Faculty Handbook, Section III.E.1

General Information

Full-time tenured faculty members who hold the rank of Professor, Associate Professor, and Assistant Professor may apply to the Committee on Faculty Status for sabbatical leave.  Each year the deadlines for the submittal process will be posted on the Faculty Status page.

Faculty applications will be accepted through ePortfolio with Digication.  Each year during the spring and summer, faculty training sessions will be offered by ITS and Academic Affairs.  Instruction will be provided to create, prepare and submit an ePortfolio with Digication.  Faculty are notified about scheduled training sessions via email.  Written instructions for creating an ePortfolio can also be found here.

Faculty who are planning to apply for sabbatical in the fall should inform their department heads as early as possible, preferably in the previous academic year.  This will allow for proper planning of class schedules and faculty workloads.  Applicants should inform Laurie Fay (fay@siena.edu) of their intention to apply in order to be added to the ePortfolio Faculty Status Assessment Group for the particular year of application.


Preparing your Application Materials

The information listed below provides a general outline of what an applicant should include in a request for sabbatical.  

  1. An application for sabbatical must be submitted in accordance with the schedule of dates established each year by the VPAA.  No materials will be accepted after the deadline.
  2. As stated in the latest version of the Faculty Handbook, “Sabbatical leaves are granted only for clearly defined purposes…”  While preparing your request, consider that members of the Committee are not necessarily familiar with your area(s) of study.  Your proposal should include sufficient detail for non-experts to clearly understand the scope and purpose of your proposed work.  The description of your proposed project should include:
    1. The program of study and/or research
      • Explain why you are pursuing this particular area of study.
      • Provide a concise but specific description of the project you propose.
      • Describe the conclusions you expect to draw from your work.
    2. The relationship of the study to long-range goals - be as specific as possible.
    • Will this study result in publication of articles in scholarly journals and/or a book?
    • Have publishers indicated any interest to date?
    • Will this study result in production of a creative work?
    • Will this study result in a new or revised program or course(s)?
    • How much progress is anticipated during the period of sabbatical?
  3. The contribution of study to personal development as a scholar and teacher.
    • How will this research contribute to your area of teaching?
    • Describe any other ways in which this project will benefit your scholarly growth and professional development.
  4. Location(s) where your study will be conducted.
  5. Inform of the importance of your project in relation to the mission of your Department, School and/or the College?
  6. Include selected bibliography – some examples of work to be examined (if applicable).
  7. Provide information regarding application for or expected external funding.

Be sure to refer to Faculty Handbook, Section III.E.1.


Required Materials for Application for Sabbatical

  1. Table of Contents
  2. Cover letter for the Vice President for Academic Affairs
  3. Application – description of your proposed project (as outlined above).
  4. Personal data record
  5. Your Department Head’s Letter
  6. Your Dean’s Letter
  7. Your supporting materials (if applicable)
  8. List of ancillary materials (if applicable)

Note:  Your office space may not be guaranteed for the period of your sabbatical.  Your department head/dean may need to arrange for the accommodation of a sabbatical replacement.


The President has provided the following comments regarding sabbaticals:

A sabbatical leave is a time to promote professional growth, enhance teaching effectiveness and strengthen academic programs.  It provides the faculty and the College with the opportunity to do so through study, research and writing. However, there are some issues surrounding a sabbatical which the Faculty Handbook does not explicitly address: the total number of sabbaticals granted throughout the college and within a department, the timing of sabbaticals within a department, and the quality of the proposal. A large number of sabbaticals in the same semester may weaken the quality of course offerings, student advisement, and faculty involvement in college activities. Such a large number can also raise quality issues within a department or school that could have adverse effects on classroom effectiveness. Granting contemporaneous sabbaticals to two professors from the same department raises similar issues.

The needs of the College are such that generally faculty, departments, and deans should carefully consider the timing of sabbaticals and the impact on academic programs. I would like the department heads and deans to consider and to recommend how best to replace faculty on sabbaticals – there is no single best strategy. All attempts should be made to schedule multiple sabbaticals in different semesters. Advisees will need to be reassigned and both course offerings and staffing of courses should be carefully considered. Quality replacement faculty could be found in adjuncts or visiting appointment.  Adjuncts might allow a department to offer special courses, but visiting full-time replacements might be more appropriate in a department which already has a significant number of adjuncts.

Finally, the faculty should note that the Board of Trustees ultimately ratifies requests for sabbatical leaves of absence.