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Office of the Provost

Sabbatical and Leave Requests

What is sabbatical leave?

Sabbatical leave is granted for the sole purpose of professional improvement and is not necessarily earned by the required duration of University employment. Sabbatical leave is intended to assist faculty to achieve in academic rank and to enhance their professional development and scholarly reputation. A plan incorporating goals for the sabbatical leave is required. Please refer to section of the Faculty Handbook for additional information about sabbatical leave. The awarding of sabbatical leaves are contingent upon available funding.

When is the due date for the sabbatical application?

Applicants should check with the director and dean for due dates at each level (these will be much earlier than the final submission deadline to the Office of the Provost). 

What are the supporting documents for the application process?

When applying for sabbatical leave the faculty member should electronically submit the following materials to the director:

  • Cover page with the faculty's name, title, and the time period requested for leave.
  • Agreement

If awarded Sabbatical Leave, the faculty member shall agree to complete the proposed plan during the term awarded.  Faculty members awarded Sabbatical Leave shall agree to the following:

  1. to engage in professional development as specified in an approved application for leave;
  2. not to enter into a written or implied obligation of employment violating the contract for full service to the University
  3. to return to full-time employment at the University for a period at least equal to the term of leave; and
  4. to submit to responsible deans at the midpoint of the leave an interim report describing progress toward sabbatical goals and a formal, final report to the dean and Provost within sixty days of the conclusion of leave.
  • Description of the Project

The project description should not be longer than two pages, single-spaced, formatted using a 12-point font or larger with one-inch margins on all sides. The project description should include the following sections.

  1. Objectives and Significance of the Project
  2. Relation of the Project to Your Long-Term Scholarly Goals
  3. Relation of the Project to Present State of Knowledge in the Field
  4. General Plan and/or Methods and Procedures
  5. Plans for Publication or Dissemination of Results
  • Two letters of support
  1. One letter of approval/support from the college dean and
  2. another letter from the school director
  3. or at the option of the school, from the School Personnel Committee.
  • Brief two-page vita highlighting most relevant accomplishments
  • Supporting documentation

    Faculty may want to submit supporting documentation, such as, letters of support from agencies, universities, libraries, and other institutions with whom the faculty member will be working (optional) or other supporting materials appropriate to the discipline (optional). Limit the supporting to 10 pages.

Where do I send the application information?

Materials and documents for the sabbatical application process are submitted electronically, via Workflow in Digital Measures, according to the following steps:

Step 1. The faculty member (below the level of school director) applying for sabbatical leave will electronically submit the cover page, project description, vita, and supporting documentation, via Workflow in Digital Measures, to the director. Please check for the school’s due date.  School directors applying for sabbatical leaves should refer to the Faculty Handbook section about submitting sabbatical requests.

Step 2. The director (at the option of the school, the school personnel committee) will review the sabbatical application materials and will write a support or non-support letter to the dean. The director electronically submits the application materials along with the letter of support or non-support to the dean for review. Please check with the dean's office for the college's due dates.

Step 3. The responsible deans must evaluate the sabbatical requests, not only upon the merits, but must also consider the overall impact of the absences on the operations of the departments and colleges. Deans must either concur or dissent in writing with departmental recommendations.  By October 14, 2019 the deans are to submit all favorable application materials and support letters to the Office of the Provost via Workflow in Digital Measures. Deans should submit the list of sabbatical recommendations in priority order.

Step 4. The Provost will consult with the Sabbatical Review Committee for evaluation and recommendations of the applications. The Provost then submits recommendations to the President.

Step 5. After review, the President submits recommendations for academic leaves of absence to the Board of Trustees. Thereafter, the decisions of the Board are conveyed to the President, who informs the Provost and deans of the responsible colleges.


The Provost will seek recommendations from the Sabbatical Review Committee. Decisions will be made in early January 2020.

For additional information, contact Allison Gillespie in the Office of the Provost at 601.266.5002 or via email at allison.gillespieFREEMississippi.

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