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Handbook of Operating Procedures

Faculty Development Leave

Policy Number: 49


Development leave for faculty members


Faculty members

Date Reviewed:
March 2021
Responsible Office:
Office of the Executive Vice President & Chief Academic Officer
Responsible Executive:
Executive Vice President & Chief Academic Officer; Office of Faculty Affairs and Development


Faculty development leaves will be authorized for the primary purpose of increasing the value of the recipient’s sustained contribution to The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (“university”) by providing the individual an opportunity for professional growth. All faculty members who hold the rank of instructor or above and who have served full-time academic duty at the university for at least two consecutive academic years are eligible to apply for a faculty development leave of absence for study, research, writing, field observations or other suitable purposes  Preference will be given to faculty with longer periods of service. No more than six percent of the total number of faculty members in the university may be on faculty development leave at any one time.

Faculty development leaves may be requested and subsequently granted for up to one year (12 months) at half salary, or up to six months at full salary. Salaries paid to faculty while on development leave may come from either funds appropriated by the Texas Legislature specifically for that purpose or other such funds available to the university.  Faculty members on development leave will generally not receive supplements for any administrative or other non-faculty appointments, unless the faculty member will perform administrative duties or other activities linked to those supplements.  Similarly, faculty members on development leave will generally not receive incentive payments, unless the faculty member will perform activities linked to those incentive payments.  Such arrangements must be clearly stated in the application for development leave to ensure that any such duties do not prevent the faculty member from achieving the goal of the development leave and enhance his or her value to the university upon completion of the leave.  Any such arrangements must also be approved in advance by the department chair and dean.

Endorsement of a faculty development leave request does not signify approval of funding for the faculty member's salary. The dean of the school of the faculty member's primary appointment is responsible for ensuring that there is appropriate funding for the development leave.  The dean shall also ensure appropriate coverage of the faculty member’s teaching and service responsibilities so that students’ progress toward degrees is not delayed and the services (e.g., committees, patient care) of the school and university are not interrupted.

Faculty members on development leave may accept scholarships, fellowships, or grants while on leave for the purpose of research or study for which no services are required or if the fellowship, grant, or scholarship involves teaching combined with significant research. Faculty members on development leave may not accept employment from any other person, corporation or government unless The University of Texas Board of Regents determines that it would be in the public interest to do so and expressly approves the employment.


The following general guidelines govern awarding faculty development leave. Specific guidelines appear in Guidelines for the Faculty Development Leave Program.

Qualified faculty members may apply for development leave by submitting a statement of the nature of their research or other proposed activities during the leave to the Faculty Leave Committee within their school. The Faculty Leave Committee will review faculty proposals and forward a set of recommendations for development leave to the dean of the school or equivalent. The participation of the faculty in the review process within each school permits the unique mission of that school to be considered in the assessment of the proposals and reflects a commitment to equal opportunity for faculty who apply.

The dean, in consultation with appropriate leaders within the school, will review recommendations by the school committee and will forward the applications and his or her recommendations to the Executive Vice President & Chief Academic Officer ("EVP/CAO") via the Office of Faculty Affairs and Development ("OFAD").

OFAD will forward the applications to the Standing Committee on Faculty Development Leave. The committee consists of one faculty representative from each school selected annually by the InterFaculty Council (“IFC”) from IFC membership.  The standing committee will forward a final set of recommendations arranged by priority to the EVP/CAO, who will make final selections for faculty development leave.

While on leave, a faculty member's vacation and sick leave hours continue to accrue at the full-time rate. Additionally, the accrued hours the faculty member may carry forward to the next fiscal year is based on the full-time rate.  Benefits will also continue at a full-time rate.

While a faculty member is on leave, no time will be counted toward fulfillment of a probationary period for tenure.

Recipients of faculty development leaves must, upon return from the leave, file copies of a report of activities with their department chair or equivalent, with the dean of their school, and with the EVP/CAO.


    • Office of the Executive Vice President & Chief Academic Officer; Office of Faculty Affairs and Development
    • 713-500-3062