Sabbatical Proposal Unit Head Responsibilities

By September 1, applicants for a sabbatical leave shall electronically submit a completed proposal including all attachments via the web-based sabbatical system. This completed proposal will then move through the review process. See the Office of the Provost Sabbatical website for more information.

When an applicant submits a sabbatical leave proposal, the Unit Head will receive an automated e-mail that indicates a proposal is ready for unit review in the web-based sabbatical system. It is the Unit Head’s responsibility to ensure that for each sabbatical proposal there is:

  • A unit-level discussion
  • A unit vote
  • A unit recommendation submitted to the sabbatical system

The web-based sabbatical system will allow Unit Heads to share a common department login and password with faculty so all are able to view or download proposals for review and discussion. The Office of the Provost will send this login information to the Unit Head by the first day of fall classes.


September 1 – Applicants submit proposals to the sabbatical system. As soon as possible after this date, units and/or Colleges will provide feedback to the proposal author. This may be done via a unit meeting or a unit email discussion. After receiving the unit feedback, the candidate can revise the proposal. (See below “Amendments to a sabbatical proposal”) 

September 23 – Applicants must submit the revised proposal via the sabbatical system. 

September 23-30 – After reviewing the revised proposal, the Unit Head will call for a vote (which may be done electronically) on the proposal. The possible votes are:  Recommend, Recommend with reservation, Do not recommend. All tenured and tenure-track faculty are eligible to vote.

No later than September 30 – The Unit Head must submit a recommendation for University Sabbatical Review Committee review.  The Unit Head will submit a summary of the unit’s feedback that includes:

  • Justification for the unit’s recommendation
  • A listing of the proposal’s strengths and weaknesses from a unit (discipline) perspective
  • The vote results
  • Verification that requested amendments were completed

No further revisions to the proposal are permitted.

Objectives and Criteria

At each level of review, the proposal shall be evaluated with reference to the objectives and criteria found in the Board of Trustees Policies (BOT 4.2.25):

Objectives – The proposal shall conform to one or more of the objectives listed below:

  • Promise of a significant contribution to a new or existing subject under study or problem undertaken.
  • Expansion of skills that deepens or extends the applicant’s professional capabilities related to teaching (or for librarians, professional effectiveness), research or creative activity.
  • A planned effort to retrain professionally, in a manner appropriate to the applicant’s discipline and the unit’s and university’s needs

Criteria and Format – The sabbatical proposal must address the criteria noted below.  The proposal should not exceed ten (10) pages excluding references and other supporting documents.

  • A descriptive title for the project
  • Executive Summary
  • Goals and objectives
  • Background and significance of project
  • Relevant preparation
  • Project plan
  • Timeline
  • Benefit to one’s own or other units
  • References/Literature Cited (not included in the 10 page limit)

Supporting documents can include:

  • A condensed Curriculum Vitae (not to exceed 5 pages) – Required
  • Arrangements with people at other institutions
  • Other supporting documentation
  • Previous Sabbatical Report – Required if previous sabbatical taken

Amendments to a Sabbatical Proposal

In its review, the unit may identify issues that are to be addressed, and request that the applicant make changes to the proposal. 

In this case, the Unit Head must login to the sabbatical system using their individual login and password to request an “Amendment” to the proposal in the ‘Submit Recommendation’ box.  This returns the proposal to the applicant for additional edits.  The Unit Head should outline requested amendments in the dialog box or upload a PDF document to the system.  When edits are complete, the applicant must resubmit the proposal (by September 23) for additional unit review and recommendation.

Unit Recommendation

The unit discussion must be complete and recommendation submitted via the sabbatical system no later than 11:59 p.m. on September 30.  The Unit Head must provide a summary of the unit’s discussion including justification for the unit’s recommendation (Recommend, Recommend with reservation, Do not recommend).  In the summary, provide a listing of each proposal’s strengths and weaknesses from a unit (discipline) perspective as this will assist subsequent levels of reviewers in their recommendation deliberations.  Vote results, as well as verification that any requested amendments have been made, should also be included.

The Unit Head must login to the sabbatical system using their individual login and password and enter the summary of the unit's discussion described above (or upload a PDF document) and click on the appropriate unit recommendation button (Recommend, Recommend with reservation, Do not recommend).

Once a recommendation is entered at the unit level, no further modifications can be made to a sabbatical proposal. 

If you have questions about the sabbatical process, contact Mary Albrecht in the Office of the Provost.

If you have questions about sabbatical content, contact Robert Smart in the Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence.

Page last modified April 30, 2021