Instructional (Non-Ladder) Faculty Professional Development Leave (October 16, 2017)

September 29, 2016; updated October 16, 2017

A limited number of special, competitive one-semester Professional Development Leaves will be made available each year to members of the instructional faculty who present compelling proposals for projects they wish to undertake while on leave from teaching. During the semester of leave they will receive full salary and benefits and be relieved of all teaching and administrative responsibilities.

Each October, the FAS Dean circulates a memo to chairs, department and program staff, and eligible instructional faculty that includes specific instructions on how to apply for the leave. To be eligible, individuals must have served as full-time teachers in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Yale for at least three years and hold multi-year appointments that extend through the year following the proposed leave. A faculty member awarded such a leave must return to Yale for a year of full-time teaching following the year in which the leave occurs. At least six years of full-time teaching at Yale must be completed before an individual who has been awarded a leave becomes eligible for another. 

Applicants who are eligible and wish to apply for a leave should submit a written proposal describing the project and how it will advance their teaching and professional development and serve the teaching program of their department or program.1 Proposals should include a well-developed methodology and, if applicable, research plan, including a calendar for the intended semester of leave. Prior to submission, all leave applications must be endorsed by the home department or program.

1) Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and Assistant, Associate, and full Professors Adjunct: Applications that are supported by a department or program are conveyed to the FAS Dean’s Office by the chair. Departmental and program recommendations are reviewed by the Teaching Resource Advisory Committee (TRAC), which judges them on the basis of quality and feasibility and on the likelihood that the completed project would enhance the teaching program of the department or program and advance the professional development of the individual.

Applications in arts practice follow this same process and must meet these same criteria with the caveat that such applications are reviewed first by the Creative Arts Advisory Committee (CAAC) and, if endorsed by CAAC, are then forwarded to TRAC for final disposition.   

2) Lectors, Senior Lectors I, and Senior Lectors II: Applications that are supported by a department or program are conveyed to the FAS Dean’s Office by the chair. Departmental and program recommendations are reviewed first by the Language Study Committee, which judges them on the basis of quality and feasibility and on the likelihood that the completed project would enhance the language teaching program of the department or program and advance the professional development of the individual. Proposals endorsed by the Language Study Committee are reviewed by the Teaching Resource Advisory Committee (TRAC), which judges them on the same criteria. 

An instructional faculty member returning from a Professional Development Leave will be expected to provide a brief written report to the FAS Dean’s Office describing their accomplishments during the leave, and how the work completed during the leave has affected their teaching program at Yale.

This opportunity for Professional Development Leaves is intended to signal the high value Yale places on the contributions of the instructional faculty in the teaching of our students and the effectiveness of our academic departments and programs.

1 Throughout this policy, in the case of language programs based in one of the Area Studies Councils of the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, the Center functions as the department, and the Director of the MacMillan Center functions as the department chair.

Frequently Asked Questions

As a way to clarify the purposes and rationale of this leave opportunity we include a list of frequently-asked questions.

Q. I work full-time at Yale, but my responsibilities include my position as the Associate Director of the Center for Basic Research. Am I eligible to apply for a Professional Development Leave?

A. No. Although you are a member of the instructional faculty, your appointment is a dual faculty/M&P appointment, and these leaves are available only to individuals who teach full-time.

Q. I work full-time at Yale, but my responsibilities include my role as coordinator of the language program in my department. Am I eligible to apply for a leave?

A. Yes. Coordination of a language program and direction of a course or group of courses are considered part of the responsibilities of a full-time teacher.

Q. I have worked at Yale for five years, half-time in the first three and full-time in the last two. Am I eligible for a Professional Development Leave?

A. No. You are not eligible until you have taught full-time for one more year. 

Q. I have taught at Yale for five years on a succession of one-year appointments. Beginning this year I was appointed to a three-year position. Am I eligible to apply for a leave that would occur next year?

A. Yes, you meet both criteria: three years of full-time teaching and a multi-year appointment that extends a year beyond your proposed leave. 

Q. I am a full-time teacher of introductory expository writing. I would like to take a Professional Development Leave in order to write a book on T. S. Eliot. Would that project qualify?

A. No. That project is not directly related to your teaching responsibilities. 

Q. I am a full-time teacher of fiction in the creative writing program. I am also a poet. I would like to take a Professional Development Leave in order to establish myself as a published writer of poetry so that I might add the teaching of poetry to my offerings. Would that qualify for a special leave of absence?

A. Yes, if your department or program fully endorses your plan and would expect you to teach poetry when your return.

Q. I teach playwriting and directing, and I would like to take a Professional Development Leave in order to give extended attention to my craft which, during the period of leave, will culminate in a presentation of my work that will serve to enhance my teaching upon my return to the classroom. Am I eligible to apply?

A. Yes, if your department or program fully endorses your plan and agrees that your teaching will benefit.    

Q. I have an excellent idea for a project but have not had time to conduct any preliminary research as to its feasibility, or craft a methodology plan. Will that affect my application?

A. Yes. An important basis for judging leave proposals is their feasibility, which must be evidenced by a well-developed methodology and/or research plan, including a calendar for the intended semester of leave.