Subject to the availability of resources, a sabbatical leave is granted by the University for the advancement of the University. A sabbatical leave is an important tool in the scholarly development of qualified faculty members. Although leave of full-time research faculty in a university is an integral part of the university life, it is also important to remember that leaves, in general, may not only reduce the contribution of a faculty member to the university, but may also disrupt instructional programs. Therefore, faculty members are expected to be regularly available to students and colleagues, to participate continuously in the academic affairs of the University. It is the utmost responsibility of the Deans to ensure the continuity of the educational programs of the University.
The main purpose of sabbatical leaves with pay is to free full-time research track faculty members from their normal University duties and to make it possible for them to pursue their scholarly interests full-time. Thus, sabbaticals are expected to enable faculty members to acquire additional knowledge and competency in their respective fields, and thereby enhance their value to the University. It should be noted that sabbatical leave is not automatic, and the implementation of the policy in a specific case may be limited by the responsibility of the programs to meet their obligations. Ultimately, sabbatical leaves require the approval of the Dean, the Office of the VPAA and the President.
Sabbatical leave at Koç University is specifically designed for full-time research track faculty who has the rank of Professor or Associate Professor, and who has completed six years of full-time service as a member of the Faculty at the time of the leave. Note that years in which faculty members are on leave are not counted in the six years, and years of service beyond the six-year requirement cannot be counted toward qualification for subsequent sabbaticals.
The faculty with Associate Professor rank or above holding full-time administrative position may only take a sabbatical leave from their faculty positions after completely relinquishing their administrative positions. However, time in administrative appointments counts toward eligibility for the sabbatical leave.
The usual minimum length of sabbatical is one semester and the maximum length is one year at 100% salary, if the faculty has fulfilled the full-time service requirement of six years.
A faculty member must serve at Koç University, upon return, for a period of time at least equal to the length of his/her most recent sabbatical leave. If this obligation is not fulfilled, the faculty member or his/her new employer must reimburse the University for the salary paid while on sabbatical leave. This requirement is to be strictly enforced with no exceptions.
Upon returning from sabbatical leave, the faculty member must submit a written report on his or her study and travel during the leave. A reminder of this is sent to the faculty member by the office of the relevant Dean’s. Submission is to be made through the normal channels (dean/director) within 60 service days of the start of the next academic term to the Dean of the College.
The report should explicitly include activities performed during the leave and should address how the sabbatical leave enhanced the individual’s research potential and value to the University.
The evaluation of the leave, based on the report and tangible output, if any, is initially performed by the Dean during the first annual evaluations of the faculty of the College, and is shared with the Faculty and VPAA following normal procedure of the faculty evaluations.
It should be emphasized that implementation of this policy in a specific case may be limited by the responsibility of the departments to meet their obligations. Once this is secured by the Dean of the respective college, the following steps has to be followed:
1) Application for sabbatical leave, including the “Statement of Plans,” is filed with the Office of the Dean by no later than December 1st for leaves in the subsequent Fall Semester and March 1st for leaves in the subsequent Spring Semester.
2) Dean of the College and Director of the Institute review the sabbatical leave request with care and certify that: i) they each believe the leave enhances the value of the faculty member to the University, ii) that the proposed plans improve the capabilities of the for carrying out objectives of the unit and the University, and iii) that the work of the unit would not be disrupted by the leave. This certification is to be completed by January 1st for Fall Semester leaves and April 1st for Spring Semester leaves.
3) Once the leave has been recommended by the Dean and Director, it is subject to review by the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA), and eventual approval by the President.
4) Applicants, and the VPAA, HR, respective Dean and Director Offices, are notified of the status of the application by the Office of the President by February 1st for Fall Semester leaves and May 1st for Spring Semester leaves.
5) Those who have been granted a sabbatical leave have to submit a report to the Office of the Dean within 60 service days of their return from sabbatical leave.
6) Dean shares his/her evaluation of the sabbatical leave in the first annual faculty evaluation with the faculty member and the VPAA office.
If the faculty, whose request for sabbatical leave has been granted, wishes to alter the proposal or academic objectives of the leave, he/she must inform the Dean in writing as soon as possible of the reasons for the proposed change and secure the approvals of all offices stated in the above implementation procedure. Having secured the approval of the former request does not guarantee the approval of the changes, and the Office of the Dean is responsible to carry the revision procedure in a timely manner.
After the request for sabbatical leave is granted, if the faculty member decides to not take the sabbatical, or to postpone it to another academic semester or year, the Dean may give first priority to other sabbatical requests from the same program in cases of multiple requests for the same or overlapping period(s).
Faculty with full-time administrative appointments may apply for sabbatical leave in an appropriate time prior to the end of his/her administrative term to the Office of VPAA. Once the request for sabbatical leave is reviewed by the VPAA, the application materials with the letter of recommendation by the VPAA are submitted to the Office of President. The Office of the President subsequently notifies the applicant, the Offices of VPAA, HR and respective Dean and Director of the status of the application. The rest of the rules and policies for sabbatical leaves, such as duration, service requirement and reporting, are the same as for the full-time faculty with no administrative duties.
Sabbatical Leaves are given to members of the faculty primarily for the purpose of enabling them to acquire additional knowledge and competency in their respective fields. No one to whom a leave of absence with pay has been granted shall be permitted while on such leave to accept remunerative employment or engage in professional practice or work for which pecuniary compensation is received.
This prohibition, however, does not forbid a faculty member while on leave from giving a limited number of lectures or doing a limited amount of work. Nor does this prohibition forbid the acceptance by a faculty member, while on leave, of a scholarship or fellowship carrying a stipend for the purpose of study, research, or scientific investigation, or the acceptance of a grant of money made for such purposes, provided that the acceptance of the grant does not impose on the recipient duties and obligations that are incompatible with the general purpose for which leaves of absence are granted.
The purpose of the Junior Faculty Research Leave Program is to assist young scholars in their initial periods at academia by providing a concentrated period of time during which they can engage in research to advance their careers.
Junior Faculty Leave with pay at Koç University is mainly intended for the faculty who hold the rank of Assistant Professors and who demonstrate outstanding research performance. Normally this leave may not be taken during the faculty first year or last year of appointment of the faculty member at Koç University, and cannot exceed one semester. Faculty members who have been given a terminal appointment do not qualify for a research leave.
Faculty members are expected to consult with their Dean about the timing of leaves to ensure the best use of the opportunity and to be consistent with the teaching and other obligations of the faculty member. If all conditions are favorable, faculty apply to their Deans, and the application is in the form of a proposal outlining how the faculty member proposes to use the time and how the work proposed fits into the research agenda of the faculty member. Once the leave has been recommended by the Dean and Director, it is subject to review by the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA), and eventual approval by the President.
It should be noted that the faculty member must serve at Koç University, upon return, for a period of time at least equal to the length of the leave. If this obligation is not fulfilled, the faculty member or his/her new employer must reimburse the University for the salary paid while on the leave. This requirement is strictly enforced with no exceptions.
Junior Faculty Leaves are intended for research and does not stop the contract clock and does not affect the timing of sabbaticals that might be awarded to junior faculty if they are subsequently promoted to the rank of Associate Professors. If a faculty member is granted a junior faculty leave, then he/she can only apply for a sabbatical leave following the junior faculty leave for one semester (6 months) only.