April 16, 2020
TO: Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty
RE: Extension of probationary term (“tenure clock”) due to COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant disruptions and uncertainties for our faculty. It has also generated increased stress related to forthcoming reappointment and tenure reviews. After consultation with the Deans and Faculty Senate leadership, I have determined that it is appropriate to grant one-year extensions of the probationary period for all faculty members currently serving in a tenure-track appointment. This action is consistent with the personal exigency provision of the Promotion, Tenure, Academic Freedom, and Due Process Regulations (Section 3Cii). This action will be implemented at the end of the 2020 spring semester and will be applied to the current probationary term.
The extension will advance by one year the reappointment review schedule for those in their first probationary term and it will advance by one year the mandatory tenure review schedule for those in their second probationary term.
Should a faculty member decide to forego this one-year extension (electing to opt-out of the automatic extension), they must submit a written notification to their department head/chair or school director. For faculty scheduled to undergo review in the upcoming 2020-2021 academic year, opt-out notifications must be forwarded to the Provost by May 31, 2020. For reviews scheduled in subsequent years, notifications must be forwarded by March 1, 2021. Heads/chairs and directors must immediately share these notices with the Dean, who will forward a copy to the Provost.
Given our extraordinary circumstances, this one-year extension prompted by the impacts of COVID-19 will not count toward the two-year limit on extensions of the probationary terms, as stipulated by Section 3.C of the Regulations. Any previous or future requests for extensions of the probationary term will be considered in accordance with the procedures outlined in Section 3C.