Short Term Absences
An absence from class that lasts longer than two contiguous weeks or three total weeks during a single semester is considered a research leave, course release, or a reassignment of duties and requires approval of the department chair or school director and dean. Short term absences are described in the Faculty Absence Policy.
Faculty Development Leave
A Faculty Development Leave (FDL) is a leave of absence for a faculty member to dedicate time and effort for study, research, writing, field observations, or other suitable purpose. During a full-time FDL for one semester, a faculty member has no expectation to perform teaching or service and are expected to focus entirely on their research activity instead. It is also possible to spread an FDL over two semesters at 50% time each semester, in which case the faculty member’s expectation in teaching and service would be reduced by half during those two semesters.
The university has a Faculty Development Leave (FDL) program that is a competitive application process with an annual application deadline around the end of September. Applications are reviewed by a College of Fine Arts faculty committee consisting of several research-active tenured faculty members, one elected from each department or school in the college. The committee recommends to the dean, and the dean makes the final decision of any award. Eligible College of Fine Arts faculty members are encouraged to apply for the university FDL program.
In addition to the university-wide criteria for the FDL, the College of Fine Arts will value favorably FDL applications for which the faculty member also submits applications for external grant or fellowship funding. To assess this, applicants from the College of Fine Arts who have also applied for external funding should include copies of their external funding applications with their UT-FDL application. These copies should include submitted proposal, budget (if submitted), and documentation showing what funding would be awarded if their application for external funding is successful.
Additional information about the College of Fine Arts’ implementation of the university Faculty Development Leave (FDL) program, including application requirements, selection process, selection criteria, and communication plan, is available here.
The College of Fine Arts does not have its own Faculty Development Leave (FDL) program, other than this university-wide FDL program.
Externally Funded Leaves
College of Fine Arts faculty members are encouraged to pursue external grant, fellowship, or professional creative or performance activity and to use that external funding to support a course reduction or reassignment of their duties away from teaching or service and toward research. Before or just after submitting a proposal for external grant or fellowship funding, faculty members should inform their department chair or school director of their submission for external grant or fellowship funding, so that the chair can begin planning for whatever need for department support would be necessary to enable the project (e.g. research leave, course release, teaching replacement, etc.). Please inform your department chair or school director of the financial terms of the external funding application, the budget you submitted (if any), and the proposed semester(s) for the project. Then, if your application is successful, follow up with your department chair or school director for approval and to discuss what terms will most help you achieve the research goals of your external funding proposal. All research leaves, regardless of funding source, require the approval of the department chair/school director and dean.
When an external grant, fellowship, residency, contract, or other external opportunity buys out a faculty member’s teaching or service, or when there is a faculty professional leave without pay, the dean will make a decision on a case-by-case basis as to whether that would be a CSU-FDL or not, based on the specifics of the individual’s circumstances in relation to the Texas Education Code. If it is determined that the circumstances fit the definition of an FDL, the faculty member will be invited to apply for a CSU-FDL using an ad hoc process that includes review by the elected committee and process for the university-wide FDL.
Any leave that is determined to be a College of Fine Arts-FDL will require a return obligation the same as for the UT-FDL and the guidelines for any such College of Fine Arts-FDL will be identical to the university-wide criteria for FDLs.
Course release and/or Reassignment of duties
The College of Fine Arts has one formal program to fund a course release for faculty members to pursue research activity in lieu of teaching, called a Dean’s Fellowship. Every spring semester, the department chair or school director recommends one or more faculty members to the dean for a dean’s fellowship to occur during the following academic year. Dean’s Fellows do not teach any courses for one semester and focus on research activity instead. They continue to provide some service and/or student advising during the fellowship.
In addition, department chairs and school directors have the discretion to reassign faculty duties for part or all of a semester, subject to review and approval by the dean.
Graduate Student Advising during a Research Leave
Faculty are expected to continue advising their doctoral students during any period of a faculty development leave, externally-funded research leave, course release, or reassignment of duties.
Regardless of the source of funding for a research leave, and including cases where the research leave is unfunded, a Faculty Request for Leave Form must be completed and routed to the Dean’s Office in advance of the semester on research leave.
The university describes additional faculty leave policies in HOP 2-2210 Faculty Leaves and Special Academic Assignments.
Faculty Development Leaves are defined in Chapter 51 Subchapter C of the Texas Education Code.
Last updated 08/09/2022