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University of Iowa to Extend Freeze on Some Faculty Paid Leaves

UI has decided to suspend the faculty and global scholar award programs for another year, while vowing to grant as many "regular Career Development Awards as possible."

University of Iowa will extend the suspension of some faculty paid leaves for another year, the school announced today.

Paid leaves have traditionally been known as sabbaticals, a staple practice in higher education, but the proper terminology has been debated in recent years as the practice drew fire politically in Iowa and around the country.

In an email notification to colleagues, Tom Rice, the associate provost for faculty, said that UI would be suspending the faculty and global scholar award program for another year, while continuing career development awards.

This is due to "continued financial challenges at UI, and the other regent institutions, Rice said. The decision was made in consultation with the Faculty Senate.

All three of these awards are paid leaves from teaching duties, during which the professor concentrates on their research. Career development awards are typically for one semester. The global scholar award is one semester per year for two years, and the faculty scholar award is typically one semester per year for three years.

Critics have tried to equate the paid leaves to paid vacations on the public dime, while university leaders have defended the practice as a critical to research and the overall mission of research universities. 

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