Policy Modification on Study-Research Leaves

Policy Memorandum No. 39

Recommended by the Provost
Approved by Board of Visitors: August 16, 1982
Effective: Immediately

On the Administration's request, the Board of Visitors modified the University policy governing study-research leaves to provide the possibility of a sequence of shorter duration leaves at half-salary in lieu of a full year of leave.

When the current policy governing faculty study-research leaves was approved by the Board of Visitors in 1976, it was anticipated that funds would become available to supplement the Commonwealth's provision of halfsalary, therby providing full salary for a leave of one quarter or threequarter salary for a leave of two quarters; leaves of one year duration would only carry the basic half-salary. In actual practice, because of limited support for the program, virtually all leaves have been supported at half-salary, whatever their duration.

The policy further stipulates that following such a leave, six years of service are necessary before a faculty member can be considered for another study-research leave.

Occasionally, faculty members find that leaves of one or two quarters duration are professionally more advantageous that year-long leaves, usually because their particular responsibilities at Virginia Tech prevent long absences or because the research investigations have seasonal limitations. In such cases, the faculty member's professional development may be aided by the granting of a combination of shorter duration leaves over a period of years, not to exceed the equivalent of one year's leave.

Because of this consideration, the administration recommended to the Board of Visitors that the policy on study-research leaves be modified to allow proposals for a sequence of shorter-duration leaves at half-salary in lieu of a year-long leave. The full policy, thus modified, would be as follows, the fourth paragraph (undelined) being newly added:

"Study-research leave may be granted to faculty members for research and/or advanced study necessary to enhance the competencies of those faculty members to carry out their obligations to the University. Although the purposes of a study-research leave are distinct from those of an educational leave, both are subject to the statute outlined in the STATE PERSONNEL HANDBOOK: EDUCATIONAL AID FOR STATE EMPLOYEES.

Tenured faculty members with the rank of Assistant Professor or higher holding full-time faculty appointments in one of the academic colleges and having accrued a minimum of six years service are eligible to request study-research leaves. Following such a leave, an additional six years service is necessary before a faculty member may be considered for another study-research leave. Time spent on study-research leave, educational leave, or leave without pay is not considered in compiling minimum service requirements for further leaves.

Partial salary (not to exceed one-half salary) will be provided to recipients of study-research leaves by the Commonwealth as part of its educational leave program. The Board of Visitors has approved further payment for study-research leaves in the event that private funds are available to the University for this purpose, to provide as much as full salary for leaves of one academic quarter or three-quarters salary for leaves of two quarters. No such added subvention is provided for leaves of a full academic or calendar year, which is the maximum duration of a study-research leave. Full employee benefits will remain in force while faculty members are on study-research leaves.

IN LIEU OF A PROPOSAL FOR A LEAVE OF A FULL ACADEMIC OR CALENDAR YEAR, FACULTY MEMBERS MAY PROPOSE A SEQUENCE OF LEAVE PERIODS OF ONE OR TWO QUARTERS AT HALF-SALARY OVER SEVERAL YEARS, NOT TO EXCEED TOTALLY THREE ACADEMIC QUARTERS (FOR A FACULTY MEMBER ON ACADEMIC YEAR APPOINTMENT) OR TWELVE MONTHS (FOR A FACULTY MEMBER ON CALENDAR YEAR APPOINTMENT). FOLLOWING COMPLETION OF SUCH A LEAVE PROGRAM, AN ADDITIONAL SIX YEARS SERVICE IS NECESSARY BEFORE A FACULTY MEMBER MAY BE CONSIDERED FOR ANOTHER STUDY-RESEARCH LEAVE. SUPPLEMENTAL SALARY THROUGH PRIVATE FUNDS OF THE UNIVERSITY WILL NOT BE PROVIDED FOR A MULTI-YEAR LEAVE PROGRAM.

If compensation from the University is less than full salary, recipients of a study-research leave may receive additional compensation from other approved sources up to a total equal to their annual salary from the University. They may also obtain additional funds from external sources to cover expenses for travel, research and secretarial assistance, and the purchase of relevant materials. Engagement in consulting activities shall be consonant with existing University policy.

Requests for study-research leave to be taken in the following academic year should be submitted to the department head by November 30 for consideration by the Board of Visitors at its winter meeting, or by March 31 for consideration at the spring meeting of the Board. Requests will be forwarded subject to recommendation of the department head, dean, and the University Provost, with the same kind of recognition of the need for effective continuation of the department's program as in the case of educational leaves.

Study-research leave is granted with the expectation that the increased competence of the recipient will redound to the benefit of the University. The faculty member must, therefore, return to full-time service with the University for a period of time twice that of the period of leave, with a minimum obligation of at least one academic year. If less than this required period of service is met, repayment is required of the pro-rata portion of the compensation provided by the University during the leave period.

A letter summarizing the accomplishments of the faculty member while on study-research leave will be sent to the Provost within sixty days of return to full-time status."


President's Policy Memorandum

URL: http://purl.vt.edu/vtdocs/policies/ppm39