Faculty Leaves

Reprinted below is the relevant section of the Faculty Handbook appendix pertaining to Quadrennial Leaves, Junior Faculty Research Leaves and Leaves of Absence.

All requests for junior faculty leaves, quadrennial leaves and leaves of absence should be received in the Dean of Faculty's Office by September 10th.

Faculty members eligible for a leave should plan to devote significant time to study, research, writing, or creative activity in their own fields.  It may also be appropriate to con­sider the desirability of spending leave time off campus, especially in those cases where special resources not available at Trinity can be found elsewhere.  In developing plans and preparing your request, please consider how your proposed activity will enhance your research and scholarly develop­ment.  The Director of Faculty Grants and Sponsored Research is available for consultation about grants in your field that might help subvent or extend a leave.

We are asking all faculty to complete an Academic Leave Request Form.  The faculty member should complete this form for the chair’s review. The chair will then add his/her letter of endorsement, which will demonstrate how essential courses in the Department/Program will be covered.   Junior faculty leaves are replaced with two courses; quadrennial leaves are normally not replaced.  In the case of requests for leaves of absence, for which the College pays no compensation, Department Chairs may generally anticipate hiring an interim replacement.

Please note:  once leave requests are approved by this office, scheduled leaves may be changed only under circumstances of extreme personal hardship.


See Section A.2: General Statement on Employee Benefit Plans, for the definition of continuing faculty appointments and the definition of a half-time faculty appointment.  A one-semester leave of absence for any purpose other than a sabbatical leave granted under the 1975 policy is considered a two-course semester.  A full-year leave of absence for any reason is considered a five course-leave.  (Revised June 2002)

Sabbatical/Quadrennial Leave  

The following policy statement concerning Sabbatical Leave was adopted by the Trustees on March 22, 1975:

In order to provide each Faculty member with the opportunity for intellectual self-renewal, Trinity College grants sabbatical leaves in the expectation that they will be used for research and other professional and scholarly activities.  A sabbatical consists of a half-year leave of absence at full salary or a full year at half salary.  Any eligible Faculty member whose proposed sabbatical activities are recommended by his or her department chair and whose application is received by the Dean of the Faculty by the deadline noted below shall be granted a sabbatical in the year requested unless unanticipated or extraordinary institutional interests require a deferment.

This statement was modified by the following resolution adopted by the Trustees on May 19, 2001 for implementation beginning with the 2002-03 academic year:

We endorse the adoption of a revised sabbatical leave policy that (a) is based on a full-time teaching residency requirement of not fewer than six consecutive semesters, with the proviso that neither semester of the year in which a sabbatical is taken shall count toward meeting the residency requirement for the next sabbatical; (b) eliminates other College-funded research leaves for tenured Faculty; (c) does not result in a net loss of courses taught by tenured Faculty; and (d) approximates neutrality in its financial effects.

Eligibility:  In the year following the completion of six consecutive semesters of full-time academic year teaching, tenured faculty members are eligible to take a two-course semester leave of absence at full pay. A semester during the academic year in which the quadrennial leave is taken does not count towards the six-semester residency requirement for that or a subsequent quadrennial leave. Normally, a faculty member on a reduced teaching schedule occasioned by other approved service to the College must teach at least one course in order for the semester to count toward the full-time consecutive teaching residency.

With the approval of the Dean of Faculty, a quadrennial leave may be postponed. If the scheduled quadrennial leave is postponed for one or two years of full-time resident teaching, these years of service will be applied to the residency required for a subsequent quadrennial leave. If the scheduled quadrennial leave is postponed three years and a tenured faculty member thus completes twelve consecutive semesters of teaching, a full year leave may be taken. The faculty member may elect to take 80% of full salary for the year and teach five courses during the biennium in which the year falls, or may take full salary for the year and teach 6 courses during the remainder of the biennium.

Faculty members may not take a quadrennial leave during the academic year in which they retire from College service. (Revised July 2012)

Benefits: Regular College benefits are continued during Quadrennial Sabbatical Leaves.  Faculty members pay their normal share of premium costs.  TIAA-CREF retirement plan contributions are based upon actual base salary payments.

Application: Application must be made in writing (using the Academic Leave Request Form) to the applicant's Department Chair and forwarded to the Dean of the Faculty by the Department Chair, with his or her evaluation and endorsement, not later than September 10 of the year preceding the academic year in which leave is requested. (Revised June 2002; July 2008)

Junior Faculty Research Leave

Tenure-track Faculty members in the fourth year of employment are granted a leave of a two-course semester for the purpose of pursuing scholarly or creative projects.  As with Quadrennial Sabbatical Leave, application must be made in writing to the Department Chair and forwarded to the Dean of the Faculty, with the evaluation and endorsement of the Chair, by September 10 of the year preceding the period of leave. (Revised July 1993; July 2008)

Benefits: Quadrennial Sabbatical Leave benefits apply.

Leave of Absence

Leave of absence without pay may be granted to a full-time continuing Faculty member when doing so would not seriously hamper maintenance of necessary course offerings or other College functions.  Application should be made as specified above for Quadrennial Sabbatical Leave.  The maximum duration of an unpaid leave of absence or the combination of a Quadrennial Sabbatical Leave with a leave of absence is two years.  A Faculty member who is on leave for two years must then be in full-time teaching residence for at least six consecutive semesters before taking any additional leave.   Faculty members are required to pay for the full cost of dental and medical insurance premiums during leaves of absence without pay which last one year or longer.  Other benefits are suspended until the Faculty member returns to his/her position at the College. (Revised July 2012)

If a faculty member receives an external grant for a semester or a year for which the faculty member has been granted a leave of absence that falls short of covering his/her regular salary, the College will top up the grant, either by a) matching the amount of the grant; or by b) supplementing the amount of the grant up to the faculty member's full salary for the appropriate period, whichever is less. The Dean of Faculty may make adjustments to this policy in special circumstances. (Added July 2007; Revised June 2013)

Reduced Teaching Schedules

A reduction in the teaching of one or two courses a semester may be granted upon the recommendation of the department chair and the Dean of Faculty. Faculty members on a teaching course reduction are eligible for full dental and medical benefits, but salary and salary-related benefits will be reduced proportionately. A faculty member may, with the approval of the department chair and the Dean of Faculty, seek external grant funding for a reduced teaching load. A grant funded teaching reduction normally is limited to one course per year, and the grant normally must fund one-fifth of the faculty member's full salary. A faculty member on a teaching course reduction must teach a minimum of one full-credit course each semester. The maximum permissible reduced teaching schedule is two years. (Revised June 2002; June 2013)

Leaves outside the Quadrennial Schedule

The quadrennial leave eligibility schedule may be affected by semesters during which a faculty member is on other types of leaves, as follows.

A semester taken as unpaid leave, with or without grant funding, does not count toward the six-semester residency requirement and it is considered a break in consecutive service. That is to say, a faculty member taking a semester or year as unpaid leave will next be eligible for a quadrennial leave during the academic year following six consecutive semesters of full-time academic year teaching. A semester in residency during the year in which the unpaid leave is taken does not count towards the six-semester residency requirement, nor do any semesters in the academic year in which the next quadrennial leave is taken count towards the six-semester residency requirement.

Semesters during which a tenured faculty member is on family or medical leave with pay do not change the quadrennial leave eligibility schedule. That is to say, if a tenured faculty member takes a semester of paid family or medical leave during a semester which would otherwise count towards the six-semester residency requirement, that semester is still considered to count towards the residency requirement, and the timing of the subsequent quadrennial leave eligibility year is not affected. Semesters during the probationary period during which a faculty member is on Family or Medical leave may change the quadrennial leave eligibility schedule. That is to say, if a faculty member takes more than one semester of family or medical leave and elects to extend the probationary period by two years, the first quadrennial leave eligibility year will be postponed by one year (i.e., following the tenure decision). If the faculty member chooses not to extend the probationary period, or to extend the probationary period by one year, the timing of the first quadrennial leave year will not be affected. (Added July 2012)