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Chapter 3: Part I

ARTICLE II. Leaves of Absence*


Sec. A. Sabbatical Leaves


  1. The University is committed to the development of an academic community recognized for its achievements in contributing, transmitting, and utilizing knowledge and ideas. Such a goal requires the continual evaluation and improvement of current activities, as well as the determination of new objectives. Since there exists no single source of knowledge or ideas, it is necessary that stimuli from outside the immediate university environment be received and applied. An essential means for the faculty periodically to enhance its competence and expand its horizons is a sabbatical leave program.

  2. A sabbatical leave is a leave of absence from regular academic duties of one year or less with university financial support, if required, where the primary effect of the leave is to enhance the professional development of the faculty member through study or research. Where the primary effect of the leave is service to another institution, such as a leave to take a public service position, the leave is not a sabbatical leave, although some professional self-development may result from the leave.

  3. Conditions for the success of a sabbatical leave program are

    1. affirmation of its importance to the faculty's goals throughout the University,

    2. the capacity of departments and schools to meet their obligations while members are on leave,

    3. the requirement of a clearly formulated proposal by each applicant for productive use of the leave,

    4. adequate financial support so that leave does not entail individual hardship, and

    5. the requirement of a report to the appropriate department chair or dean following the leave.

  4. A faculty member is normally eligible for consideration for a sabbatical leave during the sixth year following the initial appointment or following the year in which the last sabbatical was taken. The leave, if granted, would normally be taken in the following or seventh year.

  5. If a faculty member does not apply for a sabbatical when he or she becomes eligible or if his or her program for use of the leave is not of sufficient merit, he or she may apply in any subsequent year. However, if a sabbatical leave is applied for and deferred because the individual cannot be spared from his or her institutional duties, the faculty member will be granted the leave as soon as feasible. In this case, the individual may subsequently apply for his or her next sabbatical according to the original time table.

  6. The interval between sabbatical leaves is normally not extended by a leave of absence other than sabbatical unless otherwise specified in the letter granting that leave.

  7. The length of time since a faculty member has had an opportunity for intensive professional development, whether furnished by this University or by some other institution, is a major factor in decisions concerning the granting of a sabbatical leave. If a faculty member moves here from a position at another institution, his or her previous service should be considered in determining when he or she is eligible for consideration at this institution for a sabbatical.

  8. In order to conserve limited university resources, the applicant for a sabbatical leave shall make efforts to secure support from outside sources, such efforts to include conferring with appropriate administrative officers. Failure to secure such support shall not prevent the leave.

  9. Application for a sabbatical leave shall include a specific study proposal. It shall be submitted to the department chair who shall forward it with his or her recommendation to the executive committee of the constituent faculty. The executive committee shall prepare a recommendation concerned with the merits of the study proposal and the applicant's qualifications to undertake it. The application shall then be reviewed by the dean who shall add his or her recommendation to the others for transmission to the president. If the executive committee recommends the leave and the chair and dean indicate that the applicant can be spared, it is expected that the leave will normally be granted.

  10. The president shall decide whether the leave shall be granted and shall fix the level of university support. The University shall normally contribute an amount equal to full salary for half the academic year or half salary for the entire academic year. However, if the faculty member receives support from the University, the total salary received by the faculty member during the sabbatical leave from the University and other sources should not exceed his or her regular university salary. Reimbursement for travel and other expenses incident to the sabbatical leave are not included in the foregoing limitation. Should the faculty member secure funding for the sabbatical leave (i.e., Guggenheim, Fulbright, or other fellowship), the university support shall offset retirement contributions foregone by accepting the funded position.

  11. If the faculty member is qualified for a leave but the decision is that he or she cannot be spared for a particular semester, the leave should not be denied but postponed and prompt arrangements made for a replacement.

  12. All the above conditions for sabbatical leave are based on the premise that the faculty member is tenured. In cases of tenure track (but without tenure), non-tenure track or special faculty, special sabbatical leaves may be recommended as well at the discretion of the dean or in accordance with the by-laws of the constituent faculty in which the faculty member has his or her primary appointment. However, such leaves may not necessarily incur the obligation of university financial support.

Sec. B. Other Leaves of Absence*


  1. Leaves other than sabbatical leaves may be granted for various purposes, such as a visiting professorship at another institution or service in a governmental or other agency. Normally, such a leave shall be granted for no longer than one year and shall carry no salary contribution from the University. The decision to grant such a leave involves primarily the question of whether the faculty member can be spared from his or her regular duties. Application shall be made to the department chair, who shall forward it to the dean for further action by the president, or his or her designee.

  2. Leaves shall be granted in accordance with the University's Family and Medical Leave Policy and Other Leaves Policy, as specified in the Human Resources Policy Manual. Benefits-eligible faculty are provided with Paid Parental Leave pursuant to the Faculty Paid Parental Leave Policy contained within Section E of this Article II.

  3. The president may grant exceptional leaves of absence, such as for recovery from prolonged illness. (Leaves of absence for illness or disability will be compensated as follows: in the first year of service, full salary for one month; in the second and third years of service, full salary for one month and sixty percent of salary for one month; in the fourth and fifth years of service, full salary for two months and sixty percent of salary for one month; in the sixth through tenth years of service, full salary for three months and sixty percent of salary for three months; after ten years of service, full salary for six months.)

Sec. C. Status While on Leave


  1. Sabbatical leaves for up to one year shall not interfere with salary increases, promotions, or participation in retirement, group insurance, and other fringe benefits.

  2. During a leave other than sabbatical, the question of whether fringe benefits from this University will continue or not should be agreed upon in advance of the leave. If during a leave there has been a discontinuation of any fringe benefits, coverage shall resume immediately upon return.

  3. For faculty with tenure track (but without tenure), non-tenure track, and special appointments, the letter granting leave shall specify whether the leave period is to be counted as part of the pretenure or prepromotion period, as the case may be.

Sec. D. Obligation to Return


  1. A faculty member has an obligation to return for further service following a leave of absence when the circumstances of granting a leave indicate that this is the equitable action, as is usually the case where leave is granted for the faculty member to complete his or her graduate study or where the leave is with full or substantial salary support. The granting of a leave does not alone imply an obligation to return. Normally, a leave as a visiting professor, or for public service, does not imply an obligation to return.

  2. The letter granting the leave shall specify whether there is an obligation to return following leave. The faculty member on leave should honor a specific agreement to return following the leave unless other arrangements are mutually agreed upon. Even where there is no obligation to return, the faculty member who resigns while on leave should observe the same rules of adequate notice of resignation that he or she would if he or she were not on leave.

*approved by the Board of Trustees 10/9/73; approved by the Faculty Senate 3/31/03, approved by the University Faculty 4/23/03, approved by the Board of Trustees 5/19/03



Sec. E. Faculty Paid Parental Leave Policy*


I. Eligibility


  1. All Tenured, Tenure Track, Non-Tenure Track and/or Special Faculty Members, as defined in Chapter 2, who are 1) full-time (at least 50% effort) and are benefits eligible, and 2) eligible for Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") leave are eligible for Faculty Paid Parental Leave. FMLA requires that a faculty member be employed by the University for at least 12 months prior to the commencement of the leave and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period prior to the leave.

  2. Any Tenured, Tenure Track, Non-Tenure Track and/or Special Faculty Members, who are full-time (at least 50% effort) and are benefits eligible, as defined in Chapter 2, and who are not eligible for FMLA leave may apply for an exception from the Provost's office to be eligible for Faculty Paid Parental Leave. For these employees, CWRU will seek to make appropriate leave accommodations through a process administered by the Provost.

  3. Both a mother and a father, as well as domestic partners, who are faculty members may take this leave if they are eligible.

II. Amount of Leave Provided

  1. Up to sixteen (16) weeks of paid parental leave during the academic year for 1) faculty primary caregivers to care for and bond with a newborn, or 2) faculty primary caregivers to care for and bond with a newly adopted child or newly placed foster child under the age of six (6). For purposes of this policy, "primary caregiver" means an eligible faculty member who has primary responsibility for care-giving of a child within 12 months of the birth of that child, or of the adoption or foster placement of a child under the age of six (6).

  2. Up to 3 weeks of paid parental leave for the secondary caregiver to care for and bond with 1) a newborn, or 2) a newly adopted child or newly placed foster child under the age of six (6). For purposes of this policy, "secondary caregiver" means an eligible faculty member who has secondary responsibility for the care-giving of a child within 12 months of the birth of that child, or of the adoption or foster placement of a child under the age of six (6).

  3. The eligible faculty member(s) shall designate which parent is the primary caregiver and which one is the secondary caregiver for the birth or placement for adoption of that child.

  4. The faculty member will be relieved of their normal duties and responsibilities during the period of leave including research, scholarship, teaching, and service responsibilities.

  5. The leave period is expected to be continuous, unless other arrangements are agreed to by the parent/faculty member and the Dean of the respective School.

  6. The exact amount of paid parental leave available to be taken is determined by the amount of FMLA leave available to the parent/faculty member and any additional amount of paid parental leave available under this Policy and/or available under other University leave policies.

  7. FMLA leave shall first be exhausted prior to any additional time that is permitted under this policy or as permitted under any other University leave policy.

  8. If both parents/domestic partners are faculty members, the maximum paid parental leave for both faculty members together is nineteen (19) weeks (sixteen (16) weeks for the primary caregiver and three (3) weeks for the secondary caregiver). The actual amount of paid parental leave that may be provided in such circumstances will be determined by the amount of FMLA leave available to each parent/faculty member, per the FMLA Leave Policy. In the case of the birth of a child, if the primary caregiver is not the birth mother, the maximum total paid parental leave that may be provided to the two parents/faculty members related to the birth of the child will be nineteen (19) weeks; the amount of paid parental leave provided to the primary caregiver may be reduced by the amount of FMLA leave taken by the birth mother.

  9. If the faculty member becomes eligible for FMLA leave while on Faculty Paid Parental Leave, the FMLA leave shall be taken in accordance with the FMLA Leave policies.

  10. The Faculty Paid Parental Leave Policy can be used in combination with existing University non-FMLA Leave polices after FMLA leave has been exhausted. For example, a faculty member could request additional leave in the event of medical complications for the mother or child or during the birth or adoption.

  11. For purposes of the 16 consecutive weeks provided during an academic year, for a faculty on a nine-month contract, the academic year is defined as the first day of classes in August to graduation in May; for faculty on a twelve-month contract the academic year extends from July 1 to June 30; and for faculty who start mid-year, the academic year is defined as the faculty's start date until graduation in May for nine-month contracts or until June 30 for twelve-month contracts.

III. Salary and Benefit Provided During the Leave

  1. The primary caregiver shall be entitled to up to a maximum of 16 weeks paid leave at 100% of his or her salary and benefits during the leave.

  2. The secondary caregiver is eligible for up to a maximum of 3 weeks of paid leave at 100% of his or her salary and benefits.

IV. Requirements Applicable to Faculty Paid Parental Leave

  1. The Faculty Paid Parental Leave must commence within 12 months of the live birth or of the adoption or placement of a foster child under the age of six (6) by the eligible faculty member.

  2. At the option of the faculty member, and with approval from the Dean, the parental leave provided by the Policy may be taken during the semester in which a child is born, adopted, or is placed as a foster child, across a portion of two semesters, or during any subsequent semester that begins no later than twelve months after the birth, adoption or placement of a foster child, allowing for the relief of up to sixteen weeks (equivalent to a semester). Faculty members who are eligible for paid parental leave for a birth or adoption that occurs during a semester should consult with their Dean and Employee Relations to schedule the paid parental leave so as to attempt to meet the leave period request of the faculty member and the needs of the School or department, whenever possible.

  3. Being on leave shall not adversely impact any faculty evaluation.

  4. The faculty member may seek a pre-tenure extension during the leave period, as provided for in the Faculty Handbook provisions on pre-tenure extensions (Chapter 3, Part One, Article I, G.5,6 and 7).

  5. Faculty Paid Parental Leave is separate from sick days taken under the University's Sick Days policy.

  6. The Faculty Paid Parental Leave Policy runs concurrently with the FMLA leave specified in the HR Policy Manual and the benefits afforded under this Policy must meet or exceed the rights afforded under the FMLA. The benefits afforded under this Policy are not in addition to those offered by the FMLA.

V. Procedures


The procedures below, as well as those outlined in the Human Resources Family and Medical Leave Policy and Other Leaves Policy, as specified in the Human Resources Policy Manual, apply to paid parental leave under this policy.

  1. Any eligible faculty member who wishes to use leave in accordance with this Policy should notify their supervisor or Dean's Office, and Human Resources Employee Relations ("Employee Relations") of the need for leave under this Policy. The supervisor or Dean's Office and/or eligible faculty member must request from Employee Relations the appropriate form requesting leave. The completed leave form must be forwarded to Employee Relations for approval and processing at least thirty (30) days in advance of the requested leave, when practicable.

  2. The supervisor/Dean's Office and the Employee Relations Office will work with the eligible faculty member in determining whether the request falls under this Policy.

  3. Employee Relations will communicate with the faculty member regarding eligibility for paid parental leave and rights and responsibilities under the FMLA, as provided in the FMLA Policy in the Human Resources Manual.

  4. Proof of the birth or placement of the child is required. Additional documentation of proof of eligibility may be requested by the Employee Relations Office.

  5. An eligible faculty member is entitled to have their benefits maintained during a leave under this Policy. During the leave, the faculty member's contributions towards their benefits will be deducted from their paychecks.

  6. The faculty member is to communicate any changes in the leave terms to Employee Relations and/or the supervisor/Dean's Office immediately upon learning of them. The supervisor/Dean's Office will notify the Employee Relations Office of these changes.

  7. Employee Relations and/or the supervisor/Dean's Office will confirm the return to work date. Upon the faculty member's return to work, the supervisor/Dean's Office is to complete the appropriate portion of the leave form (Return to Work section) to be turned in to the Employee Relations Office.

  8. If the faculty member fails to return to work on the agreed upon date, the supervisor/Dean's Office is to notify the Employee Relations Office.

  9. The supervisor/Dean's Office is responsible for holding the position, or an equivalent position, of an eligible faculty member on approved leave. The paid parental leave under this policy shall be subject to the FMLA's provisions on return to work, specifically the right (a) to be restored by the employer to the position of employment held by the employee when the leave commenced; or (b) to be restored to an equivalent position with equivalent employment benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment.

  10. Questions about Faculty Paid Parental Leave should be referred to Employee Relations.

*approved by the Faculty Senate 12/19/12; approved by the Board of Trustees 1/15/13.



Sec. F. Modified Workload Policy*


  1. Request for Modified Workload

    A full-time faculty member who is tenured, in the tenure track, or in the non-tenure track may request, in writing, a temporary modification in his or her workload with a corresponding reduction in compensation in order to balance work with extenuating circumstances of serving as the primary caregiver 1) for a child who requires care beyond basic parenting or 2) for another family member or other person whose care requires a significant time commitment. Under this Modified Workload Policy, the usual workload as described in the faculty member's appointment would be reduced to 50% or 75% for a period ranging from one semester to two years. Benefits that are not proportional to salary, such as health insurance, will be continued as if the faculty member were full-time. This Modified Workload Policy runs concurrently with any Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave (including reduced leave or intermittent FMLA leave) as specified in the University's Human Resources Policies and Procedures, when the faculty member is eligible for such FMLA leave for the caregiving duties.

    1. The faculty member requesting a modified workload under this policy may be asked to submit supporting documentation to support the request for a Modified Workload Agreement. To the extent that medical information is provided, such information will be maintained by University Human Resources.

    2. The Faculty Member's request for a modified workload must include requirements and expectations for teaching, advising, research/scholarship and service.

    3. A Modified Workload under this policy shall be subject to the FMLA's provisions on return to work, specifically the right (a) to be restored by the employer to the position of employment held by the employee when the leave commenced; or (b) to be restored to an equivalent position with equivalent employment benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment.

    4. Pre-tenure faculty may request an extension of the pre-tenure period. The cumulative total of all pre-tenure extensions may not exceed three years, except for pre-tenure extensions based on the birth or adoption of each child, under provisions stated in Section I, G. 4 of the Faculty Handbook.

  2. Modified Workload Agreement

    If the department chair and dean agree that a Modified Workload Request is appropriate and not burdensome to the University, school and department, the department chair and dean may, in their discretion, approve the Modified Workload Request. If the request is approved, it shall be documented in writing as a Modified Workload Agreement. Any Modified Workload Agreement must be unanimously agreed upon by the faculty member, the department chair, the dean, and the provost. The Modified Workload Agreement must specify:

    1. The duration of the Modified Workload Agreement may be for a period ranging from one semester to two years. The Modified Workload Agreement must state the date the faculty member is expected to return to their normal workload;

    2. The parties' agreement as to the faculty member's teaching, research/scholarship, and service obligations during the period of the Modified Workload Agreement. If an extension of a pre-tenure period is included in the Modified Workload Agreement, the period and terms of that extension must also be stated in writing.

    In limited circumstances, a Modified Workload Agreement may be renegotiated or extended beyond its original end date with the unanimous agreement of the department chair, the dean, and the provost.

*approved by the Faculty Senate 12/19/12; approved by the Board of Trustees 1/15/13.