Term-time Absences

Requesting Clearance for an Absence

We recognize that there are sometimes pressing reasons for scholars to be away during term time, however, Members and term-time Visitors are expected to keep in mind the School's residency requirement.  (A complete description of that requirement, and related policies, appears below.)  Scholars are expected to obtain clearance for an absence of three weekdays or longer from a member of the permanent faculty, and to report their plans (including indication of who provided clearance) to the Administrative Officer (Marian Zelazny). Scholars may contact one of the permanent faculty directly to request clearance, but in that case they must also send written details concerning the clearance received to Marian Zelazny.  This is most efficiently accomplised by copying Marian on a request sent to a faculty member by email. Scholars are ultimately expected to provide the Administrative Officer with the following details, for the record:

  • Reason for the absence
  • Proposed dates of travel (specify dates)
  • Who provided the clearance

If it seems helpful, Members may request assistance from Marian Zelazny, who will check with the appropriate faculty member regarding clearance for the absence. (Normally these requests are addressed to the permanent professor whose field is closest to the scholar’s own field.) Scholars will be notified either by the Professor directly, or by Marian, if the request was approved. (Please note that clearance is not required for absences that are less than three days, but these shorter absences do count as days away, and in any case Members should not be absent for more than five days in a term.)

Residency requirement and related policies

Scholars accepted for membership in the School of Historical Studies will note that the following paragraph was included in the letter of acceptance:

"The Institute is a residential community, and therefore Members are expected to be in residence during term time. Absences of more than two or three weekdays during term should be cleared with a member of the Faculty before the plans for the absence are made, and reported in writing to the Administrative Officer of the School. Please note also that Members may not contract teaching commitments or other employment during the period of their membership."

The residency requirement was created with two purposes in mind.  The first is to protect scholars from demands from their home institutions or other obligations that might force them to give up valuable research time. Scholars are encouraged to refer to the residency requirement as a means of declining the imposition of obligations that would require them to be away from the Institute for meetings or other duties that are unrelated to the scholar's own academic interests during their membership year. The second purpose of the residency requirement is to facilitate the creation of a community of scholars where scholarly interactions and intellectual discussions take place in both formal and informal settings. Every scholar in residence brings something of value to the community, and for this sense of community to form and to flourish it is necessary for scholars to be present.

During the official dates of term, any absence of three or more weekdays must be cleared in advance with a member of the permanent faculty before the plans are made definite. Shorter absences do not require clearance, but the total number of days absent during term, including brief absences, should not exceed 5.  Weekends, and days when Institute offices are closed for a holiday, do not count as absences for the purpose of the residency requirement.  It should be noted, however, that the only holidays during which the residency requirement does not apply are those observed by the Institute according to its official calendar.  The residency requirement rules (including the limit of 5 days absent during a term) will apply if a Member is absent from Princeton for any reason, including the observance of any holidays other than those on the Institute calendar.

Members should keep in mind that extended absences of more than 5 days may result in stipend reduction.  

In 2018-19 the first term begins September 24th and ends December 21st. The second term begins January 14th and ends April 12th. The residency requirement applies only to absences that fall within these dates. Outside of term time the residency requirement does not apply and no clearance is necessary.

Marian will be glad to answer any further questions about the residency requirement.