Pre-Tenure Leave Program (Undergraduate)

Responsibilities in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service to the University community place significant demands on the time of Washington and Lee faculty. These demands can be particularly taxing for tenure-track faculty as they initiate their scholarship agenda and formulate pedagogical strategies most effective for their new environment. In order to assist junior faculty in beginning to meet those responsibilities successfully, the University has developed an optional leave program to allow a junior faculty member to take release time in order to focus more fully on pedagogical and/or scholarly development.


All tenure-track assistant professors whose initial appointments recognize fewer than three years credit toward tenure, based on previous teaching experience.


  • Paid leave for one twelve-week term
  • Paid leave for two six-week terms
  • Release time from up to three courses over one academic year (not to exceed two courses in any single term)

Application Guidelines

  • Applications will be made directly to the President's Advisory Committee. Upon consideration by the Advisory Committee, all recommendations will be forwarded to the President and the Board of Trustees.
  • Candidates must receive a formal written endorsement from their department head.
  • Applications for full-term leaves will be made in the fall term three or two years prior to the tenure-review.
    Spring term leaves or course release time may occur at any time during the three years prior to the candidate's tenure-review year.
  • Applications will be no more than three, single-spaced pages and must be explicit about the applicant's scholarly and/or pedagogical goals.
  • Applications are read and evaluated by the interdisciplinary group of faculty that compose the Advisory Committee.

Evaluation of Applications

  • Applications will be judged based on clarity, specificity, significance of the outcome proposed, and feasibility of the plan for achieving the proposed objectives.
  • The Advisory Committee may require revision of applications in order to maximize benefits to the applicant, department, and institution.

Post-tenure Sabbatical Leave

  • All faculty members remain eligible for leave in the year following a favorable tenure decision.