The COVID-19 pandemic may have led to disruption of faculty sabbatical activities in the period between March 15 and the end of the spring 2020 semester. Based on our discussions with the University Committee, faculty on sabbatical during the above period (Spring 20 and Academic Year 19-20 sabbaticals) can be placed in one of three categories:
Category 1 – those whose sabbatical wasn’t interrupted by Covid-19 in a meaningful way,
Category 2 – those who successfully had the first half of the semester to devote to their sabbatical projects, but whose progress was derailed after March15 by having to take on child or family care as schools let out and people became ill, and
Category 3 – those who sabbaticals were disrupted because they either could not travel during the affected period, cut short their travel and prematurely return to Milwaukee, or did not have access to research needs (labs, libraries, etc) during the affected period.
Faculty in categories 2 and 3 may request from their executive committees an accommodation or relief in their evaluation of the accomplishments during the sabbatical period. They should submit a report to the Department Chair, the Dean, and the Provost as required by the sabbatical guidelines and indicate how the disruption due to the pandemic affected the achievement of their sabbatical goals. Executive committees should factor these disruptions which are beyond the control of the faculty member in their evaluations. Faculty who request such accommodation should report COVID-19 leave (see https://uwm.edu/coronavirus/faqs/what-is-covid-19-leave-and-when-can-i-take-it/ for more details) for the period in which the disruption prevented them from fully engaging in faculty duties and responsibilities.
Executive committees may forward their recommendations to the Dean for accommodations in the 2020-21 academic year (such as a course release) if a faculty member in categories 2 or 3 submit such a request to complete the work planned during the affected period. Deans will consider such requests and forward them with their recommendations to the Provost for approval. Such requests must be submitted sufficiently in advance of planning for teaching assignments for the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 semester, whichever is applicable.