Each year the university provides Faculty Renewal Leaves (FRL) based upon applications received and reviewed by peers. The purpose of leaves is to provide a faculty member with a significant period of time to devote to enrichment, reflection, writing, and retooling that ultimately leads to higher quality teaching and other forms of scholarship.
Awards and Eligibility
FRLs are contingent on merit and available funding. Apportionment will usually be 50% in CAS, 15% in each in CBS, COBA, and CEHS and 5% in Nursing, Library, etc. Applications are reviewed initially by the department chairperson and dean of the faculty member. The Faculty Renewal Leave Committee reviews all materials and makes recommendations to the Provost. Decisions will usually be made before Christmas Break.
Faculty Renewal Leave usually are awarded for one semester and provide the recipient the salary he or she would have been paid for teaching during the semester. An applicant may request 1/2 salary for two semesters. All fringe benefits will continue as will eligibility for raises and promotion; however, applicants with other grants are expected to provide a proportionate share of benefits from these sources. The minimum time and energy a recipient devotes to these awards must be equal to a normal semester’s work. Other work unrelated to the leave project is strongly discouraged and will be a factor in determining the granting of a Faculty Renewal Leave. Applicants who expect to be engaged in other work during the semester (compensated or not) must notify the committee of the possibility and document the fact that such work will not interfere with the completion of the proposed project.
Normally no more than one faculty member from a department will be awarded a Faculty Renewal Leave in a particular semester. A faculty member who has received a Faculty Renewal Leave is ineligible to receive it again for six years. Unless explicitly understood and stated in writing to the contrary, an individual who requests and receives a Faculty Renewal Leave incurs an obligation to return to the university for at least one year immediately following such leave. If the recipient ceases to be an ACU employee within this one year period, he or she must repay the salary and benefits earned during the leave.
To be eligible, applicants must be tenured members of the Abilene Christian University faculty and must have served ACU a minimum of six years (excluding the years of the proposed faculty renewal leave) and have the rank of Assistant Professor or higher.
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For scheduling purposes, those intending to apply for a Faculty Renewal Leave should declare in writing their intent to apply to their department chairs no later than the end of the Spring Semester of the academic year preceding the submission of the application. The application (and any supporting documents) must be submitted electronically by the fourth Friday in October to the Office of the Provost and the applicant’s department chair and dean. As part of the review by the Faculty Renewal Leave Committee, department chairs and deans of the college are requested to submit their evaluation of the applications on forms provided. The Chair’s Review Form and Dean’s Review Form are due on or before the first Friday in November. The independent evaluations by deans and chairs are evaluation documents and not approvals. They are confidential and should be submitted separately.
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The proposed project should involve professional enrichment/renewal resulting in a scholarly product, and equivalent in time, energy, and output to a full-time faculty load (from Faculty Handbook, 1996, page 3.10). The nature of "scholarship" that is eligible for consideration follows the categories listed and defined by Ernest Boyer in Scholarship Reconsidered, Priorities of the Professorate. These are - scholarship of discovery, scholarship of integration, scholarship of application, and scholarship of teaching. (Please review the attached Boyer chapter before preparing your application.) Types of projects include (but are not limited to) pedagogical innovation, technological innovations, curriculum reform, new or revised courses/syllabi, research, publications, presentations, exhibits, recitals, new teaching methods, etc.
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Each application will be evaluated by the members of the Faculty Renewal Leave Committee based upon the criteria listed below. Please note that the worth of a project can be judged only by the written proposal.
1. Overall quality of the project (50%)
- Description and rationale of the project
- Contribution to the discipline
- Enhancement of professional growth of the applicant
- Enhancement of ACU’s image and reputation
2. Prior service of the applicant to ACU (25%)
- Total years
- Years of continuous service since last leave or faculty renewal leave
- Nature and quality of departmental and university service
3. Likelihood of successful completion (25%)
In the evaluation process, assuming all other factors are equal, other items that could be considered include: rank, seniority, and projects involving activity outside of Abilene (strongly encouraged). If the proposed work or project is already underway, the proposal should include a statement of the progress made thus far, an estimation of the work left to be done, and the amount of time required for its completion. If the project will not be completed within the Faculty Renewal Leave period, this should be clearly stated in the application. If the applicant anticipates significant intellectual property issues, these should be discussed and arranged in advance of the Faculty Renewal Leave.
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Some tangible product (e.g., publication, multi-media, syllabus revision, exhibition or performance) must be produced by the project. Each recipient of a Faculty Renewal Leave will submit a final written report within 60 days after conclusion of the Faculty Renewal Leave term. During the year following the leave, recipients will make a presentation to the faculty based on their Faculty Renewal Leave. These reports are to be submitted to the Provost, Dean of his/her college, Department Chair, and the Faculty Renewal Leave Committee. The final written report of the Faculty Renewal Leave will become a part of the faculty member’s file.
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1. General Information
- Date of tenure
- Semester or semesters for which faculty renewal leave is sought
- Have you ever been granted Faculty Renewal Leave from ACU? If so, when?
- How many years of full-time, tenure track service do you have at ACU?
- How many consecutive years have you served since your last Faculty Renewal Leave?
- Have you applied or are you applying for any other funds to support you while on Faculty Renewal Leave? If so, please specify the source and amount of grant expected.
- If taking a year-long leave, do you plan to teach at another university during your Faculty Renewal Leave? Give details. (Teaching requires advance approval by the Faculty Renewal Leave Committee.)
- Do you plan to pursue any part-time employment during your Faculty Renewal Leave? If so, please specify (including estimated time demands). (Reminder - such employment is strongly discouraged and requires advance approval by the Faculty Renewal Leave Committee and the Provost.)
- Where do you intend to pursue your Faculty Renewal Leave? (Reminder - generally the committee encourages Faculty Renewal Leaves that are removed from ACU.)
2. Description and Rationale of the Proposed Project
- Background of problem or description of area to be studied (e.g., educational trends related to the project, unresolved issues, social concerns, questions to be answered). A literature survey and/or annotated bibliography is part of this description.
- Purpose of the project
- Procedures (e.g., description of methodology, data collection and analysis, travel locations to be visited, names and positions of potential contact persons involved in the study, space requirements, equipment, laboratory and computing facilities necessary for the project)
- What are the expected tangible products (e.g., book, articles, syllabus revision, exhibition or performance, videos, software) of this project? (Reminder - some tangible product must come out of the project.)
- When do you expect to complete the project? Carefully discuss the process that leads to the stated completion date.
3. Value of Proposed Project
- What is the value of this project to your discipline?
- What is the value of this project to your own professional growth as a teacher/scholar at Abilene Christian University?
- In what other ways will this project enhance ACU’s image and reputation?
- Are there any other expected long-term benefits of this project?
- Are there intellectual property rights (patents, copyrights, royalties, etc.) agreements to be made? If so, please explain.
4. Signature - Please sign the proposal.
5. Supporting Data
Before the Faculty Renewal Leave Committee will consider an application, the Chair’s and Dean’s Review Forms must be in the Office of the Provost by the announced deadline. In addition, the application must include the following:
- Current curriculum vita (including teaching, research, and service)
- Teaching schedule for the previous six years to be considered by the Faculty Renewal Leave Committee as providing for a Faculty Renewal Leave
- University and departmental Committees and service to students
- Other supporting data (e.g., letter[s] from host institution[s], itinerary, etc.)
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- Dr. Cheryl Bacon - "Light in Tears and Dust: Ministering to families through the season and ceremonies of death" Author: Dr. Eddie Sharp; Contributing Editor: Dr. Cheryl Bacon
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