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Sabbatical Leave and Faculty Fellowship Program

faculty handbook

Tenured faculty members are eligible to apply for a sabbatical leave of absence of one academic year (i.e., the sabbatical year) at half-salary, or one academic semester at full-salary, after 12 semesters of full-time service at Boston College. Faculty fellowships, awards or fellowships that pay salary, leaves of absence, and semesters at reduced pay, including 80 percent sabbaticals and full academic year sabbaticals at half-pay, normally do not qualify as full-time service. Exceptions are partial or full externally-funded buyouts of salary that entail the faculty member remaining in daily residence at the university, and approved medical leaves, including maternity leaves.

Sabbaticals may or may not be approved based on the faculty member’s research accomplishments and contributions to teaching, service, and student mentoring/advising since the last sabbatical. Timing of sabbaticals may be adjusted to meet department or school curricular needs. If a sabbatical is delayed, accumulated semesters of service in excess of 12 will ordinarily be counted toward a subsequent sabbatical.

Faculty members applying for sabbaticals subsequent to their first BC sabbatical must append an updated report* of their previous sabbatical accomplishment to the application. Evaluations and recommendations of applications are made at the departmental level by the chairperson in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Carroll School of Management, the Connell School of Nursing, the Lynch School of Education, and the School of Theology and Ministry, subject to review and further evaluation by the dean of the respective school. In other schools the evaluations and recommendations are made by the dean. Evaluations and recommendations are forwarded to The Provost and Dean of Faculties for a final decision.

Although sabbatical leaves are restricted to tenured faculty members, an assistant professor who has completed ten semesters of full-time service at the University, and who applies for promotion to the rank of associate professor with tenure, may also apply for sabbatical leave. In such cases the award of sabbatical leave will be contingent on the faculty member’s promotion. The University reserves the right to enter into a special agreement concerning the time of the first sabbatical leave for a faculty member who comes to BC from another institution or organization. Any special agreement should be made in writing at the time of the faculty member’s appointment.

Applications of tenured faculty members for sabbaticals are to be submitted by the fall semester prior to the academic year for which the sabbatical is requested.

Faculty members on sabbatical leave may not accept gainful employment without the express written permission of the Provost. Since a sabbatical leave is considered part of the faculty member’s regular employment, all benefits are continued by the University during the leave. However, during a full-year sabbatical, retirement plan contributions, which are a percentage of salary received, will be reduced to an amount proportional to the actual salary paid.

Any person granted sabbatical leave is expected to return for at least one year’s service following the leave.

*Within six weeks of the start of the next semester, faculty members should submit electronically to their deans and the Provost's Office a report on the work they accomplished during the sabbatical leave.

Description of 80 Percent Sabbatical

Faculty Fellowship Program
The Faculty Fellowship Program is intended to promote faculty research and scholarly publication by providing full salary and benefits to faculty members who wish to be released from normal duties to pursue research during a given semester.

Tenured and tenure-track faculty are eligible to apply for a Fellowship. Also eligible are other full-time faculty who have been at Boston College for at least five years. Applicants must not have had or be anticipating a Sabbatical Leave within two semesters of the proposed Fellowship. Criteria for awarding Fellowships include:

  • demonstrated competence in the area of projected research
  • value of the research as a contribution to knowledge
  • benefit of the research to the professional development of the applicant
  • effect on the academic vitality of Boston College
  • likelihood of scholarly publication