Each Faculty member will be provided office space, reasonable equipment, and on-campus administrative support services consistent with the nature of the individual’s responsibilities and the institutional resources available.
Support and Development of New and Probationary Faculty
The Dean and the Faculty Personnel Committee will develop an orientation for new faculty and a mentoring program for new faculty. Such programs will consider the needs of the individual faculty member. All faculty members will be provided by the President’s Office with current copies of the Faculty Handbook and Employee Handbook, and other documents bearing upon their employment, at the time their letter of employment contract is offered.
Research is essential to the teaching and scholarship of the Faculty, and teaching and scholarship are the two most heavily weighted criteria in faculty evaluation. Research can cover a wide variety of venues and methods, dependent upon the faculty members discipline and the focus of his/her work. Developing and following through on a research agenda is an important part of the Faculty’s employment, and the School provides a number of ways to help the Faculty in this task.
Teaching excellence in residential and online formats is one of the most important of the criteria used in evaluating faculty performance. Teaching excellence includes a sound knowledge of one’s field of study, the ability to communicate that knowledge clearly and effectively in ways that engage the variety of learning styles present among students, fostering respect for each student, creating a climate that allows for the free and open exchange of ideas, maintaining a standard of rigorous critical thought, attending to the different perspectives that arise in our culturally, racially, and ethnically diverse world, ability to relate one’s subject area to other areas of knowledge, and a willingness to revise methods, content, and resources in light of new scholarship in one’s field, new classroom and course delivery formats, and ongoing critical reflection upon one’s teaching.
Teaching excellence is a life-long professional process. Therefore, the School will foster Faculty Development in a number of ways, including but not limited to the following:
- Designating a faculty mentor for new probationary faculty and term-contract professors.
- Maintaining regular processes of review and evaluation of all Faculty.
- Supporting faculty members in their efforts to obtain research grants and/or to attend seminars and workshops that enhance teaching effectiveness.
- Periodically reviewing, as a faculty community, how well the total educational program is filling the School’s mission and goals.
Faculty Academic Leave
The School provides research leaves and sabbaticals to help faculty members in their continued professional development throughout their careers. Research leaves and sabbatical are not to be seen as leave-time, but rather as an essential part of the faculty member’s work and one of the ways that the School fills its mission to serve religious organizations, and academic or professional guilds. A faculty academic leave will normally not be granted to subsidize any form of work on advanced degrees in a faculty member’s primary field or for work that is not directly related to the faculty member’s scholarship or teaching at the School. Time on leave counts towards promotion in rank and/or tenure, unless the faculty member and the School agree in writing to waive this provision at the time the academic leave is granted.
A research leave may be requested by, or, in some instances, it may be required of a faculty member. A faculty research leave shall be for the purpose of affording the faculty member an opportunity to engage in study and research aimed at one or more of the following: (1) Allowing time for research and publication or other contributions to the advancement of a field of scholarship; (2) Enhancing skills as a teacher in a graduate theological school; (3) Deepening knowledge of the faculty member’s field, or of a related field and its place in theological education.
Research leaves are fully paid and will be no longer than one academic quarter in length. During a research leave, the faculty member will be excused from teaching and serving on committees, but he/she will continue to advise doctoral students. Faculty receive excuse from teaching for only one course (4 credit hours) in the academic year of their research leave.
The Faculty recognizes that a research leave is for the purpose(s) agreed upon by the Faculty member, the Dean, and the Faculty Personnel Committee, and failure to fulfill such purpose(s) may constitute sufficient cause for the denial of future leave requests. Research leaves do not automatically accrue to a faculty member solely by reason of time served at the School.
- A tenure-track faculty member may be eligible for one research leave of one academic quarter duration during any seven year period. This may not happen during the first year after a sabbatical or during the year prior to a sabbatical.
- The Librarian, the Director of Professional Formation, and the Dean of Chapel are eligible for one research leave every three years, provided that adequate coverage can be provided for their administrative duties during that research leave.
- Term-Contract Faculty members may be eligible for a research leave if he/she serves for more than three years on the Faculty.
- Research leaves must be approved by the Dean and the President. The President will report all research leaves to the Board of Trustees.
- Procedures for Research Leaves:
- A faculty member applying for a research leave will present to the Dean and the Faculty Personnel Committee a proposal. The Dean is responsible for setting and communicating the deadline for this application and proposal (normally early in the Fall Quarter for the next academic year).
- The project for which the leave is granted must be a research project that has clearly specified and realistic “publication” goals, or it can be a study designed to enable the recipient to develop additional competence in an academic discipline, consistent with institutional needs, or it can be a bibliography of materials that the faculty member want to read in order to deepen and expand knowledge of the field for the purposes of teaching and scholarship.
- Research leave proposals must be reviewed and approved by the Faculty Personnel Committee prior to submission to the Dean and the President for their approval.
- Letters granting research-based leaves shall include the following: (1) a statement of the specific research and goals for which the leave is being granted; and (2) a statement such as this about eligibility for future research leaves: “In all cases, applications for future leaves will be evaluated in terms of the extent to which the faculty member was able to fulfill the research and publication commitments (or clearly comparable projects) that had been the basis for prior research leave applications and proposals.”
A faculty sabbatical leave is a leave of three full academic quarters for which a full-time, tenured faculty member may apply after having taught at the School for six full years. A faculty member becomes eligible for succeeding sabbatical leaves after completing six additional years of full- time service to the institution.
- While on sabbatical a faculty member is freed from teaching, service on committees, advising, and all special meetings.
- The granting of a sabbatical is never automatic but depends on at least the following factors:
- The faculty member must apply for a research grant that includes salary support.
- A sabbatical proposal that follows the procedures stated below and that is approved by the Dean and the Faculty Personnel Committee.
- How the sabbatical fits with the calendar and timeline of sabbaticals and research leaves granted to other member of the Faculty.
- Consideration of whether the sabbatical might be scheduled as a calendar year sabbatical (CY: January 1 to December 31 of the same year), or as an academic year sabbatical (AY: June 1 to May 31 of the next year), as may be agreed to by the Dean and the faculty member in consultation with the Faculty Personnel Committee.
- The faculty member will receive from the School, while on sabbatical, full salary and benefits less any funds specifically designated as salary replacement funds by a research grant or other grant obtained by the faculty member.
- The Dean oversees the review of all the factors cited above and makes a recommendation about who receives a sabbatical and the timing of all sabbaticals. Upon the approval of a sabbatical request by the Dean and the President, the request will be forwarded to the Board of Trustees for final approval.
- Granting of future sabbatical and research leaves is dependent on successful completion of the leave project and appropriate reporting.
Procedures for Faculty Sabbatical Leave
- A faculty member applying for a sabbatical will present to the Dean and Faculty Personnel Committee evidence of having applied for a research grant and a sabbatical proposal.
- The project for which the sabbatical is granted must be a research project that has clearly specified and realistic publication goals, or a study designed to enable the recipient to develop additional competence in an academic discipline, consistent with institutional needs.
- Applications for sabbatical leaves must include a full description of the proposed study, methods of research, timetable for the sabbatical period, and anticipated publication(s). Additional information may be required by the Faculty Personnel Committee, the Dean, or the President.
- Proposal for sabbatical leaves by assistant and associate professors must be evaluated anonymously by at least two outside scholars who are established experts in the field of the proposed research or, in lieu of that evaluation, a signed contract from a reputable publisher will be acceptable.
- Sabbatical proposals must be approved by the Faculty Personnel Committee, the Dean, and the President.
- Letters granting sabbaticals shall include the following: (1) a statement of the specific research and goals for which the leave is being granted; and (2) a statement such as the following about eligibility for future sabbatical leaves: “In all cases, applications for future sabbaticals will be evaluated in terms of the extent to which the faculty member was able to fulfill the research and publication commitments (or clearly comparable projects) that had been the basis for prior sabbatical leaves.”
Obligations of Sabbatical and Research Leave Recipients
The recipients of faculty sabbatical or research leaves incur the following obligations to the School:
- To make every reasonable effort to fulfill the terms of the sabbatical or research leave.
- To file a detailed report on the results of the sabbatical or research leave with the chairperson of the Faculty Personnel Committee and the Dean within thirty days after the beginning of the quarter following the sabbatical or research leave. At the request of the Dean or the Faculty Personnel Committee, such reports may also be made orally to a group of interested faculty and students. All sabbatical and research leave reports will be reviewed by the Dean and the Faculty Personnel Committee.
- Faculty responsibilities to Ph.D. program students regarding comprehensive exams, dissertations, and other advisory work with doctoral students should be worked out reasonably so as not to hinder students’ progress towards the completion of their degree program.
Professional Meeting Expense
In order to encourage excellence in teaching and scholarship, each full-time faculty member is allowed travel and other reasonable expenses to at least one professional meeting or academic conference per school year. The Dean, in consultation with the President, sets a limit based on budgetary considerations for this annual faculty travel allowance to professional meetings or academic conferences.
So long as the University of Denver, in its discretion, or subject to separate agreement with the Iliff School of Theology, continues to make the benefit in such form and amounts as the University determines (or as set by the terms of a separate agreement between the University and the School), employees of the Iliff School of Theology may participate in the University of Denver tuition waiver program. This program is designed to enable benefitted employees, their spouses/certified partners and/or their dependent children, to enroll in courses at the School and at the University with reduced or with no tuition charges. Information about tuition waivers at Iliff School of Theology and at the University of Denver is available from the School’s business office. (Continuation of the University of Denver’s tuition waiver benefit is at the sole discretion of the University of Denver.)
Full-time faculty members have unlimited enrollment privileges at the Iliff School of Theology, without charge, consistent with the fulfillment of their faculty responsibilities and assuming collegial consent. Educationally-qualified, immediate family members of full-time faculty may enroll at the School for four credit-hours of courses at no charge during the academic quarters when they are teaching. Such faculty, who have taught three or more courses at the School within any five-year period may also enroll for up to four credit-hours without charge during any non-teaching quarter, provided that these hours are taken within three years of the last teaching assignment and do not exceed the number of hours taught by that person at the School within the five-year period. Courses offered by the University of Denver do not qualify for this benefit.
Leaves of Absence
The Iliff School of Theology permits leaves of absence, with and without pay, under certain conditions as provided below.
Leaves of Absence with Pay
The School permits short-term leaves with pay for the following circumstances provided the faculty member arranges with the Dean, in-writing, for appropriate coverage of courses and/or equivalent teaching and professional responsibilities. In emergency situations, the Dean may waive the written request. Faculty members who have been employed by the School for at least one full year, may be granted a leave with pay for the maximum period stipulated for each situation listed below. Employment benefits will not be affected by these provisions. Leaves of absence with pay for faculty members are granted by the Dean in consultation with the President and the Office of Human Resources. Leaves of absence with pay exceeding 60 days are taken to the President and Board of Trustees for approval.
- Medical: Leaves of absence with pay may be requested for personal injury, illness, or necessary medical procedures for the faculty member or for being present with and/or caring for someone in the faculty member’s immediate family who is dealing with personal injury illness, or necessary medical procedures, among whom are included parents, parents-in-law, spouse or partner, children or step-children, grandparents, and siblings of the faculty member or spouse/partner. Satisfactory medical proof of illness or injury may be required by the Offices of the Dean, Human Resources, or the President. Leaves of absence for medical reasons are for a maximum of sixty (60) working days.
- Bereavement: Leaves of absence with pay may be taken for a death in the faculty member’s immediate family (see preceding paragraph for the definition of immediate family). Leaves of absence for bereavement are for a maximum of five (5) working days.
- Jury Duty: Leaves of absence with pay for serving on jury duty are permitted for the length of the trial. Jury Duty compensation is to be returned to the School.
- Family Care: Leaves of absence with pay for Family Care Leave may be requested for pregnancy, childbirth, adoption, and any medical conditions associated therewith. Leaves of absence for family care are for a maximum of sixty (60) working days to the extent permitted by the carriers and by paying for them through the School’s business office in consultation with the Office of Human Resources. Following consultation with the Faculty Personnel Committee, the Dean will make a recommendation to the President regarding the requested leave. The decision of the President will be final. The granting of such leaves of absence with pay to faculty members will be reported to the Board of Trustees by the President. (Additional leave time is possible under the following section covering Leaves of Absence Without Pay.)
- Other Cases: Other circumstances or cases for leaves of absence with pay from full-time faculty members will be considered on an individual basis by the School.
Leaves of Absence Without Pay
Full-time members of the Faculty may request a full-time or part-time leave of absence without pay for one of the following reasons:
- An academic or professional opportunity to the faculty member and to the School;
- Extended family care leave, or other serious personal or familial circumstances, such as the need to care for ill children, spouses/partners, or parents, and in keeping with current State and Federal employment laws;
- Other circumstances, specified reasons, or opportunities in the best interests of the School.
Such leaves of absence without pay may be granted at the sole discretion of the Iliff School of Theology, and will not ordinarily be for longer than one year, although the School, through the Dean, in consultation with the President and the Office of Human Resources, may grant further extended full-time or part-time leave without pay in special circumstances.
Time on such leaves of absence will not count toward tenure or promotion in rank, and is not credited toward time in service to the School for sabbatical leave unless the individual faculty member and the School so agree in writing prior to the beginning of the leave. Faculty members will not forfeit their rank on the Faculty strictly by virtue of being on leave without pay.
While an individual faculty member is on a leave of absence without pay, the Iliff School of Theology does not provide employment benefits unless a contrary arrangement has been mutually agreed to in writing by the faculty member and the School. Faculty members may continue their fringe employment benefits to the extent permitted by the carriers by paying for them through the School’s business office and in consultation with the Office of Human Resources.
Following consultation with the Faculty Personnel Committee, the Dean will make a recommendation to the President regarding the requested leave of absence without pay by the faculty member. The decision of the President will be final. The granting of leaves of absence without pay will be reported to the Board of Trustees by the President.