Leave and Teaching Release Semesters

Faculty Leaves

Leaves are available to all faculty as set out in the policies of the Faculty Handbook. The Faculty Handbook contains detailed information on Sabbatical Leave,  Academic Leave for Principal Lecturers,  Leave Without Pay,  Parental Leave, and Sick Leave

Sabbatical Leave

Sabbatical leave is available to faculty members with tenure and faculty members in the last year of their probationary period for whom a favorable decision has been reached with regard to tenure. Please refer to the College’s Sabbatical Guidelines for details and general deadlines. Specific deadlines are provided in the current Chairs/Directors Deadline Schedule, downloadable from the box above.

To change the dates of an approved sabbatical, refer to the steps outlined in this document.

Academic Leave for Principal Lecturers

Current request deadlines:
  • For Spring 2021:  September 8, 2020
  • For Fall 2021:  December 7, 2020

The main purpose of academic leave is to encourage professional growth and increase competence among lecturers by subsidizing significant research, creative work, or some other program of study that is judged to be of equivalent value. (See Policy C250 Rationale.)

A principal Lecturer should consult with their Chair as to the appropriate semester to take this leave. As lecturers are extremely important to the mission of delivering our curriculum, the College will allow only one Lecturer to be on leave in any department for any one semester. Refer to the Principal Lecturer Leave Guidelines for eligibility, application requirements, and other details.

Leave Forms

Sabbatical Leave request
Academic Leave request (for Principal Lecturers)
Request for Leave Without Pay
Request for Parental Leave
Request for Extended Sick Leave

Teaching Release Semesters

The College makes research semesters available to certain faculty at particular times in their careers at UNM. Research and Career Advancement Semesters differ from the leaves above, as they only relieve the faculty member of teaching duties during the semester. However, requests for these semesters must be submitted in a similar fashion to standard leaves.

Research Semester for Assistant Professors

Current request deadlines:
  • For Spring 2021:  September 14, 2020
  • For Fall 2021:  February 22, 2021

All probationary faculty, with the exception of those hired with two or fewer years to the tenure decision, are eligible to take a research semester as stipulated in their letter of offer. The research semester is a release from classroom teaching and does not exempt the faculty member from other department obligations such as student mentoring and departmental service.

The Research Semester request consists of the following three documents, to be submitted electronically by the department chair to Karen Roberts, krgard11@unm.edu, by the appropriate deadline:

  1. Research Semester Request form
  2. A brief plan, written by the candidate, outlining the work to be undertaken
  3. A letter from the chair, addressed to the Senior Associate Dean, supporting the request and outlining how the faculty member's classes will be covered

Further details are outlined in this memorandum. Once the request has been reviewed and approved, a formal letter from the Dean awarding the Research Semester will be sent to the candidate, with a copy to the Chair.

Career Advancement Semester for Associate Professors

Application deadline: NONE (this award has been paused for AY 2021)

Faculty may apply for a Career Advancement Semester (CAS) in any year they hold the rank of Associate Professor other than the year they come up for promotion to Full Professor. The award consists of:

  • Release from teaching and reduced service during one semester
  • Travel and material expenses reimbursed within the year of the award
  • Funds* provided to the department to cover teaching workload of the awardee

 The Career Advancement Semester application is to be submitted by the department chair to Karen Roberts, krgard11@unm.edu, and must include:

  • Career Advancement Semester request form  
  • Faculty member's statement outlining:
    1. Proposed scholarly activity during award semester
    2. A “promotion plan” describing how the award will advance the awardee in promotion to Professor
  • Letter of support from Chair outlining:
    1. The promotion plan relative to department criteria and expectations
    2. Service workload expected of faculty member during award semester
    3. Request for funds to cover teaching workload of awardee

Further details are outlined in Dean Peceny's memo announcing the CAS.