A new sabbatical leave policy for lecturers is in the process of being implemented for Boise State professors.
Boise State lists their current sabbatical leave as being reserved for qualified tenured and tenure-track faculty members. A new policy being presented before the Faculty Senate will provide an opportunity for sabbatical leave that would be made available to full-time lecturers.
The new policy from the University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs states, “sabbatical leave is awarded to provide time and resources for qualified full-time lecturers to revitalized themselves in order to become more effective teachers and scholars and enhance their services to the University.”
The Boise State Faculty Senate met in the Hatch at the Student Union Building on September 8 to discuss the terms and policies of the new sabbatical leave program.
Philosophy lecturer and Faculty Senate Senator Jim Stockton has been the lead on the newly proposed sabbatical leave policy and tried to model it after the same structure for sabbatical leave that currently applies to tenured faculty and tenure-track faculty at Boise State.
To be eligible for sabbatical leave, professors must adhere to certain guidelines and rules, as the policy states. Applicants must have completed “at least six years of active service to Boise State University on a full time appointment.”
If the lecturers are granted the sabbatical they are seeking, they will be granted for one calendar year, pay of 60 percent for a full semester at 100 percent funding, which depends on salary savings self-generated from the program, according to the policy.
“The program will fund itself,” Jim Stockton said. “We will not be competing with tenured dollars to fund this program, that was important for us.”
While on sabbatical, the lecturers are eligible to receive other forms of income, such as additional part time employment, as long as said employment does not pose any interference with the purpose of their sabbatical leave. They must also gain approval for the additional employment from the University Dean and Provost.
Associate professor and geosciences department chair David Wilkins expressed that he likes the idea of lecturers receiving sabbatical for their hard work, but feels that the task of replacing those lecturers during their absence, can provide too much stress and problems for department chairs.
“We did speak about the absence of lecturers who would be on sabbatical,” Jim Stockton said. “We’re assuming that it can be managed with the assistance of the tenured faculty as well as the adjunct faculty.”
One major stipulation in the new policy for lecturer sabbatical leave is that the lecturer may not be granted sabbatical while they are working on an ongoing program of instruction or research that is posed a threat of being interfered with. Programs of work must be finished. The lecturer must then submit their application for sabbatical leave to their designated department chair by December 1.
One of the concerns being raised by members of faculty senate was that the policy puts department chairs in positions to have to decline a full-time lecturers request for sabbatical.
“I think you’re putting the chair in a position of telling someone no,” David Wilkins said. “Which is not something we want to do.”
Department chair of Psychology, Dr. M. Rose Barlow stated that the department chairs already hold that responsibility in regards to tenured-faculty sabbatical requests.
“If we’re willing to pick up for our tenure track people, we should be willing to pick up the lecturers too,” Barlow said.
The policy will now be sent to the sabbatical committee and to each University department head for final review before faculty senate makes their final vote on the matter at their first meeting in December.