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Leaves and Retirement

Learn more about your role in Faculty Retirement and Leaves including SabbaticalsLeaves without PayMedical-Family LeavesER/Phased Retirement, and Retirements

Sabbaticals - Proposals Usually Due Early in Fall

Tenured, tenure-track and adjunct faculty are eligible for sabbatical leave every seven years. Section C.VI of the Faculty Handbook describes the purpose of and eligibility and procedures for receiving a sabbatical.

The Chair or another designated member of the department is responsible for reassigning the student advisees of a department faculty member on sabbatical or other form of leave from the College. The academic advisor may wish to participate in the reassignment process prior to his or her departure from campus. The names of the advisees with their temporary advisor assignments should be posted on the door of the faculty member's office, on a department bulletin board in the department office, and/or in some other accessible

From the Faculty Handbook Part Two, XII. Faculty Leaves

A. Sabbatical Leaves

Tenured, tenure track, and adjunct faculty are eligible for sabbatical leaves. There are three categories of sabbaticals: 1) full-year sabbaticals, 2) half-year sabbaticals, and 3) a research block that is only for untenured faculty who have successfully completed third-year reviews. The full- or half-year sabbatical leaves may be taken for four blocks at full salary or eight blocks at 5/9 salary. The research block may be taken for full salary. Sabbatical leaves are normally taken within a single academic year following which the faculty member is obligated to return to Colorado College for at least one year.

Sabbatical leaves are not a right to which all faculty are entitled, but neither are they viewed as a scarce resource allocated to only the chosen few. The College will make every effort to provide a sabbatical leave to eligible faculty as long as the proposed sabbatical activities will benefit both the faculty member and the College. The College makes every effort to provide as many replacement blocks as necessary to insure the continuance of sufficient courses to maintain the curriculum of the affected department and the College as a whole.

1. Purpose

The purpose of sabbatical leave is to provide time for professional growth and intellectual enrichment not ordinarily possible under the demands of a normal teaching load. In each case, the enhancement of the individual's usefulness to the College is a major consideration. It is hoped that the individual will spend his or her sabbatical leave period away from Colorado College.

Faculty members on half-year sabbatical leaves should not receive outside compensation for sabbatical employment; any outside compensation should be directly related to expenses associated with the sabbatical activities (e.g., travel money, housing allowance). Faculty members on full-year sabbatical leaves may use half of their time for employment or other activities. Faculty members should not propose sabbatical projects that encumber their time with responsibilities similar to their Colorado College responsibilities.

2. Eligibility

All tenured, tenure track and adjunct faculty members who have taught the equivalent of six years at Colorado College are eligible to apply for a full-year or half-year sabbatical leave for the seventh year. For adjunct faculty, the computation for sabbatical leaves is as follows: seven blocks of teaching is equivalent to one academic year of full-time service (see Section C.II.B.3 of this handbook). Faculty members who have been denied tenure will not be granted sabbatical leaves. See Section C.IV.C of this handbook for the effect of Leaves Without Pay on Sabbatical Leave eligibility.

Untenured faculty members who have successfully completed the third-year review may apply for a research block. Those who successfully complete this review in their second year at the College are also eligible to apply. Faculty awarded a research block may use it during either of the two years following their reviews. The faculty member's department must approve the arrangement. MacArthur Professors may also apply for this research block and use it in the year after they complete the Macarthur award. . Faculty awarded a research block may also apply for a regular sabbatical during their sixth year at the College.

A faculty member may apply to delay a sabbatical leave without penalty, but normally the delay cannot be for more than two years. The rationale for such a delay would be enhancement of professional growth. The College is not obligated to grant such a delay. In certain cases, the College may request that a faculty member delay the sabbatical, normally for one or two years. For example, several members of a department may be eligible for sabbatical leave in the same year, or the department may need the services of a particular faculty member (e.g., as department chair). 

The postponement of a sabbatical leave at the request of the College will not penalize the faculty member in the calculation of the number of years required before applying for another sabbatical. (For example, a person receiving a sabbatical leave in the eighth year at the College's request will be eligible to take the next sabbatical leave in the fourteenth year.) If the postponement of the sabbatical leave is requested by the faculty member, however, and the faculty member wishes to remain on the regular sabbatical cycle, the faculty member must seek approval for remaining on the regular sabbatical cycle AT THE SAME TIME that he or she requests approval for the delay of the current sabbatical leave.

3. Procedures
An eligible member of the faculty who desires a sabbatical leave must present a written proposal to the Dean of the College demonstrating the ways in which the project benefits both the individual and the College. The proposal must be detailed enough so that the Faculty Research and Development Board has a substantive basis on which to rank it among the other proposals.

The Faculty Research and Development Board makes a recommendation to the Dean regarding the merits of the sabbatical proposal. The project may vary from an active research or a study program to one that includes leisure, rest or travel, depending largely upon the immediate circumstances. 
The Faculty Research and Development Board will evaluate a sabbatical proposal, based on criteria that include, but are not limited to:

1. the probability that it will fulfill the aims of the sabbatical leave program;
2. the number of years of service by the applicant at Colorado College;
3. the length of time since the applicant's last sabbatical leave;
4. the length of time since the applicant's last leave of absence;
5. the length of time until retirement.

The primary concern of the Faculty Research and Development Board remains the evaluation of the merit of sabbatical proposals. The Dean and department chairs consider the implications of sabbatical leaves for the department and the College as a whole.

Normally, the deadline for submission of sabbatical leave applications to the Dean of the College is early in the fall of the academic year preceding the year in which the leave will be taken. 
In the semester after completing a sabbatical leave, a faculty member must submit a written report to the Dean and the department chair.

C O L O R A D O    C O L L E G E



TO:                  Tenured, Tenure-track and Adjunct Faculty

FROM:             Sandi Wong, Dean of the College

DATE:             September 5, 2014

RE:                  Applications for Sabbatical Leaves in 2015-2016

The Dean’s office invites applications for sabbatical leaves to be taken during the academic year 2015-16.

“All tenure-track and adjunct faculty members are eligible to apply every sixth year for a sabbatical leave to be taken in the seventh year since the previous sabbatical leave (or, initially, since beginning employment at Colorado College). Faculty may choose full-year or half-year sabbatical leaves—an eight-Block leave at five-ninths salary or a four-Block leave at full salary. In addition to their initial seventh-year sabbatical leave, untenured faculty members are also eligible for a four-Block sabbatical in the year following a positive third-year review. For adjunct faculty, six teaching Blocks count as one academic year of full-time service” (Faculty Handbook, Faculty Personnel Policies and Financial Matters, Section XII. A.).

1) Applicants: Sabbatical leaves provide an opportunity for professional growth and intellectual enrichment. Please include a description of the professional activities and projects proposed for the sabbatical period and an explanation of how the leave may contribute to one’s scholarly productivity and/or effective teaching; 2) a timetable that includes proposed activities and when they will take place; 3) a current curriculum vitae. Please send an electronic copy of your proposal to PAM LEUTZ ( by FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2014.

2) Chairs and Program directors: provide a statement that describes how the proposed leave will contribute to the applicant’s professional development and how the leave, if approved, would affect staffing in the department or program. Please list the courses the faculty member will not teach and explain the role that those courses play in the department’s curricular and/or general education offerings. Submit this statement to Pam Leutz by OCTOBER 10, 2014.

3) Applicants have the following options:

a)          Full-year sabbaticals (eight blocks) will be paid at the rate of 5/9 the individual’s regular full year salary. 

b)          Half-year sabbaticals (four blocks) will receive full pay. Tenured faculty awarded half-year sabbaticals will teach three blocks during the sabbatical year. They will be eligible for a block without teaching (but with other normal faculty obligations) during the half year they are not on leave. Adjunct faculty awarded half-year sabbaticals will teach half of their regular teaching load. They will receive full pay (adjusted according to regular teaching load). Faculty on sabbatical leave will not be eligible for other release blocks during that year.

c)          Tenure-track faculty may apply for an early sabbatical as described in the Faculty Handbook. The award of an early sabbatical is contingent upon the successful completion of the pre-tenure review, and is limited to a half a year. Those who are reviewed in their second year at the College are also eligible to apply. Faculty awarded an early sabbatical may still apply for a regular sabbatical during their sixth year at the College to be taken in the seventh year. 

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Other leaves

B. Appointments to Positions with ACM (Associated Colleges of the Midwest)

From time to time the ACM Office will announce openings for directorships of ACM programs. Colorado College faculty members are free to apply for these positions, subject to approval of the Dean of the College upon consultation with the department chair. ACM pays the director's salary and expenses, and the College pays the salary of any replacement required. These appointments are usually for a period of one semester. Time spent on ACM appointments is treated the same as on-campus appointments in matters of tenure, sabbatical leave and other fringe benefits.

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C. Leaves Without Pay

Faculty members may apply for leaves without pay. Normally applications for such leaves should be submitted to the Dean of the College early in the fall of the academic year preceding the year in which the leave will be taken, together with a statement by the chair of the applicant's department concerning the impact the leave would have on the department and the need for a replacement. Such leaves may be requested for any of a number of reasons, for example: to finish a dissertation, to accept a government appointment, to study abroad, to try an alternate career, to convalesce from a period of poor health, etc. Such leaves ordinarily are for a semester or a year, but leaves as short as a single block and as long as two years, have been granted. Full year leaves without pay may be counted toward eligibility for sabbatical leave or tenure consideration only with prior approval of the Dean of the College; such approval will be based upon evidence that the leave contributes to the professional development of the individual and the interests of the College.

D. Replacements for Persons on Leave

Whenever possible, the College will provide replacements for persons on leave, especially on unpaid leave. In the case of sabbatical leaves, however, the College will normally be unable to provide full replacements for all those who expect to be away, and will therefore ask faculty members, departments, and the Dean to provide as much help as possible to maintain a strong academic program.

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E. Leaves of Absence for Medical and Family Reasons

1. Paid Medical Leaves
Leaves of absence for health reasons will be granted to full-time faculty members (and adjunct faculty on a pro rata basis) in the light of the circumstances of each case. Continuation of salary may be arranged on an individual basis to a maximum period of six months (180 calendar days) for full-time faculty. Salary continuation is subject to the approval of the President in consultation with the Dean of the College (or appropriate vice president) and the department chairperson. The College requires a physician's certificate and may exercise the right to a second opinion from a physician of the College's choosing. Periodic reevaluation of the leave of absence once granted may be required. Maternity leaves will be granted to full-time faculty members on the same conditions as those applicable to other medical leaves. When maternity leave is taken during the academic year, the College will normally plan for an absence equivalent to two blocks. Paid medical leaves will be counted toward the twelve weeks of unpaid leave provided under the Family Medical Leave Act. 

2. Unpaid Leaves of Absence for Family and Medical Reasons
The College provides unpaid leaves of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to full-time faculty who have been employed at the College for at least one full academic year. Such leaves will be granted for (i) medical reasons, i.e., the faculty member’s serious health condition or pregnancy; and (ii) family reasons, i.e., the birth and first year care of a child; placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care, or care of spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition. Any request for leave based on a serious health condition must be supported by appropriate medical certification (the College reserves the right to request, at its expense, a second medical opinion from a physician of the College’s choosing). Faculty may be granted one unpaid leave per year for a period of up to twelve weeks (A year is a 12-month period measured backward from the date leave was last taken.). Faculty who have been granted paid medical leaves must exhaust such leave prior to using unpaid leave. Paid leave will be counted toward the twelve weeks of unpaid leave provided under the FMLA. Faculty on unpaid family or medical leave will continue to receive the same benefits they had prior to the leave, with the exception of the College’s TIAA/CREF contribution and other benefits, such as FICA, which are based on salary.

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Early/Phased Retirement 

TO: Faculty eligible for Early/Phased Retirement

FROM: Susan Ashley, Professor of History, Dean of the College/Dean of the Faculty

DATE: February 21, 2011

RE: ER/Phased Retirement

Please read the section below for information on the Early Retirement/Phased Retirement plan. The deadline to apply for Early or Phased Retirement beginning in the academic year 2012-13 will be September 29, 2011. If you plan to apply for Early Retirement (not Phased) and you let us know by April 1, your department could request authorization to retain the position and hire a tenure-track replacement in 2011-12. If we receive notice by September 29, there would be a one-year delay in the process.

Basic Eligibility. A full-time or adjunct faculty member who will be 59.5 years of age and has completed 20 years of service, or the equivalent, at the College by the end of an academic year, or who will reach 59.5 years by the following summer may apply. The benefit period is three years from 59.5 to 67, two years at 68, and one year at 69.

Early Retirement/Phased Retirement

1. Purposes:

  • Where possible, given the other commitments of the college, to encourage faculty to retire by age 70 in the interests of renewing the teaching corps.
  • Where possible, given the other commitments of the college, to make it possible for full-time faculty with 20 years of service who reach age 60 to retire somewhat sooner than they otherwise might. 
  • To ease the transition from teaching to retirement by providing a period of half-time teaching. Many faculty members already pursue this path toward retirement.
  • To do all of the above at either no cost or at a cost savings to the college.
  • To do all of the above, while not creating any entitlement or benefit, nor changing any existing term or condition of employment, for any current or future employee or faculty member.

This policy is subject to periodic review by the Board of Trustees and may be amended or revoked at the Board’s discretion provided, however, that a revocation shall not affect those individuals who have previously been granted participation in the program and provided that those individuals and the college have previously entered into a final, written, binding agreement setting forth the terms and conditions of the individual’s future employment under this policy.

2. Policy

a. Basic Eligibility.

A full-time or adjunct faculty member who will be 59.5 years old and has completed 20 years of service at the college by the end of an academic year, or who will reach 59.5 years by the following summer may apply. The benefit period is three years from 59.5 to 67, two years at 68 and one year at 69.

  • In an initial period after this proposal is adopted—a period to be defined by the dean and the president—any full-time faculty member at or above the age of 67 would be eligible for the three-year benefit.
  • Eligible faculty will normally apply for Early Retirement or Phased Retirement by September 30 of the academic year before they wish to enter the program.
  • Faculty participating in the program will be fully retired at its conclusion. Such persons may work for the college after finishing the program but only at part-time rates for teaching or administrative tasks. Such persons may not return to regular full-time teaching.

b. Approval.

The president of the college may deny an application for Early Retirement/Phased Retirement if any of the following apply: 

(i) the president determines that granting the application would seriously disrupt an academic department or other college operation or program; or 
(ii) the president determines that the college will have difficulty in replacing the applicant with a similarly qualified person at or below the compensation level of the applicant; or 
(iii) the president determines that granting the application will lead to difficulties in meeting contractual, financial, legal or other obligations by which the college is bound; or 
(iv) the president determines that granting the application will negatively affect an audit, accreditation or any other review to which the college or any of its programs may be subject; or 
(v) the president has received more applications for entrance into Early Retirement/Phased Retirement than can reasonably be granted by reason of contractual, financial, legal or other obligations by which the college is bound.

If the president cannot accept all applications for Early Retirement in a given year, any person(s) denied Early Retirement in the given year will be given first priority for Early Retirement in the following year. Such person(s) may apply for Phased Retirement in the interim. The total benefit period of Early Retirement and Phased Retirement will nonetheless be limited to three years if the person is 67 or less at the time they actually enter the program, and shall be limited to two years or one year, respectively, if such person(s) are 68 or 69 when they actually enter the program. If the president must deny applications for Early Retirement, he or she will first accept those with most years of service and then those who are oldest from among the eligible applicants in a given year.

c. Early Retirement.

Eligible faculty members selected and approved to participate in Early Retirement shall receive Special Early Retirement Compensation (SERC) equal to 50% of what their full-time salary would have been in the year of entry into the program. The college contribution to TIAA-CREF is based on his/her SERC and would be at normal rates. Participating faculty may continue with voluntary retirement contributions.

(i) Faculty taking Early Retirement are not eligible for any teaching as long as they are receiving SERC payments, except under emergency circumstances and by special agreement among the faculty members concerned, the department, the dean and the president. Any teaching beyond retirement would be at block visitor rates.
(ii) The college makes available for persons in Early Retirement the same medical insurance coverage provided full-time faculty and staff. The college will pay the same percentage of premiums as the college pays for full-time faculty and staff.
(iii) Voluntary benefits may be continued during the Early Retirement program. Group life insurance will continue until full retirement, when group life insurance applicable to retirees will prevail. Long-term disability insurance is not applicable to persons in the program.
(iv) If a person in Early Retirement dies, the college will continue to pay his/her SERC for the remaining period of participation. Persons who die while on Early Retirement will not be eligible for the college’s death benefit. The college’s share of hospital and medical insurance premiums will be paid on behalf of the deceased person for a period of six months.
(v) Specific SERC benefits for adjunct faculty admitted into Early Retirement will be arranged in a manner appropriate to the average number of courses taught during the previous five years. The fringe benefit programs that had been available to the person as an adjunct faculty member will continue when the person goes on Early Retirement.
(vi) The department of a person taking Early Retirement option is eligible to apply to the dean for a full-time replacement, but any replacement shall be at the sole discretion of the dean.
(vii) A faculty member relinquishes tenure upon entering Early Retirement.

d. Phased Retirement.

Eligible faculty members selected and approved to participate in Phased Retirement shall receive 70% of base pay for half-time teaching and exercise of all other full-time faculty responsibilities. The college contribution to TIAA-CREF is based on his/her SERC and would be at normal rates. Participating faculty may continue with voluntary retirement contributions.

(i) The college makes proportional contributions to TIAA-CREF according to the normal rates. Such persons are eligible for all the benefits of full-time faculty and staff, except for sabbatical leave. 
(ii) The dean may authorize departments to hire part-time replacements but only to the extent of unused funds available within the operating budget line for the given year as a result of Phased Retirement – those funds being calculated as the difference between the full salary and benefits formerly due to the designated faculty member and the actual reduced salary and benefits being paid to that designated faculty member by virtue of their participation in the Phased Retirement Program.
(iii) A faculty member relinquishes tenure upon completing Phased Retirement. Any teaching beyond the period of Phased Retirement will be at block visitor rates.
(iv) Persons who take the Phased Retirement option may subsequently apply to enter the Early Retirement program. However, the total years of participation in the Early Retirement/Phased Retirement program will not exceed three years. Persons who take the Phased Retirement option may not subsequently withdraw from the Phased Retirement program and will not be permitted to return to tenured status or full-time teaching status at the college. 

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Departmental Retirements and Emeritus Professorships

Chairs must apply to the Dean for permission to maintain the position of a retiring faculty member. All positions automatically return to the general faculty pool and departments are not guaranteed that they will keep the position vacated by a retirement. Chairs should meet with the Dean no later than spring of the year before the retirement to start this application process.

Chairs typically organize retirement parties for retiring members of their departments; these may occur at the home of the Chair or another department member or at Stewart House or another campus venue. The retiring faculty member should be asked to draw up an invitation list. The Dean’s Office assists the department with related expenses. A Colorado College chair is conferred upon the retiring faculty person. The Chair orders the chair from the Bookstore.

Chairs must apply for Emeritus status for retired professors. In early spring of the year of a faculty member’s retirement, the Dean’s Office sends a memo to Chairs requesting a short letter of nomination of the retiring professor to emeritus status on behalf of the department. Emeritus promotions are approved by the Board of Trustees in the late spring.

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