Faculty Development Fellowship Policy

Revised Sept 2007 - procedure clarification
Revised Jan 2007 - title correction
Approved 1994


To provide excellence in education the University of Nebraska at Kearney recognizes the need to grant Faculty Development Fellowships to faculty members for the purpose of encouraging scholarly and professional development for the mutual benefit of the University and the employee.

Faculty Development Fellowship Policy:

Subject to the availability of funds, the demonstrated benefit to the institution in terms of professional development, and the ability of the institution, its colleges and departments to maintain programs and program emphasis and to thereby achieve their mission and meet their enrollment demand, any Unit Member on Continuous Appointment who has completed six years of full-time service at UNK at any academic rank shall be eligible to apply for a Faculty Development Fellowship, either for a full year at half pay and full benefits or for a half year at full pay and full benefits. Each six-year period of full-time service shall renew eligibility to apply for a Faculty Development Fellowship.

Such leaves shall not be considered to be an entitlement or an automatic reward for years of service. The substantive decision of the Board or Administration to approve or disapprove applications for Faculty Development Fellowships shall not be grievable. 

Eligible faculty members must submit a written request, at a date specified each year by the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Student Life, to receive a FDF, (see procedures). The application (See Forms) MUST explain in detail the purpose and expected benefits of the proposed leave. The application shall be reviewed by the applicant's department and must be approved by the appropriate Dean, the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Chancellor and the President. All granting of leaves of absence shall be contingent on satisfactory replacement or other arrangements having been made to ensure that instruction and research in the department involved will not be disrupted.

Applications for FDF's are competitive and will be ranked based upon academic merit. When there are insufficient funds to support all FDF requests, preference will be given, in priority order to (1) applicants who have not had previous leaves of absence (2) applicants with the most years or service to UNK and (3) applicants with the highest academic rank. In reviewing applications for FDF's, consideration may be given to any previous leaves granted to the applicant during the six preceding appointment years.

Faculty members on a Faculty Development Fellowship may accept scholarships, fellowships, grants, or employment during the FDF, provided such scholarships, fellowships, grants, or employment relate to experiences which serve the purpose of the faculty member's leave.

Outside funds may be used to supplement the faculty member's income while on leave up to the level, subject to increases for travel and higher cost of living expenses, of the faculty member's normal compensation. Each employee in his/her FDF application shall inform the University of related salaries, grants, fellowships, or financial support which the employee will receive while on leave. If notice of support is received after the proposal is submitted, the employee shall notify the appropriate Dean and the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. If the proposed financial support is deemed to be inappropriate, the FDF may be canceled.

If, after a FDF has been approved, it becomes apparent that the specific proposal for that leave cannot be implemented, the award may be continued on the basis of an alternative proposal, or deferred, or withdrawn, at the discretion of the faculty member or the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Upon return to normal academic duties, FDF recipients must file a written report with the appropriate Dean and the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs which compares the faculty member's actual activities with those outlined in the faculty member's application.

The time period of the FDF shall be considered service to UNK for all purposes, including salary adjustments on the same basis as other faculty members. No faculty member on FDF shall be required to contribute to the compensation of any substitutes to perform all or any part of that faculty member's assigned workload.

The recipient of a FDF agrees to resume his/her duties at UNK upon termination of the leave and to continue such duties for a period of at least one academic year. If the faculty member fails to do so, he/she agrees to reimburse the University for all pay received during the leave of absence, unless waived by the Board of Regents or its designee.

The Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will utilize current Regents Policy to determine the number of FDF's to be made each year. Normally, the total number of awards will not exceed the Regent's present target number of one to ten eligible members of the faculty.

Sources: Regents Policy 4.2.3, BRUN Minutes, 54, p. 13 1, April 8, 1989; Regent Bylaw 3.4.3, Academic Leaves of Absence, Bylaws of the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska, 15 June 2006, 13 June 1992).