Preparing for Sabbatical

Preparing for Sabbatical: An
ORPFD Workshop
Bill Strom, Faculty Development
Bob Burkinshaw, Dean, FHSS
Carolyn Kristjansson, MA TESOL
Paul Rowe, Political Studies &
International Studies, MAIH
Today’s goal: to review sabbatical policies, learn how to
write a good sabbatical proposal, and to hear testimonies
of the joys and challenges afforded by different types of
sabbaticals, in order to prepare you for sabbatical.
Sabbatical Policy (Faculty Handbook, 44-45)
Purpose: “To increase professional and spiritual
development by affording opportunity for study and
research, thereby enhancing the applicant’s capacity
for service to the University.”
Eligibility: 1) a privilege, 2) granted after 6 years of
consecutive service, 3) and submission of an
acceptable application, 4) for tenured, tenure-track,
and continuing long-term sessional faculty members.
Sabbatical policy (cont.)
3. Application deadline: September 15 in year before
proposed leave; Provost office will notify of success
or not by December 1st. (This year due Sept. 17)
4. Leave Period: One or two semesters. Twosemester sabbaticals must be consecutive
5. Compensation: You may choose between:
a) full-salary for 1 semester
b) 2/3rds salary for 2 semesters (both based on
current year of salary)
Please avoid other paid work and (competing) grant
activity which hinder the purpose for which the
sabbatical is granted. Benefit contributions and
government deductions continue in full regardless of
your pay.
Sabbatical Policy (cont.)
6. Post-leave Responsibilities: 1) one full academic
year (or refund University all compensation), 2)
submit a report of sabbatical activity to Provost
7. Equivalency & revision: Your sabbatical counts as
regular service to TWU in future salary and
promotion criteria.
8. Special Provisions: You may apply for a semester
leave at 2/3rds pay (in year 4); you may apply for a
½ time sabbatical for one year at full pay.
Some successful applications
Rowe (Spring 2012)
Kristjansson (2011-2012)
Strom (Spring 2013)
Criteria and tips for writing a good sabbatical
Your Sabbatical Proposal
1. Indicate consecutive years of full-time service, and
number of years since your last sabbatical (if
2. Indicate the length and semester(s) for which you are
applying, and how your department will "cover" your
courses during your leave (discuss with your chair
and/or dean).
2. Describe what you accomplished during your
previous sabbatical (relate to the previous proposal),
as well as your scholarship since your last sabbatical.
Your proposal (cont.)
Include a well-developed proposal that includes:
1. A one-page description of your planned
scholarly work. Describe how it relates to previous
research and/or scholarship. Also indicate your plans
for relevant scholarly presentations (academic
associations) and publications (names of potential
journals or book publishers). Include significance of
scholarship for your field and for your career. Be
sure to write for a non-specialist audience.
Your proposal (cont.)
2. A description of related activities that you plan to
undertake (readings related to your discipline or to spiritual
growth; consultation with other scholars; attendance at
academic conferences; etc.).
3. An indication of how your sabbatical plans will benefit the
university and its program development.
4. An indication of how your sabbatical plans will contribute to
the development and attainment of the mission of the
Sabbatical Proposal Pitfalls
Including an unrealistic amount of planned scholarly work.
Including an unfocused "scattering" of undertakings.
Including insufficient planned scholarly work.
Failure to showing how ones research to date has prepared
one for the project(s) proposed.
Failure to show how essential courses and administrative
responsibilities will be covered
Failure to address contributions to university and its
Failure to explain how you expect to attain your objectives if
you failed to so in the past.
Writing an incoherent or inarticulate proposal at 2AM on
September 17 .
Deans Council Criteria for Sabbatical
Proposal Assessment
(See handout)
1. Eligibility (10 points)
2. Proposal's overall quality and likelihood of success (10
3. Proposal's contribution to the university's program
development (5 points)
4. Proposal's contribution to the university's mission (5
Carolyn’s Experience
Carolyn took a year sabbatical (May – August (15 months), and
discovered the longer span allowed her to rest, reflect, and write
in a balanced, unrushed way. She lived locally, wrote from
home, travelled extensively to four conferences, edited a major
book project, and had opportunity for holiday time with her family
which a regular teaching schedule does not afford. The singular
challenge was the reduction in pay that did not allow for more
family travel or relocation. She would take a year sabbatical
again as it afforded time to approach projects in season and
rejuvenated her spirit.
Paul’s Experience
Paul proposed an robust travel and research sabbatical
plan only to see international politics close several doors.
However one of his four initiatives (to visit India for
research and networking purposes) came through, and in
fact led to many serendipitous opportunities for ministry
and speaking that he could not have predicted. In the end
he was able to back-fill his sabbatical with projects he
already had in the works (but were not proposed on his
application), and so sabbatical worked well to close of
those initiatives and begin new ones in South Asia. He
imagined a year-long sabbatical would be ideal, but the
finances would be challenging.
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