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University of Maryland, College Park Guidelines and Procedures for Faculty Leave of Absence Without Pay

Consolidated USM and UMD Policies and Procedures



The President may grant a faculty member leave of absence without pay in accordance with the policy set forth in II-2.20 of the UMS Bylaws, Policies and Procedures of the Board of Regents, and the guidelines and procedures set forth below.

A leave of absence without pay is defined as any reduction in service to UMCP, other than a sabbatical, which results in reduced compensation. Leave may be:

  1. Leave of Absence Defined
    1. Partial Leave- reduced service and compensation;
    2. Full Leave-complete suspension of compensable services. 

To be eligible for a leave of absence, a faculty member must:

  1. Eligibility
    1. be employed on a full-time term or continuing contract; and
    2. be actively employed for at least one year prior to the beginning of the proposed leave. 
  1. Criteria
    1. Leave without pay shall not significantly disrupt the program of the faculty member's academic unit.
    2. The activities to be undertaken must support UMCP's missions of teaching, scholarly and creative activity, and University, professional, or public service; and enhance the faculty member's ability to support these missions.
    3. The President may determine that unusual circumstances warrant granting a leave without pay for personal reasons, such as poor health or family obligations.
  1. Period of Leave
    1. Leave is granted for:
      1. one semester, or
      2. one year 
    2. Leave should not exceed one full year, and any exception requires a showing of exceptional circumstances.
    3. Leave is not normally granted contiguous with sabbatical leave if when combined the leave would exceed one year.
  1. Application
    1. Application must be:
      1. in writing to the department chairperson; and
      2. at least six months in advance of the leave unless it is determined there are unusual circumstances.
    2. Applications must contain:
      1. description of the purpose of the leave, and
      2. how it conforms to the requirements of these guidelines; and
      3. a plan to minimize disruption of the academic program.
  1. Approval Procedure
    1. The department chair, or equivalent academic officer shall review the application for leave and make a written recommendation.
    2. The application together with the recommendation shall be forwarded through normal administrative channels to the President.
    3. The President shall make the final decision whether leave with pay should be granted or denied and the faculty member shall be notified in writing. THE GRANTING OF LEAVE WITHOUT PAY IS AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF THE PRESIDENT.
    4. A new application with renewed recommendations and approval shall be required for:
      1. the extension of a leave beyond the original period,
      2. the award of a leave contiguous in time to a sabbatical leave or any absence from active duty exceeding twelve calendar months.
  1. Consequences of Leave Without Pay
    1. Tenure Track
      1. It shall be specifically stated in the approval whether the period of leave shall be counted as service toward eligibility for tenure.
      2. If not specifically stated, the period of leave shall not be counted toward eligibility for tenure.
      3. Leave granted for personal reasons may not be counted toward eligibility for sabbatical leave. 
    1. Sabbatical Leave
      1. It shall be specifically stated, whether the period of leave shall count toward eligibility for sabbatical leave.
      2. If not specifically stated, the period of leave shall not be counted toward eligibility for tenure.
      3. Leave granted for personal reasons may not be counted toward eligibility for sabbatical leave. 
    1. Other Benefits

      A faculty member on leave without pay may continue to participate in retirement, health and medical protection, and other benefit programs only to the extent and under the conditions permitted by each program. Upon being granted leave, it is the responsibility of the faculty member to contact the Benefits Office to determine which benefits are to be continued.