Faculty Renewal Leaves

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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Application Deadline 
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, the committee chair and the applicant’s department chair and dean.

The Chair’s Review Form and Dean’s Review Form are linked below and are due electronically on or before the first Friday in November to the FRL committee chair and the Office of the Provost. The independent reviews by deans and chairs are evaluation documents and not approvals. They are confidential and should be submitted separately from the application.

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Proposed Project 
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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Application Format 
1. General Information

  • Name
  • Department
  • Rank
  • 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

  • Title
  • 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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Download Forms  

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Past Recipients

2016-2017 Recipients

  • 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
  • Dr. Chris Flanders - “The first Church of Christ Missions Training Program: George A. Klingman and W.W. Freeman at Abilene Christian College 1918-1930”
  • Dr. Houston Heflin - “Spiritual Direction Within Academy and Church: Mentoring Students and Coaching Ministers.”
  • Dr. Robert McKelvain - “An Organizing Framework for Research on Sexual Minorities with Commentary and Readings”
  • Dr. Paul Morris - “In a College Classroom, Can Wisdom Be Engendered and Wonder Reawakened?”
  • Dr. Allen Teel - "The Current State of 'German' Timpani Technique: Bringing Pedagogy Up-To-Date with Practice"
  • Dr. Jeanine Varner - "Willa Cather and Henry James: American Realists"

2015-2016 Recipients

  • Dr. Fred Aquino - "The Oxford Handbook of John Henry Newman"
  • Dr. Cole Bennett - "The Return of Sentiment to the Writing Classroom: Adam Smith, Markets, and Incentive"
  • Dr. Jonathan Camp - "But I Lay It Down of My Own Accord: Discovering Models of Mutual Submission in Multiracial Churches of Christ"
  • Dr. Michael Daugherity - "The World's First Polarized Drell-Yan Measurement with COMPASS at CERN"
  • Dr. Monty Lynn - "Protestant Engagement in Global Poverty"
  • Dr. Jeanene Reese - "Know No Bounds: Exploring Gender Relations in Ministry"
  • Dr. Allan Yarema - "Globalization in Your Closet"

2014-2015 Recipients

  • Dr. Bill Carroll - “’Charged with the Grandeur of God’ - Gerard Manley Hopkins’ Oxford”
  • Dr. Wendell Willis - "Peter and Paul and the Encounter in Antioch (Galatians 2:11-16)"
  • Dr. Mark Hamilton - "Divine Kingship and Human Flourishing: Reclaiming an ancient idea for contemporary political reflection"
  • Dr. Tim Head - "Advancing Solid State Photomultiplier Tube Technologies with Ludlum Measurements Inc."
  • Dr. Ron Morgan
  • Dr. Jerry Taylor - "Seeking Racial Unity Among Church Leaders and Academic Institutions within Churches of Christ"
  • Dr. Rusty Towell - "Advanced nuclear reactor designs based on liquid-fluoride thorium technology"
  • Dr. Qiang Xu - "Mining the Genomes of Insects to Identify microRNA Genes"

2013-2014 Recipients

  • Ms. Sandy Freeman  - “Creative Process - Nurturing Artistic Vision for the Theatrical Designer”
  • Mr. Robert Green  - “Evocations of Time, Space, and Environment”
  • Mr. Kenny Jones  - “Art, Interpretation, and the Hybrid  - digital systems in the non-digital” (not included in previous list)
  • Mr. Gary Varner  - “A History of the Pollard Theatre”
  • Dr. Joshua Willis  - “Development of Offline Data-Analysis Software for Advanced Detector-Era Gravitational Wave Observatories”

2012-2013 Recipients

  • Dr. Brenda Bender  - “The Application of Cepstral Analysis to Dysphonic Voices Before and After Treatment”
  • Dr. Mel Hailey  - “Legal Studies as a Minor at Abilene Christian University”
  • Dr. Alexander Karabegov  - “An Explicit Formula for a Dual Star Product with Separation of Variables”
  • Dr. Paul Lakey  - “Assessing Chinese Leadership - Development of a Global Leadership Scale” Dr. Tom Lee  - “The Mammals of Ecuador”
  • Dr. Susan Lewis  - “Toward a New Pedagogical Model of Study Abroad - Using Mobile Media and Learning Communities to Engage Students Both Stateside and Abroad” (Deferred)
  • Mr. Dan McGregor  - “Doodlebug - A Sequential Narrative for Interactive Formats”
  • Dr. Dana Pemberton  - “Beyond Defensiveness, Resignation and Proof Texts - Developing a Theologically Informed Ethic for Christian Public School Teachers”
  • Dr. Glenn Pemberton  - “Charting a Course Back from the Brink - The Psalms of New Orientation”
  • Dr. Kenneth Pybus  - “Covering the Courts - How the Statewide Media has Covered the Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals over the Past Decade”

2011-2012 Recipients

  • Dr. Carisse Berryhill  - “Transcription, with Introduction and Notes, of Alexander Campbell’s
  • Manuscript L - Lectures on Logick Delivered by Professor Jardan in the University of Glasgow, 1808”
  • Dr. Brian Cavitt  - “Current State of the Industry for the Use of UV Curable Materials in Photovoltaic Applications”
  • Dr. Malcolm Coco  - “Managerial Opinions Toward Employee Monitoring and Privacy”
  • Dr. David Dillman  - “Democracy and Social Justice - The Politics and Life of Central Dallas Ministries”
  • Dr. Ron Morgan  - “Dictionary of Latin American Christian Biography - A Long-term Web-based Project”
  • Dr. Tracy Shilcutt  - “Moguls, Pirates, and Rock & Roll - American Entrepreneurship, Radio London, and Breaking the BBC Monopoly, 1960-1971”

2010-2011 Recipients

  • Dr. Daniel K. Brannan  - “Darwin’s Creator - Adapting the Evangelical Mind to Evolution”
  • Dr. Vernon Williams  - “Crucible of War - The Anglo/American Exchange in World War II England, 1942-1945”
  • Mr. Jack Maxwell  - “Biblical/Life Themes in the Context of Public Sculpture”
  • Dr. Jeff Childers  - “The Golden Mouth in Oriental Voice - Chrysostom’s Homilies on John in Syriac”
  • Mr. Adam Hester  - “New York Theatre Studies Program”
  • Dr. Jennifer Shewmaker  - “The Effects of Sexualization of Females in the Media and the Impact on Girls”

2009-2010 Recipients

  • Laura Carroll - “I Know Whom I Have Believed - Religious Language in British Political Discourse”
  • Doug Foster - “A Global History of the Stone-Campbell Movement”
  • Paul Morris - “Albert Einstein’s Unified Picture of the World - How He Arrived at His Views on Nature and Morality”
  • Jim Nichols - “Enriching Biomedical Ethics Understanding though Clinical Pastoral Education”
  • Tim Sensing - “Applied Qualitative Research Methods for Doctor of Ministry Students”
  • Kitty Wasemiller - “Transforming Healthcare Through Interior Design Education”

2008-2009 Recipients

  • Michael Sadler - “The structure of Necleon and its Excited States”
  • Jackie Halstead - “Sustenance for the Journey - A representation of Ministerial Support”
  • Connie Yarema - “Using Japanese Lesson to Inform Essential Practices for Professional Learning Communities Supported by Texas Teacher Quality Grants Program”
  • Allen Teel - “The Interaction of Music and Religion in Selected World Cultures - Course Revisions and Pilot Program”
  • Virginia Sadler - “New Approaches to Brooches and Other Adornments”

2006-2007 Recipients

  • Fred Aquino - "Knowledge of God in the Fathers - Unearthings Epistemic Insights for Contemporary Theology"
  • Joseph Cardot - "Conflict in the Workplace - A Comparative Analysis of Alternative Dispute Resolution Systems in U.S. Companies vs. British Companies"
  • Michael Frazier - "Web-Based Computer Model of Economics Development"
  • Mark Hamilton - "Justice as Practice - New Perspectives on Ancient Israel's Pursuit of Equity Through Ritual"
  • Jeanene Reese - "Co-Workers in the Lord - Examining a Biblical Theology of Partnership Between Men and Women in Ministry and its Practical Application"
  • Rusty Towell - "Development of a Fast Muon Trigger Study the Quark-Gluon Structure of the Proton with the PHENIX Spectrometer at Brookhaven National Laboratory"
  • Wendell Willis - "The Understanding of Pagan Meals in Comparison with the Early Christians Understanding of the Eucharist"

2005-2006 Recipients

  • Cheryl Bacon - "An Exploration and Application of Narrative Journalism Style and Process Leading to Revision of JMC 451 Feature Writing"
  • Fred Bailey - "A Heritage of Hate - White Thought and The Southern Racial Order, 1890-1920"
  • Tim Coburn - "Applications of Data Mining in the Analysis of Automotive Emissions"
  • Ken Cukrowski - "Greco-Roman Echoes in the Gospel of Luke"
  • Robert Green - "Painting a Symphony of Sounds"
  • Donald Isenhower - "Resistive Plate Detector Development for PHENIX Experiment at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at the Brookhaven National Laboratory"
  • Foy Mills - "Review and Assessment of Experimental Economic Active Learning Modules in the ACU A&E Agribusiness Cirriculum"

2004-2005 Recipients

  • Jim Cooke - "Language, Culture, Missions and Evironmnetal Studies in Choluteca, Honduras"
  • Mel Hailey - "Church of Christ Ministers - From Isolation to Integration?"
  • Al Haley - "Words Unto Light - A Personal Spiritual Journey Expressed Through Creative Essays"
  • Dickie Hill - "Obesity Rates for Children in the AISD"
  • Waymon Hinson - "African American Farmers -  Stories of Discrimination"
  • Paul Lakey - "A Holistic Leadership Model"
  • Thomas Lee - "The Mammalian Biogeography of Ecuador"
  • Robert McKelvain - "Negotiating Process - Developing a Metaphor for Learning"
  • Paul Piersall - "Duet Cantatas of Alessandro Scarlatti - Modern Performing Editions and Performance"
  • Cynthia Roper - "Research Studies on Intercultural Communication and Study Abroad, and on Equation Theory and Televised Political Communication"
  • Deb Williams - "The Rhetoric of Pedagogy - Making Effective Choices in Teaching"

2003-2004 Recipients

  • Jeff Childers - "Translation Edition of the Life of Porphyry of Gaza"
  • Mel Hailey - "Church of Christ Ministers - From Isolation to Integration?"
  • Eric Hardegree - "Research Opportunities in Green Chemistry"
  • Patricia Hernandez - "Integrating Math and Science at the Elementary Levels"
  • Monty Lynn - "The Thought and Practice of Christian Commerce"
  • David Wallace - "A Course Portfolio - Christianity and Culture"
  • Vernon Williams - "A Time for War, A time for Community - Anglo/American Relations in East Anglia, 1942-1945"

2002-2003 Recipients

  • Jack Maxwell - "The Shepherd's Staff" (The Woodward Sculpture)  - 17' bronze/stone site-specific sculpture and exterior space
  • Greg Powell - "Integration of Molecular Modeling into the Chemistry Curriculum"
  • James Thompson - "Paul and the Theological Foundations for Pastoral Care"
  • Bill Walton - "Kenosis and the Downward Way in John Milton's Paradise Lost"

2001-02 Recipients

  • Dr. Tony Ash - 1) complete book on prayer, 2) rework, revise adult study book on discipleship in Luke, 3) write brief devotional treatments of Psalms for Westover Hills Church of Christ (Austin) website
  • Dr. David Dillman - "Administrative Responsibility and the Problem of Discretion - The Case of Elian Gonzalez and the INS"
  • Dr. Paul Morris - "The Historical Impact of Mathematics on Philosophical Thought in the West"
  • Dr. Allen Teel - "Drum Ensemble Music of Ghana" (article & course development)

2000-2001 Recipients

  • Dr. Larry Bradshaw - "Inside CNN - Broadcast Journalism in the Digital Age"
  • Dr. Daniel Brannan -  "Development of an Ethologist"
  • Dr. Carroll Osburn - "The Text of the New Testament in Methodius of Olympus"
  • Dr. Sally Reid - "Fanfare and Festive Overture - An Original Composition for Wind Ensemble"
  • Brenda Van Dunk - "Spirituality and Social Work Practice"
  • Dr. Wendell Willis - 1) Adult study book on worship; 2) Cultural objection to Christian evangelism

1999-2000 Recipients

  • Dr. Doug Foster - 1) Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement; 2) Cooperative Congregational Studies Project
  • Dr. Paul Schulze - "Complementing Classroom Learning through Interactive Use of the Internet - Interactve Data Base Delivery System Development"
  • Dr. Lorraine Wilson - "Building a Global Model of Exercise Science"

1998-1999 Recipients

  • Dr. Ed Brokaw - "Enhancing the International Dimension in Animal Science Curricula"
  • Dr. Ed George - "Writing a Musical Comedy"
  • Dr. Preston Harper - "Sin, Alienation, and Community in Hawthorne's Puritan World"
  • Dr. Jim Nichols - "Blood Flow Changes in the Lung During Lack of Oxygen"
  • Dr. Mike Sadler - "Hadron Spectroscopy with the Crystal Ball Detector"
  • Virginia Sadler - "The Landscape Anew in Diverse Media"
  • Dr. Gailyn Van Rheenen - "Mission Choices for Local Congregations"

1997-1998 Recipients

  • Dr. Arlie Hoover - "Sermons from the home front - Preaching in the middle of a war."
  • Dr. Donald Isenhower - "Spectroscopy with the Crystal Ball Detector at the BNL AGS"
  • Dr. Merlin Mann - "Authoring a Scholarly Book about Journalistic Interviewing"
  • Dr. Ronald Rathbun - "Developing a New Understanding of Piano Perofrmance Technique"
  • Dr. John Robinson - "The Leyenda Negra in American Culture"

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