Sabbatical not just a vacation

by Angelique B. D’Silva
Staff Writer

Six professors and instructors at the University of La Verne will go on sabbatical for the 2000-2001 school year in pursuit of advancing in their personal and professional careers.

To attain sabbatical or promotion, faculty members are subjected to a review. This entire process begins with achieving a tenure from the University.

“It is a grant of a promise of ongoing employment, because the University recognizes the value of the individual that he or she represents as well as the values fundamental to the University,” said Dr. Bill Cook, vice president of academic affairs. Faculty are reviewed for tenure every six years.

“A tenure is a commitment by the University to a faculty member, which is awarded and not automatic,” he said.

In attaining tenure, the University promises protection to faculty members for their research.

Dr. Cook said, “You will have, and it is anticipated, a variety of concepts, opinions, research undertaken that will, at times, conflict with other beliefs; but is protected because the University is a symbol of learning.

“The University protects those who have found reasons and believe and understand things that others have found questionable or offensive,” he said.

Two faculty members were granted tenure this year: they were Abe Helou, associate professor of business and Kimberly Martin, associate professor of behavioral science.

Six faculty members were granted sabbatical leaves for the next academic year. The faculty members going on sabbatical for fall 2000 will be Donna Bentley, reference/access services librarian for Wilson Library, and Rita Thakur, professor of business and economics, who will take a halftime sabbatical for the year.

For the spring 2001 semester, Eric Bishop, associate professor of journalism; Dr. Arthur Gonchar, professor of psychology; Lynn Stanton-Riggs, assistant professor and director of the Learning Enhancement Center; and Dr. Stephen Sayles, professor of history, will be on leave. Sabbatical comes up every seven years.

“I plan to do reading and communicate electronically with a variety of scholars in the information community on the growing gap between information rich and information poor, both between countries and within countries,” said Bentley. “This particular topic is a continuing policy issued, discussed by the social responsibilities discussion group of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.

The review for sabbatical goes through the faculty professional support committee, who reviews the faculty’s form and or objectives and in the end are the determinant of whether one will go on sabbatical.

Sabbatical has to be approved by one’s department, dean and the professional support committee.

Sabbatical is something that is awarded, not automatic. Faculty members have two options for sabbatical, taking an entire year off or one semester. Faculty receive full pay for one semester or half pay for the year.

Sabbatical is a leave of absence from teaching in order to take on different kinds of responsibilities.

“In a sabbatical you have to do a project that is beneficial to your personal advancement and the professional advancement to the University either in the department or to incorporate into one’s class,” said Dr. Cook.

At the end of the sabbatical, a report is given to the committee, where the faculty member presents his/her project.

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