The University of Memphis

Professional Development Assignments


Issued: March 4, 2014
Responsible Official: Provost
Responsible Office: Office of the Provost

Policy Statement

Policy Statement

Professional Development Assignments (PDA) allow faculty members to develop proficiencies as teachers, scholars, and researchers. The period of an award may be for one semester, at full pay, or for one academic year at half pay. Professional Development Assignments approved by the University may be credited toward completion of the probationary period.

All tenured faculty are eligible for Professional Development Assignments with a minimum of seven (7) years full-time service since any previously granted professional leave. A faculty member may apply after only five years from the approval of a prior award, provided that he/she proposes to spend a full year on the Assignment, at half pay. In rare instances, exceptions may be granted by the provost.



To provide opportunity for continued professional growth and development of university faculty.


  1. Professional Development Assignments are awarded at full pay for one semester or one-half pay for one year. When an assignment is awarded for the summer, the period of time and the compensation are negotiated by the college dean.
  2. The total number of PDAs may vary from year to year, with the number per college or school to be determined by the dean and approved by the provost.
  3. Faculty members are encouraged to seek additional, non-university support for the period of their leave, and attempts to secure funds should be included in the proposal.
  4. Colleges/schools are responsible for costs associated with the PDAs.
  5. Department chairpersons and college deans shall provide detailed budgets to account for any teaching personnel whom the departments and colleges expect to employ as temporary replacements of faculty members granted PDA.
  6. It is expected that departments will normally absorb the instructional loads of faculty members who are granted PDAs.


To be considered for a Professional Development Assignment, tenured faculty members should submit the following documents in the academic year prior to the requested PDA:

  1. Proposal by a faculty member to the dean via the unit chairperson or director with specific plan for the use of the time, and a statement of the expected benefit to the faculty member, college, and the university. The dean forwards the request to the Office of the Provost.
  2. Curriculum vitae.
  3. Endorsement from the department chair.
  4. Agreement to remain with the University of Memphis for at least one full year after the assignment is completed.
  5. Report to the college dean within three months after the assignment describing the accomplishment and benefits of the assignment.  A copy of the report is to be forwarded to the Office of the Provost.

Limitations on PDA Compensation
  1. If the recipient of the PDA obtains a grant or other compensation from non-university sources for the period of the leave, the university shall not be obligated to pay more than the amount of the PDA compensation which, when added to the non-university compensation, will equal 100 percent of the individual's annual base salary for the period of leave. If an allowance for transportation and/or cost-of-living differential is included, the amount of this allowance will be disregarded in computing the PDA compensation to be paid by the university.
  2. A faculty member who is on PDA, whether in residence or away from the campus, may not, as an employee, provide any services to the university for which compensation is paid in excess of the approved PDA compensation.


Extra Compensation and Outside Employment

Summer Compensation for Nine-Month Faculty

Revision Dates

  UM1288 - Revised: March 4, 2014
UM1288 - Issued: September 15, 2003 - supercedes policy number 1:2B:01:13 and 2B:01:13A

Subject Areas:

AcademicFinanceGeneralHuman ResourcesInformation TechnologyStudent Affairs