Carnegie Mellon University

Public Service Leaves

POLICY TITLE: Carnegie Mellon Policy on Public Service Leaves
DATE OF ISSUANCE: This policy was adopted June 27, 1991.
ACCOUNTABLE DEPARTMENT/UNIT: Office of the Provost. Questions about policy content should be directed to the Office of the Provost at 412-268-3260.
ABSTRACT: Defines provisions for granting public service leaves for faculty members.
RELATED POLICY: Policy on Faculty Leaves
RELATED FORM: Application for Faculty Public Service Leaves [pdf]

Policy Statement

Members of the regular faculty are sometimes called upon to take a position in government or to perform some other form of public service that requires a temporary interruption of their normal activities in the university. In many instances they are encouraged to accept such commitments because they could improve their professional competence when they return to the university. Such public service is also a contribution the university community can make by lending the expertise of its members to improving the public welfare.

Leaves for public service will be granted on the same basis and by the same procedure as other professional leaves supported by outside funds except that, if the nature of the public service contemplated requires it, such a leave may be granted (a) for two years (instead of one year at a time) and (b) without regard to calendar deadlines for applying. For state and federal elective office and for major political appointments (e.g., cabinet or sub-cabinet positions), requests for extension of the leave for a total period of up to four years will be considered.

Extensions beyond four years require exceptional justification and explicit consideration and approval by the president.

When a person holding a regular faculty appointment without indefinite tenure requests a leave for public service, he or she may request the exclusion from current service for the purpose of determining the tenure decision deadline ("stopping the tenure clock") of a period of time not exceeding the duration of the leave. If the aggregate of the requested exclusion and any earlier exclusions from current service for reasons of public service does not exceed two twelve-month years, the requested exclusion shall be automatically granted when the requested leave is approved by the provost. If the cited aggregate exceeds two twelve-month years, the provost may grant the requested exclusion after receiving recommendations from the dean of the college or school and from a college or school committee (e.g., a promotions review committee) with substantial faculty participation. In no case may the aggregate exclusion from current service for reasons of public service exceed four twelve-month years.

The university is committed to making all decisions under these provisions with care to avoid actual or perceived political bias or discrimination.