(MUPIM 6.8/OAC 3339-6-08)
The Faculty Improvement Program, established in conformity with Section 3345.28 of the Ohio Revised Code, provides extended periods for professional growth and development. All full-time, tenured members of the instructional staff with teaching loads who have served at least seven (7) years in any rank in full-time service are eligible for a Faculty Improvement Leave. It enables faculty development away from campus and requires seven years of fulltime service for eligibility.
This program is crucially important for enabling the improvement of teaching techniques, extending the frontiers of knowledge, and maintaining the vitality of individual faculty members and programs.
The program provides release from teaching duties and other University assignments, either full compensation during one semester or two-thirds compensation during two semesters, continuation of University-provided insurance benefits and fee waivers, and eligibility for salary increment and promotion. For participants in the State Teachers Retirement System, contributions will be made as allowed by law. For participants in the Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP), contributions will be made as permitted by the plan.
Specifics of the program are outlined below.
- Application for a Faculty Improvement Leave is initiated through the department chair to the dean, Provost, and President.
- In any single year, because of commitments to teaching and service as well as to faculty development, the University customarily will not authorize more than thirty (30) Faculty Improvement Leaves.
- Professional leave taken as a Faculty Improvement Leave shall not normally be deemed to be in lieu of Assigned Research (assigned duty in connection with a specific research, scholarly, or creative program).
- A Faculty Improvement Leave ordinarily does not involve additional funding for a department. A request for Faculty Improvement Leave must indicate how the department will cover the load of the staff member applying for the leave. In rare instances when extreme hardship would result in a department if a Faculty Improvement Leave were granted, funds may be authorized by the Provost or dean to hire replacement staff.
- Faculty Improvement Leaves are granted on the basis of the contribution that the appointee will make to the University upon returning to normal assignment. Years of service are crucial for determining eligibility, but are not a major factor in discriminating among aspiring candidates.
- A person may not receive a second (or “the next”) Faculty Improvement Leave until seven (7) years have elapsed from the end of the previous Leave.
- A request for a Faculty Improvement Leave should detail the activities proposed for the year or the term and indicate their significance for the mission of the University. They may relate to professional growth, disciplinary research, a research project dealing with the effectiveness of various instructional methods, or teaching development.
- Persons receiving a Faculty Improvement Leave are obligated to remain at Miami during the ensuing academic year and to make a full report of the results of the assignment to the chair, dean, and Provost within ninety (90) days of the completion of the Leave. If a person does not return to Miami University during the ensuing academic year, he or she is expected to reimburse the University a prorated portion of University salary received during the Faculty Improvement Leave for the portion of the post leave year that is not completed.
- Recipients of Faculty Improvement Leaves may receive money for approved study or research or other activities expressly related to the purpose of the leave without prejudice to their receipt of income from Miami, provided that the total remuneration from all sources (including Miami) does not exceed the recipient’s annual Miami University salary.
- In addition to salary, special arrangements may be made for grants to defray travel and similar coincidental expenses. These arrangements must, however, be approved in advance of the leave.
- Applications for a Faculty Improvement Leave should be received in the Academic Personnel Services Office by December 1 of the academic year preceding the leave period if one is to receive most favorable consideration.
- Questions regarding the program and its guidelines should be addressed to the Academic Personnel Services Office.