8.53 – LOA – Professional Leave (Without Pay)

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Scope: NMSU System

Source: ARP Chapter 8 | HR-Benefits

Rule Administrator:

Last Updated: Not Available



Revision History:

Recompiled 2017, formerly Rule 7.20.60

A. Eligibility

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. These benefits must be detailed in the application.


B. Use of Accrued Annual Leave

If the leave without pay is approved, all annual leave should be used before the professional leave without pay begins.


C. Non-Accrual of Leave During Period of Professional Leave Without Pay

Annual and sick leave do not accrue during professional leave without pay.


D. Professional Leave Absence is Unpaid

All days, including legal holidays, in the period between the date the professional leave commences and the date the employee returns to work are taken without pay.


E. Insurance Premiums Contribution by NMSU

The university will contribute the employer’s portion of insurance premiums during the leave period.


F. Performance Evaluation

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.


G. Effect on Tenure Process

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.