Academic Affairs Manual (ACD)

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Effective: 4/1/1974

Revised: 7/1/2011

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ACD 707: Leave of Absence without Pay

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To allow faculty and academic professionals leave without pay

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Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual - 6–805
Office of the President

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Academic professionals

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Leaves of absence without pay may be granted to members of the faculty and academic professionals upon approval by the provost of the university or designee. Employees eligible for leaves of absence are those university personnel defined as members of the Academic Assembly under the Academic Constitution (see ACD 112–01, “Academic Constitution and Bylaws”). To permit academic planning for the following year, an individual should apply for a leave of absence without pay at the earliest possible date. However, it is recognized that the need to request a leave to accommodate pregnancy or dependent care cannot always be anticipated.

A leave of absence without pay assures the faculty member or academic professional that following the expiration of the leave period, he or she may return to the university in the position he or she left as stated in the approval granted for the leave of absence. If the position involves an administrative, teaching, research, or other assignment, it is understood that for faculty only a teaching appointment is being ensured upon return, unless the administrative, research, or other assignment is clearly set forth, approved, and authorized in advance of the leave period. For academic professionals, a change in assignment but not in rank may be necessary. Granting a leave of absence does not extend the individual’s employment where it would otherwise terminate (e.g., loss of funding, end of contract term, reorganization of unit).

A faculty member shall not accept a tenured or tenure-eligible position, nor shall an academic professional accept a comparable position, at another university while on leave from ASU. If an individual accepts such a position, ASU will assume that the individual has terminated his or her employment at ASU, giving ASU the option of not offering a contract for the following year.

Notification Deadline

To permit planning for the following year, a faculty member or academic professional on academic- or fiscal-year leave of absence without pay must notify the chair/director and dean/university librarian by March 1 at the latest, if he or she plans (or does not plan) to return to ASU. Failure to provide notice of return or to request an extension by March 1 may be interpreted as abandonment of the position. The same early notification policy applies to semester leaves of absence without pay, with notice required one month prior to the end of the approved leave period.

Duration of Leave

Normally, periods of leave will be for a semester or academic year for faculty or academic professionals employed on an academic-year basis, or for the first or second six months of a fiscal year (providing no conflict occurs with a teaching or other assignment), or a fiscal year, July 1–June 30, for those employed on a fiscal-year basis. The leave of absence may be extended for an additional period, if it has no adverse effects upon academic planning. Fiscal-year appointees do not accrue vacation time while on a leave without pay. The original request for a leave and a request for an extension must be approved in advance of the leave by the provost of the university or designee.

Effect on Promotion and the Probationary Period

The period of one year or less granted as a leave may be counted toward years of service for promotion and sabbatical leave when the leave is in the best interest of the faculty member and university; however, it does not assure a merit salary increase or other fiscal benefits of any kind. A one-semester or one-year leave of absence granted for purely personal reasons having no significant relationship to the professional activity of the employee may be exempted from the probationary period, if requested by the employee and deemed appropriate by the provost of the university or designee. Such an exemption must be approved, in writing, at the time the leave is granted. A one-semester or one-year leave granted for professional reasons, such as fellowships, visiting appointments, and research grants, may not interrupt the sequence of probationary years if recommended by the dean and approved by the provost of the university. Any additional leaves during the probationary period may be exempted from the probationary period. Such an exemption must be agreed to by both parties, in writing, at the time the leave is granted.

Benefits During Leave without Pay

In order to maintain group insurance coverage on any or all of the insurance plans (e.g., life, health, disability), the employee must make arrangements with Human Resources (HR) at the beginning of the leave to pay the premiums. The state contribution does not apply while a person is on leave without pay, so the total health insurance premium must be prepaid.

A fiscal-year employee on leave of absence without pay will not accrue sick and vacation leave.

Employees who are members of the Arizona State Retirement Program will not earn service credit for a leave of absence without pay. However, employees may purchase up to one year of service credit in an amount equal to the period of a leave of absence without pay if the leave is in the best interests of the university (i.e., the leave has a significant relationship to an employee’s professional activities and is not for purely personal reasons). Employees must contact the Arizona State Retirement System to apply for service credit purchases within 90 days of returning from leave.

Tax-sheltered annuities are possible by payroll deduction only, so the insurance carrier should be advised of the hiatus in contributions during an absence. The employee should check with the appropriate Optional Retirement Plan administrator to understand any rules that may govern contributions or the lack of contributions during the unpaid absence.

If payments are being made to a credit union by payroll deduction, for either savings or a loan, arrangements should be made directly with the credit union for continuation or cancellation of such payments. since these cannot be handled by HR like insurance payments.

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For further information, see also ACD 702–03, “Family Leave.”

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