Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hang onto your sabbatical!

CLA's sabbatical policy stinks--sure, you can take one if you're willing to get hit with a 50% cut in pay. (Small liberal arts colleges have better programs than CLA--it's disgraceful that an R1 institution does not guarantee one semester of sabbatical at full pay.) But at least it seems that this stingy policy will not be cut further...although the sabbatical supplements may well be. In Iowa, legislators are threatening to take sabbaticals away from faculty in its institutions of higher education. Apparently they think that the state can save big bucks by preventing faculty from take a semester or year of "vacation." However, as John Curtis of the AAUP observed, the potential savings are tiny while the loss is huge: "the whole purpose of sabbatical allow faculty members to do research, to engage in understanding new developments in their discipline and then to bring all of that back to their teaching." Faculty Senate President Edwin Dove noted that in 2009, University of Iowa professors wrote 26 books, published 147 research articles, created and updated nearly 100 classes, and submitted 50 grant applications during their sabbaticals. Eliminating sabbaticals, he said, "seems to me to be an unwise thing to do." UI professor of communication sciences and disorders Karla McGregor added that sabbaticals are essential to our intellectual growth: "If you don't have a chance to study and stretch yourself in new ways, you are not bringing those new ideas back to the students, back to the university, back to the state of Iowa."


  1. You may wish to note that sabbatical policy is a University of Minnesota policy, not a College of Liberal Arts policy.

  2. Can you provide a list of the R1s that do provide a guaranteed one semester of sabbatical at full pay, and the list of small liberal arts colleges that have better policies than the U's?

  3. I'm still very interested to see the list of R1s and small liberal arts colleges that you refer to in this post. Thanks!