Faculty Leave Types Overview

Listed below are brief summaries of the different leave types. Details regarding procedures for requesting leave and the impact on NMSU benefit programs can be found in the NMSU policy manual or by contacting Benefit Services at benefits@nmsu.edu. Training for all leave types is available on a semi-annual basis through the Center for Learning & Professional Development.

Annual Leave (12 month)

policy 7.20.25

  • Regular full-time employees earn 22 work days per year.
  • Time is prorated for regular part-time employees.
  • Annual leave can be accumulated to a total of 52 working days (416 hours), but only 30 days (240 hours) may be carried forward each July 1st.

Sick Leave (12 month)

policy 7.20.75

  • Regular full-time employees earn 12 work days per year.
  • Time is prorated for regular part-time employees.
  • A doctor’s excuse/release should be provided for leave in excess of 3 consecutive days.
    • Individual departments may require a doctor’s excuse for absences less than 3 days to use sick leave.
  • Sick leave may accrue to 800 hours (100 days).

Sick Leave Bank (12 month)

policy 7.20.80

The sick leave bank is available to all regular employees with at least 2 years of service, who are enrolled in the long term disability plan and earn sick leave. Membership in the bank is optional and requires donating a specified number of accrued sick leave days. A member who experiences a catastrophic medical emergency is eligible to apply for withdrawal of sick leave from the bank if the member has insufficient leave balances to cover the length of time the employee will be out of work. Enrollment in the Sick Leave Bank program is available once a year each July.

Absence for Purpose of Course Registration (12 and 9 month)

policy 7.20.05

Leave will not be charged to a regular employee who is registering for a tuition-free course.

Absence for Purpose of On-Campus Interview (12 and 9 month)

policy 7.20.10

Leave will not be charged to a regular employee who is interviewing for a position within the university. Leave may however be required if the individual must leave the local area to interview at another NMSU campus, extension office or other location outside of the employee’s immediate city/area.

Employee Assistance Program

policy 7.08
Employees will not be charged leave for on campus participation in the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). However, leave must be used for EAP sessions offered off campus.

Compassionate Leave (12 and 9 month)

policy 7.20.30

  • In the event of the death of a member of the immediate family, an employee is allowed a leave with pay, not to be charged against sick or annual leave, of up to 3 regular working days during the week immediately following the death.
  • Immediate family member includes spouse, a domestic partner as defined in Policy 7.04, a child, parent or legal guardian, a sister or brother, a grandparent, or a grandchild. Such familial relationships created by law are also included (i.e. mother/father in law; half or step siblings).

Domestic Abuse Leave (12 and 9 month)

policy, 7.20.32

  • Leave taken due to the domestic abuse of an employee or an employee’s family member, including but not limited to: obtaining or attempting to obtain an order of protection or other judicial relief from domestic abuse, meeting with law enforcement officials, consulting with attorneys or victim advocates, attending court or other administrative agency proceedings.
  • Unless the employee opts to use accrued sick or annual leave, compensatory time or other available paid time off, the domestic abuse leave shall be leave without pay.

Educational Leave With Pay (12 and 9 month)

policy 7.20.35

  • After 5 years of satisfactory service, leave with partial pay may be requested by any full-time faculty member on regular appointment with rank of instructor or above (including exempt staff with faculty rank in the Cooperative Extension Service), normally for the purpose of taking coursework toward a degree, professional licensure or certificate which is related to the individual’s university job.
  • The time granted for educational leave with pay will not normally exceed the time allowed for a sabbatical leave. The following options apply:
    • One semester at no reduction in annual salary.
    • One full academic year at half salary. (Those within 5 years of retirement may wish to request full salary for 1 semester or a 6-month period and personal leave without pay for the other half.) Semester II (spring) of 1 year and Semester I (fall) of the following year, at l/4 annual salary for each semester of leave.

Educational Leave Without Pay (12 and 9 month)

policy 7.20.35

  • Any regular full-time exempt staff member or faculty member on regular appointment with rank of instructor or above is eligible for and may request an educational leave of absence without pay after 3 years of service, normally for the purpose of taking coursework toward a degree, professional licensure or certificate which is related to the individual’s university job assignment. If the leave is approved, all annual leave should be used before the educational leave without pay begins.
  • A faculty member on educational leave without pay, on continuous or temporary contract, will be required to notify the department head in writing 90 days before the educational leave without pay terminates, or 30 days after notification of salary and position, whichever is later as to the date of return to academic service on the faculty. In the absence of such notification, the department head may immediately initiate proceedings for termination of the contract.

Employee Tuition Remission (12 and 9 month)

policy 7.20.35

Employees taking courses under the tuition remission program during working hours may be required to make up time spent away from the work station (or take annual leave) unless enrollment is a requirement for continued employment.

Faculty Care Leave (9 month)

policy 7.20.42

NMSU provides regular nine-month faculty with a paid leave benefit that can be used for any qualifying event under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  This benefit is referred to as “Faculty Care Leave”.  All regular nine-month faculty are eligible to participate in the benefit.

Please see the Faculty Care Leave Benefit Summary for additional details.

Family and Medical Leave (12 and 9 month)

policy 7.20.45

  • Family Medical Leave Act is a Federal Law that provides up to 12 weeks job protected leave benefits in most instances to eligible employees.
  • The 1993 Federal Act provides:
    • Job protection from adverse employment actions while on FMLA status
    • Ability to maintain existing medical benefit programs
  • Available to all employees who have been with the university for at least 12 months (does not have to be consecutive), and have worked at least 1,250 hours for the university during the immediately preceding 12 months.
  • Enforced and Regulated by the Department of Labor

When does FMLA apply?

  • Incapacity due to pregnancy or medical prenatal care
  • Birth of a child
  • Placement of an adopted or foster child (leave must be taken within 12 months of placement)
  • Care of a child, parent, spouse or recognized domestic partner with a serious health condition
  • Serious health condition of employee
  • Care of a service member with a serious health condition incurred during active duty  (up to 26 weeks in a 12-month period)
  • Qualifying exigencies arising from service member’s active duty or call to active duty

Family & Medical Leave – Instructions on how to request FMLA.

Jury Duty and Court Witness (12 and 9 month)

policy 7.20.50

For jury duty leave:

  • Employees are paid their regular salary up to 8 hours for jury duty service.
  • If employees serve less than 8 hours in a day, they are required to return to work after service ends.
  • Available to regular employees only.
  • Employees must present written notice of how many days they served under jury duty.
  • Employees may retain any payments received for service on a federal jury, however state regulations prohibit public employees from receiving payment for serving on state juries

For court witness leave:

  • A copy of a subpoena should be given to the employee’s supervisor.
  • Annual leave or LWOP will be granted.

Leave Without Pay (12 and 9 month)

policy 7.20.85

  • Leave without pay (LWOP) may be requested for up to  90 days once all annual and sick leave has been exhausted.
  • LWOP requests for up to 90 days may be approved by the Director/Department Head.
  • Departments must obtain approval from the Human Resources Director via written request through the Dean or Vice President, if requesting LWOP for more than 90 days.
  • Leave without pay for an exempt employee will begin on the first 8 hour day and end on the last 8 hour day of the leave period.
  • While on LWOP, the employee is responsible for paying 100% of insurance premiums (employer and employee portion).
  • Employees on Educational, FMLA and Professional LWOP are required only to pay the employee’s portion of insurance premiums.
  • If premiums are not paid, an employee’s insurance coverage is subject to cancellation.

Military Duty (12 and 9 month)

policy 7.20.55

  • Regular employees who are mobilized or volunteer for active duty are placed on leave without pay until the date of discharge or release from active duty at which time they will return to regular employment so long as they are honorably discharged.  Copy of orders and DD214 required.
  • Active duty cannot be for more than 5 years, unless active duty is during a war, declared national emergency or active duty in support of a critical mission.
  • After active duty, an employee must apply for re-employment in accordance with USERRA.
  • Employees may use annual leave during their active duty status, but not military leave.

Military Leave (Regular Employees)

policy 7.20.55

  • Available to employees who are required to leave for military training.  A copy of military orders must be submitted to supervisor.
  • Military leave with pay cannot exceed 15 working days in a Federal fiscal year (October 1 – September 30)
  • Employees are not required to use annual leave.
  • Military leave is for training purposes only.

Professional Leave Without Pay (12 and 9 month)

policy 7.20.60

  • After 3 years of service and with the approval of appropriate department head and administrators, any regular full-time exempt staff member or any faculty member of regular appointment with rank of instructor or above may submit an application for professional leave without pay, normally not to exceed 1 year, for the purpose of undertaking some project that will directly benefit the university and the person’s professional development.
  • In cases where the individual enters a contract with a state or federal agency, such agreements must provide for a calendar-year evaluation to be prepared by the appropriate supervisor in that agency and forwarded to the appropriate department head or supervisor. Periods of professional leave without pay normally will not apply toward the probationary period for tenure. All conditions of professional leave without pay, including the status of the individual upon return to the university and (if appropriate) the effect of this period on tenure and promotion eligibility, must be in writing prior to the leave period.

Sabbatical Leave (12 and 9 month)

policy 7.20.70

The purpose of a sabbatical leave is to promote professional growth and increased competence among faculty members by subsidizing significant study and research, creative work, or some other program which is judged to be of equivalent value and which cannot be accomplished during the fulfillment of normal academic duties and responsibilities. All departments and colleges including community colleges are encouraged to participate fully in the sabbatical program. Sabbatical leave is available under the following options:

  • One semester at no reduction in annual salary.
  • One full contract year at 60 percent salary (Those within 5 years of retirement should consult the Employee Benefits Office about the possible negative impact on the retirement benefit formula.)
  • Semester II (spring) of 1 year and Semester I (fall) of the following year, at 30 percent annual salary for each semester of leave.