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COVID-19 related tenure clock extension clarification

Dear colleagues:    On May 27, 2020, Provost Robert Clark issued a memo announcing Extensions to Tenure Due to COVID-19, indicating that “all tenure-eligible faculty members [would] receive a one-year extension to their tenure process due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Given the prolonged nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, all tenure-eligible faculty whose contracts began on or before June 30, 2022, are eligible for this one-year tenure process extension.

We recognize that in rare circumstances the COVID-19 pandemic has had such an exceptional effect on a faculty member that an additional tenure process extension may be warranted. Examples include (1) COVID-19 having an unusually large impact on the faculty member due to the nature of their research, (2) the faculty member experiencing unusually severe and prolonged effects from having COVID-19, and (3) The faculty member experiencing an unusually high increase in family responsibilities due to COVID-19.

Such cases will be governed by the existing policy on promotion or tenure review postponement delineated in the Faculty Handbook:

“A faculty member may also request a postponement of promotion or tenure review by one year if health or personal problems impose severe burdens on their progress. Requests will be considered only within one year of the occurrence of the special circumstances. The request is made through the department chair to the dean and to the provost for decision. (In the School of Medicine and Dentistry and in the School of Nursing, the request is made through the department chair to the dean and to the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and CEO of the Medical Center for decision.) Normally no more than one one-year postponement will be granted for health and personal reasons.”

Because this guidance is coming more than one year following when some faculty members may have experienced these special circumstances, the University will consider requests for additional COVID-19-related postponements of promotion or tenure review up until June 30, 2023.



David Figlio (he/him)
Provost and Gordon Fyfe Professor of Economics and Education University of Rochester

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