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AA/PPS 04.02.02 - Faculty Development Leave

Faculty Development Leave

AA/PPS No. 04.02.02
Issue No. 5
Effective Date: 2/28/2024
Next Review Date: 4/01/2029 (E5Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Senior Vice Provost


Texas State University is committed to providing tenured faculty with the funded opportunity to develop their research, scholarly, and creative expertise for continued professional growth and contributions.


    1. The Texas Legislature has established a program of faculty development leave “to improve further the higher education available to the [students] at the state-supported colleges and universities and to establish this program of faculty development leaves as part of the plan of compensation for the faculty of these colleges and universities” (V.T.C.A. Education Code, Chapter 51, Subchapter C). The Texas Legislature has not, however, funded a faculty development leave (FDL) program.

    2. FDL is intended to enable faculty to accomplish work not possible at the home institution or concurrent with normal duties. Examples of such work include:

      1. completing or advancing a research project to the point of submission and publication in scholarly journals;

      2. completing a scholarly book;

      3. conducting laboratory research, documentary, or study at a remote location;

      4. completing creative activities comparable to exhibition or performance;

      5. writing or submitting a substantial grant proposal for external funding; and

      6. other scholarly activity of comparable importance.


    1. The statute defines a faculty member as, “a person who is employed by an institution of higher education on a full-time basis as a member of the faculty or staff and whose duties include teaching, research, administration, including professional librarians, or the performance of professional services. However, the term does not include a person employed in a position which is in the institution’s classified personnel system or a person employed in a similar type of position if the institution does not have a classified personnel system.”

    2. At Texas State University, eligibility to take FDL is currently limited to tenured faculty members.

      1. At the time the FDL period begins, faculty must have completed six or more years of service at the university, at least two of which must be consecutive.

      2. The service must be full-time duty but does not have to include teaching.

      3. As required in this policy, previous recipients of FDL must have submitted final written reports from these leave periods.

      4. Previous recipients must have completed six years of full-time service since the last FDL.

      5. The academic year in which any prior FDL was taken counts as a year of full-time service.

      6. For faculty tenured at Texas State who resign and are subsequently rehired at Texas State, provisions in 02.02. a-e must be met as well as the following:

        1. Faculty who have never taken FDL at Texas State must complete at least two consecutive years of full-time service at Texas State upon rehire by the time the FDL period begins (i.e., may apply in the second year of full-time service for leave in the third year).

        2. Faculty who are previous recipients of a FDL at Texas State must complete six years of full-time service at Texas State since the last FDL and complete at least two consecutive years of full-time service at Texas State upon rehire by the time the next FDL period begins.

    3. Faculty Senate members are eligible to apply for FDL during their senate terms, to begin after their full term on the senate has been completed.

    4. Tenured academic administrators who meet the eligibility requirements stated in Section 02.02 and who have an approved step-down agreement in place may apply for a FDL that occurs concurrent with or after the return to full-time faculty status.

    5. As stated in the enabling legislation, faculty may request FDL to engage in study, research, writing, and similar projects for the purpose of adding to the knowledge available to the applicant, the institution, its students, and society in general. FDL is not available to support completion of an advanced degree.


    1. Faculty Senate will distribute an annual notice of the application deadline and cycle calendar. By September 15, the faculty member must meet with their chair or director to discuss the proposed leave period, project goals, and the benefits and impact on the department or school, including coverage of the faculty member’s usual teaching and service workload assignments. The deadline for faculty to complete and submit the online application is generally October 1 of the year prior to the leave (see the Faculty Senate website for specific dates). The faculty FDL calendar for the current cycle is maintained by the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

    2. The online application will be available via the Faculty Requests portal from September 1 to the stated deadline. Application packets will include:

      1. requested application information;

      2. a brief abstract indicating the specific goals of the leave period and contribution to the applicant’s discipline;

      3. the FDL proposal narrative;

      4. a list in table or bullet point format of anticipated outcomes from the requested leave and anticipated new scholarly achievements and research proposals;

      5. a brief description of the substantial expected impact of the FDL on the applicant’s research or scholarly activity;

      6. a related letter of support if an off-site entity or collaborator will be involved in the proposed FDL project;

      7. an up-to-date Texas State curriculum vitae;

      8. the most recent final report submitted, if the applicant has previously received a FDL; and

      9. the supplemental award application (see Section 06.) if the applicant will be applying for this award.

    3. Completed online applications will be routed to the appropriate chairs or directors to verify each applicant’s eligibility and that the applicant has complied with the September 15 meeting described in Section 03.01. The chair or director will enter additional information and comments and forward department and school applications to the college dean. The chair or director will also include an estimate of instructional replacement costs (e.g., per-course instructors) on the FDL applications of faculty members applying from the department or school. The dean will review the applications and add comments before they are electronically routed to the Faculty Senate.

    4. Requests for FDL will be peer reviewed by the Faculty Senate, which will submit its recommendations in rank order to the provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs (EVPAA) no later than eight weeks after the application deadline. Review criteria will include:

      1. clarity and comprehensibility of the proposal to the broader university faculty audience;

      2. expected transformative impact of the FDL on the applicant’s research or scholarly work;

      3. anticipated new scholarly achievements and research proposals;

      4. if applicable, evidence of support by an off-site entity or collaborator for completion of the proposed work related to FDL; and

      5. a record of achievement that supports the proposed project.

    5. The provost and EVPAA will discuss FDL applications with the Academic Affairs Council (AAC) for their comments and recommendations.

    6. The provost and EVPAA will make recommendations to the president based upon the rankings from the Faculty Senate and the recommendations from AAC. If the provost and EVPAA’s recommendations to the president differ from the rankings of the Faculty Senate and the recommendations of AAC, the provost and EVPAA will notify these two groups and provide them with the opportunity to submit additional written justification for their rankings and recommendations before the final decisions are made by the president. When the president has made final decisions, the provost and EVPAA will notify AAC and the Faculty Senate prior to release of the information to others.

    7. The president’s action is subject to approval by The Texas State University System (TSUS) Board of Regents.

    8. An applicant not receiving leave may submit an updated application for reconsideration for any subsequent cycle.


    1. Legally, no more than six percent of the faculty members of Texas State may be on FDL at any time. Practically, the available funding may permit a much smaller percentage.

    2. A faculty member may have a FDL for one academic year at one-half of regular salary, or for one semester at full salary. An academic year is defined as the nine-month regular session with a fall and spring semester, as no leaves are authorized during summer sessions.

      Faculty may choose:

      1. one semester at full pay, full benefits, and full-time assignment on FDL; or

      2. two semesters at 50 percent pay, 50 percent benefits, and full-time assignment on FDL.

    3. Faculty members on FDL will have no other teaching, service, or research assignments, but are expected to make provisions for managing sponsored programs, supervising current students engaged in thesis, dissertation, or related work, and/or completing other duties. The leave is designed to give the faculty member time and control to achieve the research and scholarly goals outlined in the FDL application. For the purposes of annual evaluation, merit, promotion, and other personnel processes, faculty members on FDL will not be penalized in the assessment of teaching and service activities during the leave period.

    4. Faculty who elect leave for one year at half-time salary are subject to part-time employee health benefit rates associated with part-time employment with the university. Faculty who elect this option are on full-time leave at 50 percent pay and are expected to pay 50 percent of their health benefit premiums.

    5. A faculty member shall sign an agreement to serve one full academic year with the university after completion of the FDL. Included in the agreement will be a clause requiring the faculty member to reimburse the university in the amount received as salary and fringe benefits from the state while on FDL if they should refuse to fulfill the year of service after the FDL. Death or permanent disability attested to by a medical doctor will constitute reason for exemption.

    6. A faculty member on FDL will retain the right to and eligibility for benefits, programs, and all other rights of a faculty member. The university administration shall deduct from salary, the member’s cost of such programs as are legal and elected by the faculty member on leave.

    7. A faculty member on FDL may accept a grant to cover costs for study, research, or travel from any institution of higher education or from a charitable, religious, or educational corporation or foundation or from any federal, state, or local governmental agency. However, a faculty member on FDL may not accept employment from any other person, institution, corporation, or government, unless The TSUS Board of Regents, determines that it would be in the best public interest to do so and expressly approves the employment.

    8. Section 11 of Chapter III of The TSUS Rules and Regulations explains The TSUS policy on copyrights. University policy and guidelines can be found in UPPS No. 01.04.27, Intellectual Property: Ownership and Use of Copyrighted Works.

    9. Section 12 of Chapter III of The TSUS Rules and Regulations explains The TSUS policy on patents. University policy and guidelines can be found in UPPS No. 01.04.26, Intellectual Property: Inventions, Discoveries, and Patents (IDP).

    10. A faculty member on FDL who plans to travel, take university-owned equipment, and/or conduct leave activities outside the United States should consult UPPS No. 02.02.10, Export Control Laws and Regulations prior to traveling.

    11. Recipients of FDL awards must submit a written final report of their activity while on leave, after returning to Texas State. Deadlines are January 15 for a fall semester leave and June 15 for a spring semester or full-year leave. The FDL calendar includes specific dates.

      All final reports should include the abstract referred to in Section 03.02 b. and the table or bullet points referred to in Section 03.02 d. The report should clearly indicate accomplishments of the anticipated outcomes, justifications for any outcomes not accomplished, and additional outcomes not anticipated, in preparing the application.

    12. The Development Leave Final Report form must be submitted to the senior vice provost, with routing through the department chair or school director. The final report will specifically state whether any possible patentable or copyrightable intellectual property was created during the leave.


    1. In most cases, the academic department, school, or program will assume the work of an individual granted FDL.

    2. If an academic unit is unable to absorb the load of a faculty member who is awarded FDL, the chair or director will consult with the dean to develop a funding plan. If the dean and the chair or director cannot solve the problem, in exceptional circumstances, the dean can seek supplemental funding from the senior vice provost.


    1. Pending available funding, supplemental awards have been established for faculty granted FDL. These awards are to assist faculty in their research efforts and can be used:

      1. as a salary supplement for those who select both the fall and spring semesters for FDL. The supplemental award will provide 100 percent salary for an academic year leave; or

      2. fund up to $20,000 for travel and lodging costs associated with research expenses and to purchase equipment or materials needed for research during the FDL.

    2. To apply for the award, faculty must complete the regular application for FDL and concurrently submit the supplemental award application, giving an explanation (no more than one page, approximately 2,000 characters) of how they intend to use the supplemental award.

    3. Criteria for selection of supplemental awards include:

      1. Overall Quality of the Proposal – the proposal must be well-organized and clearly written;

      2. Importance to the Field – publication and dissemination of results represents a significant contribution to the discipline or field of study;

      3. Scope – the activity described in the proposal is beyond what can be achieved in one semester of FDL or without additional funds; and

      4. Potential for External Funding – there is a prospect for leveraging the project to obtain external sponsored funding.

    4. A committee appointed by the provost and EVPAA will review all requests for supplemental awards received from faculty who have been approved by the president for FDL. Comprised of three faculty representatives from different academic colleges recommended by the Faculty Senate, and three Academic Affairs administrators, the review committee will recommend five award recipients to the provost and EVPAA, who will make the final decisions. Award notifications, pending The TSUS Board of Regents’ approval, will be made by January 15 of the academic year prior to the leave.


    1. On recommendation of Faculty Senate, the provost and EVPAA will appoint an ad hoc program review committee representing AAC, the Council of Chairs, and the Faculty Senate to review the FDL program. The committee will review this policy, the FDL applications, and reports submitted by faculty members granted a leave since the last program review. Based upon its review, the committee will submit a report to the provost and EVPAA evaluating the FDL program and offering suggestions for improvement, including changes to this policy.

    1. Once The TSUS Board of Regents has endorsed the FDL applications meriting the president’s approval, applicants will be notified by the Office of the Provost and EVPAA.

    2. After FDL has been granted, the applicant may withdraw and reapply for future consideration.

    3. Any change in the leave period requires prior written approval by the senior vice provost through the faculty member’s department chair or school director and dean. Typically, acceptable reasons for change include health-related matters, departmental needs, and external fellowship awards.


    1. Reviewer of this PPS includes the following:

      Senior Vice ProvostApril 1 E5Y

    This PPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State Academic Affairs policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Senior Vice Provost; senior reviewer of this PPS

    Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs