1. Introduction: Faculty Development Leave for research and writing is a method used to promote faculty development. In 1967, the Texas legislature recognized the importance of faculty development leave, adopted legislation, and set forth guidelines for the awarding of development leaves. The Texas legislature suggests these faculty leave programs be designed to assist teaching and other academic professionals to develop and pursue worthy academic study, research, writing, field observation or other suitable purposes that require significant time and the absence of distractions. Faculty Development Leaves are subject to the laws of the State of Texas and to the regulations and rules of the Texas A&M University System.
2.1 Faculty Development leave of one semester at full pay or two semesters at half pay may be sought by any otherwise qualified faculty member.
2.2 Application for faculty development leave may be made at the beginning of the third consecutive academic year for leave (either fall or spring) in the following year. Requests for subsequent leaves shall observe the same pattern (two full academic years of service with application in the third year for leave in the fourth).
2.3. Not more than six percent of the faculty members of Texas A&M University-Commerce (A&M-Commerce) may be on faculty development leave at one time.
2.4. Faculty development leaves may be granted for such purposes as enabling faculty members to engage in study, research, writing, field observation or other suitable purposes.
2.5. Faculty Development Leave may not be used as a mechanism to complete a terminal degree.
2.6. A faculty member on faculty development leave retains the same rights regarding benefits such as retirement, medical/life insurance and other benefits available to full-time faculty members at A&M-Commerce.
2.7. A faculty member on development leave may accept a grant for study, research or travel from any institution of higher education, from a charitable, religious, educational corporation or foundation, from any business enterprise, or from any federal, state, or local governmental agency. However, he/she may not accept employment from any other person, corporation, or governmental agency, unless the Board of Regents determines that it would be in the public interest to do so and expressly approves the employment.
2.8. Faculty members who accept a faculty development leave will execute a legal agreement to serve two full consecutive academic years after completion of a faculty development leave. The legal agreement shall include a clause requiring the faculty member to reimburse the University in the amount received as salary from the A&M-Commerce while on leave, if the faculty member does not fulfill the two years of service. Should faculty members desire to extend their leaves without pay subsequent to completion of a faculty development leave, the faculty member may do so by agreement with the administration of A&M-Commerce. In this event, the two years of obligated service will commence at the termination of the extended leave period. Death, disability attested to by a medical doctor, or discontinuance of employment by the university are the only exemption from fulfilling this agreement.
2.9. A faculty member who applied for but was not granted a faculty development leave may resubmit an application during the appropriate, subsequent time frame in order to be considered for further leaves.
2.10. Within ninety days following completion of faculty development leave, each applicant will present to the Department Chair, Dean and Provost a brief written report on accomplishments resulting from the leave. (Eligibility starting date for succeeding faculty development leave begins with the delivery of the report of accomplishments to the chair.)
3.1. A faculty member is defined as a person employed by A&M-Commerce
whose full-time duties, as specified in his/her contract, are teaching and/or research.
3.2. Faculty members are eligible to be considered for a faculty development leave when they have served as members of the faculty of A&M-Commerce for a minimum of two consecutive, full-time, academic years.
3.3. Applicants must submit all required documentation to the Faculty Development Leave Committee according to established time lines.
3.4. The Faculty Leave Development Committee shall give due consideration to each applicant and base its deliberations and decisions upon the following criteria:
3.4.a. Prior record of scholarly or professional achievement;
3.4.b. Description of the potential contribution or research or writing to an academic or professional discipline;
3.4.c. Evidence that the development leave activity can be completed
4. Faculty Development Leave Committee
4.1. The Faculty Development Leave Committee will be a standing committee of six faculty members: a minimum of two faculty members from each college, all of whom currently hold full-time teaching appointments at A&M-Commerce. Membership on the committee shall be for three-year staggered terms, with two vacancies to be filled each year. The annual vacancies will be filled as follows:
4.1.a. During the period September 1-10, the Provost will issue a written call for nominations allowing at least one week for nominations to be completed. To maintain the proper distribution of membership from the three colleges, the Office of the Provost shall seek nominations from the colleges whose representatives’ terms have expired.
4.1.b. Nominations will be tabulated in the Office of the Provost, and the six names (plus ties, if any) of those receiving the most nominations and who meet the stated qualifications will be placed on a ballot and submitted to all full-time faculty for a vote.
4.1.c. The candidates receiving the most votes (per college) will be declared elected. (In case of a tie, the winners will be determined by lot.) The candidate receiving the third largest number of votes will be declared first alternate. Each member’s term of service begins on October 1 and expires exactly three years later.
4.2. In the case of a permanent vacancy due to an unexpired term or a temporary vacancy for some other reason, such vacancy will be filled by the first alternate. If a second vacancy occurs, such vacancy will be filled by the second alternate. Any additional vacancies will be filled by appointments of the committee itself, with strict attention to distribution.
4.3. A member of the Faculty Development Leave Committee is eligible to serve no more than two consecutive three-year terms. Eligibility to serve again is restored after at least one year off the committee.
4.4. The committee proceedings will be in accordance with its own organization and procedural rules. A majority of members shall be a quorum. The chairperson, who retains full rights of discussion and voting, is elected yearly by the committee members themselves.
4.5. The Provost for Texas A&M -Commerce University will certify to the Faculty Senate at the appropriate time the number of leaves available.
5. Summary of the Timeline: Appropriate deadlines for receiving applications and certifying the list of those recommended of the Provost shall be established to facilitate the process of leaves. Deadlines are subject to change but generally follow the pattern below.
September 30 Election results for Faculty Development Leave Committee
Provost provides Faculty Leave Committee with amount of
funding available for development leaves
October 31 Committee publishes criteria, procedures and funding
Call for proposals
November 30 Deadline for proposals
January 31 Announcement of recommended awards for the following year
Committee recommends faculty development leave recipients for the following fiscal year to the Provost
Feb-March Provost, with approval of President, submits recommendations to the Chancellor for Board of Regents action
April-May Announcement of Board of Regents actionReferences: Texas A&M System Policy 12.99 and System Regulations 12.99.01; Procedure A12.99.01
Contact for Interpretation: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs