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Chapter 5
Leaves of Absence

Return to Office of the Secretary of the Faculty

Academic Leaves of Absence

An academic leave, paid or unpaid, is intended to foster the professional development of a faculty member. The opportunity for taking an academic leave is not guaranteed by Tufts University; rather, it is a privilege. Leave may be granted only when the conditions of the department involved and of the university in general are such that the faculty member's absence, in the dean's assessment, will not seriously impair the interests of the university. No financial remuneration is awarded in lieu of any kind of leave granted but not taken.

Faculty on an academic leave may or may not remain in residence at Tufts. If in residence, however, they are not obligated to teach, hold office hours, serve on committees, nor carry out any of the duties associated with their regular academic appointments. Although faculty members on leave are not required to advise undergraduate students, they are expected to work with the chair to ensure that undergraduate advisees are reassigned for the duration of the leave. Faculty members should ensure that their graduate advisees have adequate supervision for the duration of their leave and should remain in contact with those advisees as appropriate.

In the policies outlined in this chapter, we adhere to two principles:

  1. If Tufts is funding all or part of the academic leave and the faculty member does not return to Tufts for at least the time he/she was on leave (for A&S faculty members), or for at least one academic year (for Engineering faculty members), the faculty member must pay back to the school the salary paid by the university during the leave.
  2. Faculty members may not be on academic leave indefinitely. Please see the sections in this chapter for time limits associated with the different categories of academic leaves.

Questions regarding benefits while on leave should be addressed to Tufts Support Services at 617.627.7000.