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Leave Policies

Faculty Professional Leave
This document does not supersede the O.A.A. guidelines for FPL, and shall be revised whenever O.A.A. guidelines are changed.
Through professional leaves of absence faculty can enhance their scholarship and the University's academic programs can be strengthened and developed. A Faculty Professional Leave (FPL) may not be a terminal leave; in accepting such leave, faculty members shall recognize their responsibilities to return to the University for at least one year thereafter. An SRA and an FPL may occur in contiguous on-duty quarters or semesters (including Spring-Autumn).

Regular faculty members on at least a 50% appointment with at least seven academic years of teaching service at Ohio State are eligible for an FPL. Faculty become eligible for a second professional leave after completion of seven academic years of service following the end of the first professional leave.

The FPL must be spent in research or for substantial investment in pedagogical or administrative skills and knowledge when these are judged to be mutually beneficial to the faculty member and his or her academic unit. The FPL may not be used to teach at The Ohio State University; nor may it be used to teach at another institution unless the teaching assignment is part of the FPL proposal and supports its purpose. Although professional leaves of one quarter at full salary may be taken, longer leaves are encouraged. A multi-quarter FPL need not be for a continuous period and may bridge an off-duty quarter or semester. An FPL will not be granted for less than one quarter, but it can not exceed one academic year.

Nine-month faculty may take two quarters of leave each at no reduction of salary or three quarters with a one-third reduction of salary over the full year.  Eleven-month faculty may take one or two quarters of leave each at no reduction of salary or three or four quarters with a one-third reduction of salary over the full year.

While on leave faculty are free to accept grants for research or study to augment the leave stipend to the approximate level of their full-time salary, provided that the activity for which they are being compensated is supportive of the purposes of the leave. Employment is restricted to activity which clearly enhances the purpose of the leave. In the event that external support funds are available that produce a salary higher than the regular annual salary, the excess must be used to reimburse the University for its costs.

While on leave faculty will be granted the option of purchasing credit to permit continuing benefits, e.g., retirement and insurance coverage (which would otherwise be reduced because of salary reductions), at the normal level. Contact the Office of Human Resources for further details: Benefits at 292-1050 regarding insurance coverage, and Retirement (STRS) at 292-4325.

The Mansfield campus deadline is February 1 so that there is time to submit the proposal to the department and college offices and to the Office of Academic Affairs. Colleges will be informed soon after March 1 of the status of their leave requests. Faculty professional leaves approved by the provost will be recommended for action to the Board of Trustees.
Each recipient must submit to the president, dean, and department chairperson a statement summarizing work completed within two months after returning from professional leave.

Faculty Professional Leave vs. Special Research Assignment: A Comparison

A Special Research Assignment (SRA) is a paid one-quarter (12 week) release from teaching granted by some departments, following departmental guidelines and subject to the review and approval of the college. SRAs do not require approval by the Office of Academic Affairs and do not affect payroll arrangements since the faculty member's salary continues unchanged.

SRAs may not exceed one quarter in any academic year; further, it is inappropriate to grant an SRA for Spring Quarter of one academic year and for Autumn Quarter of the next academic year. For any period of intensive study or research exceeding one quarter, the FPL should be considered.

Since the FPL is limited to one every seven years, even if taken for only one quarter, the SRA is a preferable arrangement for a one-quarter leave if the department offers this option. The SRA may preserve eligibility for a subsequent Faculty Professional Leave, subject to the guidelines of the department and college. Application forms can be found on the “Forms” page.

Personal Leave

The University may grant leaves of absence without pay to regular faculty upon request from the faculty member, approved by the department chairperson and dean, with final approval upon recommendation of the provost and the president. Leaves of absence are to be granted only in instances where there is a clear understanding that the individual is planning to return to the University.

Requests for leaves to enter private business or practice or to accept a regular faculty position elsewhere are discouraged unless such request is considered by appropriate personnel as an opportunity to enhance and strengthen the professional development of the faculty member.
Unpaid leaves of absence are generally for one year or less. In no case will a single (continuous) leave of absence be extended beyond two years.

A request for a leave of absence should be submitted by the dean with the Personnel Action Request form to the Office of Academic Affairs at least ninety days prior to the beginning of the leave period. The dean's letter should contain complete information regarding the proposed leave, a statement of duties vacated and how these will be covered during the faculty member's absence, and the address of the faculty member during the leave. From Operating Manual 6.45 (http://hr.osu.edu/policy/); and Board of Trustees Resolution No. 78-21 (http://oaa.osu.edu/reaccreditation/documents/4-74_FacultyProfessionalLeave.pdf) .
The period of a leave of absence may not be credited in the probationary period unless there is a written agreement to credit it, approved by the dean and provost. See Faculty Rule 3335-47-03 (http://facultycouncil.osu.edu/4703.pdf).

Family and Medical Leave

See Office of Human Resources at http://hr.osu.edu/policy/.

Military Leave

See Office of Human Resources at http://hr.osu.edu/policy/.