Scholarly Leaves

Reynolds Leave

Senior faculty (associate and full professors) are eligible to apply for a Reynolds Leave every five years. The Reynolds Leave program pays two-thirds of the faculty member’s salary during a full year leave or full salary for a one semester leave. Typically, faculty are awarded a semester-long leave during their 2-course semester or a year-long leave during their 4-course year in a 2-2-2-3 plan.

Reynolds Leaves are awarded on a competitive basis with consideration given to the significance of the project, the adequacy of the research plan, the clarity and cogency of the proposal, the likelihood that the project would be substantially advanced by activities during the leave, and the applicant’s record and promise in scholarly work and publication. In making choices among qualified proposals, the committee will privilege proposals submitted by faculty who have provided five or more years of uninterrupted teaching and service. Note, medical and parental leaves are not considered an interruption in teaching and service when considering applications for research leave.

Faculty members are contractually obligated to return to campus for at least one academic year after completion of any paid leave or to refund leave salary and benefits to the University.

Submission Deadlines

October 1:
Faculty member submits Reynolds Leave request to department chair.

November 1: 
Department chair submits completed application packet(s) as a single PDF document via email attachment to the Associate Dean for Research, Scholarship, and Creativity (marshap@nullwfu.edu), with a copy to Anna Henley (brownal@nullwfu.edu).

Application Materials

MATERIALS TO BE PROVIDED BY FACULTY MEMBER TO CHAIR:

Applications should be no more than five pages in length (excluding CV). Applicants should pay special attention to the award criteria outlined below. The primary focus of the application should be on the current leave request and include the following information:

  • A description of the question or problem, including an explanation of its significance for the faculty member, their field of study, and for Wake Forest.
  • A description of the research methods and plan to be followed and of the applicant’s ability to carry out that plan.
  • A timetable for completing and publishing (or presenting if a creative activity) one’s scholarship, including interest from a publisher if requesting a leave to write a book.
  • A justification as to why a leave is essential to complete the proposed project, included justification for the timing of the leave relative to the proposed project.
  • Details of other sources of funding for the leave or other research and creative activity expenses sought or received (if applicable).
  • A short list or statement (2-3 paragraphs) explaining previously paid and unpaid leaves received and the scholarly outcomes that resulted from those leaves.
  • A brief curriculum vitae (up to 4 pages) that contains a list of publications, scholarship, and/or creative works most relevant to the current leave application.
MATERIALS TO BE PROVIDED BY CHAIR TO DEAN’S OFFICE IN SINGLE PDF DOCUMENT:
  • Faculty member’s application materials as outlined above.
  • Signed recommendation letter (1 page maximum) from the department chairperson addressing the applicant’s performance and promise as a scholar and the importance and feasibility of the proposed leave project. We ask that chairs provide a detailed recommendation to assist the committee in making its decisions. In the event a department has multiple applicants for leave during the same year, we ask chairs to carefully consider prioritizing leave requests in a strategic manner, keeping in mind the operational needs of the department.

Department chairs applying for Reynolds Leave: If a department chair is applying for a Reynolds Leave, a colleague who is familiar with the chair’s work should provide the letter of support and endorsement. In addition, the chair should submit a plan for how their courses and duties will be covered in their absence, if the leave is approved.

Should the department need resources to cover the teaching load of the applicant if the leave is granted, the Request for Faculty Position form should be included with the application packet.

AWARD CRITERIA

In addition to a detailed application (see above), all proposals will be reviewed according to these additional criteria:

  • The application should be written for, and comprehensible to, a committee of faculty peers who come from a variety of disciplines. If the purpose and nature of the research is not translated into language comprehensible to educated non-specialists, the proposal will receive low priority.
  • The problem or question to be studied should have significance for the field.
  • The research plan should be sound, well developed, and convincing.
  • The proposed project should appear feasible within the leave time period requested. Leave projects may outline plans for the conclusion of existing projects or additional work on activities that are at an earlier stage of development.
  • The researcher should, barring exceptional circumstances, have a record of productivity from previous leaves. Lacking that record, the applicant needs to demonstrate that the current project holds real promise of publication. Conversely, successful publication in the past does not substitute for meeting the other criteria listed above.
COMMITTEE AND NOTIFICATION

The Reynolds Leave Committee is comprised of faculty members from each of the five divisions and a representative from the Office of the Dean of the College.

All applicants for Reynolds Leaves will be informed before the beginning of the spring term about the outcome of the Reynolds Leave Committee’s deliberations.

FREQUENCY OF LEAVES

Intervals of service to the University between leaves are also considered in the review process, particularly when proposals of equal merit are submitted by individuals with different intervals of service since their last leave. Only under rare circumstances has a leave been granted on a service interval of fewer than 5 years since one’s last leave. (In most cases, 6 academic years since one’s last leave will coincide with 5 years of service since one’s last leave. For example, a person who was on leave in AY2005-2006 would have performed at least 5 years of service before being considered for a leave again in AY2011-2012.)

First-time applications for a Reynolds Leave will be entertained on a service interval of 3 years or longer since one’s Junior Leave.


Junior Leave

All junior faculty members on the tenure track are guaranteed a research leave for one semester at full pay or one year at half pay prior to the tenure decision. Although Junior Leaves are guaranteed, faculty are still required to submit an application for leave one year prior to the desired leave term. The timing of the leave must be approved by the Department Chair and the Associate Dean for Research, Scholarship, and Creativity. Leaves will normally be taken during the third, fourth, or fifth year of teaching at Wake Forest. Typically, faculty are awarded a semester long leave during their 2-course semester or a year-long leave during their 4-course year in a 2-2-2-3 plan. Junior Leaves may not be taken earlier than the third year of employment.

It is important for junior faculty to demonstrate a sustained commitment to departmental citizenship and to the teaching mission of the College. For this reason, the total time away from teaching and service duties on leave should not exceed one full year prior to the tenure decision. Exceptions must be arranged with and approved by the Department Chair and the Dean of the College.

SUBMISSION DEADLINES

October 1:
Faculty member submits Junior Leave request to department chair.

November 1: 
Department chair submits completed application packet(s) as a single PDF document via email attachment to the Associate Dean for Research, Scholarship, and Creativity (marshap@nullwfu.edu), with a copy to Anna Henley (brownal@nullwfu.edu).

Application Materials

MATERIALS TO BE PROVIDED BY FACULTY MEMBER TO CHAIR:

Applications for Junior Leave must include:

  • Semester(s) during which leave is desired.
  • A description of the research or creative work to be carried out.
  • The location at which research or creative work will be carried out.
  • Intention to apply for any additional internal or external funding support (Archie grants, faculty development funding, external fellowships, and residential opportunities, etc.).
MATERIALS TO BE PROVIDED BY CHAIR TO THE DEAN’S OFFICE IN SINGLE PDF DOCUMENT:
  • Faculty member’s application materials as outlined above.
  • Signed letter (1 paragraph minimum to 1 page maximum) from the department chairperson addressing the applicant’s performance and promise as a scholar or creative artist and the importance and feasibility of the project proposed.

Should the department need resources to cover the teaching load of the applicant, the Request for Faculty Position form should be included with the application packet.


External Fellowships and Leave Applications

External fellowships are a mechanism that can allow a faculty member to take a leave outside of the Junior or Reynolds Leave mechanism. Being awarded an external fellowship is a significant professional accomplishment and is encouraged by the College.  However, many fellowships do not cover a faculty members full salary for a semester or a year. As stated in the above sections, faculty members seeking full year Reynolds Leave will receive two-thirds of their salary, while those seeking a full year Junior Leave will receive half salary. Therefore, faculty members are encouraged to coordinate the timing of a leave application with an external fellowship application so that they might cover their full salary during a year-long leave.

In the event that a faculty member is awarded an external fellowship that coincides with a Junior or Reynolds Leave, the University and faculty member agree that the external fellowship will be used to supplement leave salaries up to 100% of the faculty member’s nine-month salary, inclusive of benefits. Additionally, the first $5,000 of any fellowship award received which cannot be applied to summer salary and which would take the faculty member beyond 100% of his/her nine- month salary will be set aside as an internal grant to the faculty member for direct (non-salary) research expenses.

Important: Any faculty member seeking funding in the form of an external fellowship should first contact the Office of the Dean of the College (marshap@nullwfu.edu and brownal@nullwfu.edu) and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs regarding the distribution of the fellowship funds, as well as implications to their benefits (medical, dental, vision, life). All external fellowship approvals require that a Routing Form be submitted in advance. (See ORSP website regarding external fellowship funding and approval guidelines.)


Leave Without Pay

Faculty members may also apply to the Dean to take an unpaid professional leave at a time when they do not have a University-supported leave. Faculty with tenured appointments will normally be eligible for unpaid leaves of absence after having completed three continuous years (i.e., six continuous semesters) of teaching. A leave of absence without pay will not be counted toward eligibility for future University-supported leaves.

Faculty contemplating an unpaid leave should first discuss these plans with their department chair. Aside from teaching and departmental obligations, they should consider the implications such a leave could have in relation to their employee benefits. Human Resources can assist the faculty member with questions specific to their current benefits. If the department chair approves of the unpaid leave plan, the faculty member should email a request for unpaid leave, noting support from the chair, to the Associate Dean for Research, Scholarship and Creativity (marshap@nullwfu.edu), copying Anna Henley (brownal@nullwfu.edu). If the request is approved, the chair will be copied on the approval letter from the Office of the Dean of the College.

Should the department need resources to cover the teaching load of the faculty member taking leave without pay, the department chair should follow the process for Requesting a Faculty Position after the leave has been approved.