Faculty Leave Policies


There are several types of leaves for which a faculty member may choose to apply: sabbatical leave, leave for professional growth, short-term leave of absence without pay, long-term leave of absence without pay, parental and maternity leave.

When a faculty member is on leave, the essential curricular needs of the department will be met. Generally two people from the same discipline should not be on leave simultaneously. The granting of a sabbatical leave is contingent upon acceptance of the proposed leave plan by the Faculty Affairs Committee and the administration and the continued normal operation of the college with reference to departmental staff and financial resources. Other leaves will be granted at the discretion of the Dean of faculty.

For more detailed information on the types of leave and policies governing faculty leaves-of-absence, please consult the current edition of the Whittier Faculty Leave Policies

General Policies Governing Leave-of-Absences

  • A faculty member who receives any leave of absence will normally be expected to return to Whittier College for a minimum of one full year of teaching.
  • The faculty member, the Professional Interests Committee, and the Dean of Faculty must agree in advance on how leaves other than sabbatical leaves will affect the timing of future sabbatical leaves.
  • In the case of non-tenured faculty, the faculty member, the Faculty Personnel Committee, and the Dean of Faculty, in consultation with the department, must agree in advance on how leaves will affect the timing of tenure decision.
  • A faculty member who wishes to apply for a leave of absence should be certain to consult with the Human Resources Office regarding the financial implications of such a leave.
  • Faculty members should be aware that multiple years of leave could affect tenure and promotion decisions.
  • Reference is made to the "Statement on Leaves of Absence" of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) published in 1965, the "Statement of Principles of Leaves of Absence" published in 1972 by AAUP, and "Statement of Principles on Family Responsibilities and Academic Work" published by AAUP in 2001, for guidance in designing policies and considering exceptions to the above principles. Exceptions must be approved by the Dean of Faculty and the Faculty Affairs Council.

Standard Application Process for Leave-of-Absence

A faculty member is to submit a request for leave through the department chair to the Professional Interests Committee by a date chosen by the Professional Interests Committee near November 15 of the academic year preceding the academic year of the leave. The Committee will forward its recommendations to the Dean of Faculty by a date chosen by the Professional Interests Committee near December 15.

In some cases (such as a grant application which has not yet been decided upon), the faculty member may not know by the deadline whether a leave would be beneficial. In such cases, the faculty member is encouraged to apply by the deadline, indicating the tentative nature of the request. Approval of the leave does not obligate the faculty member to take the leave.

Furthermore, this deadline should not be construed to eliminate the possibility of a leave granted in connection with opportunities which were not know at the time of the deadline.


Full-time tenured faculty members and librarians of Whittier College are eligible for a sabbatical leave upon completion of six years full-time service at the College. Eligibility includes all the years of full-time service at Whittier, including the years prior to the granting of tenure. After this period of time, faculty members are eligible for sabbatical leaves every seven years and librarians are eligible for sabbatical leaves in summer months every four years. Exceptions will be considered by the Faculty Affairs Committee.

For more detailed information, please consult the Sabbatical Leaves section of the current edition of the Whittier College Faculty Handbook, pages 47-48.

Sabbatical Policies

  • A sabbatical leave is to be used for generally acceptable purposes of professional advancement such as research, writing, and educational travel.
  • Normally a sabbatical leave shall not be used to accept another paying position exceeding one course or the equivalent, academic or otherwise, beyond the faculty member's normal salary. Faculty members taking sabbaticals at half-pay will be permitted to work up to half time. This is not to be construed as prohibiting the acceptance of a grant for the support of academic endeavors. The Dean of Faculty, in consultation with the Faculty Affairs Committee, may grant exceptions if the faculty member can demonstrate that the position would contribute meaningfully to his/her professional development.
  • If it deems necessary, the administration may request that a faculty member postpone a sabbatical for up to one year. If the faculty member agrees, the postponement will not delay the scheduled dates of any subsequent sabbaticals. A faculty member may choose to postpone a sabbatical for up to two years without delaying the scheduled dates of any subsequent sabbaticals with the approval of the Faculty Affairs Committee.
  • Sabbatical leaves are granted in terms of one of the following two options: (1) half salary for one full academic year with no teaching load; or (2) full salary and a normal one semester teaching load over one year, distributed as desired by the faculty member (for example, a one semester leave or one full year of half-time teaching).
  • Within six months of completion of a sabbatical leave, the faculty member is to submit to the Dean of Faculty a statement summarizing all sabbatical activities.
  • Previous part-time teaching at Whittier College may in certain cases be counted towards initial eligibility for sabbatical leave. Credit may be granted for no more than one year of full-time equivalent instruction for every two years of part-time teaching, up to a maximum of three years of full-time equivalent teaching.