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Faculty Senate Sabbatical Leave Policies and Procedures

All Sabbatical Leave policy and procedures as outlined on this page have been reviewed and approved for FY2017.


The applicant’s first task is to complete the Sabbatical Pre-Application Notice form, and submit it to their supervisor (department chair/director and dean) by the second Friday of September of the year prior to the year for which sabbatical leave is requested.

Second, the applicant must complete and submit a copy of the completed Sabbatical Leave Application to the Faculty Senate Office by the posted deadline for that year, along with all other elements of the Application Packet, as noted below. All documents should be submitted electronically as PDFs. The deadline is 5 p.m. on the second Friday of October of the year prior to the year for which sabbatical leave is requested.

The main elements of the Application Packet for proposals are as follows (forms are linked at the top of this page):

  1. Sabbatical Leave Application (packet cover page)
  2. The Proposal (refer to the Guidelines).
    • The proposal should be typed and double-spaced on standard 8.5 x 11 inch white paper.
    • Basic elements of the proposal include:
      • Narrative description of the project.
      • Specific measurable outcomes of the project.
      • A detailed time schedule of activities.
      • A description of the applicant’s accomplishments at TMCC.
  3. A copy of the Pre-Application Notice, completed by your supervisor.
  4. Two letters of support
  5. A current resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  6. The Proposal and Final Report of the applicant's most recent sabbatical leave (or other documentation if the proposal and/or report is unavailable)
  7. Length of Salaried Service Verification form (obtained from Human Resources)


The Truckee Meadows Community College Sabbatical Leave Program affords a faculty member (as defined by the NSHE Code) the opportunity to improve their individual effectiveness in the College in line with TMCC's philosophy, purpose and objectives.

Faculty members on sabbatical leave are expected to undertake curriculum and/or program development, work experience, a project or other program of study or research directly related to their responsibilities at the college.


  1. Any tenured faculty member who has served full time for six or more years at TMCC without a sabbatical leave is eligible to apply for sabbatical leave.
  2. Eligibility for sabbatical leave commences at the end of the semester in which the sixth full year of service at TMCC is completed. A faculty member can apply during their sixth year of service at TMCC.
  3. Accumulation of time at TMCC toward the next sabbatical leave shall not begin until the date of completion of the prior sabbatical leave.
  4. A faculty member who has resigned or has been terminated for reasons other than financial emergency or curricular reasons, and subsequently rehired at TMCC must have six full-time years of service from the time of rehiring.
  5. Authorized leaves (teaching, formal education, work experience, personal, medical/emergency/maternal) will not break the continuity of service, but these years shall not be credited toward a sabbatical leave.
  6. Any faculty member whose primary responsibility is administrative in nature is not eligible for sabbatical leave (BOR Handbook, Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 11.1).
  7. Years spent in administrative work (defined as 51% of work time on administrative duties for that year) will not be credited toward sabbatical leave effective July 1, 1994.
  8. Only years of service at TMCC will count toward sabbatical leave.
  9. Short-term temporary contract supplements for special services, such as those for teaching Summer Session, shall not be considered in establishing the base for sabbatical leave nor for years of service at TMCC.
  10. Years spent as department chair will be credited toward sabbatical leave.
  11. Letters of support cannot be from current sabbatical chair or committee members.
  12. Per Article 8 of the NFA Contract, "An individual on a leave of absence may become a candidate for Department Chair, but only if they are scheduled to return from the leave in time to assume the Department Chair’s duties at the beginning of the Department Chair’s term. Department Chairs may not request leave from their Department Chair position to accept a sabbatical."

General Policies

  1. The pursuit of Degrees and/or certifications alone will not be approved as a sabbatical project. Courses, workshops, seminars, etc. that are critical to the completion of a sabbatical project are acceptable.
  2. Applicants for sabbatical leave must notify their department chair/director and dean at least one month before the application deadline. This notification will be confirmed with signatures on the application.
  3. It is recommended that the applicant meet with the appropriate dean and department chair/director at the time of notification to assist all parties in the planning for the proposed sabbatical.
  4. It is the direct supervisor's responsibility to coordinate/evaluate the budgetary and staffing needs to preserve the integrity of TMCC programs. Faculty on sabbatical leave will be eligible for merit pay and for rankings on future sabbatical applications on submissions of a satisfactory sabbatical report.
  5. Faculty on "A" contracts relinquish the right to earn annual leave while on sabbatical leave.

Rights of Faculty on Sabbatical Leave

  1. The taking of a sabbatical leave shall in no way interfere with the continuing employment of an individual by the College, with any possible promotion or salary increases, or with any other rights normally associated with work at the college. Sabbatical leave, in some cases, may reduce retirement benefits. Persons taking sabbatical leave may wish to check with the Human Resources Office in this regard.
  2. Additional income, for example grants-in-aid or fellowships, may be accepted during the leave provided the activity for which the income is received contributes to the individual's professional development or their future usefulness to the NSHE (BOR Handbook, Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 11.8b).

Obligations of Faculty Who Take Sabbatical Leave

  1. The most important obligation of a sabbatical leave recipient is to make every effort to accomplish the tasks set out in the application. If circumstances occur prior to the start date of the sabbatical that make it impossible to fulfill the approved sabbatical proposal, the recipient will be expected either to relinquish the awarded sabbatical and perform normal duties during that year, or to request authorization for an alternative project from the following: the applicant's department chair/director, the dean; and the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
  2. Upon completion of the sabbatical leave, the recipient must return to college duties for a period of time at least equal to that of the last annual contract prior to sabbatical leave.
  3. A written report of sabbatical leave activities shall be submitted to the President within three months of return from leave (BOR Handbook, Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 11.8d) with a copy to the department chair/director, the Faculty Senate office and to TMCC Library Director for the archives. The report should address the proposal in the application for leave, describe what was accomplished, and explain the current status of the project. It may also describe other professional accomplishments during the time of the leave. It will be the task of the dean to assess whether the sabbatical report is satisfactory.
  4. Acknowledgement of sabbatical assistance shall be given in any publications, performances, or other professional activities accomplished during the sabbatical or as a result of it.
  5. A signed sabbatical leave application shall constitute acceptance of all obligations on the part of faculty taking sabbatical leave.
  6. Upon completion of the sabbatical leave, the recipient must report the results to the TMCC community. Options include, but are not limited to, the following: a public lecture or presentation, a website devoted to the project, or a written summation on reserve at the TMCC library.
  7. If a person on a sabbatical leave would like to be considered eligible for Merit Pay, their Final Report of Sabbatical Leave Activities form (i.e. their evaluation of their project) and any other supporting documents, must be submitted to their dean no later than May 1 of the academic year in which they took a sabbatical.  If this is not done, the person on a sabbatical leave will not be eligible for a merit award on July 1 of that year.


Application Procedures

  1. Applicants must use the Sabbatical Leave Application form. Applicants must furnish the information and supporting documentation requested on the form, and are responsible for submitting a complete application to the Faculty Senate.
  2. An electronic PDF copy of the completed application and all required supporting materials must be properly prepared and emailed to the Faculty Senate Office by the application deadline in the academic year prior to the effective date of the requested leave. The applicant shall also provide one copy of any electronic supporting materials.
  3. Persons applying for sabbatical leave must submit the Sabbatical Pre-Application Notice form to notify their department chair/director and dean at least one month before the application deadline, by the second Friday of September of the year prior to the year for which sabbatical leave is requested. The coordinator of the applicant's program or discipline (if any) should be notified as well.
  4. In addition, the original Final Report of Sabbatical Leave Activities (with signatures) shall be submitted to the President with copies to the Faculty Senate and the TMCC Librarian for archiving in the Library.

Applicant Options

The applicant must choose either a full year of leave at two-thirds salary or one-half year of leave at full salary. Salary for a faculty member on sabbatical leave shall be calculated using the salary for the leave year.

Sabbatical Leave Committee Chair and Committee Composition

  1. The Salary, Benefits and Budgetary Concerns Committee of the TMCC Faculty Senate will form a Sabbatical Leave Subcommittee for the purpose of evaluating and making recommendations to the President.
  2. The Salary, Benefits and Budgetary Concerns Committee will ensure that the Sabbatical Leave Subcommittee contains a proportion of faculty members from each division based on the percentage of TMCC faculty members in each division. The composition of the Sabbatical Leave Subcommittee is determined by a vote of the Salary, Benefits and Budgetary Concerns Committee. A simple majority approves the composition.
  3. Nominations for the Sabbatical Leave Subcommittee Chair are sent to and confirmed by the Faculty Senate. If more than one person is nominated, the Faculty Senate will decide by majority vote. A simple majority wins. The Subcommittee Chair conducts the deliberations and calls the meetings; however, the chair does not evaluate applications.
  4. Members of the Sabbatical Leave Subcommittee must be full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty members in good standing. Members of the subcommittee need not be members of the Salary, Benefits and Budgetary Concerns Committee.
  5. Applicants for sabbatical leave may not serve on the Sabbatical Leave Subcommittee during the year of the application.

Sabbatical Leave Subcommittee Deliberations and Recommendations

  1. All deliberations of the committee shall be confidential.
  2. It will be the responsibility of the Sabbatical Leave Subcommittee Chair to schedule meetings for sabbatical deliberations (in order to meet the requirements that recommendations for sabbatical leave shall be submitted to the Board of Regents by the President not later than December of the year prior to the academic year during which leave is desired).
  3. The Sabbatical Leave Subcommittee shall convene for a minimum of two times after analyzing the applications. The first meeting shall be for discussion and the second meeting shall be for tabulation of the evaluation points. After thorough deliberations during which all applications are reviewed in detail, the chair shall send forward to the President a ranked list of applicants for sabbatical leave. Applications that do not meet the committee's minimum standards will not be ranked and forwarded.
  4. The President or their designee shall award sabbaticals based on the Sabbatical Leave Subcommittee's rankings and in consultation with Vice Presidents, deans and department chairs to ensure the academic integrity of all TMCC programs.
  5. The ultimate responsibility for awarding sabbaticals rests with the TMCC President. If the President does not accept the committee's recommendations, they may deny sabbatical leave to any or all of the applicants.
  6. The President shall complete the President’s Sabbatical Decision form and the sabbatical applicant shall be notified of the President’s decision by December 31 of the year the application is submitted. The completed form shall be delivered to the applicant within 30 days of the notification.
  7. If the President rejects any of the sabbatical applicants or approves with conditions, they will clearly state the reasons and/or the conditions on the President’s Sabbatical Decision form, and if applicable, request revisions to the sabbatical application. The sabbatical committee will work with the applicant to revise the application. If the President rejects the revised sabbatical application, the reasons must be submitted in writing to the denied applicant.
  8. It is the responsibility of the President of TMCC to notify the successful applicants within one week upon receiving the recommendation from Professional Standards Committee, and no later than December 31 of the year the application is submitted.

Sabbatical Leave Scoring Criteria

The major purpose of sabbatical leave is to provide faculty with an opportunity for new or renewed intellectual achievement in order to enhance teaching effectiveness. In evaluating proposals, the Sabbatical Leave Subcommittee must determine whether or not the sabbatical leave will enhance the faculty member's professional effectiveness. The Subcommittee will measure each application against minimum standards for sabbatical leave. Applications that do not meet any of these minimum standards will not be ranked or forwarded for consideration, even if sabbatical positions remain unfilled. Specifically, the merit of each proposal will be evaluated using the following criteria:

Minimum Standards: Before proceeding to scoring, the application must contain the following:

  1. Activities that fall within the applicant's teaching or employment area(s). Note: If the activities fall outside of the applicants teaching or employment area(s), the application must contain a convincing justification for these activities that relates them to the applicant's teaching area(s).
  2. Activities of sufficient rigor to justify the College's investment in the project. Projects must contain the intellectual sophistication befitting the applicant's position at the College. Note: the application must provide a statement of the project's intellectual sophistication and a detailed timeline of planned activities.
  3. Notification signatures of the appropriate dean and department chair/director. If these standards are not met, the subcommittee will not score or rank the application.

Ranking Criteria: If minimum standards are met, the subcommittee will rank applications using the following criteria:

Criteria Points Description
Potential for Growth 40 The degree to which the study or project will enhance the individual's professional growth in his or her work at the College in the following areas:
  • Primary Responsibilities (1-15 points)
  • Intellectual Development (1-15 points)
  • Community Service (1-10 points)
Benefit of Project to TMCC 30 The degree to which the study or project will directly benefit the TMCC community upon returning from sabbatical leave in the following areas:
  • Students (1-15 points)
  • Institution (1-15 points)
Adequate Timeline 10 The likelihood that the conditions of the proposal will be met in the granted leave based on the applicant's detailed timeline and the success of the applicant's last sabbatical leave. The timeline is to be reasonable and appropriate for the type and scope of the project proposed, if applicable (1-10 points)
Applicant's Accomplishments at TMCC 10 Evaluation of accomplishments at TMCC since the last sabbatical leave (or date of hire if the applicant has never received a sabbatical) shall be based on the following merit factors:
  1. College leadership activities such as college and senate committee assignments or leadership activities within the department (including but not limited to: Faculty Senate Chair service, significant committee chair service, department chair service or search committees).
  2. Intellectual leadership, especially research, publication or scholarly presentations or creative activity.
  3. Community activities that are related to the teaching profession or show exceptional community accomplishments.
Years of Service at TMCC 10 Length of salaried service at TMCC will be scored in the following manner:
  1. If the applicant has not received a previous sabbatical leave, one point will be awarded from every year of service at TMCC to a maximum of ten points.
  2. If the applicant has received a previous sabbatical leave, one point will be awarded for every year of service since the completion of the applicant's most recent sabbatical leave to a maximum of ten points.

It is the responsibility of the sabbatical applicant to confirm years of service with Human Resources (please attach your Sabbatical Years of Service Verification form), and make that confirmation available to the committee.

Letters of Support

Because of the complexities involved in determining the potential ultimate value to the college of a sabbatical leave awarded to persons from the various disciplines and in various job assignments, each applicant shall be required to secure only two written recommendations or letters of support for their proposal. These letters of support are required as part of the application.

Guidelines for Sabbatical Leave Proposals

  1. Narrative Description of the Project
    The narrative description should include a detailed explanation within 500 words of what the project intends to do. It should include a rationale for the project and a statement of the impact the project will have on the institution, the individual and the community. In addition, it should describe the extent to which the proposal will utilize present knowledge, available resources, and creative potential.
  2. Specific Outcomes of the Project
    The objectives of the project should be directly tied to TMCC's vision, mission, values and strategic initiatives and stated in measurable terms within 250 words. The final report must evaluate the success in achieving these objectives.
  3. Detailed Time Schedule of Activities
    A timetable of major events for the completion of the project should be included and should describe the project in sufficient detail to enable the reviewers to know what is planned at every stage and to make a tentative judgment as to the probable success of the proposed plan. The time schedule should reflect careful and realistic planning. Flow charts or diagrams may be of benefit in this section. Please include all preliminary tasks undertaken prior to this request.
  4. Description of Accomplishments at TMCC
    This description should contain evidence of the applicant's excellent performance while employed at TMCC. Evaluation of accomplishments may include examples of excellence in service to the College, service to the community or intellectual/professional achievements that have benefited the TMCC community.
  5. Letters of Support
    The applicant must submit letters of support from only two persons in support of the leave proposal. The letters may address themselves to the following matters, singly or in combination:
    • An evaluation of the proposal and its potential benefit to the applicant and to the College.
    • An evaluation of the likelihood that the applicant will be able to successfully complete the proposed activity.
    • An evaluation of the applicant's effectiveness in carrying out the duties of their current position.
    • Letters of support cannot be from current sabbatical committee members.
  6. Resume
    The applicant should include an updated resume that includes education, professional experience and current job responsibilities.
  7. Optional Material
    The applicant may submit other information that would assist the committee in determining the potential value of the sabbatical project. The Proposal and Final Report from the applicant's last sabbatical leave (if applicable) may be submitted in order for the committee to consider the applicant's record of successful completion of sabbatical projects, but it is not required.
  8. Length of Salaried Service or Service since Last Sabbatical
    The applicant will include a "Sabbatical Years of Service Verification" form (issued by Human Resources).