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UF/IFAS Human Resources

UF/IFAS Human Resources

Professional Development Leave Procedures

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 16, 2009

Reviewed 01/25/22


There are several opportunities afforded to faculty for developmental work or study. These are generally referred to as faculty professional development leave, sabbaticals, etc. and include well-known programs such as the Fulbright scholarship. Six (6) years of full-time service to the University is a minimum requirement. Eligible faculty are encouraged to apply for participation in such opportunities. However, it is important to note that any application for faculty professional developmental leave (including Fulbright) must be endorsed by the Chair / Center Director and authorized by the Dean(s) and Senior Vice President. The University of Florida Rule governing such leaves is 6C1-1.201 (11).


  1. Annual Submission Instructions - The Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources will issue instructions annually to IFAS unit administrators on the preparation and submission of faculty professional development leave.

  1. Professional Development Leave Request Submission, Selection and Announcement Procedures:
    1. A professional development leave request may be submitted at any time during a given year at least six (6) months in advance of the date the leave is proposed to be used if awarded.
    1. Each applicant applying for a professional development leave will complete an IFAS Faculty Professional Development Leave Application Form (MS Forms, Gatorlink login required), provide a statement of their proposed program, furnish a current vita and a letter of invitation from their host.
    1. The unit administrator will review each proposal to be submitted from their unit and prepare a letter of support for each. The unit administrator will also need to indicate what arrangements will be made to cover the faculty member's responsibilities while on faculty professional development leave, including teaching and graduate student support.
    1. The completed faculty professional development leave request and letter of support are submitted to the Office of IFAS Human Resources.
    1. The Office of IFAS Human Resources will distribute copies of each request to the IFAS Faculty Professional Development Advisory Committee.
    1. The IFAS Faculty Professional Development Advisory Committee will review those requests to be awarded annually on the basis of three percent of the eligible faculty and name first alternate leave recipients to be eligible for any leaves which may be declined.  After reviewing, the committee will make their recommendation to the three deans.
    1. The three deans will jointly review the Committee's recommendation and forward their recommendation, along with the Committee's, to the Senior Vice President including those denied. A justification for each action should accompany the material sent to the Senior Vice President. If a request is denied, it will be returned to the recommending unit by the appropriate Dean, following review by the Senior Vice President.
    1. Each faculty member awarded a professional development leave shall be responsible for notifying, through their unit administrator, the IFAS Human Resources office as to the specific dates of the leave when he/she plan to depart.


  1. UF /IFAS professional development leave requires the following criteria:
    1. The Chair/Center Director must provide written clarification of how the faculty member's duties will be covered during the period of leave.
    1. An applicant will normally have tenure or permanent status.
    1. An applicant must have completed six (6) years of full-time service at the University of Florida prior to starting the leave.
    1.  Six (6) years of full-time service since completing a previously awarded faculty professional development leave is required.
    1. Leave may be requested for six (6) months at full pay or twelve (12) months at half pay for 12-month faculty OR one (1) semester at full pay or two (2) semesters at half pay (must be fall, then spring) for 9-month faculty.
    1. Leave to work toward graduate degrees will be given only when:

                                          i.    the degree sought is relevant to the proposed program; or

                                       ii.    the unit (center, department, or county) administrator certifies that the proposed study is required in developing the program of the unit.

    1. Each application will be evaluated on the following criteria:

                                        i.    clarity and specificity of the proposal.

                                       ii.    benefits that will accrue to the unit, IFAS and University, as well as to the individual upon completion of the proposed work.

                          iii.    ability of the faculty member to carry out the proposed work.

                                       iv.    feasibility of completing the proposed program in time available.

    1. Additional support from other sources is also encouraged for the program of study or work proposed.


  1. The unit administrator shall be responsible for initiating an ePAF (electronic personnel action form) for each faculty member as he/she begins and returns from a faculty professional development leave.


  1. Upon completion of the professional development leave, the faculty member shall submit a report reflecting the accomplishments made while on the leave to the Senior Vice President and appropriate IFAS Deans within thirty (30) days after completing the program.


  1. The IFAS Faculty Professional Development Advisory Committee is composed of seven (7) faculty members who will be appointed annually by the Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources.

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