Faculty Development Committee Sabbatical Rubric
Elaboration on some descriptions can be found on the Chairperson's Endorsement Form:
|Divisional Dean is opposed to proposal||Divisional Dean has reservations about the proposal||Divisional Dean supports the proposal||Divisional Dean strongly supports the proposal|
|Significance||Project has no significance for the discipline (for scholarship, teaching, etc.)||Project has some significance for the discipline||Project has clear significance for the discipline||Project is extremely significant and makes a substanital contribution to the discipline|
|Clarity||Proposal is unclear||Proposal is somewhat vague||Proposal and outcomes are clear||Proposal is extremely well written and has clear outcomes|
|Benefit||Project does not benefit the developement of the faculty memeber, students, and/or university||Project has little benefit to the development of the faculty member, students, and/or university||Project is beneficial to the development of the faculty member, students, and/or university||Project will be highly beneficial ot the development of the faculty member, students, and/or university|
|Past Experience||Faculty memeber has a poor track record of completing projects||There is no evidence to indicate the faculty member's record of completing projects||Faculty member has a track record of completing projects on time||Faculty member has an exemplary track record of completing projects on time or is newly tenured|
|Timeline||Proposed timeline for project is unrealistic||Timeline is questionable||Timeline is realistic||Project can clearly be completed|
- Timeliness: All merits being equal, faculty members who are newly tenured or who have significantly delayed application for sabbatical beyond the regular seven-year cycle may receive a higher ranking from the Faculty Development Committee.
- Consideration of impact on the division (staffing issues, etc.) will be left to the discretion of the Divisional Deans and Seaver Dean’s Office. Generally, the Faculty Development Committee supports the notion that worthy faculty members should not be denied or delayed sabbaticals due to inadequate funding or staffing to fill her or his teaching load and other duties.
The Faculty Development Committee (FDC) has noticed when evaluating sabbatical applications that our scoring rubric contains some vague language, which has sometimes caused the committee to lack a strong group consensus on the rankings of the applicants. Therefore, in those years when the Dean’s office has decided not to fund all sabbaticals, we have not always been able to provide clear support for or against the Dean’s decision as to who is funded or not. The original rubric was developed by the FDC. In an effort to present a stronger voice in support of our colleagues, the FDC has met to clarify the definitions of the various categories while also clearly discerning between the quality of the application and external factors such as staffing impact on a division and timing of the sabbatical leave. We believe we have come up with a more functional rubric that is still mostly in line with the definitions of the categories as viewed by the Dean’s Office. Furthermore, the new rubric reconciles or establishes clear distinctions with category definitions given on the Chairperson’s Endorsement Form.
Most categories have remained the same with the same wording and weighting of categories. The edits are as follows:
- Staffing issues were integrated into the committee’s score for sabbatical proposals in two categories: Chair’s Support and Impact. The new rubric keeps a category for Divisional Dean’s support of the proposal but removes consideration of staffing issues or the impact of the faculty member’s absence on the division when evaluating the merits of the proposal. Furthermore, the rubric states: “Consideration of impact on the division (staffing issues, etc.) will be left to the discretion of the Divisional Deans and Seaver Dean’s Office. Generally, the Faculty Development Committee supports the notion that worthy faculty members should not be denied or delayed sabbaticals due to inadequate funding or staffing to fill her or his teaching load and other duties.”
- The Chairperson’s Endorsement Form provided by the Seaver Dean’s office has elaborated descriptions of many categories. A link to the form has been added to the rubric.
- The Significance and Benefit categories can be (and are) interpreted in multiple ways when scoring proposals. The new rubric clarifies the scope of these and reconciles them with the Chairperson’s Endorsement Form.
- A strict reading of the rubric would possibly score a newly tenured faculty member as a 2 on Past Experience due to having a less substantial record than faculty members who have previously taken sabbaticals. The new rubric awards a 4 in Past Experience if a faculty member has an exemplary track record or is newly tenured.
- The committee sometimes argues that sabbatical proposals should be more readily approved when a faculty member is newly tenured or has delayed applying for tenure beyond the typical seven-year cycle. The new rubric does not consider this when scoring on merits but suggests that: “All merits being equal, faculty members who are newly tenured or who have significantly delayed application for sabbatical beyond the regular seven-year cycle may receive a higher ranking from the Faculty Development Committee.”
- The Chairperson’s Endorsements Form asks for comment on the “timeliness” of the sabbatical application. The rubric makes clear that this is not considered with the merits of the sabbatical proposal but may be considered separately by the FDC or Seaver Dean’s office. Instead, the new rubric considers the “timeline” and whether or not the goals are realistic and appropriate for the sabbatical leave.
- More changes to the rubric may be made as deemed necessary by the Faculty Development Committee.