Imagine taking a semester or a full year off to pursue a dream project at your own pace. You focus, you relax, you produce work that will benefit the college. A sabbatical sounds amazing — and it is! But if you’re interested in taking a sabbatical, you need to start planning now.

 By January 31, sabbatical candidates must get approval from their chair, complete the application, and get letters of recommendation from three peers. CIE, which administers the sabbatical program, requires a thorough application process and review.  Details are found at Guidelines/Criteria: Faculty Sabbatical Requests

The first step in the process is to determine if you’re eligible. Faculty are not eligible for sabbaticals, generally, until they’ve been at NMC for seven years. Next you should consider the scope of your project and leave. Options are a one-semester sabbatical at full pay or a full-year sabbatical at half pay, as outlined in Article 23 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement

Be sure to consult with your chair or department manager early in the process. They will help you work out the details of your project. CIE can tell you that faculty have pursued a wide range of sabbatical projects over the years, including “return to industry” sabbaticals where faculty work in an outside organization in their field. While many sabbatical projects are possible, CIE requires that they meet these basic criteria:

  • Result in observable/measurable impact on the faculty member
  • Benefit the college
  • Improve student learning

If CIE approves your application, we send it to the Vice President for Educational Services Stephen Siciliano, who decides whether to send it to President Nick Nissley, who makes the final decision. If your sabbatical is approved — and most sabbaticals are — you will be expected to prepare a report on your work at the completion of their sabbatical.

Two faculty members are currently on sabbatical. Astronomy instructor Jerry Dobek is on a one-semester sabbatical developing online versions of astronomy courses using video capture technology at the NMC Rogers Observatory. Communications instructor Nancy Gray is on a year-long sabbatical researching best practices for supporting neurodigent students and investigating how NMC can support our neurodivergent students. We look forward to hearing more about these amazing projects! 

Will you next up for a sabbatical? CIE is happy to help guide you through the process.