Proposed Revision to 801.1 - Leaves; Sabbatical Assignment


Attorney General's Opinion:


            1.         Section 75-6213, R.C.M. 1947 (now codified at 19-20-403 M.C.A.), does not prohibit a faculty member from accruing creditable service and receiving the employer contribution for retirement benefits during the performance of a sabbatical program. Vol. 37, Opinions of the Attorney General, Opinion No. 80, October 17, 1977.


Board policy:


            1.         Any faculty, administrative or professional staff member within the Montana University System with seven or more years of service in Montana without a sabbatical shall be eligible for sabbatical assignment.  Service while on sabbatical assignment shall be creditable service for all purposes to the same extent as a person's service while on regular assignment.


            2.         Sabbaticals are subject to budget limitations that may exist at any unit campus of the Montana University System.


            3.         Satisfactory programs or projects for sabbatical periods include research, travel, related work in other institutions or private or business organizations, or other activities which the president 0r chancellor of the unit campus agrees will improve the staff member professionally, or which directly or indirectly benefit the institution campus and the state.


            4.         All sabbatical assignments shall normally be for a period of not less than two academic quarters (or one semester for an institution on the semester system) or more than an academic year for persons on academic year appointments and not less than one-half or more than one fiscal year for persons on fiscal year appointments; however, a person may request a shorter assignment.


            5.         Compensation from institutional campus funds may not exceed two-thirds of the academic or fiscal year contract amount established for the individual for the period for which the sabbatical assignment has been approved.  Special compensation arrangements involving funds from other than institutional campus sources must be agreed upon and approved in keeping with the following conditions:


            a.         Compensation paid during a sabbatical assignment may differ from that paid for regular assignment because it may involve funding from sources other than regular university campus funds such as fellowships, assistantships or other sources of limited income including funds available from grants or contracts administered by the institution campus.


            b.         all compensation must be received through the institution campus and no person may be additionally compensated for the time on sabbatical assignment by income from other employment during the same period;



            c.         funds from non-institutional non-campus sources must be made directly available to the institution campus for periodic disbursement to the person in addition to, or in lieu of, regular funds;


            d.         funds from other sources may be used to supplement institutional campus funds to increase the compensation up to, but not in excess of, that amount which the individual would have earned on regular assignment during the same period;


            e.         compensation in excess of that which could have been earned on regular assignment may be approved only if all institutional campus funds have been replaced by funds from other sources;


            f.          programs or projects which necessarily involve employment by an employer other than the institution campus may not qualify for sabbatical assignment but may be approved as leave without pay.


            6.         A recipient of a sabbatical assignment will be expected to return to his/her university unit campus for a period equal to the length of the sabbatical assignment or to repay money received from the university unit campus while on leave.


            7.         Persons on sabbatical assignment will continue to be eligible for employee benefits.


            8.         Part-time faculty may be eligible for sabbatical assignments on a pro-rated basis.


            9.  This policy shall be applicable only where a collective bargaining agreement is not in effect.




            1.         Faculty members may apply to their respective unit campus administrators for sabbatical assignment.


            2.         All applications for sabbatical shall be submitted to the President or Chancellor of the unit campus, or, if applicable, to the Commissioner of Higher Education, allowing sufficient time for evaluation and approval.


            3.         In granting sabbaticals, university units campuses will be guided by the applicant's


                        service which is appropriate to the person's regular assignment;

                        academic rank, if appropriate;

                        total length of service in the Montana University System; and

                        type and quality of the proposed program.


            4.         Campus procedures for implementing this policy shall be developed by the unit, shall generally be consistent throughout the Montana University System, and shall be approved by and filed with the Commissioner of Higher Education.


            54.        Each president shall submit by September 1 an annual summary of sabbaticals to the Commissioner of Higher Education for the prior fiscal year.




                        A sabbatical assignment is a change of duties which neither diminishes or increases the extent of the person's employment with the university system. The recipient remains employed by the university system during the entire term of the sabbatical to the same extent he or she was employed while on regular assignment, regardless of the compensation agreed upon for the term of the sabbatical.





                Item 204-001, Nov. 27, 1967 as amended October 29, 1976 (the portion of this item relating to sabbatical leave is rescinded);  Item 20-003-R0478, Sabbatical assignment, Montana University System (Revised), July 10, 1978.