Staff Study Leave of Absence

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University Policy Number 2206


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The policies and procedures provided herein apply to all George Mason University full-time and part-time classified staff and administrative and professional faculty.  This policy applies to all George Mason University locations, owned, and leased.


George Mason University Classified Staff and Administrative and Professional Faculty, with seven (7) or more years of service at George Mason University, are eligible to apply for a paid staff study leave of absence of up to three (3) months for purposes of development of new competencies and skills, or for research and development of services, programs, or other initiatives which will benefit the University.

Employees may apply for an additional staff study leave with seven or more years of service following the completion of a study leave. Employment as a wage or student employee does not qualify as credit towards the service requirement.

Supervisors and directors of activities must agree that the employee’s responsibilities can be accomplished during his/her absence and that departmental resources are available to cover any additional temporary operating costs associated with maintaining the existing level of departmental service during the absence of the employee.


Deliverable: The final outcome of the study leave, which may take the form of a report, proposal, or other format.


The Provost; Sr. Vice President; Executive Vice President; Vice President for University Life; Vice President for Information Technology; Vice President for Development; Vice President for Compliance, Diversity, and Ethics; Vice President for University Relations; and Vice President for Operations will be responsible for selecting individuals for a staff study leave of absence with pay, in a manner that reflects an equitable allocation of these opportunities across entire spectrum of the University community.

Supervisors and deans and directors will have the responsibility to authorize and/or approve the availability of fiscal and operational support during the period of the leave of absence, and to forward the application to the appropriate vice president/provost.

The Associate Vice President of Human Resources & Payroll will be promoting and administering the administrative staff study leave program.


A. Any employee on approved staff study leave will be compensated at his/her approved salary during the term of the leave.  All fringe benefits will continue at the same cost to the University and the employee.

B. An applicant for a staff study leave shall agree to return to University service for at least one (1) year following completion of the leave; or, to refund the compensation paid by the University during the leave, unless this obligation is specifically waived or deferred by the University in writing.  Generally speaking, in the event an employee leaves the employment of George Mason University prior to the completion of one year of post-study leave service, the reimbursement for the staff study leave compensation will be prorated consistent with the portion of required service not completed.

C. An individual on staff study leave shall not provide personal service that will adversely affect, or in any manner compromise, the purposes for or the quality of the leave project.  Any service for compensation, during such a leave, must be approved in advance by the appropriate vice president/provost.

D. The deliverable will be submitted to the appropriate vice president/provost within thirty (30) days of the completion of the staff study leave. The individual will participate in presentations of the study leave project/results to the University community during the period following his/her return.

E. The University reserves the right to postpone or suspend an approved staff study leave for cause, including but not limited to loss of institutional capacity to operate with the absence of the employee.


This policy is effective December 17, 2002.  This Administrative Policy shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, annually to become effective at the beginning of the University’s fiscal year, unless otherwise noted.


Maurice W. Scherrens
Senior Vice President

Peter N. Stearns

Date approved: December 18, 2002