Responsible Office: Faculty Affairs, Office of the Provost
Current Approved Version: 08/21/2014
Policy Type: Administrative
Policy Statement and Purpose
It is the intent of Virginia Commonwealth University to enable faculty members to apply for a study-research leave to enrich their professional growth and development. Accordingly, the University has developed a policy, based on merit, which permits eligible tenured faculty members to qualify for study-research leaves.
The awarding of study-research leave is subject to the availability of funds and the ability of the department or school to meet its teaching and other requirements. Each school may adopt criteria for assessing applications, priorities to assure orderly sequencing of personnel on leave, and other relevant procedures, all subject to the vice president's approval.
Noncompliance with this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. VCU supports an environment free from retaliation. Retaliation against any employee who brings forth a good faith concern, asks a clarifying question, or participates in an investigation is prohibited.
Who Should Know This Policy
The following groups are responsible for knowing this policy and familiarizing themselves with its contents and provisions:
Administrators with personnel responsibilities
There are no definitions associated with this policy.
The Office of the Provost officially interprets this policy. The Office of the Provost is responsible for obtaining approval for any revisions as required by the policy Creating and Maintaining Policies and Procedures through the appropriate governance structures. Please direct policy questions to the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs.
Eligibility For Study-Research Leave
Eligible faculty must be tenured with six years of prior University service and have completed six years of service since a previous study-research leave.
Return Commitments With Study-Research Leave
There must be a written commitment to return to the University and serve a period of employment equal to twice the period of the leave. If the return-to-work commitment is not honored, the individual must reimburse to the University the salary received during the leave period, plus interest, regardless of the source of funds (E&G, grant, external, etc.). The faculty member and the dean must complete a Study-Research Leave Agreement and Promissory Note (see attached form) at least thirty days prior to the scheduled leave. The leave is not authorized until all signatures have been obtained on the promissory note.
The dean of the college or school will determine the nature and scope of a written report or grant proposal to be submitted by the faculty member within three months of return from leave.
Applications For Study-Research Leave
Each college and school may adopt criteria for assessing applications and determining priorities to assure orderly sequencing of personnel on leave. All other relevant procedures are subject to the appropriate vice president’s approval.
The faculty member must submit to the dean of their school or college, through the department chair, a written request for a proposed study-research leave six to 12 months in advance of the leave period. The written request will describe the proposed leave activity and how it will benefit the faculty member, department, school, and University.
The merits of the proposed study-research will be judged and other determining priorities reviewed prior to preliminary approval by the dean of the school or college. The appropriate vice president or designee makes final approval.
Benefits While On Study-Research Leave
Faculty members on study-research leave are considered to be full-time employees while on leave. They continue to be enrolled in the retirement system, with retirement and group life insurance based on their regular full-time salary. Taxes (social security, federal, and state taxes) are based on the actual leave salary, including any external funds that must be routed through the University in order to ensure coordination of federal and state income reporting. Health care coverage and other deductions (i.e., flexible reimbursement accounts, parking) will continue in the same manner as prior to the leave.
Faculty members will not accrue annual, sick, or holiday leave while on study-research leave. All leave balances will be retained until return from leave, subject to regular leave policies and procedures. Unused holiday leave continues to expire 12 months after accrual.