Professional Policies & Faculty Responsibilities — Unpaid Leave for Faculty

A faculty member may apply for an unpaid leave for professional or personal reasons (see the University's Operations Manual, III–21.2).

Approval Process

The DEO sends the request for unpaid leave to Executive Associate Dean Curto, with a recommendation to approve or deny the leave. In making the recommendation, the DEO considers the importance of the leave for the faculty member and the impact on the departmental curriculum, including any arrangements for course coverage that may be necessary.

Special approval by the Executive Associate Dean and the Provost is required to extend a leave beyond one academic year. Only in rare and truly exceptional cases will a second year be approved.

Fringe Benefits during Leave of Absence without Pay

If the faculty member receives permission for a leave without pay for one semester, she or he may request that the salary from the semester with pay be spread over the entire academic year. In these cases, with the special approval of the Executive Associate Dean and the Provost's Office, the University may continue to fully fund the employer portion of the health care plan for the entire year. (All other benefits are proportionate to the actual amount of salary paid during the academic year.)

If the faculty member takes unpaid leave without fringe benefits, neither the faculty member nor the University can contribute to the TIAA/CREF program, due to federal regulations. The faculty member may choose to pay to continue other benefits (including health care contributions and/or contributions to SRA accounts). He or she must make appropriate arrangements in advance through the University Benefits Office (335-2680).

Payback for Fringe Benefits

Under Iowa law, a faculty member who receives fringe benefits while on unpaid leave must return to the appointment at this University for a period of time specified by the Office of the Provost (at least two semesters for each semester of unpaid leave taken with benefits).

Impact of Unpaid Leave on the Tenure Clock

If a probationary faculty member receives permission for an unpaid leave without fringe benefits for an entire academic year, the tenure clock may in exceptional cases stop during the period of the leave. The tenure clock can stop only if the activities to be undertaken during the year of unpaid leave have no direct bearing on the dossier for the eventual promotion and tenure review.