The board of trustees of any state university, medical university, technical college, state community college, community college, or the board of trustees or managing authority of any university branch may establish and administer a faculty improvement program, under which any full-time faculty member with at least seven academic years of teaching service at the college, university, or branch may be granted professional leave for a period not to exceed one academic year to engage in further education, research, or any other purpose approved by the board. A board of trustees or managing authority that establishes such a program shall, by rule, adopt a definition of "academic years of teaching service" and of "full-time faculty member."
No such board or authority shall pay any faculty member for or during a period of professional leave any salary exceeding the amount that would have been paid to such faculty member for performing the faculty member's regular duties during the period of the leave. No faculty member shall, by virtue of being on professional leave, suffer a reduction or termination of the faculty member's regular employee retirement or insurance benefits or of any other benefit or privilege being received as a faculty member at the college, university, or branch where the faculty member is employed. Whenever such a benefit would be reduced because of a reduction in the faculty member's salary during the period of professional leave, the faculty member shall be given a chance to have the benefit increased to its normal level, in accordance with rules adopted by the board of trustees or the managing authority. A faculty member who has been granted professional leave shall complete another seven years of service at the college, university, or branch at which the faculty member is employed before becoming eligible for another grant of professional leave at that college, university, or branch. Professional leave taken as part of a faculty improvement program established under this section shall not be deemed to be in lieu of released time or assigned duty in connection with a specific research, scholarly, or creative program.
Boards of trustees and managing authorities may accept moneys from any person, political subdivision, or the federal government to support a faculty improvement program, and may establish such additional rules as are necessary to establish and administer it.
Each grant of professional leave shall be in accordance with a professional improvement policy for professional leaves that has been approved by the board of trustees or the managing authority. No professional leave shall be granted that requires a compensating addition to the permanent faculty or staff of the college, university, or branch. No professional leave shall be approved unless a specific plan for the professional improvement of the faculty member while on leave has been submitted to and accepted by the president of the university, college, or branch. At the completion of the leave, the faculty member shall submit to the president a report detailing the attainments of the faculty member under this professional improvement plan.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 9/10/2012.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.18, HB 139, §1, eff. 4/29/2011.
Effective Date: 08-05-1981