The academic leave program is designed to enhance the scholarly and teaching capacities of individual faculty members and to promote the general interest of the College.

The program, for tenure-track and tenured faculty, was approved by the Board of Trustees in 1994.

The regular leave program is broadly based on the understanding that after five full years of teaching, eligible faculty may take a full-year academic leave. Even as the College provides generous salary support for the leave program, it is expected that faculty going on leave will make every effort to obtain funding for salary and travel expenses from external sources.  


Tenured and tenure-track faculty are generally on leave after teaching full-time for five years. Faculty may opt for semester leaves at shorter intervals, or accelerated split semester leaves with adequate notification to the department and administration.

Departmental and College planning shall have top priority in determining any exceptions to the policy of the leave of absence program. The specific guidelines and policies can be found in the Middlebury Handbook.

Application Process

Faculty scheduled for leave will be invited to an informational meeting in the winter (mid-February) two years prior to the start of their leave. The leave program, including the grant-seeking requirement, will be reviewed and discussed. Leave proposals must be submitted in late summer following the meeting.

All proposals for academic leaves are pre-approved by the Trustees, pending submission of an appropriate proposal to the Dean of the Faculty. Plans for grant-seeking are approved by the Dean of the Faculty, with guidance from the Grants and Sponsored Programs Office.

We now use Interfolio to administer leaves. Log in to your Interfolio account and a ‘task’ should appear on your landing page asking you to upload your sabbatical application and grant seeking plan. Further instructions can be found there. A ‘case’ (record) for your leave should already be set up when you log into Interfolio. However, if you do not find a task listed, please send an email to the Dean of the Faculty office. You will be notified when your case is available.

Grant Seeking for Leave

The Leave Program asks colleagues to seek outside funding in support of their leave proposals. Faculty are encouraged to contact the Grants and Sponsored Programs Office for assistance in finding appropriate outside funding sources for their leave project. Once you have submitted a grant proposal in support of your leave, please complete the form at this Link to notify the Office of the Dean of the Faculty of your grant application.

See Grant Guidelines.

Tips for Taking Leave


  • Consider enrolling in direct deposit at least two pay periods before the leave begins. This is especially helpful if you plan to leave the country, as your paycheck can be deposited to your bank account in your absence.

Health Insurance and Other Benefits

Unpaid leave with benefits: Your coverage with Middlebury College will continue if you make arrangements to pay for your share of the premiums.

Unpaid leave without benefits: You may still qualify to continue some coverage, by paying the FULL premium through COBRA and may be able to convert other benefits to individual coverage. Please contact Human Resources to discuss your situation.

Paid leave: Deductions from your paycheck will continue to cover your portion of the health, dental, and any other insurance programs previously selected by you during the annual open enrollment process. Keep in mind that if you are receiving less than 100% of your salary, your contributions for health insurance are calculated on income, so these may change.

  • To enroll in benefits for the following calendar year, you need to complete open enrollment. You will receive an email in late October alerting you to the deadline. If you do not complete this process, you will lose the opportunity to make changes for the following calendar year, and some benefits may be discontinued.
  • If you will be traveling or relocating abroad, consider registering for Emergency Travel Assistance, which is available to all benefit-eligible employees and their dependents. Click the link above to access the information.
  • For any other questions about pay or benefits during your leave, please contact Human Resources.


Living Abroad

  • Consult Middlebury’s Tax Office website for information on tax considerations, documentation, and other items
  • If you are leaving the country, please be aware that you may be required to pay out of pocket for medical services obtained there. However, Middlebury College medical insurance does cover services obtained in other countries. If you are covered by our insurance, obtain a bill at the time of service showing:
    • Date of service
    • Type of service
    • Cost
    • Provider name

(This bill does not have to be in English, but you must provide an English translation, and the amounts must be stated in their U.S. dollar equivalents). Submit the bill to Cigna for reimbursement according to the terms of the plan.

On Return

Once you have completed your leave, you will need to submit a report to the dean for faculty research and development outlining your accomplishments while on leave. The report should be written for a general audience, and need not be more than a few paragraphs long.

According to the College’s research leave program guidelines, you must submit this report before becoming eligible for future leaves.

Leave Moving Subsidy

  • Requests should be made by completing the application form
  • Awards are normally made only to those faculty members who research or other leave activity takes place outside Middlebury, and who will be leaving Middlebury for at least three months of their leave
  • Please review the policy below on this subsidy.

Allotments based on distance from Middlebury

  • within New England:  $1,200
  • up to 1,000 miles:   $1,700
  • up to 2,000 miles:   $2,200
  • over 2,000 miles:    $2,700

Leave Moving Policy

Faculty going on leave may be eligible for partial reimbursement of moving expenses to and/or from the principal place of leave activity. Normally, these subsidies are available for faculty whose research or leave activity takes place outside of Middlebury for at least three months of the leave. Please retain all receipts.

Covered Items

  • reimbursement for mileage at the college rate per mile or gas and tolls—not both
  • moderately priced meals en route for all immediate family members*
  • moderately priced overnight accommodations en route for all immediate family members*
  • economy airline tickets and/or train tickets for immediate family members*
  • Middlebury College will honor fares arranged through Accent Travel (800.666.3125), Milne Travel (800.906.4563) or fares proved to be more economical than those offered by Accent or Milne. If the fare charge is less than your moving allotment, the College can be billed directly.
  • moving company bills (we prefer to reimburse you, not pay the mover)
  • taxi to Middlebury from Burlington Airport
  • mailing of packages and books
  • boxes for mailing and packing
  • costs associated with transporting household pets

* Federal law requires that expenses incurred for family members be treated as taxable income.

Items Not Covered

  • repairs of any kind
  • new tires for vehicles
  • luggage
  • purchases associated with setting up housekeeping
  • rent on apartments

All reimbursements are processed in Oracle. Receipts for expenditures must accompany requests for reimbursement.


For questions related to your approved moving allowance and reimbursements

Kathleen Parent

Budget Analyst

McKinley 203A

Non-Academic Leaves

At a minimum, qualified faculty are entitled to the unpaid leave provided by the College’s adherence to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy. These leaves may be requested for the following reasons: the foster placement, birth or adoption of a child; care of self or certain family member(s) with a serious health condition; certain exigencies arising from a family member’s call to active military duty; or to care for a family member injured while on active military duty.

Medical Leave

Faculty who find that they need a leave of more than three days for medical reasons should arrange to meet with or contact the Dean of the Faculty, who will inform the faculty member of applicable policies.

Parental Leaves

Guidelines for this program can be found in the Leaves of Absence (nonacademic) Chapter of the Faculty Handbook. Faculty parental leaves differ from employee parental leaves.

Other Unpaid Leaves

General guidelines and information about eligibility can be found in the Leaves of Absence (nonacademic) Chapter of the Faculty Handbook.