This document provides information on the policies and procedures for leaves of absence.
Policies concerning leaves of absence vary according to the employee's appointment (Faculty, Academic Staff, or University Staff). The section below is not an exhaustive discussion of policy in this area, but instead attempts to address questions frequently raised about leaves of absence and temporary assignments. For questions related to full or partial leaves of absence, please contact:
Faculty: Ben Weisse
Academic Staff, Limited, and University Staff: HR Associate Director
Departments and programs concerned about continuity in graduate student advising and supervision are reminded that UW-Madison faculty members who resign may continue as members of the Graduate Faculty for one year after their departure. FP&P 3.05 (D) states that, “Members of the graduate faculty are automatically permitted to retain graduate faculty status for one year after their retirement or resignation. Annual extensions of graduate faculty status for a retired or resigned faculty may be granted by the dean or the dean's designee on the affirmative recommendation of a departmental executive committee and with the approval of the Graduate Faculty Executive Committee.” During this period, resigned faculty can continue to oversee the work of students nearing completion of their degree programs. In other cases, it may make more sense to work with the department to ensure that students who need to do so can make the transition to supervision by members of the faculty. In all cases, it is the expectation of the institution that the faculty and department will develop an appropriate plan to meet student needs.
- Tenured Faculty. Leaves for tenured faculty members are granted by the Dean based upon the affirmative recommendation of the departmental executive committee. Requests for leaves of absence for tenured faculty should be sent to the Dean of L&S and include a cover memo and a copy of the faculty member's request for the leave. Please submit one request for each faculty member for whom leave is requested.
- Probationary Faculty. As noted above, leaves for probationary faculty are divided into those during which the tenure clock is stopped and those during which it continues. A true "leave of absence" for a probationary faculty member is one during which the tenure clock is interrupted; such leaves must be approved by the Provost in consultation with the University Committee as well as by the Dean. "Temporary assignments" are similar to leaves of absence but do not extend the tenure clock. Normally, if the activity to be undertaken during the leave will serve to promote the probationary faculty member's achievements for tenure, the leave will be considered a "temporary assignment." When a department requests that a probationary faculty member be granted a true "leave of absence," the reasons for doing so should be clearly explained in the request letter. Extension of the tenure clock as a result of a leave of absence is not automatic. The faculty member requesting the leave must request in writing the extension of the tenure clock. When appropriate, the Dean will then forward the request along with an endorsement to the Provost and University Committee for approval.
- Departing Faculty, Outside Offers and Leaves of Absence. Except in unusual circumstances, leaves of absence will not be granted to members of the faculty who have accepted outside offers.
Parking assignments should also be considered before staff members go on leave. A minimum leave is defined as three months by Transportation Services. Staff members may keep their parking assignments active during the leave period to accommodate frequent, short term return trips to campus. Typically, staff members wish to have their assignment(s) placed on leave status. Requests should be made in writing prior to leaving campus, preferably by June for the following academic year, and sent to the Parking Coordinator in South Hall. Transportation Services requires a staff member going on leave for the Spring semester to return their parking hangtag prior to departure. A new hangtag will be issued when the staff member returns.
Other Types of Leaves
Leave such as medical leave, parental leave, etc. may be covered by a combination of sick leave, vacation (for annual basis employees), leave of absence, leave without pay, etc., depending on the particular situation. Contact your departmental benefits coordinator or your HR Associate Director for information on fringe benefits.
Leaves of all types must be approved in advance by the Dean's Office and, as indicated above, must also sometimes be approved at the campus level. Since the consideration of how to cover such leaves is sometimes complex, it is best to consult in advance whenever possible.