Skip to main content

PS-10.A.14 - Faculty Leaves Not Funded by the University

EFFECTIVE DATE: April 27, 2020

ISSUE #: 4

PRESIDENT:  Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz

​​​​PURPOSE

This Policy Statement (PS) outlines the procedures to be used for reviewing requests for leaves without pay and the criteria for evaluating those requests. 

DEFINITIONS

There are no definitions associated with this policy statement. 

POLICY

3.1 General Policy. All unpaid leaves are taken at the prerogative of the University and are not an inherent right of employment.

3.2 Eligibility of the Applicant. The applicant must hold a full-time academic appointment with a contract period longer than one academic year at the University of Houston – Downtown (UHD) at time of application.

3.3 Length and Conditions of Leave: Unpaid faculty leaves may be approved for one semester (one long semester) or one academic year (two long semesters). Faculty may request leaves for a maximum of two consecutive years of unfunded leave. Requests for leave beyond two years must be approved by the president. Subject to fiscal constraints, the granting of a leave carries with it the same commitment of continued employment at the conclusion of the leave as would have existed had the unpaid leave not been granted.

3.4 Criteria for Granting Leaves without Pay: Request for leaves without pay will be evaluated according to any or all of the applicable criteria which follow: the activities in which the applicant plans to engage during the leave and their value to the campus community; the scholarly nature of the proposed activities and the likelihood that these activities will result in a significant contribution to the academic discipline; the public service nature of the proposed activities and the likelihood that these activities will result in a significant public service contribution; the probability of finding a suitable replacement for the candidate requesting leave; and, the effect that granting the leave would have on the quality and content of the University's​ academic program(s). Extended illness or other personal reasons may also justify the granting of extended leave depending upon the circumstances. All accumulated sick leave entitlements must be exhausted before leaves may be granted in the case of extended illness. 

3.5 Outside Employment. Applications for leaves without pay must specify any compensation the applicant will be receiving during the period of the leave. 

3.6 Benefit Eligibility. Prior to beginning the leave, the faculty member is responsible for making financial arrangements with the payroll office for self-paid premiums if group insurance is to be continued during the leave. Vacation and sick leave do not accrue during a leave without pay. State contributions to retirement programs are suspended during a leave. Faculty should consult with the administrator of their retirement plan for details on impact of leaves on benefits. 

3.7 Time toward Tenure. Except in cases that fall within the scope of PS 10.A.23 Extension of the Probationary Period for Tenure-Track Faculty, the unfunded faculty leave period cannot extend the probationary period for candidates seeking tenure. 

3.8 Returning Salary. Prior to the leaves commencement, the faculty member, department chair, and appropriate dean must agree on the method to be used in determining the faculty members returning salary. 

3.9 Letter of Request. Requests for leave without pay should first be discussed with the department chair. The official request should be made in the form of a letter from the department chair to the dean. The letter should outline the benefits to be derived from granting the leave, the costs involved, any outside employment involved, any proposed arrangements for adjustments in salary or time to be counted towards tenure, and the department chairs proposal to satisfy the academic responsibilities of the faculty member granted leave. 

3.10 Time Schedule. Requests for unpaid leave for the fall semester or for an entire academic year should be transmitted from the department chair to the appropriate dean by the first Monday in February. The dean makes a recommendation to the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs/Provost SVPASA) by the third Monday in February. The SVPASA will make a recommendation to the president by the second Monday in March and the president will notify the applicant of his/her decision by the first Monday of April. Requests for unpaid leave for the spring semester should be transmitted from the department chair to the appropriate dean by the second Monday in September. The dean makes a recommendation to the SVPASA by the third Monday in September. The SVPASA makes a recommendation to the president by the first Monday in October and the president will make his/her decision by the third Monday in October. The SVPASA will issue a letter to the applicant with the decision and terms of the leave, including a deadline for the applicant to confirm his/her intent to return to service. A faculty member has the right to an equivalent leave without pay if an approved PS 10.A.08 University Funded Faculty Leave Program must be revoked because of lack of funding. The faculty member will have 30 days to exercise this option. The time schedule may be modified by the president in cases involving unusual circumstances. 

PROCEDURES

Procedures for this policy are imbedded in the Policy section. 

REVIEW PROCESS

Responsible Party (Reviewer): Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Review: As needed

Signed original on file in Employment Services and Operations. 

POLICY HISTORY

Issue # 3: 10/12/88

Issue dates for previous versions are not available.

REFERENCES

PS 10.A.23 Extension of the Probationary Period for Tenure-Track Faculty

PS 10.A.08 University Fun​ded Faculty Leave Program

Last updated 3/17/2022 6:25 PM