Sabbatical (Long-Term, Unpaid) - Memorandum of Agreement

Sabbatical (Long-Term, Unpaid) -
Memorandum of Agreement

MOA: Unpaid Sabbatical Leave Option

Preamble: It is in the interest of both the faculty and administration of Lane Community College to establish an unpaid sabbatical leave program that will provide an additional option for professional development that will improve a faculty member's contribution or capacity to contribute to the success of the college. Accordingly, this Memorandum of Agreement sets forth the framework for an initial unpaid sabbatical program. This initial program shall be considered a pilot test for a period of four (4) years. At the end of the four (4) year period a thorough analysis will be undertaken jointly to determine if the program should be continued, changed, or discontinued.

1. General Description. Following seven (7) years of continuous contracted service, a faculty member may receive an unpaid sabbatical leave for a period not to exceed one year for study, research, travel or other purpose designed to improve the faculty member's ability to contribute to college goals. Sabbatical leaves of less than full-time may be taken. A faculty member may not receive more than one such unpaid leave during a continuous four-term period per each five-year period following the initial seven-year period and within five-years of the last unpaid sabbatical leave. This unpaid sabbatical leave program shall be separate and independent of any other sabbatical or leave program, including in the application and qualification process.

2. Program Administration. A joint Unpaid Sabbatical Review Committee will be established with up to three faculty and three administration representatives chosen by the Association and Instruction vice-president(s) respectively.

2.1 Sabbatical Review Process. The specific process for reviewing and monitoring proposals will be developed by the joint Committee.

2.2 Annual Cost Review. The joint Committee will accumulate cost data for the pilot program and make a report to the Association and College. The parties agree that the program should be generally cost neutral. Should the program generate excessive savings the College and Association shall meet to decide how these funds shall be used within Instruction. Should the program generate excessive costs, the College and Association will meet to decide how the program may be adjusted to eliminate those excessive costs or, if that proves infeasible, terminated.

3. Faculty Support. Sources of support for faculty shall be made available from the college.

3.1 Continuing Health Insurance Coverage. During the period of the unpaid sabbatical leave, the college will pay the entire cost of insurance benefits that the faculty member had at the time the leave was approved.

3.2 Seniority/Job Protection. During the sabbatical leave the faculty member will continue to accumulate seniority, retain rights to the same position, receive compensation for any work, and retain all other rights and responsibilities upon returning, as if the faculty member had been working continuously at a full level.

3.3 Deferred Compensation. Pending verification of feasibility, the College shall establish a deferred compensation program so that the faculty member may defer income (and accumulated interest) to be used during the unpaid sabbatical leave and receive any tax savings accrued.

3.4 Continuing Service. The support for the faculty member specified in this Article shall not be guaranteed once the faculty member retires or makes a commitment to engage in employment or other life activity inconsistent with continued employment at Lane Community College. The College and Association shall timely meet to discuss such situations.

4. Proposal Process.

4.1 Proposal Deadlines. Sabbatical proposals must be submitted, originally or on appeal, to the Sabbatical Review Committee and the appropriate Division Chair by the last day of the academic term that falls three (3) terms prior to the intended commencement of the sabbatical. A decision will be made and provided the applicant in writing no later than fifteen (15) working days after the request was received. (For example, the proposal must be submitted by the end of fall term for a sabbatical beginning in next fall term.)

4.2 Right to Return. The College will make reasonable efforts to create flexibility in replacements in faculty on leave, in case those faculty desire to return. After the deadline to apply, if a proposal is approved and accepted but the faculty members cannot follow through on the leave, the College will attempt to fully return the faculty member to their original position or other assignment including curriculum development, but may not be able to due to irreversible arrangements made to replace the faculty member. In such cases, the College and Association will timely meet to discuss the matter.

4.3 Proposal Content Criteria. The sabbatical leave proposal will include (1) a plan for study, research, travel or other activities proposed by the applicant to benefit the college by improving the quality the faculty member's contribution to the college mission and goals or the capacity of the faculty member to contribute to the college mission and goals; (2) a review of a peer committee of the plan indicating a positive assessment of the proposal and indicating that the proposal made use, as appropriate, of the input of peers - these peers including all, or at least four, contracted faculty in the immediate discipline of the proposer; (3) plans for dissemination at LCC of the sabbatical results and a follow-up report including an element of peer review of the sabbatical experience.

4.4 Maintenance of Stability and Quality of Instruction Criteria. The sabbatical leave requires a reasonable level of maintenance and stability of the quality of instruction. It is the intent of the administration and division chairs to work toward granting sabbatical requests. It is the intent of the application process to encourage faculty to mutually settle planning and coordination issues before proposals are made, and also to allow faculty to work with each other and department/division managers to identify and remove barriers to sabbaticals. The division chair will review the timing and level of the leave request along with possible leave replacements and make a judgement about maintaining a reasonable level of stability and quality of instruction. If the chair cannot give a positive judgement, he/she shall provide the requestor the reasons in writing.

4.5 Approval. If the proposal meets the rigor outlined in 4.3 and the division chair's assessment is that instructional quality can be reasonably maintained as called for in 4.4, the proposal shall be approved by the Sabbatical Review Committee. If not, the proposer shall be provided in a timely manner a summary of the reasons for denial in writing.

4.6 Re-applying. A faculty member denied a sabbatical may resubmit his/her proposal at any future time provided the proposal has been appropriately modified or conditions have changed so that an identical proposal under identical conditions is not being resubmitted.

4.7 Appeals. A faculty member may appeal the decision of the Sabbatical Review Committee back to the Committee for reconsideration. If an issue of proposal rigor is at stake, the appeal must be a joint appeal by the majority of the faculty member's immediate peers, and the Committee will make the final judgement. If an issue of logistics is at stake, the appropriate Instruction vice-president will investigate and assess in good faith any new information submitted. The vice-president's judgement will decide this matter.