Pre-Tenure Leaves

An assistant professor on the tenure track is eligible for a one-semester leave with pay and full benefits after three years of full-time teaching at Bates, subject to the conditions stated below. The purpose of this pre-tenure leave is to support specific curricular projects or scholarly research.

Deadlines and Application Form:

  • 1 September:  Send email notification of Intent to department or program chair(s).
    Please identify the length and semester of the leave & whether or not it is contingent upon external funding.
  • 1 November: Application Deadline.  Must apply the year preceding the academic year for which leave is sought.  To apply, please complete the Leave and Course Reduction Form. The application must be for a carefully defined project, presented in the context of ongoing research or teaching interests. Prior to application, the colleague must have received the doctoral degree or other appropriate terminal degree.

The following conditions apply to this leave program:

1) The leave may be taken in either semester of a year following the three consecutive years of full-time teaching in the College. The faculty member taking the leave is expected to teach three courses during the reminder of the academic year. In some cases, departments and programs apportion teaching credit in such a way that a faculty member may teach 2.5 courses in a given semester; in those cases, a faculty member may teach one semester of 2.5 courses, and take the pre-tenure leave in the other semester.

2) When a faculty member takes a one-semester pre-tenure leave, the three courses taught during the remainder of the academic year may occur all in the other semester, or over one semester and Short Term, depending on the needs of the department or program. In many cases, however, it should be possible for a faculty member on a one-semester pre-tenure leave to schedule all courses during one semester, leaving a full semester and Short Term for the non-teaching responsibilities of the pre-tenure leave.

3) The pre-tenure leave counts as service to the College and therefore does not change the date of the tenure decision. If the faculty member elects to take a leave of absence in the remaining semester of the year in which a pre-tenure leave is taken, the tenure decision may be delayed by one year. The Dean of the Faculty, in consultation with the faculty member, decides whether the decision will be delayed. The determination must be acknowledged in writing by the faculty member by the first day of winter semester of the year preceding the first opportunity for tenure review.

4) A one-semester pre-tenure leave does not change the date of the first sabbatical, which is available following fourteen semesters of full-time teaching, of which the pre-tenure leave counts as one.  If the faculty member combines a pre-tenure leave with a leave of absence in the remaining semester of the year in which a pre-tenure leave is taken, and if the faculty member is later granted tenure, the first sabbatical leave with pay and benefits is available following twenty semesters of full-time teaching, which includes the year of the pre-tenure leave.

5) A colleague granted two or more years’ credit toward the probationary period for tenure is not eligible for this pre-tenure leave.

6) When leave schedules within a department conflict with the department/program’s curricular obligations, priority shall be given to the pre-tenure leave. Potential conflicts between pre-tenure leaves and department or program obligations shall be resolved by the department or program chair, in consultation with the division chairs, if necessary, but within the terms of this policy.

7) Faculty must teach three consecutive academic or calendar years between academic leaves of any kind. Exceptions are granted for medical disability and parental leave and by petition to the Committee of Five.

8) Following completion of the leave, the colleague shall submit to the Dean of the Faculty and to the department chair a written report of the professional work accomplished during the leave. This report must be submitted no later than the end of the first semester of teaching following completion of the leave. Pre-tenure leaves are intended to strengthen the faculty of the College. Each leave has a direct impact on the future of Bates, and each faculty member granted a pre-tenure leave is expected to return to the College.