Sabbatical Leaves

Manchester University offers faculty members the opportunity to contribute to their academic disciplines or the scholarship of teaching and learning through sabbatical leave. Sabbatical experiences promote professional renewal and strengthen the University program by bringing new ideas and vitality onto the campus. Faculty members with the rank of associate professor or professor are eligible for consideration for sabbatical leaves after the completion of seven years of full-time teaching at Manchester University. More information on sabbatical leaves for current faculty members can be found here.  


Sabbatical Leaves

Dr. Barb Burdge, Professor Social Work
January & Spring 2024

Dr. Burdge’s sabbatical project is centered on a broad exploration of the significance that key individuals, groups, events and institutions from lesbian/queer women’s history hold for contemporary queer and feminist thought and praxis. Her project will involve travel, reading, writing and, ultimately, producing and sharing new knowledge through publications, professional presentation and curriculum development. This project will enhance her scholarship and teaching within the interdisciplinary field of gender/queer studies, thereby, benefiting the university directly through the courses taught. The project will further support the university priorities, including interdisciplinary study and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Dr. Rusty Coulter-Kern, Professor of Psychology
Spring 2024

Dr. Coulter-Kern’s sabbatical project proposes the development of resources to incorporate and evaluate employable skills in the MU general education program. There is currently a crisis of confidence in the value of higher education in the country. More than any time in recent history, students are opting to pursue alternatives other than traditional college degrees. While this trend may continue, we need to ensure at MU that we are making the educational experience for students as relevant as possible. If students see the connection between what they are learning in the classroom, specific skills they are developing, and their relevance for future careers, they are likely to be more engaged, persist longer, and value their educational experience more. In brief, his proposal will do three things: 1) identify the most current research on what employers want in new employees—especially if they hire college graduates, 2) develop an assessment tool to evaluate employable skills/competencies in college courses/programs, and 3) develop a set of resources (e.g., templates) incorporating transparent design that faculty can use to more easily incorporate employable skills/competencies in their course assignments. Completing these three tasks would further his professional development and research on ways to enhance the educational experiences of students, make his own courses and assignments more effective learning experiences, and provide tools to other faculty at MU to use in their courses.

Dr. Beate Gilliar, Professor of English
Fall 2023 & January 2024

Dr. Beate Gilliar’s sabbatical is a two-fold project which seeks to 1) investigate ways to instill Motivation in students at lower performance and interest levels to get excited to write a world of their own and to 2) compose an engaging compendium of original materials and student-authored works – from first to final versions—and visual materials, also produced my MU students and their professor as future source for first-year writers (emphasis on ENG 103 students). Most essential Student Learning outcome: teach others by modeling ways to demonstrate how reading and writing probes new consciousness. The goals and objectives are: 1) to compile student-authored works into a course compendium of written visual, and digital materials, —across all stages of the writing process—produced by first-year students to serve as resource for future students, 2) to research post-pandemic studies on Academic etc. Motivation, 3) to prepare manuscripts for conference publication (ICEA) and/or publications, and 4) to apply best practices in teaching writing and creative thinking for first-year college level students. The intent is to collect student papers, distill elements into chunks of pedagogical attention and write explications on what happens to the text from one draft to the next: not as a marking and band-aid administering exercise, but as a severely intentional exercise to highlight what she defines as psycho-dynamic performance dance on paper.

Dr. Sun Kang, Associate Professor of Sport Management
January & spring 2024

Dr. Kangs’s sabbatical project will focus on developing courses that are part of the newly proposed minor in Esports Management. He plans to enhance one course that will be developed in Spring 2023 and create content for two additional courses with specific goals and outcomes in mind. The minor will also contribute to the university by broadening the scope of our program offerings and enriching students’ learning experiences. Furthermore, the knowledge and network he will establish through the course development are expected to provide information and resources necessary to enhance the esports team and community at MU. The developed course content will be presented at the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) conference or Sport Marketing Association (SMA) conference in 2025 as part of the Teaching & Learning Fair presentation to share his knowledge in course development.