It is recommended that each member of the full-time faculty attend a professional workshop or conference, or engage in graduate level courses at least once every three years.  The University provides several sources of funding to support faculty members pursuing professional development activities.

  1. Hopper Fund: In 1983, Dr. and Mrs. C.G. Hopper, Jr., a prominent physician and Limestone trustee and his wife (a Limestone alumna) established the Hopper Endowment. The guidelines are being refreshed to annually award funds to support faculty development priorities including research and creative activity in the faculty member’s field; attendance at and participation in workshops, seminars, or professional meetings; and travel for research purposes.
  2. Fullerton Foundation Faculty Awards: In 1984, the Fullerton Foundation gave Limestone University funds to provide for merit awards in teaching and research to be given to deserving tenure-track faculty.  For the excellence in teaching awards, support includes one recipient from each College. The faculty are selected by the students in their classes and by their colleagues on the basis of excellence in classroom teaching and their caring and helpful concern for the academic progress of their advisees and the students in their classes. For the excellence in academic research award, support includes one recipient from the University. The recipient will be chosen based on an application process that includes a review of the faculty member's research.
  3. Faculty Development Fund: The Faculty Development Fund provides financial support for full-time faculty members pursuing professional development activities, which does not include Global Experience trips. The Provost recommends a specified amount of funds in this budget line item each year. The chair of the Faculty Development Committee will be informed of the budgeted amount in this fund by October 1 of each academic year. Faculty Development Funds Request form submitted before or on May 10 will be processed in the current academic year. Guidelines for requesting assistance from the Hopper Fund or the Faculty Development Fund will be released annually.
  4. Faculty/Staff Tuition Benefit: Limestone University strives to have the most highly educated and skilled faculty and staff possible.  To this end, the University will support its faculty and staff in their formal educational endeavors provided there is a benefit to the University and provided resources are available. See “Graduate School Reimbursement Benefits” for additional information concerning this benefit.
  5. Academic Discipline Travel Funds: Academic discipline travel funds are available to each full-time faculty member to ensure a minimum level of support for professional development activities. The Provost, in consultation with the department chairs, recommends a specified amount of funds per faculty member each academic year.  Faculty members submit requests for the use of these travel funds through their dean. The dean’s recommendations are forwarded to the Provost.
  6. Faculty Leaves:
    1. Application Procedures: A sabbatical leave is not something which faculty members earn; rather, they earn the right to apply for a leave.  Meeting the following criteria may qualify one for a leave of absence for a sabbatical, but the granting of such leave is still discretionary with the Board of Trustees, and meeting the criteria does not guarantee approval.

      Faculty members applying for a leave of absence for a sabbatical leave must submit a written request to the Provost by October 15 of the academic year preceding the one when they desire to be on leave.

      The request shall state the period of leave, the service to the University which makes the applicant eligible, the way the leave will be spent including a detailed listing of important activities, and the way the leave will benefit the University.

      The Provost will forward the requests to the Faculty Development Committee chairperson and ask the dean of school and department chairpersons to send that committee a recommendation and a statement as to how the University can best cover the leave-taker’s duties.  By November 15, the Faculty Development Committee will forward its recommendation to the Provost, who will forward it with his/her recommendation to the President by December 15.  Leaves are granted by the Board of Trustees, usually acting upon requests for the following year at its spring meeting, upon the recommendation of the President.

    2. Sabbatical Leaves: Sabbaticals are leaves with pay and benefits (one semester with full pay or two semesters with half pay).  Sabbaticals may be granted as recognition of notable service and as an aid and inspiration to further achievement.  Faculty who have attained tenure and the rank of assistant professor will be eligible to apply for sabbatical leave after completing a minimum of six years of full-time service to Limestone University since initial appointment or a minimum of six years of full-time service since any previous Limestone sabbatical leave.

      Those granted a sabbatical leave are expected to file a full plan of their sabbatical activities with the Provost.  Because a sabbatical is granted with the understanding that the faculty member plans to return, each recipient will sign this statement: “As a result of my having been granted a sabbatical leave from Limestone University, I hereby declare that I will return to Limestone University for a period of no less than one academic year following termination of my sabbatical or pay the full amount of my salary received during the period of my leave back to the University.”

      Within six months of the conclusion of a sabbatical, the faculty member will file a detailed report of the results of the sabbatical activities.  If requested to do so, the faculty member is expected to make a presentation of his/her sabbatical activities to the administration, faculty, and staff.

    3. Leaves of Absence: Leaves of absence are without salary but with the assurance of a Limestone teaching position at the expiration of the leave.  They are usually used to complete advanced degree work, to help the recipient to become more innovative and creative in his/her field, or to meet personal needs.  Normally, an individual shall have been a full-time faculty member for at least two years before taking a leave of absence.  A leave will not usually be approved for more than one year.  Medical insurance will remain available; however, the faculty member on leave will be required to pay the full amount of the premium.  The faculty member may also elect to make his/her regular TIAA/CREF contributions during the leave of absence, but the University will not make its matching contribution during the leave of absence.
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