College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
The sabbatical leave process is described in the Faculty Handbook, and most of the information below is paraphrased from the official policy. University Policy 6.2.1 should be consulted for precise language (starting on page 23).
Tenured faculty members (associate or full professors) are eligible for sabbatical leaves after the conclusion of 12 continuous semesters (excluding summers). Eligibility can be checked at HR's Tableau link, and will be verified before approval. Requests should be transmitted to the Senior Associate Dean two terms before the projected start of a sabbatic. There are two types of sabbatical leave: i) one term if on an academic year appointment (or 6 months if on a calendar year appointment) at full pay, or ii) two terms if on an academic year appointment (or 12 months if on a calendar year appointment) at half pay. The application must come through the department Chair to the Senior Associate Dean. The request is to be in writing with a statement that describes: how the leave will benefit the faculty member, how the leave will benefit the university, and how the normal responsibilities will be accomplished during the leave. Often, adjustments are required within a unit to enable a faculty member to go on sabbatical leave. These adjustments are the responsibility of the unit, and need to be described, and acceptable to the community (both within and outside the unit). In addition, the request from the department chair must be accompanied by a sabbatical plan from the candidate.
Salary supplementation for sabbatics at half pay: If the sabbatic will be at half pay, and salary supplementation is desired, the plan for salary supplementation must be included in the request, including account numbers, dates, and amounts, for SrAD approval (the unit admin manager must approve sufficient funding and appropriateness of use of funds for salary support through grant funding). Startup accounts or reserve funds cannot be used to supplement sabbatic salary. Once approved by SrAD, the admin manager sends a justification to HR for processing.
Sabbatical leaves abroad requirements and recommendations: Information can be found here: https://global.cornell.edu/sub/operations/international-engagement-faculty/sabbatical-leaves-abroad. Please start planning your sabbatic leave at least six months in advance.
Upon Senior Associate Dean’s approval of the sabbatical leave, the department chair should use the Chair's Leave Approval Letter Template provided below to convey approval to the faculty member. Your HR Generalist will need to be sent a copy of this letter so the leave can be properly recorded in Workday.
Upon return from sabbatical leave, a faculty member is responsible for submitting a sabbatical leave report to her/his chair. The report should be 1-2 pages in length and include:
- The nature and location of the work, including important collaborators
- The outcomes of the sabbatical leave
- The key benefits to the faculty member and the college as a result of the sabbatical leave
The department chair should forward a copy of the final report to the appropriate Senior Associate Dean with a copy to tms6 [at] cornell.edu (Tamara Shollenberger) in CALS Human Resources.
Sabbatic Credit (Credit for postponement)
The sabbatical credit for postponement process is described in the Faculty Handbook. University Policy 6.2.1 should be consulted for precise language (starting on page 27). The most common reason for postponement is for "The academic interests of the unit" (see policy for other options) and this must be supported by the unit chair/director's request to the senior associate dean. Typically there is a maximum of three sabbatic postponement credits allowed.
Postponement credit must be requested by a letter from the faculty member to the unit chair/director. The unit chair/director forwards the request to the appropriate senior associate dean for approval. Grounds for approval and limits to the postponement are outlined in the University policy referenced above.
If approved, the SrAD office notifies CALS HR so the appropriate HR action can be processed.