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Chapter IV. Faculty Development

4.1.    Distinguished Professor Guidelines for Release Time
4.2.    International Programs Teaching Assignments
4.3.    Professional Travel
4.4.    Publicizing of Faculty Publications
4.5.    Research & Scholarly Activities

4.5.1.   General
4.5.2.   Faculty Research Policies
4.5.3.   Internal Resources
4.5.4.   External Funding for Research
4.5.5.   Institutional Review Board (IRB)
4.5.6.   Animal Subject Research
4.5.7.   Allegations Regarding Research Misconduct
4.5.8    Administration of Grants
4.5.9    Compliance

4.6.    Sabbatical Leave

Included since 2002; modified 2010)

1. Distinguished professors automatically receive a 3/2 teaching load.

2. No distinguished professor may receive less than a 2/2 teaching load.

3. Distinguished professors may, at their option, request that in place of a portion of their annual stipend they be released from teaching one class in order to have time to pursue an academic project.

4. The academic projects which would be eligible for support fall into four categories:

a. Original research projects that will lead to publications, or, in the case of faculty members in the visual or performing arts, projects that will lead to major exhibitions or performances.

b. Planning and sponsoring a conference of academic significance either for the Pepperdine community or academia beyond Pepperdine.

c. Preparing and giving a major, public lecture that will be of interest to the broad Pepperdine community.

d. Preparing a proposal for a major grant that will bring both financial resources and academic recognition to Pepperdine.

5. Distinguished professors must apply to the chair of their division by January 1 for the following fall semester and by September 1 for the following spring semester. The released time request will be granted if approved both by the applicant’s division chair and the Dean of Seaver College.

6. Distinguished professors who are granted released time must report back by way of a lecture, performance, or exhibition to which all Seaver faculty members and, as appropriate, others in the broader Pepperdine community will be invited.

7. There shall be no limit on the number of times distinguished professors may apply for and receive additional released time (up to one per year).

(Included since 1991)

Full-time faculty members are eligible to apply to teach in the University's overseas programs. Year-round residential programs (academic year plus summer) are currently operated in Buenos Aires, Florence, Heidelberg, Lausanne, London, and Shanghai, and summer-only programs are operated in many other locations. Both academic-year and
summer appointments are offered. Detailed information and application forms may be obtained from the Office of the Dean of International Programs (x4532). Faculty members who have not yet earned tenure should consider the possible impact of an overseas assignment on their development as scholars before applying.

(Included since 1978; modified 1988, 1991, 2006, 2010)


Faculty travel to professional meetings and seminars, as well as for research purposes and other activities, is strongly encouraged, particularly when papers are to be read. The guidelines below have been set by the divisional chairpersons. These guidelines are designed to maximize the limited funds available for travel. They are based on a concept of divisional allocation, i.e., each academic division maintains a designated
travel pool which will be distributed by the division chairperson on the basis of these guidelines. The guidelines establish maximums. Chairpersons may find it necessary to award amounts less than the maximum allowed. Requests for reimbursement must be submitted within 30 days of return from a conference. All faculty travel is subject to Pepperdine’s employee expense reimbursement policy and procedures, which may be found, along with forms for reimbursements, in the Financial Systems User's
Manual, or at http://services.pepperdine.edu/finance/policies.htm#Section14


a. Any full-time faculty member delivering a major scholarly paper at a significant professional meeting may receive up to 100 percent of per diem expenses (lodging, meals, and incidentals) for four days as stipulated by federal government regulations (see www.gsa.gov, click on Travel Resources), payment
of registration fees up to $180 (assuming meals and special events are not included), and an amount equal to the least expensive round-trip air ticket available to the meeting site ("super saver" fare, unless no such fare is possible; up to $720; and if going by car, mileage reimbursement cannot exceed cheapest air fare) for travel and transfers.

b. Any full-time faculty member serving as a major officer of a national scholarly association or as president of a regional scholarly association will receive the same travel benefit as stipulated above.

c. Full-time faculty members:

i. attending conferences specifically designed to improve teaching skills;

ii. attending conferences designed to bring the instructor up to date in areas which he or she directly teaches;

iii. wishing to use libraries, consult with resource persons, visit museums, or attend conferences specifically related to a research project which the instructor has in progress; may receive 80 percent of per diem expenses (lodging, meals, and incidentals) for four days as stipulated by federal government regulations (see website referenced above) 100 percent of the first $125 travel expenses (not to exceed the lowest air fare available), and not more than 75 percent of the next $400 travel expenses and transfers; registration fees up to $125 will be paid.


Requests for these funds should be made at least 30 days prior to the meeting and be accompanied by a description of the program (preferably the official brochure) and a statement specifically showing its value to the faculty member. Should available funds not cover all requests, preference will be given to the faculty member eligible under paragraphs a and b above.


If a faculty member is requested in writing by the dean or another senior administrator of Pepperdine University to attend any meeting as an official representative of the University, he or she will receive remuneration for all reasonable expenses incurred, according to the usual guidelines covering administrative travel. These expenses should be itemized and all receipts submitted for reimbursement. Per diem does not apply.


Any exception to these guidelines must be authorized by the dean.

(Included since 1988)

Seaver College encourages its faculty members to prepare and publish scholarly contributions to the professional literature in the fields consistent with and related to their individual interests and expertise.

Such scholarly publications are recognized and publicized in various University publications. The Public Information Office maintains liaison with local and metropolitan newspapers, radio stations, and television outlets.

(Included since 1988; modified 1998; updated 2006)

4.5.1. GENERAL

Seaver College encourages research and scholarly activities of the highest possible quality across the academic disciplines. Faculty members are evaluated in part (25%) by the Rank, Tenure, and Promotion Committee on their ability to demonstrate creative and productive work through published research and other scholarly activities (refer to the Rank, Tenure, and Promotion Handbook).

(Approved by the University Academic Council, March 19, 2004; effective August
12, 2004)

Faculty members shall perform all research or research-related activities in accordance with federal and state law, University and School policies, and ethics codes that apply to the researcher or to the person’s research. The University has adopted policies that specifically govern faculty research, including, for example, research involving human or animal subjects and research funded by certain governmental agencies. Pepperdine faculty members and researchers are subject to the research policies, are responsible for knowing the provisions of the policies, and are responsible for ensuring that they comply with the policies and that others working with or for them, including students, comply with the policies.


As resources permit, the University provides space, funds, and facilities for faculty research programs. Faculty members are encouraged to seek internal support for research through the sabbatical leave process and by applying for internal funding from the Seaver Research Council. Furthermore, faculty members are encouraged to make use of the time during the summer months (late April through mid-August) to conduct scholarly work and to engage in programs of faculty development administered by the Seaver Dean’s Office.


Faculty members are encouraged especially to seek support for research activities from funding sources external to the University. Such grants, particularly those from federal and state agencies, often contain requirements for University participation in the form of matching funds, reassignment of faculty time, etc. In making application for grants, faculty members should, in consultation with their divisional chairperson and the Assistant Dean of Research, take into account the time commitments required by the proposed project, and the effect which approval and funding of the project will have on the University budget. Regardless of the source of funding, University policy requires the reporting and reconciliation of all expenditures.


a. It is the policy of Pepperdine University that all research involving human participants must be conducted in accordance with accepted ethical, federal, and professional standards for research and that all such research must be approved by one of the University’s Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). These boards are
charged with monitoring the ethical propriety of all research involving human participants/subjects conducted under the auspices of Pepperdine University. It is the policy of Pepperdine University that its IRBs have the authority to approve, require modifications in, or disapprove any research involving human participants/subjects conducted under Pepperdine’s auspices.

b. In the review and conduct of research, Pepperdine University is guided by the ethical principles set forth in the Belmont Report (i.e., respect for persons, beneficence, and justice) (see section I.D. below). In addition, all human subjects research conducted by or under the auspices of Pepperdine University will be performed in accordance with the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, DHHS (CFR), Title 45 Part 46 (45 CFR 46), entitled Protection of Human Subjects, and Parts 160 and 164, entitled Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information and the California Protection of Human Subjects in Medical Experimentation Act (Code Sections 24170 24179.5). Where applicable, FDA regulations on human subjects research will be followed (CFR Title 21 Parts 50, 56, Protection of Human Subjects and Institutional Review Boards). In addition, research conducted with human subjects must be performed in accordance with the accepted ethical principles established by professional organizations/societies that are applicable to the area of investigation (e.g., American Psychological Association; the American College of Sports Medicine). The actions of Pepperdine University will also conform to all other applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.

c. The primary goal of the Pepperdine University IRBs is to protect the welfare and dignity of human participants. A secondary goal of the Pepperdine IRBs is to assist investigators in conducting ethical research that is in compliance with federal, state and university regulations. Additionally, by addressing the human subjects concerns in an applicant’s proposed research, the IRBs may protect investigators from engaging in potentially unethical research practices. Thus, when a faculty member, student, and/or employee of Pepperdine University wishes to conduct research involving human participants her or his research
proposal must be reviewed by one of the IRBs.

d. Investigators seeking to conduct research with human participants should obtain a copy of Pepperdine University’s Protection of Human Participants in Research: Policies and Procedures Manual from the IRB website at http://www.pepperdine.edu/irb/. The Protection of Human Participants in Research: Policies and Procedures Manual is a reference manual for investigators that outlines the policies, regulations and procedures governing research with human participants and subjects, and the requirements for submitting research proposals for review by the Pepperdine University Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). This manual describes the application and review process, as well as applicable regulatory requirements. It is important for investigators to thoroughly familiarize themselves with the contents of this manual, and complete the required educational components before submitting proposals to the appropriate IRB. Copies of all policy documents, application forms, and other human subjects’ protection materials may be obtained from the
human subjects’ protections web site at http://services.pepperdine.edu/irb/.  Additionally, contact information for the chairpersons of the GPS and Seaver College IRBs may be obtained at the IRB website. Investigators are encouraged to contact their IRB chairperson with any questions.

e. Before initiating any research project that seeks to obtain data from human participants (including the use of archival data), investigators must obtain written approval from the appropriate Pepperdine IRB.


Pepperdine has an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to oversee all projects that involve live animals. The committee is chaired by a faculty member and by law, must contain a veterinarian and members of the local community. The committee reports to the Associate Provost for Research. Faculty who might use live animals in teaching or in research should contact the Associate Provost's office or the Chair of the IACUC to submit appropriate application forms.


Guidelines for responding to allegations of scientific misconduct for research supported by or seeking support from the U.S. Public Health Service are posted at http://www.pepperdine.edu/about/administration/provost/policies/[BROKEN LINK]


Administration of grants is the responsibility of the Office of Corporations, Foundations and Sponsored Programs. Applications for grants should also be processed through that office.


Faculty members shall perform all research or research-related activities in accordance with federal and state law, University and School policies, and ethics codes that apply to the researcher or to the person ’s research. The University has adopted policies that specifically govern faculty research, including, for example, research involving human or animal subjects and research funded by certain governmental agencies. Pepperdine faculty members and researchers are subject to the research policies, are responsible for knowing the provisions of the policies, and are responsible for ensuring that they comply with the policies and that others working with or for them, including students, comply with the policies. The complete text of the policies is available on the Pepperdine University web site.

(Included since 1978; modified 1988 and 2002)


The purpose of the Sabbatical Leave (hereafter called Sabbatical) is to provide the time for the participating faculty members to remain fresh and knowledgeable about developments in their discipline. That time is typically used to hone research, creative activity, and/or teaching skills that ultimately benefit our students. This normally involves the pursuit of a specific project that helps the participant to become stronger in the classroom, more accomplished in his/her field, or a leader or some aspect of inquiry in the discipline. The range of projects deserving of a Sabbatical is limited only by the creative minds of the individual faculty members who apply.

The University’s investment in the Sabbatical helps the recipient become a more productive contributor to the discipline. More importantly, the Sabbatical strengthens the teaching and research missions of the University by providing renewed energy in the classroom as well as research findings that may be used by academics and practitioners throughout the world, or creative activities that may lead to performance or exhibition. Few investments that the University could make would provide a greater return.


Faculty members are eligible to apply for the Sabbatical at the start of their sixth full year of “continuous service” on the tenure track to the University. Additional requirements are that the faculty member must be full-time and that the Sabbatical begins after seven years of continuous service. Time spent on a previous Sabbatical is counted as part of continuous service, although a leave of absence other than Sabbatical time is not counted but instead freezes the continuous service time for the period of that leave. Reassigned time does not affect Sabbatical eligibility.

If a faculty member leaves the University for other employment, then returns, the continuous service period begins with a new clock on the day of the faculty member’s resumption of normal duties at the University.


The Sabbatical period is intended as a period of doing scholarly work, research or creative activity that cannot be attempted during the press of normal duties at the University. The Sabbatical is not intended to provide additional time to augment one’s income or to teach at another institution, except in unusual cases specifically approved in advance. If any employment is contemplated, while the primary purpose of the Sabbatical is pursued, such work shall be included in the proposal.


The Faculty Development Committee (hereafter called the Committee) has the dual role of (a) serving as an advocate for faculty members who are eligible for a Sabbatical and (b) monitoring the entire Sabbatical process. The process related to applicants begins with notification of eligibility and ends with the presentation of findings before interested faculty members during the first semester after returning to regular University duties.

The monitoring role of the Committee requires maintaining the lists of faculty members who are eligible for Sabbaticals for several years in advance, so that both applicants and their Divisions can make appropriate plans. Because the granting of the Sabbatical is an investment in the academic health of the University, the
assumption is that the Sabbatical will be granted to those who are eligible. This assumption simplifies the planning process and allows the time frame from application to initiation to be short enough so that projects can be selected for their timeliness.


a. The Committee will make formal notification to those eligible for a Sabbatical about 18 months before the beginning of the academic year for which the Sabbatical is sought so that faculty members can begin to consider the type of work that would be of most mutual benefit to themselves and the University. The due date for the Sabbatical Proposals is June 1, 14 months in advance of the academic year for which the Sabbatical is sought. The relatively short time frame from the due date to start date encourages work on topics that can be more timely than if the topics were required to be chosen farther in advance of their initiation.

b. Proposals submitted to the Committee in August will follow a standard form.  Because the Committee encourages the submission of proposals that are clear and well thought out, the proposals will consist of (a) a cover page of data, (b) a 2-5 page explanation of the proposal, and (c) attachments, including letters of support, for no more than ten total pages of the application. Recommendations for sabbatical leave will be made by the Faculty Development Committee to the Dean of Seaver College at the latest by September 1.

c. Once the Sabbatical is granted, the recipient has the responsibility to follow through with the thrust of the basic plan outlined in the Proposal. Major deviations from the plan during the Sabbatical must be communicated in a one-page document to the Committee for approval. During the first semester back to
regular duties, the recipient will be expected to present the results of their work at a meeting open to the entire faculty.

d. The individual granted the Sabbatical will return to the University and serve for at least one year. Individuals who do not do this will be expected to repay all of the costs associated with the Sabbatical grant, including the salary granted during the Sabbatical.


a. It is the responsibility of the Division Chair to make arrangements for the classroom absence of Sabbatical recipients. In no case should an applicant with a worthy proposal not be granted a Sabbatical because the Division fails to reapportion the teaching load effectively.

b. The Division Chair is the member of Administration closest to the recipient in terms of discipline knowledge and day-to-day contact. As such, s/he has the responsibility of ensuring that the Sabbatical is undertaken in a way that is productive for both the University and the recipient. This can be done by conferring with the prospective applicant before the proposal is drafted, writing a letter of support for the applicant for the Sabbatical (using the template provided by this Committee), and by loosely monitoring the progress of the Sabbatical during the period of the leave.