years of full-time continuous service at ASU

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The president or his designee may grant sabbatical leave to eligible administrators with faculty or academic professional rank, faculty members, and academic professionals with continuing appointment whose sabbatical applications have been approved at the academic unit and college/university library levels.

A sabbatical leave is not deferred compensation to which an administrator, faculty member, or academic professional is entitled after six years of service, but is granted or denied on the merits of the individual proposal upon the recommendation of the university.

Although not normally granted for such a purpose, sabbatical leave may be granted for completion of a terminal degree if the academic unit judges that the applicant and the unit program will sufficiently benefit.

Ordinarily a sabbatical leave will not be granted for publication efforts that are primarily commercial. However, sabbatical leave may be recommended in order for the applicant to write a textbook that makes original contributions to the scholarship of the discipline or to undertake other creative endeavors relevant to his or her university employment.

University Obligations while on Sabbatical Leave

Individuals on sabbatical leave agree to resign during the term of the sabbatical from all campus obligations, including committees at academic unit, college, and university levels. However, they are encouraged to maintain contact with graduate advisees or to make other arrangements so that a student’s progress will not be slowed because of a faculty member’s absence. Faculty on sabbatical leave are also allowed to participate in their unit’s merit review system.


The sabbatical leave shall be either for one or two semesters, for academic-year applicants, or for six or twelve months, for fiscal-year applicants. If the sabbatical leave is for a full academic or fiscal year, the amount of the compensation will be three-fifths of the applicant’s salary. If the sabbatical leave is for one semester or six months, compensation will be the applicant’s full salary for that period. The salary awarded during a sabbatical leave is based on the institutional base salary, either for the fiscal or academic year, for the contract year during which a sabbatical leave is taken.

A faculty member taking a six-month leave will arrange to be on duty for one of the two regular semesters, if a teaching assignment is involved.

The fiscal or academic year during which a sabbatical leave is taken is considered the “sabbatical year,” whether the leave is taken for either of the six-month periods of a fiscal-year contract, for either semester of an academic year, or for an entire fiscal or academic year.

Changes to Approved Sabbatical Projects

If circumstances require that a substantial change be made in the sabbatical project after it has been approved or after the leave has begun, the applicant must obtain approval for the change from his or her academic unit chair/director/head and supervising dean/university librarian. Failure to receive approval before making the change may result in a requirement that the individual refund part or all of the salary received during the sabbatical leave.

Supplemental Pay

An individual on sabbatical leave may supplement his or her compensation through fellowships, scholarships, employment, or grants-in-aid to cover expenses such as travel, secretarial assistance, tuition, research, and publication. However, the individual’s total income—minus the expenses above—shall not exceed the scheduled ASU salary for the year or semester on leave. Exceptions to this policy that are directly linked to advancing the university’s goals may be made in rare circumstances by the provost of the university or designee.

Additional compensation is to be fully explained on the sabbatical proposal form and approved before the leave is granted. Should opportunities for supplemental compensation develop after the sabbatical leave has begun or after the application form has been submitted and approved, such opportunities must be approved at the earliest opportunity through the same channels as the original proposal.

A person on sabbatical leave may not at the same time receive supplemental funds from ASU or through ASU projects. While on sabbatical, a faculty member must still file a notification of consulting or other remuneration form prior to taking on any such activity and have approval from the dean.

Return to Service

An individual granted sabbatical leave is required to return to the university for a period of service equal to the length of the sabbatical leave. If he or she chooses not to return, the case will be reviewed by the appropriate university representatives and the individual may be required to refund the amount of salary received during the period of sabbatical leave. On rare occasions when special circumstances exist, the president may approve that an individual have a sabbatical leave privilege even though he or she cannot return to the university for further full-time service.

An individual on sabbatical leave who accepts a tenured or tenure-eligible position at another postsecondary institution while on leave from ASU will be considered to have abandoned his or her ASU contract. In such cases, ASU has the option of whether or not to offer a subsequent contract.


No later than the end of the first semester after completing the sabbatical leave, the individual must submit a concise final report to the dean of the college, and the chair, director, or supervisor, addressing accomplishment of the purposes stated in the application for sabbatical leave.

Forms for the final report are available from the dean’s office. The dean will acknowledge the receipt of sabbatical reports and send a copy of that acknowledgment to the provost of the university.

Further Service and Subsequent Sabbatical Leaves

Following the completion of a sabbatical leave, six years of further service shall be required before an individual will become eligible to apply for a second sabbatical leave. Leaves of absence without pay for periods ordinarily not exceeding one year can be counted as periods of service towards the sabbatical leave, if the leave is for purposes related to scholarship as agreed to at the time that the leave is approved.

See P16 for application and approval procedures.

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ACD 510–01, “Notification of Consulting or Other Outside Business Activities or Arrangements for Faculty and Academic Professionals.”

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