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Cullen College of Engineering Desk Manual Policies and Procedures
Faculty Development Leave Policies and Procedures

The basic policies and guidelines for Faculty Development Leaves (FDL) are located in the Faculty Handbook at


  1. All tenured full-time faculty members at the University of Houston with at least seven academic years of service are eligible to apply for a Professional Development leave for either one academic year at one-half salary or for one long semester at regular salary.
  2. A full-time faculty member becomes eligible for a second professional leave after completion of seven academic years of service following the end of the first professional leave.
  3. A full-time faculty member may request an extension for up to a total of two years if he or she secures external funding to support the second year of the leave. The second year must be taken as a Leave without Pay.
  4. Faculty members on a full-year FDL are free to accept grants or a fellowship to augment the leave stipend to the approximate level of their full-time salary, provided that the activity for which compensation is received is supportive of the purposes of the professional leave. In the event that external support funds are available that produce a salary higher than the regular annual salary, the faculty member must petition the Dean to keep the excess, by documenting any increased living costs necessitated by the leave. Faculty may not be rehired during the period of their FDL leave to teach or to engage in any other activities for which they receive supplemental compensation from the University.
  5. FDLs are not a faculty entitlement. They are awarded to productive scholars who have valid scholarly projects, as described below.
  6. A professional development leave may not be a terminal leave. In accepting professional leave, faculty members agree to return to the University for at least one full academic year after the leave.

General procedures

Each application for FDL shall be submitted to the applicant’s department chair for review. The application should include the following:

  1. UH Request for Leave of Absence Form found on the College’s 
  2. A detailed description and history of the proposed work and a statement on the applicant’s qualifications for the task. The description should be no longer than three pages, single-spaced. [Note: Make sure that your proposal is written in a way that not only meets the standards of your department’s internal review, but is also accessible to a research committee made up of faculty from many fields. Make sure, too, that the time of the leave requested is appropriate to the task described.]
  3. Dates and summary of the results of all previous Faculty Development Leaves, (no longer than one page, single-spaced).
  4. An abbreviated CV no longer than three pages, single-spaced, which includes major publications and all research/creative activity awards.

Any application approved by the department or school should be forwarded to the Associate Dean for Faculty and Research in the College with the following:

  1. A letter of support from the department chair or school director. The letter should address the merits of the individual proposal and outline the arrangements that will be made to cover the applicant’s teaching and/or service responsibilities, including those in a joint department, if applicable, during his or her absence.
  2. In any year when more than one faculty member in a department/school submits an application for a faculty development leave, the chair/director must provide a ranked list of applications in order of departmental priority and outline the arrangements that will be made to cover applicants’ teaching and/or service responsibilities should more than one faculty development leave be awarded in the department. [Note: It is primarily the responsibility of the department/school to ensure that teaching and other obligations of the absent faculty member can be met without expectation of additional financial support from the College.]

Criteria for Judging Faculty Development Leave Applications

  1. Departmental Review. The review at the departmental level will examine each application received for:
    1. a clear statement of the scope and nature of the project, the specific objective for the Faculty Professional Leave period, and the purpose of the project being undertaken;
    2. evidence that the proposed project will make a significant contribution to the field involved;
    3. evidence that the applicant will be able to make substantial progress on the project during the requested leave period;
    4. the qualifications of the applicant to undertake the proposed project.


Please direct inquiries regarding Faculty Development Leaves to Roshawnda Anderson, Assistant Dean for Administration, at rmander2 [at] (rmander2[at]central[dot]uh[dot]edu).

Please Note:

  • The Faculty Funded Development Leave Program is designed to provide tenure-track faculty the funded opportunity to develop their expertise for continued professional, academic growth. The program requires a retention commitment from the faculty member receiving the leave which is equal to the length of the leave.
  • Leaves are available for one (1) semester with full pay, or one (1) academic year at half pay. The program is funded based on the allocation of money which enables faculty member’s course responsibilities to be covered.
  • Faculty may not receive more than one (1) developmental leave in a six-year period.
  • Indication of whether the application is for the Fall or Spring semester or full academic year.