School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Sabbatical Leaves for Faculty

Sabbatical leaves of absence may be granted to tenured or tenure-track members of the faculty for the purpose of encouraging scholarly and professional achievement for the mutual benefit of the University and the grantee. Faculty wishing to apply for Sabbatical Leave should review and complete the most recent documents on the Provost Office website and may obtain further information from Article XIII of the AAUP-AFT contract.

The sabbatical request requires appropriate evaluations from the chair/unit director and department's tenure committee, when a tenure committee exists. Requests for sabbatical leave must be submitted to the unit/department no later than November 15. If approved by the chair/unit director and the department tenure committee, requests are submitted to the Office of Faculty Affairs by the Monday following Thanksgiving break. If approved by the Dean, the application will be submitted to the University for their final review. Note, that if an application is not recommended at the level of the unit or school, the application cannot be submitted for University Committee review. The applicant will be notified of the status of their request. Notifications to the faculty and chair/director will generally occur prior to the deadline for submitting applications to the Provost's Office, typically early to mid-December. The Office of the Provost advises that sabbatical leave requests received by them after the University Committee has met will not be reviewed.

Things to remember:

  • Sabbatical leaves cannot begin prior to the first day of the university academic year and must be completed within the academic year
  • Exact dates must be specified on the application
  • Requests to make any changes to the dates must be approved in writing by the Office of the Provost
  • Leaves may be either 4.5 months (100% salary support) or 9.0 months (60% salary support)

To request a change in any approved leave, please submit the appropriate request form.


Academic-Staff Professional Development Released Time

Article XIII section B.3 describes an opportunity for up to 15 days of release time for an appropriate project for professional development of academic staff members. Dates for submission follow the same calendar as for sabbatical leaves.


Other Leaves

The AAUP-AFT contract allows for various other types of leaves (Article XIII). Including unpaid leaves of absence, see (Article XIII section A.). The Office of the Provost provides a template for requests for unpaid leaves. The duration of the unpaid leave may not exceed twelve (12) months. Under exceptional circumstances, written approval may be obtained to allow an extension. More specific information is provided in the contract (Article XIII sections A,l,d). Continuation of benefits (medical and life insurance coverage) is available, but without university subsidy. The faculty member must request these in writing. Bargaining unit members who do not return to work by the date of expiration of their approved leave are considered to have voluntarily resigned from the university, unless there are extenuating circumstances beyond his/her control. (See Article XIII sections A.l.f).



Brief Summary of Types of Leaves Available to Bargaining Unit Members

The list is not inclusive and this summary is not intended to be all-encompassing. For example, it does not address FMLA leave. For complete details regarding each type of leave, please refer to the AAUP-AFT Contract for represented faculty, or contact the Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development. For FMLA leave, please contact Client Services, Human Resources

A) Leaves of Absence without Pay

1) Professional and Personal Leaves

To be eligible for a professional or personal leave of absence without pay, a member of the bargaining unit shall have had one (1) year of continuous, full-time service in the bargaining unit. Under certain circumstances, the President or his/her designated representative may waive the one-year eligibility requirement. The member of the bargaining unit shall submit in writing to his/her department chair/unit director or immediate supervisor the request for the leave stating the reasons for the leave, the period of absence, and the date of return. Leaves of absence without pay may be granted for a period not to exceed twelve (12) months. Bargaining Unit members should contact Total Compensation and Wellness to discuss fringe benefit options. Stipulations regarding return to work may be found in the AAUP-AFT contract.

Approval from the Chair/Unit Director, Dean and Provost in writing is required.

2) Extended Service Military Leave

Upon application, a military leave of absence (without pay) will be granted to employees who are employed in other than temporary positions. This applies to employees who are inducted through Selective Service or voluntary enlistment, or if the employee is called through membership in the National Guard or reserve component into the Armed Forces of the United States. A position "other than temporary" is one that at the time of hire was expected to be continuous for an indefinite term and was not limited to a specific, brief, and non-recurrent period. Reinstatement and rights after reinstatement are governed by applicable federal laws.

Approval from the Chair, Dean/Unit Director and Provost in writing is required.

B) Leaves of Absence with Pay

1) Professional Leaves

Absences for outside professional activities related to University responsibilities which necessitate absence from the bargaining-unit member's usual University operating location may be approved with pay for periods up to thirty (30) working days. Requests for authorized absences should be filed by the bargaining-unit member with his/her chair or dean/director/vice president at least two (2) weeks prior to the start of the proposed activity and at least three (3) weeks prior to activity outside the United States. General fund dollars cannot be used to support salary during the duration of the professional leave.

Approval from the Chair, Dean/Unit Director and Provost in writing is required.

2) Sabbatical Leaves

Sabbatical leaves of absence (4.5 months at 100% salary or 9 month at 60% salary) may be granted to members of the faculty for the purpose of encouraging scholarly and professional achievement for the mutual benefit of the University and the grantee. Requests for sabbatical leave are reviewed by the University's Sabbatical Leave Committee only once a year. Applications are required to be submitted in the academic year prior to the award. Sabbatical Leave applications with specific requirements are solicited annually in the fall.

The application requires the Chair/Unit Director, Department P&T Committee, Dean and Provost approval.

See more information at the start of this page.

C) Other Leaves: Reported through Academica via Timesheet

Per the AAUP-AFT contract and University policy, WSU employees are required to report each day of absence from the University. Specifically, vacation, illness, short-term disability, mandatory sick leave, bereavement leave, parent leave, jury duty, and military leave, shall be reported promptly through Academica by use of the timesheet.

1) Illness

Bargaining-unit members may use illness days for their own illness or injury. They shall be responsible for promptly notifying their department chair/unit director, dean, or immediate supervisor of each day of illness absence. Any member of the bargaining unit must provide, when requested by her/her direct supervisor, medical verification of absences beyond five (5) consecutive business days and/or a release-to-return-to-work from his/her attending healthcare provider. The University may require additional medical verification by the bargaining-unit member's healthcare provider to be filed if a bargaining-unit member requests leave beyond thirteen (13) consecutive calendar days or beyond the initial leave period requested.

2) Short-Term Disability Leave of Illness

Short Term Disability is compensation following exhaustion of the faculty member's sick/vacation time, subject to contractual provisions, and continuing thru the last day of the 180 day elimination period of continuous absence. Please refer to the AAUP-AFT Contract for eligibility requirements regarding Short Term Disability and Total Compensation and Wellness, Human Resources.

3) Personal Emergencies (AAUP-AFT Contract Article XIII)

a) Personal emergency days, when granted, are deducted from short term disability.

b) A member of the bargaining unit shall be given a leave of absence with pay of not more than five (5) days in the event of the death of a member of the immediate family. "Immediate family" is defined as: spouse, Other Eligible Person (OEP), parent, sibling, child, grandparent, parent-in-law, OEP's parent, sibling-in-law, OEP's sibling, child-in-law, OEP's child, and grandchild or OEP's grandchild. Other persons shall be considered members of the immediate family only if living in the immediate household.

c) A member of the bargaining unit shall be given a leave of absence with pay of not more than five (5) consecutive working days for emergency care of a seriously ill or injured member of the immediate family (as defined above).

d) A member of the bargaining unit may be granted an additional five (5) days leave at the request of the unit administrator and with the approval of the President or his/her designee. Please see Article XIII, Section C 3.a for emergency situations arising under 3.b or 3.c in the AAUP-AFT contract. A negative decision for such a request is not subject to the Grievance Procedure.

e) After six (6) months of service, a member of the bargaining unit may take up to two (2) days for personal reasons during a fiscal year (October 1 to September 30). One (1) additional day for personal reasons shall accrue for those with more than ten (10) years of service. Sufficient prior notice shall be given to the unit administrator prior to taking a personal leave day.
It shall be the responsibility of the bargaining-unit member to discuss with the unit administrator coverage of the bargaining-unit member's essential duties during the period of absence.

4) Civic Obligations

a) Court and Related Duties: Any member of the bargaining unit who must be absent from his/her regular duties by reason of jury duty shall receive compensation from the University equal to the difference between his/her regular University compensation and the amount received by the member for serving, and the University shall continue his/her fringe benefits based upon his/her full University salary.

b) Short-Term Military Leave: Any member of the bargaining unit required to perform unexpected military obligations during his/her regular University assignment (not including persons inducted into military service under the selective service laws or in attendance at regularly scheduled military reserve or National Guard training programs, including summer training camps) shall be granted short-term military leave not exceeding thirty (30) days.

c) Parent Leaves of Absence (described in the the AAUP-AFT Contract in Article XIII section D): Tenure track faculty and employment security staff in the probationary period may request exclusion of one (1) year from the countable years of service.

5) Vacation

Full-time twelve-month employee members of the bargaining unit are granted earned vacation days at their regular rate of pay after an initial four (4) months of service, amounting to twenty-two (22) working days per year. Vacation days do not accumulate when the bargaining-unit member is in an unpaid status of any kind. Vacation days earned, but not used, may be accumulated up to twenty-three (23) days. Vacation days must be scheduled in advance with the appropriate chair or dean/director/vice president and shall be approved in accordance with the operational needs of the unit. Vacation days shall be requested in writing.

Approval from the Chair/Unit Director is required.


Please contact the Office of Faculty Affairs with any questions at (313) 577-9877 or