Employment While on Sabbatical Leave

The policy in the University of Illinois Statutes states that:

  • Leaves of absence . . . 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. But, in such cases, the approval of the Chancellor . . . shall be required. 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 . . . incompatible with . . . the general purpose for which leaves of absence are granted (Article IX, Sec.7.e.).
  • Occasionally, problems have arisen regarding what is or is not a "limited number of lectures" or a "limited amount of other work," and what is to be considered as an acceptable stipend in the form of a "fellowship, scholarship, or grant." In such cases, the last phrase of the above-cited regulation is to be considered as the ultimate definition of legitimacy.
  • The words "fellowship, scholarship, or grant" are intended to be illustrative of the sorts of stipends which are legitimate under this provision, but are not intended to exclude stipends by other names that are exclusively "for the purpose of study, research, or scientific investigation" and do not "impose duties and obligations incompatible with the purpose for which such leaves of absence are granted."
  • An appointment to a position with a title such as "visiting scientist," "visiting scholar," "visiting professor," or the equivalent in other languages, would be acceptable if the terms of appointment provide only that the recipient engage in the research program for which the leave has been granted.
  • It would not be acceptable if it requires that the recipient give any formal course, even a graduate seminar in his or her own research specialty--unless this stipulation were part of the original application for the sabbatical leave.
  • The expression "limited number of lectures" does license the giving of a lecture or even a short series of lectures as a visitor to other institutions (advance approval should be obtained), but does not imply the legitimacy of giving any sort of formal course for which normally-enrolled students would receive credit as a requirement for receipt of a stipend from the host institution.

    The intent of the regulation is clear, and the criteria for legitimacy are contained within its final phrase of the policy. All work to be done or stipends accepted must be conducive to the attainment of objectives for which the leave was granted initially.