The School of the Arts recognizes the importance of scholarly leave to the professional growth and development of our faculty and their teaching and research. Leave is designed to help faculty invigorate their research and teaching activities, and faculty requesting leave should have compelling and specific reasons for their request.
Questions may be directed to Christiana Lafazani, Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Research.
Relevant policies and procedures for study-research and educational leaves of absence can be found on the university’s HR website. Faculty applying for national/international awards such as Fulbright Fellowships or other fellowships that have a residential requirement also must apply for leave. Candidates must notify their chair/director and the VCUarts Research office, firstname.lastname@example.org when applying for these types of external awards.
To be eligible for study-research leave, faculty must be tenured, have six years of prior university service, and have completed six academic years of service since a previous study-research leave.
To be eligible for educational leave, faculty must be full-time, have been employed by the university for at least one year, and have been accepted into an approved course of study at an accredited institution of higher learning, or have an approved plan outlined for independent study.
The awarding of leave is subject to the availability of funds and the ability of the department or school to meet its teaching, service, administrative and other requirements.
To request leave for the 2023-24 academic year, the faculty member must complete the 2023-24 Research Reassignment Request Formby 5:00 pm Monday, January 9 for Fall 2023, and for Spring 2024, please submit your request by April 17, 2023. Applicants must receive approval to apply* from their chair/director before submitting their application.
The form will request a 150 word abstract of the proposed leave activity, the faculty member’s curriculum vitae and a one-page, single-spaced narrative that describes the following: (one page max, single-spaced)
– Summary of the proposed leave activity
– Description of the artistic/scholarly project (for study-research leave) or educational objective (for educational leave). This narrative should include specific goals, timeline, etc.
– Relevance of the proposed leave activity to the faculty member’s professional development/advancement, department, School and university
The support document must detail the fiscally responsible plan to provide coverage of the faculty member’s responsibilities while on leave. The chair/director must review the scholarly leave request to determine if the faculty member is eligible for the leave, and whether the proposed leave activity is of value to the faculty member, the department/school and the university. In evaluating the request, the chair/director should also consider the effect the faculty member’s absence will have on the department/school. If the request is endorsed, the chair/director should indicate how the faculty member’s courses and other responsibilities, e.g. service activities, administrative activities, etc., will be covered. If the chair/director does not endorse the request, then they should briefly explain why. Chairs must also confirm they have notified the senior director of the faculty member’s request.
*Please note: Chair approval to apply does not guarantee final approval of the request. The approval flows as follows: Chair → Senior Director → Dean
The senior director shares the completed submission packet with the Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Research, who then presents submissions to the dean. The dean will review the merits of all requests for artistic/scholarly leave.
Proposals for first study-research leaves, proposals for first educational leaves and proposals from faculty focused on promotion to professor, and promotion/tenure to associate professor will be given preference.
The dean will review the list of recommendations and, pending availability of funding, make a determination. Faculty members will be notified in writing of the dean’s decision and if the leave is approved by the dean, the dean will seek approval from the provost.
If the provost approves the leave, the faculty member and respective chair/director will be notified by the dean’s office. The faculty member will be issued a Leave Agreement and Promissory Note, as well as a new employment contract reflecting the terms of the leave. Faculty receiving approved leave are expected to abide by the terms of the leave agreement.