Professional Development Leave Program

The Professional Development Leave Program is available to faculty who meet the eligibility requirements found below. Two professional Development Leaves are available per year. Applications for Professional Development Leave should be submitted twelve (12) months in advance to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Room 235 Bibb Graves Hall. A full copy of the policy and application form is attached to this memorandum.


The purpose of professional leave is to relieve faculty of normal duties so that they might pursue significant projects that facilitate their professional growth and development and enhance their future contributions to the mission of the University. It is not the purpose of the Professional Development Leave Program to fund the pursuit of advanced degrees.


Tenured faculty who have completed at least six years of full-time service with the University are eligible to apply for professional leave. Awards will be made on a competitive basis.


Application for professional leave is made by submitting to the department head a standard University form that includes a narrative outline of the project to be pursued, a statement explaining how the project will contribute to the faculty member's professional growth and development, and the faculty member's qualifications for undertaking and completing the project. Also, the application will include anticipated results of the proposed project (e.g. publications, reports, etc.). The strength of the application is largely a function of the expected contributions to the University and future professional life of the faculty member. The application may be for one semester leave at full pay, or for two consecutive semesters at half pay. May term leave is available and counts as a one-semester leave, subject to the same rules, procedures, and limitations as Fall or Spring Semester leave.


Budget constraints and academic program needs will determine the number of leaves available per term. The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs has committed the resources necessary to provide coverage for the teaching load of those selected for leave if it is necessary. Other constraints within the affected department may necessitate further commitment of resources. These will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Fringe benefits will be continued during leave by prior arrangement.


Each academic dean is charged with the responsibility of recommending applications from within the college for the purpose of selecting the strongest applications to forward to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will make a recommendation to the President for approval/denial.


Applicants for professional leave may appeal a decision to deny leave to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. A formal, written appeal must be filed within fourteen (14) calendar days of notification of the decision to deny leave.

  1. Name
  2. Brief Description of Project
  3. Evidence of Accomplishments of Project Objectives


Upon returning from professional leave, the faculty member will provide the Chair of the Professional Development Committee with a brief description of the project's results and a list of accomplishments according to the objectives outlined in the application. The report will be due within sixty (60) days after completing professional development leave.

Failure to submit a progress report will result in the cessation of funding for future grants.

Upon accepting leave each faculty member will agree to return to the JSU faculty and to give a formal scholarly presentation to colleagues and other interested individuals during the Fall or Spring semester immediately following the term of professional development leave.

Prior to beginning leave, each faculty member must meet with the department head and dean who will determine the manner in which this leave will be evaluated as part of the annual evaluation.

Professional Development Leave Program Application (Word) (PDF)