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Faculty Educational Leave (Policy #1338)

University Studies annually accepts applications for a single educational leave. Applications are due the first Monday in November for leaves to be taken the following academic year. All full-time (RTA, tenure-track, or tenured) instructional faculty who hold an appointment in IdLS and/or the Honors College are eligible to apply. Some IdLS faculty, due to the nature of joint appointments, may also be eligible to apply for an educational leave offered by one of the undergraduate colleges. Such individuals may NOT apply for leave in both University Studies and their college.

Applicants MUST also meet the criteria outlined in the Faculty Handbook
III.J.1.a. Educational Leave. Educational leave is awarded to instructional faculty members by a competitive process within each college. Eligibility for such leave is limited to instructional faculty members who have not had such leave in the previous five years and who have been at the university for at least three years. Each college shall develop and publicize its process for selecting its faculty members to be awarded educational leave.

Educational leave provides opportunities for faculty members to pursue full-time independent study, graduate/postgraduate study, research or creative activities that will enhance their teaching abilities, professional growth and intellectual renewal. An educational leave enables a faculty member to elect to take an academic year of leave at one-half salary or one semester of leave at full salary. There is no restriction on the additional earnings of a faculty member while he/she is on an educational leave.

Accomplishing the agreed-upon goal(s) of the educational leave shall be a significant component of the annual evaluation upon the faculty member's return. Recipients of educational leave to be taken during an academic year will be notified by the end of the preceding fall semester and are expected to return for at least one year of full-time service to the university following the leave. The university may require the repayment of the salary paid during such leave if the faculty member fails to return and fulfill this responsibility.

A complete application consists of the following four items

  • Applicant information (Section 1)
  • Up to a one-page description of the proposed leave activity (Section 2)
  • A current vita (Section 3)
  • An endorsement email from the applicant's Academic Unit Head, or one from each AUH if a joint appointment (Section 4)


All four items must be submitted by 5 p.m. the first Monday in November. Incomplete proposals will not be considered. Please send your materials electronically to Dr. Audrey Burnett (burnetaj@jmu.edu). Direct any questions to Dr. Audrey Burnett, Associate Dean of University Studies and Associate Director for Online Strategy.

The recipient will be notified by early December. By accepting the award, the recipient agrees in good faith to return to full-time service at JMU after the leave for at least one year (III.J.1.a). The recipient also agrees to submit a brief, written report to University Studies after the leave's end. If the recipient's educational leave plans change after his or her selection, they must notify the University Studies office immediately so that another applicant may be able to take advantage of the opportunity.

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