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C.7. Research Leave Program


Leaves of absence are granted to enhance the scholarly and teaching capacity of the individual faculty member and to promote the general interest of the College.


a. Normally, a minimum of four consecutive academic years (eight consecutive semesters, when the last leave was a semester leave) should elapse before a faculty member becomes eligible for a one-semester leave, and, with the exception of the leaves described in paragraph c. below, five years in the case of a full-year leave. A colleague must have taught full time during the academic year preceding a leave. Exceptions are sometimes made in the case of intervening familial or disability leaves. Tenured colleagues may request that a future leave be split between an accelerated semester leave that occurs after five consecutive semesters of teaching, and a second semester of leave that is taken five semesters later. Departmental and College planning will have top priority in determining any exceptions to the policy of the leave of absence program.

Leaves are granted on the basis of a leave proposal submitted to the dean for faculty development and research (DFDR) and are granted, following approval of the proposal by the DFDR, for one semester and winter term at 75 percent of regular salary during that period, or for a full academic year at 55 percent of regular salary, or, if an accelerated semester leave is approved, for a single semester and winter term at 55 percent of regular salary.

Tenured colleagues may request that a future leave be split between an accelerated semester leave that occurs after five consecutive semesters of teaching, and a second semester of leave that is taken after five semesters of full-time teaching. Colleagues approved for accelerated semester leaves are subject to the requirements of the leave program for a formal leave proposal (see Section 3c. below), and a grant-seeking plan (see Section 2b. below) for each semester. Such split leaves are governed by the salary guidelines for a full year leave, described in section 2b. below.

Requests for accelerated semester leaves are made to the DFDR, at least four semesters in advance of the proposed leave, and must involve a specific research rationale for why such a leave is appropriate to the colleague’s research program. The colleague’s department chair will be consulted regarding the effect on departmental curriculum, including advising, thesis advising, and other obligations.  Departmental and College planning will have top priority in determining whether to approve a request for a split leave. A colleague who splits his or her leave into two semester leaves, and wants winter term off each of those years, must teach 2 winter terms between leaves.

b. Colleagues, with the assistance of the Grants and Sponsored Programs Office, are expected to seek outside funding in support of their leave proposals. They are also expected to apply to sources for which they are eligible as determined by the DFDR in consultation with the colleague and the Grants and Sponsored Programs Office. Colleagues should make every effort to apply for grants that total up to 45 percent of salary for full year leaves and 25 percent of salary for semester/winter term leaves. It is understood that the College provides 75 percent for a semester leave and 55 percent for a year's leave. A colleague may not receive more than his or her full salary plus summer support (see sec. e), even when the leave salary is fully supported from external sources.

Once outside funding sources have been exhausted, the College will then consider paying (1) up to 100 percent of regular salary in support of a semester/winter term leave when it is taken after four full years of teaching, (2) 80 percent of regular salary for a full-year leave, or (3) 80 percent of regular salary for a semester leave when it is an accelerated semester leave taken after five consecutive semesters of teaching. The amount of an outside grant to a faculty member, and/or the amount of outside funding plus College funding, will not normally exceed the amount of the faculty member's own regular salary for the year in which the leave is taken. In the case of full-year leaves, if a colleague receives outside funding, the first 20 percent is used to make up the difference between 80 percent and 100 percent of salary; further outside funding reduces the College contribution accordingly.

c. Faculty may become eligible for a full-year leave after four consecutive academic years of teaching. Such leaves are granted at 55 percent of salary, with no increase in salary after outside funding sources have been exhausted, and with no College supplementation of outside funding that the faculty member may receive.

d. All faculty who apply for outside funding are required to submit to the DFDR copies of proposals sent to granting sources whether or not the awards involve institutional commitments. The College cannot guarantee leaves to faculty who have applied for and received outside funds for a year in which they are not scheduled for academic leave. However, requests for out-of-sequence leaves may be considered when a colleague is offered an unusual professional opportunity.

e. Colleagues who seek funds for summer salary during academic leaves must discuss with the DFDR the impact of these funds, if awarded, on College contributions to the academic year salary. Normally, a colleague may seek summer support of no more than two-ninths of the previous academic year's salary.  This amount may rise to 2.5/9ths with permission of the VPAA/DoF.

f. When the needs of the department or the College lead the administration to request that a colleague postpone a full-year leave according to the normal rotation, after six years of full-time teaching the automatic amount of salary paid will be 75 percent, rising to 90 percent once outside funding sources have been exhausted. If personal circumstances lead a colleague to choose to put off a leave, the normal funding rules will apply (see a. and b. above). The intent to take a full-year leave after six years must be announced at least three semesters in advance and must be accommodated in departmental planning.

g. Normally, a leave of up to a full year for junior faculty colleagues will be scheduled for the second or third year after the first review, if that review is successful and provided the colleague has completed the Ph.D. or the appropriate terminal degree. The leave schedule for colleagues who come to Middlebury with prior service at other institutions will be determined at the time of appointment. Normally, colleagues are expected to teach for at least three years after their initial appointment before they are granted a leave.

h. Faculty going on leave may be eligible for partial reimbursement of moving expenses to and/or from the principal place of leave activity. Such grants will be made, upon presentation of proper documentation, at the discretion of the DFDR. They will normally be made only to those faculty members whose research or other leave activity takes place outside Middlebury, and who will be leaving Middlebury for at least three months of their leave. They will not normally be made to those faculty members granted leave to take outside employment. If the budget of a grant won by a faculty member includes funds to support the expenses of relocation, the College's contribution to relocation expenses will be reduced accordingly.

i. Any publications that result from a College-funded leave should acknowledge the support of Middlebury College.

j. Upon completion of leave, a full report on the faculty member's scholarly activity should be sent to the Office of the Dean for Faculty Development and Research, for inclusion in his or her file. Faculty must submit the report by September 1 following the leave in order to become eligible for future leaves.


a. The needs and resources of the College program, and the ability to plan, will be a major factor in the implementation and maintenance of the leave program. The exact timing of individual leaves is subject to change due to department, program, or college needs.

b. The leave program will be administered by the DFDR, who will recommend annually to the president and Board of Trustees faculty members to be granted leaves of absence for the following year. The Educational Affairs Committee will be consulted regarding the programmatic and staffing implications of a series of leaves and will make recommendations to the VPAA/DoF regarding any leaves to be replaced by outside appointments.

c.  Faculty whose names appear on the leave schedule for the following academic year must submit a leave proposal and a plan for seeking outside funding in support of that proposal to the DFDR no later than August 1.

d. Department chairs requesting outside term replacements for colleagues on leave must submit their proposals for replacement positions to the dean of curriculum, for consideration by the Educational Affairs Committee, no later than the first Friday in April two academic years before the leave.

 rev. 8/8/16