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Chapter 7: Academic Staff-Teaching:
Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Artists-in-Residence:
Leave Policies

Last updated: December 15, 2001
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Short absences for personal business, illness, jury duty, military duty, and similar limited absences are normally with full salary. Lecturers, senior lecturers, and artists-in-residence do not accrue vacation or sick leave time, however. It is expected that when scheduling other periods of personal time off, one’s academic responsibilities are taken into consideration. The department chair or program director should be notified in advance of any absence of a member of the academic staff-teaching on active duty that may affect class, laboratory, or other commitments.

Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and Artists-in-Residence may apply for leave without salary. Such leaves must be reviewed for approval by the individual’s department chair or program director and dean.


Senior Lecturers are eligible for professional development leave with salary beginning January 1, 2002. The purpose of this program is to enable them to pursue projects or other activities that will enhance their teaching-related activities at Stanford. The length of professional development leave is one quarter at 100% salary after 10 years of service (30 quarters or 20 semesters) or one quarter at 50% salary after 5 years of service (15 quarters or 10 semesters).

Professional development leave is not automatic; it requires approval by the program director or department chair as well as the school dean. Programmatic need may affect the timing of such leaves. For instance, the schedule of professional development leaves in programs that have a number of senior lecturers will take into account the teaching needs of the program as well as the professional development plans of the senior lecturers.

Under normal circumstances professional development leaves are expected to be of one quarter’s duration, even when a senior lecturer has sufficient accrual for more than one quarter of leave. In these instances, the senior lecturer should work with his or her program director or department chair to develop a mutually satisfactory plan for taking professional development leave over a period of several years. The Application for Leave of Absence is provided in Appendix AA.

Salary is provided during the professional development leave to make it financially possible for a senior lecturer to carry out his or her professional development leave activities. Total compensation during the leave should not normally exceed the senior lecturer’s full-time Stanford base salary for the leave period.

Service at the rank of Senior Lecturer at Stanford counts toward professional development leave eligibility. Time spent on leave or disability is normally excluded in calculating professional development leave eligibility. Professional development leave eligibility may be accrued on a pro rata basis by regular part-time service at 50% time or more, under the same conditions of eligibility as applied to full-time service.

A senior lecturer is expected to serve at Stanford for a period of time comparable to the period of professional development leave following completion of the leave. Professional development leave should not normally be a terminal extension of a regular term appointment. Under usual circumstances, professional development leave may not be taken immediately preceding retirement.

II.  FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE (approved by the Provost, January, 1995)

The following describes categories of leave that may be available to lecturers, senior lecturers, and artists-in-residence who need to take a leave of absence for family or personal medical reasons. Temporary instructors may be needed when such a leave is necessary. When this is the case, department chairs and school deans are responsible for making the necessary appointment arrangements. (In the policies described below, the term “lecturer” refers to Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and Artists-in-Residence.)

A. Maternity Leave

California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law allows for leave of up to four months due to medically certified, pregnancy-related disability. During Maternity Leave, the lecturer remains on the regular Stanford payroll at full salary, but she is expected to apply for Short-Term Disability Insurance according to established procedures. (Specific instructions are available in the Benefits Office and should also be available in department and dean’s offices.) The length of Maternity Leave is determined by the lecturer’s physician, who certifies the number of weeks that she is disabled, both before and after delivery. All disability checks must be endorsed back to her department. Although the disability payments do not cover the full amount of the lecturer’s salary, they partially reimburse the University account that supports it.

To be eligible for Maternity Leave, a lecturer must be benefits eligible - that is, she must have worked at Stanford for at least six months at 50% time or more for the period preceding the leave. Maternity Leave does not extend the term of the current appointment.

B. Family and Medical Leave

Stanford’s policy on Family and Medical Leave for lecturers, senior lecturers, and artists-in-residence follows the guidelines of the California Family Rights Act of 1991 (amended in 1993) and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. This legislation provides for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in any 12 month period for certain family and medical reasons. Family or Medical Leave may be taken for the following reasons:

  • to care for the lecturer’s spouse (including same-sex domestic partner), child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
  • for a lecturer’s serious health condition (In this case the lecturer may be eligible for short-term or long-term disability payments.)
  • the birth of a child or the placement of a child with the lecturer for adoption or foster care.

A serious health condition is defined as any illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition serious enough to involve hospitalization, in-patient care in a residential medical facility, or continuing treatment or supervision by a health care provider.

To be eligible for Family or Medical Leave, an individual must have been employed by Stanford (within the U. S.) for at least 12 months at 50% of full time or more. An individual is not eligible if he/she has used the maximum yearly leave provided by law.

When the need for family leave is foreseeable, requests for Family or Medical Leave should be made sufficiently in advance to allow the school or department to make replacement teaching and other arrangements.

During Family or Medical Leave, the University continues its contributions toward medical and dental group health plans. The lecturer continues to be responsible for paying his or her own premium. If additional leave is approved beyond the 12 weeks of Family or Medical Leave, the lecturer must pay the University’s portion of the monthly premium in addition to his or her own premium to ensure continuous insurance coverage. However, Family and Medical Leave does not extend the term of the current appointment.

Provider: Faculty Affairs, Office of the Provost, Stanford University

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