Educational Programs & Services

Faculty Development Leave Program

Faculty Development Leave

Purpose

The Texas legislature’s purpose in establishing the Faculty Development Leave Program is to improve further the higher education available to the youth at the state-supported colleges and universities and to establish this program of faculty development leaves as part of the plan of compensation for the faculty of these colleges and universities. [§ 51.105(a) TX Educ. Code].

The faculty development leave proposal should be designed to enable the faculty member to engage in study, research, writing, and similar projects for the purpose of adding to the knowledge and skills available to him/herself, to the students, to the institution, and society generally. “A faculty development leave of absence may be granted for study, research, writing, field observations, or other suitable purpose within the school’s mission, if the faculty member is eligible by reason of service, the purpose is one for which a faculty development leave may be granted, and the granting of such leave does not place on faculty development leave a greater number of faculty members than that authorized.” [§ 51.106 TX Educ. Code].

It is intended that all faculty members have the right to have their proposals considered by a faculty peer review committee and that the proposals be forwarded through the
entire review process.

Eligibility

A faculty member is to be considered eligible by reason of service for a faculty development leave when he/she has served as a member of the faculty of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston for at least two consecutive years, although preference will be given to faculty with longer periods of service. This service may be as an instructor or as an assistant, associate, or full professor, or an equivalent rank, and must be full-time academic duty but need not include teaching. [§ 51.103 TX Educ. Code].

Procedural Mechanism

  1. The faculty member should communicate his/her intent to submit an application for faculty development leave to the school committee prior to submission of an application.
  2. The faculty member should first discuss the proposal with his/her department head. Items to be discussed should be: a) purpose of the proposal; b) benefits of the development leave to the individual, the department, the school, and/or the Health Science Center; c) plans for replacing or covering the applicant’s departmental responsibilities.
  3. The faculty member should then submit a copy of the proposal to the department chair to review.
  4. The faculty member will forward the leave proposal along with his/her department chair’s; a) written recommendation and rationale for the approval or disapproval of the proposal, and b) recommendations, if any, to strengthen the proposal to the school committee established to review faculty development leave proposals.
  5. The school committee will assess the proposals based on criteria appropriate to their school’s mission, consistent with the criteria established by the Health Science Center Faculty Development Leave Committee. The school committee’s written recommendations and rationales for approvals or disapprovals, or other recommendations to strengthen the proposal, shall be forwarded along with the applicant’s proposal and the department head’s recommendations to the Dean of the school for review.
  6. The Dean shall review the proposal and recommendations, and, as deemed necessary, seek clarification of the proposal, make recommendations to improve the proposal, and/or otherwise consult with the applicant or department head. The Dean shall then forward the proposals with his/her written rationales along with the school committee’s rationales for recommending approval or disapproval of the proposals to the Executive Vice President for Academic and Research Affairs.
  7. The Executive Vice President for Academic and Research Affairs will forward all proposals and respective recommendations to the Faculty Development Leave Committee of the Health Science Center. The Committee will review, evaluate and prioritize the proposals based on the established criteria. The Faculty Development Leave Committee shall then forward its priority scores, written evaluations, and any additional recommendations to the Executive Vice President for Academic and Research Affairs. A summary of the committee’s evaluations and recommendations will be forwarded to the candidates at this time.
  8. The Executive Vice President for Academic and Research Affairs shall review all relevant information on each proposal; seek clarification, if needed; and, in the exercise of his discretion, make recommendations to strengthen the proposals. The Executive Vice President for Academic and Research Affairs shall then approve or disapprove the requests for development leave and inform the Dean of the appropriate school.

Criteria

Faculty development leave is a privilege earned by the faculty member’s record of positive contributions to the educational and research missions of the department, school, and Health Science Center. The following criteria will be used by the Health Science Center Faculty Development Leave Committee in evaluating and prioritizing the proposals forwarded to the Committee:

  1. the merit and appropriateness of the proposal;
  2. prospective value of the leave to the individual, the department, the school, and to the institution;
  3. the strength of the recommendations given to the proposals;
  4. the equity of the distribution of the prospective recipients across schools in the Health Science Center; and,
  5. consistency with the affirmative action policies of the Health Science Center.

Factors

Other factors to be considered are:

  1. the existence of some arrangement whereby the faculty member may effectively meet assigned responsibilities without compromising the value of the Leave;
  2. prior development leaves taken;
  3. length of time the faculty member has been in continuous full-time employment with the University;
  4. the credentials of the applicant;
  5. the presence of extramural funding for the proposal; and,
  6. the availability of resources within the school and Health Science Center.

Format of the Application

The applicant should provide a double-spaced narrative of approximately 1000 words, maximum of four pages, which describes:

  1. the goals for the development leave;
  2. the activity and time for which the leave is requested;
  3. where the work will be done and written evidence of an outside institution’s willingness to provide facilities for carrying out his/her proposal;
  4. its relevance to the applicant’s professional development and the institution; and
  5. any proposed arrangements that the applicant has made for the coverage of his/her responsibilities while on leave. A two page biographical sketch in USPHS format should also be provided and applicants are discouraged from submitting reprints.

Timetable

The faculty development leave proposal should be sent to the school’s committee by April 1 or November 1 depending on the cycle chosen. (For a January start date, the cycle begins in April. For a proposed July 1 start date, the cycle begins in November.) The Dean should receive the proposals May 1 or December 1. The Dean will forward the proposals to the Executive Vice President for Academic and Research Affairs by June 1 or January 1. The Health Science Center Faculty Development Leave Committee will evaluate and prioritize the proposals and will then deliver the results to the Executive Vice President for Academic and Research Affairs by July 1 or February 1. The applicants and other pertinent individuals will be notified by August 1 or March 1 whether or not the proposal is approved. (See Timetable Chart)

Other Stipulations

If there is any change in an applicant’s proposal after the proposal has been approved, the applicant must notify the Executive Vice President for Academic and Research Affairs as to those changes. In the Executive Vice President’s discretion, the change may be allowed or the proposal may require a resubmission through the application process. Development leaves may be granted to a faculty member for up to one academic year at one-half salary or up to one-half academic year at full salary. Salary will include all fringe benefits. Faculty on development leave may accept a grant for study, travel, or research but may not accept employment without the express approval of the Board of Regents.

The precise terms of the development leave should be in writing and should be given to the recipient prior to the commencement of the leave. Recipients assume an implied obligation to return for service of at least the same duration as their development leave.

For tenure track faculty, no time will be counted toward fulfillment of their probationary period for tenure while on leave.

Each recipient must, upon leave completion, file copies of a report of leave activities with the Departmental Chair (or equivalent), the Dean, and the Executive Vice President for Academic and Research Affairs.

Timetable Chart

Fall and Spring Deadlines

Faculty Development Leave Proposals to: Fall
(For a July 1 start date)
Spring
(For a January 1 start date)
School FDL Committee November 1 April 1
School Dean December 1 May 1
EVP for Research and Academic Affairs and HSC FDL Committee January 1 June 1
HSC Faculty Development Leave Committee begins review February 1 July 1
EVP Notifies Dean/Applicant March 1 August 1

 

Faculty Development Leave Committee

Charge
The Charge of the Faculty Development Leave Committee is to disseminate information to the faculty on the institutional Faculty Development Leave Program; monitor the nomination process for the program within the schools; and review nominations and make recommendations to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs on an annual basis.

Chair
Elected by the members from the membership

Membership
One faculty representative from the faculty development leave committee of each school.

Ex-Officio Membership
Executive Vice President for Research and Academic Affairs

Alternate Membership
One faculty representative from the faculty development leave committee of each school.

Term of Membership
There are no fixed terms. Membership is reviewed annually by the President.