Academic Leaves of Absence and Sabbaticals

Faculty Handbook Information on Leaves of Absence and Sabbaticals
Visit here for Non-academic Leaves of Absence
Visit here for Childbirth Leave and Workload Reduction
Visit here for Junior Scholar Leaves

Final Approval Authority

Provost: non-standard requests (e.g. request is made after fewer than 12 full semesters of full-time service, or otherwise unusual)
Dean: all standard academic leaves of absence and sabbaticals*

*notification of leaves and sabbaticals required by Provost Office for faculty at ranks requiring Provost approval for their initial appointment

Available Forms

      Leave of Absence Eligibility

      A full-time faculty member shall receive a leave of absence of one semester or more without pay whenever the Provost, in consultation with the Dean, determines such leave is consistent with the teaching and administrative needs of the faculty member’s department and school. Such leaves are generally for terms of one semester or one year. Faculty on leave without pay should consult with the University’s Human Resources office regarding the continuation of their various benefits.

      Sabbatical Eligibility

      A faculty member with an un-modified professorial title e.g. Assistant, Associate, or full Professor, regardless of tenure status, is eligible to apply for Sabbatical Leave after 12 full semesters of full-time service. Sabbatical Leave provides continuation of the full normal University contribution to salary for one semester of leave, or 50% of the normal compensation for two semesters of leave. It is the responsibility of the Dean’s Office to confirm the history of approved leaves of absence and sabbaticals and to ensure that the faculty member has met the requirements for sabbatical eligibility before granting the sabbatical.

      Note that semesters that include a Childbirth Leave, a Workload Reduction for the Primary Caregiver of a Child, or a medical leave do not count towards the 12 full semesters of full-time service, since they are not full semesters of full-time service. However, the 12 semesters needed for sabbatical eligibility do not need to be consecutive, i.e., a Childbirth Leave or a semester on Workload Reduction does not start the “sabbatical clock” over again. Please see the Sabbatical Policy in the Faculty Handbook for further detail.

      Except in extraordinary circumstances and by prior arrangement, acceptance of a sabbatical leave funded in any part by the University commits the faculty member to return to the University for a minimum of one year.

      Upon returning from a sabbatical leave or leave of absence, a Dean may require the faculty member to submit a statement to his/her Chair and Dean describing the activities and accomplishments during the leave. The Dean can ask that the report be supported by any bibliographic or other evidence of the quality of the work accomplished when such evidence becomes available.


      Please email PDFs or send hard copies of paperwork to Steve Marois (smarois@bu.edu, 1 Silber Way – 8th Floor). You may contact him at 8-4843 with any questions or to check the status of paperwork.