Faculty Leave Information

This page offers an overview of the types of leave available to faculty members and the roles played by both the Office of Faculty Affairs and the Department of Human Resources Office of Labor Relations in advising faculty members and units about leave processes. Leave request forms can be found in the Forms section of our website.

This information is intended to help clarify the various types of leave that are available to faculty. Both the Department of Human Resources Office of Labor Relations and the Office of Faculty Affairs have roles to play in addressing faculty leave and this document seeks to clarify their roles in regards to advising faculty about leave policy, especially as it relates to faculty appointments. Different policies apply to the various faculty job classes so this document is organized by job class and appointment type.
 
Inquiries about faculty leave policies should initially be directed to the faculty members’ dean’s office for advice on policy and procedures.   Since schools and colleges may have varying internal processes for recording and reporting faculty leaves, the dean’s office needs to coordinate communication and provide initial support for individuals. The Office of Labor Relations is available to assist faculty directly with Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) information and questions.
 
The University policy that defines terms for leaves associated with Family, Medical and Parental Leaves, Sick Leave and Vacation for faculty with 12 month appointments, and leaves for political candidates and military services can be viewed at:
 
Family Medical Leave (FML)
Family Medical Leave (FML) is available to faculty members who meet the eligibility requirements (a minimum of one year of employment at the University and 1250 hours worked in the preceding 12 months; full time faculty meet these criteria, while part time appointments will be considered on an individual basis). FML is available to faculty for the birth or adoption of a child, their own serious health condition or to care for their parent, child or spouse who has a serious health condition. FML provides up to 12 weeks of job protection and runs concurrently with all applicable paid leave. 
 
All FML and medical information must be maintained in a separate file with limited access in the dean’s office. FML and medical documentation should not accompany leave requests forwarded to the Office of Faculty Affairs. Medical records should be maintained for at least seven years from the date of creation, after which they should be shredded.
 
 
Probationary Faculty should also consult the Academic Affairs policy on Adjustments to the Tenure Clock: https://facultyaffairs.colorado.edu/faculty/reappointment-promotion-and-tenure/related-policy-information/the-tenure-clock

Primary advising unit: Office of Labor Relations

 
A. Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty on 9-month Appointments
(Job codes = 1100 to 1103)
 
Sick Leave
Full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty earn 11 days of sick leave per academic year. Eligible part-time tenured and tenure-track faculty earn sick on a prorated basis. There is no limit on the amount of sick leave that can be accrued. Sick leave begins when the University must hire a substitute for the person or when the dean, after consulting with the department, determines it is necessary. Documentation of the illness is required from a health care provider and the University maintains the right to require a reexamination.
 
Partial use of sick leave may be negotiated with the department for faculty who are able to work at a reduced level while recovering from illness. Approval remains with the chair and dean in these cases.
 
Sick leave is tracked in the deans’ offices. Faculty should work with their chairs and/or deans when using sick leave. All medical information must be maintained in a separate file with limited access in the deans’ office. Medical documentation should not accompany leave requests forwarded to Faculty Affairs.
 
Probationary Faculty should also consult the Academic Affairs policy on the Tenure Clock:
 
Parental Leave
As of July 1, 2007, the Boulder campus expanded the parental leave policy for tenured and tenure- track faculty. Upon notification to Faculty Affairs, a tenured or tenure-track faculty member who will be the primary caregiver for a child within 12 months of birth or adoption of the child will:
 
 1. have their tenure clock stopped automatically for one year (if not yet tenured).
 2. receive up to a maximum of one semester at full pay without using accrued sick leave.
 
A leave under this policy fulfills the university’s obligations pursuant to the Administrative Policy Statement Parental Leave for Faculty, Officers, and Exempt Professional and FML. Tenure and tenure-track faculty taking this type of leave must also submit FML forms.
 
To comply with University policy, an eligible faculty member may receive a maximum of two parental leaves during their employment with CU. Both parents may not be on parental leave at the same time, but they may take FML leave (12 weeks of unpaid leave) simultaneously.
 
The Provost provides funding for course replacement to the schools/colleges based on an examination of both prior and current teaching load of the faculty member.
 
For further details, please review the Academic Affairs Parental Leave Policy for tenured and tenure-track faculty. 
 
Primary advising unit: Office of Faculty Affairs
 
Leaves Funded by Other Institutions (i.e. Fellowships, Visiting Positions, etc)
A leave to pursue scholarly work through a grant or at another institution may be granted to members of the regular tenured and tenure-track faculty by the Provost through the Office of Faculty Affairs on recommendation of the Department Chair and the Dean. In most cases, the leave will be for one year; it would be unusual for the Provost to grant such a leave beyond two years. Such leaves may be granted to:
  • permit acceptance of a prestigious grant or fellowship, or
  • permit acceptance of a temporary appointment at another institution when such appointment would, in the interest of the University, permit engagement in scholarly activities that are not otherwise practicably available, and that will significantly enhance the professional effectiveness of the individual.
Faculty must request in writing approval from their Chair and Dean.  Scholarly Activity Leaves for faculty will be reported to and approved by Office of Faculty Affairs on behalf of the Provost. Such leaves should be requested using the Faculty Request for Leave of Absence form found in the Forms section of the Office of Faculty Affairs website.
 
Additional information on leaves funded by other institutions, including associated benefit information, can be found online at
 
Additional information on faculty fellowships can be found online at:
 
Sabbaticals
Faculty must be tenured and have at least six years of service since their last sabbatical. The approval process for sabbatical applications is clearly defined and involves all levels of administration including the department chair, dean, institute director and Vice Chancellor for Research,Faculty Affairs, the Chancellor and ultimately approval by the Board of Regents. At the conclusion of the sabbatical, faculty are required to return to their appointment and submit a report.  
 
More information about sabbaticals may be found online at:

Primary advising unit: Office of Faculty Affairs

Leaves Without Pay
Unpaid leaves may be requested by tenured and tenure-track faculty for various reasons and are considered on an individual basis. Some reasons for requesting an unpaid leave may include:  accepting an appointment at another institution, working with industry, personal reasons, or medical situations that have exhausted all other available options. Approval is granted by the department chair, the dean, the associate vice chancellor for Faculty Affairs and the chancellor. Unpaid leaves are normally approved for up to one year. Consecutive years of unpaid leave are considered unusual and require special consideration. Faculty on unpaid, non-medical leave are indicated as having a 0% appointment in order to stop University benefits during the period of the unpaid leave of absence. FTE should remain at 1.0.   Faculty on unpaid medical leave will remain at a 100% appointment and have the option of continuing or waiving their medical benefits. If the faculty member chooses to continue medical benefits, the University will pay its portion toward the faculty member’s benefits and the faculty member will be responsible for paying his/her portion of benefits coverage.
 
Primary advising unit: Office of Faculty Affairs
 
B. Full-time Instructors on 9-month Appointments
(Job codes = 1104, 1105)
 
9 month instructors with full time appointments have many of the same leave benefits as described above for tenure-track faculty on 9-month appointments. Policies related to medical leaves, family medical leave, military leave and leaves without pay are the same. Instructors are not eligible for sabbaticals.
 
The University of Colorado Administrative Policy Statement governing parental leave applies to full time instructors on 9-month appointment which allows for the use of accrued sick leave to provide care for a faculty member’s child within 12 months of the birth or adoption of a child. Accrued sick leave may be used up to a maximum of one semester. If there is not enough accrued sick leave to cover the semester, an instructor may continue the parental leave for the remainder of the period at half pay with full benefits.
 
 
Primary advising unit: Office of Faculty Affairs
 
C. 12-month Faculty (Tenured and Tenure-Track and Full-time Instructors)
(Job codes = 1100 to 1105)
 
Policies for faculty holding 12-month appointments differ slightly from those policies governing 9-month faculty appointments. Faculty with 12-month appointments accrue sick leave and vacation on a monthly basis. Most of these appointments exist as library faculty. 12-month faculty are entitled to sick leave, vacation leave, parental leave, military leave, jury leave, administrative leave and funeral leave and are eligible for the leave sharing program which provides potential pooled leave hours for certain medical situations. 
Primary advising unit: Office of Labor Relations
 
Tenured and tenure-track faculty are eligible for the campus tenured and tenure-track parental leave benefit. Sabbaticals for tenured faculty with 12-month appointments are six months in length.
 
Primary advising unit: Office of Faculty Affairs
 
D. Faculty with Officer Appointments
Faculty holding officer appointments are not eligible for sabbaticals though years of service as an officer count toward future sabbatical eligibility. Information about returning to a faculty position after the completion of an officer appointment is available from the Office of Faculty Affairs.    
 
Primary advising unit: Office of Faculty Affairs
 
Officers are entitled to sick leave, vacation leave, military leave, jury leave, administrative leave and funeral leave. Sick and vacation accruals differ from tenure and tenure-track faculty rates.  
 
Primary advising unit: Office of Labor Relations  
 
E. Research Faculty
(1300 job codes)
 
Research faculty should work with the Vice Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Graduate School for guidance regarding all leave programs.
 
Primary advising unit: Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Graduate School
 
F. Part-time Instructors (<100%) 
(1104 and 1105 job codes)  
 
Part-time instructors who are benefits eligible (have a 50% or more appointment) receive the same leave as full time instructors on a prorated basis.
 
Primary advising unit: Office of Faculty Affairs
 
G. Other Faculty Appointments
(Various 1400 job codes including lecturer, adjunct titles and others)
 
Other faculty appointments are typically not eligible for leave or benefits because they are generally employed less than 50%. Refer to the benefits matrix at https://www.cusys.edu/pbs/pbs_documents/EligibilityMatrix.xls  
 
Primary advising unit: Dean’s Office
  
 
Related Benefit Information for All Faculty Groups
 
Disability Insurance Benefits
These insurance benefits may be applied in conjunction with paid and unpaid leave when faculty members are dealing with serious medical conditions. Disability insurance benefits do not provide any job protection.
 
Short Term Disability (STD) Insurance
The University provides all benefits-eligible faculty groups (i.e. faculty with a 50% or greater benefits-eligible appointment) with the option to purchase (at the time of hire, or during the yearly open enrollment period) short term disability insurance, which provides coverage if the faculty member becomes disabled while insured under the University’s policy. The University’s insurance provider will pay a STD benefit for each week the faculty member is disabled and qualifies for STD benefits, up to 22 weeks following the occurrence of an illness or injury.  
 
Faculty Affairs recommends that faculty purchase Short Term Disability insurance.
 
Primary advising unit: Payroll and Benefit Services
 
Long Term Disability Insurance
The University provides all benefits-eligible faculty groups (i.e. faculty with a 50% or greater benefits-eligible appointment) with long term disability insurance after the employee completes one year of employment in a benefits-eligible position. Faculty are eligible to receive long term disability insurance benefits six months from the date of disability or exhaustion of sick leave, whichever is later.  
 
Primary advising unit: Payroll and Benefit Services
 
 
Contact Information:
 
Office of Faculty Affairs
303-492-6407 or 303-492-5491
 
Office of Labor Relations
303-492-0956
 
Payroll and Benefit Services
303-735-5600

 

 

 

 

 

 

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