Boulder Campus Policy on Absence from Campus
Issued: December 2008, Revised:  February 2016

The Office of Faculty Affairs has developed the policy below (adapted from the policy of the College of Arts and Sciences) to guide units in managing faculty absences from campus. This policy is to be used when a faculty member is away from campus to meet professional responsibilities during a semester when s/he has teaching responsibilities; it applies to all faculty who have teaching responsibilities.  It does not apply to people on leave, such as Family Medical Leave, Parental leave, leave without pay, or sabbaticals.  This policy is designed to insure coverage of classes and does not take up issues of compensation. 

Each college and school may develop its own procedures as long as they maintain the central point that faculty members shall not be absent from classes except in cases of illness, personal emergency, religious observance, or when the absence is desirable for the faculty member to meet his or her professional responsibilities.  

In the absence of policies filed with the Office of Faculty Affairs, the policy below is the default policy for the campus.      

Policy on Faculty Absences from Campus  

The Policy on Faculty Absences from Campus gives effect to the BFA Statement on faculty absences dated April 1980:  

“It is expected that faculty members will not be absent from classes except in cases of illness, personal emergency, religious observance, or when the absence is desirable for the faculty member to meet his or her professional responsibilities.”

This policy applies to all faculty members, including those who do not have formal teaching assignments in the semester in which the absence is to take place. It does not apply to those on leave without pay, faculty fellowships, or sabbatical leave.  

  1. If a faculty member is absent from the campus because of travel for 5 contiguous working days or fewer in a semester, he/she does not need permission from the chair or the dean. The faculty member is nevertheless responsible for ensuring that all classes are covered and that other professional obligations (such as committee meetings and undergraduate advising duties) are also fulfilled.
  2. If a faculty member is to be absent from campus because of travel for more than 5 contiguous working days but not more than a total of 10 working days in a semester, he/she must inform the chair in writing of the proposed absence and must obtain prior written permission both for the absence and for the arrangements made to cover classes, advising, etc. The chair must advise/copy the dean’s office of his/her decision. (Note: in schools and colleges that do not have a departmental structure, the faculty member must obtain prior written permission of the dean’s office. If a chair is to be absent she/he should obtain permission from the dean’s office.) 
  3.  For proposed absences of more than a total of 10 working days overall in a semester because of travel, the faculty member shall inform both the chair and the dean’s office in writing of the proposed absence and proposed arrangements to cover teaching, advising, and other responsibilities. Both the chair and the dean’s office must approve such absences and arrangements in advance of travel. (Note: in schools and colleges that do not have a departmental structure, the faculty member must obtain prior written permission of the dean’s office.) 
  4. If a faculty member is to be absent from campus during a final examination period, he/she shall obtain the prior written approval of both the chair and the dean’s office. (Note: in schools and colleges that do not have a department structure, the faculty member must obtain the prior written approval of the dean’s office.) 
  5. Submission of requests for faculty absence from campus should be made no later than one week prior to the intended departure.