Faculty Sabbatical Plan and Report

SP 3-65a

EFFECTIVE: November 1, 1994
RETITLED: September 14, 2000
RETITLED: August 25, 2001
REVISED: August 11, 2021

REFERENCE: Board Policy BP 3-65; C.R.S.23-5-123


/ Joe Garcia /
Joseph A. Garcia, Chancellor


This procedure applies to regular faculty, as defined in Board Policy (BP) 3-10, within the Colorado Community College System, including its Colleges (CCCS or System).


This Procedure establishes faculty sabbatical leave procedures in accordance with Board Policy (BP) 3-65. Sabbatical leave is a privilege, rather than a right, and subject to availability of resources.


Sabbatical leave is for the purpose of encouraging regular faculty who have completed six years of service to the College to develop skills and abilities, which will be of significant benefit to the faculty member and which results in adding value to the College/System and the students’ education.

College Presidents shall develop College process and guidelines to ensure implementation with this procedure.

Sabbatical Plan and Report

  1. A faculty member requesting a sabbatical leave must submit a sabbatical plan to the College President describing the activity they wish to pursue during the sabbatical. The request must be submitted six months in advance of the planned sabbatical.
  2. The College is responsible for developing a documented process outlining the requirements for the sabbatical plan, the timeline for submission, review and approval of the plan by the College President, and submission of approved plans to the System office for final approval. The Colleges should require that proposed sabbatical plans include the following:
    • How the sabbatical will impact the faculty member’s professional growth;
    • How the sabbatical will enhance the College’s role and mission and its students’ educational experience;
    • How the sabbatical meets and forwards Board priorities, the CCCS Strategic Plan, and/or the College strategic plan; and
    • How the sabbatical will increase the overall level of knowledge in the faculty member’s discipline and/or profession.
  3. The Chancellor delegates the authority to provide final approval of faculty sabbatical plans to the System Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs.
  4. The Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs shall communicate the plan approval to the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education (Board).
  5. Sabbatical leave may be granted to regular faculty at any time after completion of at least six consecutive full-time (including approved paid leave) academic year contracts of employment in regular positions (i.e., in the seventh year). The faculty member must be in good performance standing in each of the three years preceding a sabbatical to be eligible.
  6. A faculty member who has completed sabbatical leave is not eligible to be approved for additional sabbatical leave until after returning from the previous sabbatical and completing at least six consecutive full-time (including approved paid leave) academic year contracts of employment in regular positions.
  7. A faculty member salary for an approved sabbatical will be at full pay plus any elected benefits for a one semester sabbatical or half pay plus any elected benefits for a two semester sabbatical. A faculty member must continue to pay the employee share of benefits while on sabbatical in order to maintain elected benefits. If on sabbatical and making PERA contributions, a faculty member will receive full PERA service credit and if receiving half pay, a faulty member will have the option to purchase PERA service credit to equal the amount they would have earned with a full salary. Sabbaticals should fall within either the fall and/or spring semesters. One semester sabbaticals should not cross over between fall and spring semester.
  8. Faculty members granted sabbatical will have the sabbatical listed as part of their performance evaluation goals. The faculty member’s performance during the sabbatical and/or quality of the sabbatical report will be part of the performance rating for the year.
  9. All work created by a faculty member during a sabbatical is subject to BP 3-90, Copyrights and Patents. The work outlined in the approved sabbatical leave plan constitutes the entirety of the faculty member’s workload obligation to the College during the sabbatical leave, whether for one semester or for two semesters.
  10. Should the sabbatical plan need to be revised mid-sabbatical, the faculty member must submit their revisions to their College President and the Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs for approval. If such circumstances involve a personal or family illness, sick leave may be substituted for the sabbatical, and in such case, the faculty member’s records will reflect the appropriate leave taken.
  11. Upon completion of the sabbatical and during the first semester after returning to regular duties, the faculty member shall submit a final sabbatical report to their College President and to the Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, who will provide an annual report to the Board.
  12. The faculty member must also share their sabbatical results with their colleagues at their College or within CCCS and may, upon request, present their report to the Board. Both the plan for the sabbatical and the post-sabbatical report shall be public documents and will be made available on the CCCS Academic and Student Affairs webpage.
  13. The faculty member must work at least one full year in a CCCS College after returning from sabbatical. The faculty member will be required to repay the salary and benefits cost of their time on sabbatical should they not complete their approved sabbatical plan or leave a CCCS College before working one full year after returning from sabbatical. College Presidents may make exceptions to this based on individual circumstances. Restitution will not be required in the case of a faculty member who is approved for disability benefits, a faculty member who is non-renewed, reduced in force, or dismissed, or in the case of death of a faculty member while on sabbatical leave or within the first year after return from such leave.

Types of Sabbaticals

A sabbatical provides the opportunity to engage in a different type of work that both develops one professionally and re-energizes one to return to regular work duties. Sabbaticals do not include “time off” using accrued leave or leaving the College to work as an employee of another entity with an intent to return to the College at some time in the future. Sabbaticals are a defined period of time to complete goals too complex to be completed with a full or even reduced teaching schedule. All sabbatical undertakings must advance the priorities of the Board, the CCCS Strategic Plan, and/or the College strategic plan.

Typical sabbatical undertakings include, but are not limited to, the categories listed below and as further defined in Appendix A:

  1. Research and Publication.
  2. Professional Creative Work.
  3. Curriculum Development.
  4. Professional Development.
  5. Discipline and Profession Relevancy.

Revising this Procedure

CCCS reserves the right to change any provision or requirements of this procedure at any time and the change shall become effective immediately. If changes are made to this procedure, any faculty member on approved sabbatical leave will fulfill the requirements of the sabbatical based on the procedure in effect at the time their sabbatical plan was approved.

Appendix A

Types of Sabbaticals

a. Research and Publication: Faculty members hone research skills so that they can better share these skills with students when the faculty member returns to the campus. Information literacy and the ability to find information, the ability to discern between reliable information and unreliable information, to synthesize information, and to create new knowledge concerning important skills that today’s employers are seeking.

b. Professional Creative Work: Faculty members pursue writing a significant work of fiction, creative nonfiction, visual or performing art creation or performance, or other work that contributes to the faculty member’s field for publication or significant showing.

c. Curriculum Development: Faculty members dedicate time to develop and modify curriculum. Curriculum development requires updating (or developing) outcomes to match both discipline standards and employer needs; determining the skills necessary for students to achieve learner outcomes; determining the activities that will introduce the skills; determining the activities that will reinforce the skills; and determining how to assess student competencies in the skills. Dedicated time for a faculty member to effectively focus on curriculum can ensure that curriculum meets current needs and eases the process of assessing student learning. Given the current emphasis on assessment by accrediting bodies, having time to ensure that curriculum supports these demands for assessment is critical. Additionally, there is a current emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and faculty are encouraged to reinforce these principles in curriculum development.

d. Professional Development: Faculty members take the opportunity to develop emerging skills, including diversity, equity, and inclusion in pedagogy and attain more industry specific education so the faculty member can better support students and prepare them for a career that may or may not exist. This is also a way to ensure that faculty members are modeling life-long learning, another skill that is valued by employers. Professional development can also help institutions by using internal talent to meet internal needs, rather than hiring external consultants or creating new positions.

e. Discipline and Profession Relevancy: Faculty members engage in activities to stay current in their discipline and/or profession so that teaching practice, course content, and/or approach to their position responsibilities remain relevant.