Guidelines Regarding Extension of Time-to-Tenure
Assistant Professors (and non-tenured Associate Professors) are normally expected
to be evaluated for promotion to tenured rank by the end of the 6
th year of their tenure-track appointment (or 2
nd year if non-tenured Associate Professors). It is recognized, however, that external
circumstances sometimes preclude continuous progress towards tenure.
The University permits tenure track faculty to petition for a change in status in
order to extend the time during which they may prepare for promotion review. This
extension may be accomplished either through a reduction in work hours that would
be reflected in a reduction of the faculty member’s effort (with a comparable reduction
in salary), or through a transfer of the faculty member’s appointment to a position
of qualified academic rank (e.g., as a Visiting Assistant Professor).
Requests for interruption of tenure track service may be made for periods of up to
one calendar year on each occasion, and may be divided into no more than two segments
(i.e., one full academic year, one full calendar year, or two sequential fall or spring
Extensions of the tenure clock may be requested by the faculty member with a letter
to the appropriate department chair or area coordinator, who will communicate the
request to the Dean with his/her endorsement. Once approved by the Dean, the request
is forwarded to the Provost’s office for final review and approval. Requests may not
be retroactive nor may they be initiated once a tenure review process has commenced.
Reasons for Extension
Extensions of the tenure clock may be requested for the following reasons:
Family and Personal care:
obligations for the care of a significant elder or immediate family member; personal
medical circumstances that significantly impede progress toward tenure and are beyond
the control of the faculty member.
unexpected special and extenuating circumstances that deprive the faculty member
of reasonable opportunity to demonstrate their ability and potential as a faculty
member and justify an extension of the tenure clock for a maximum of one academic
year. Examples of extenuating circumstances would include research setbacks due to
circumstances beyond the faculty member's control, physical-plant problems that retard
the ability of the faculty to perform their work, unexpected delays in the provision
of start-up funds, delayed lab renovations or in the provision of critical equipment,
moves within campus, equipment or data destruction, animal/model system problems,
or effects of natural disasters.
Tenure-track faculty may request to take a leave without pay (LWOP) during years 1-6,
prior to the start of the tenure evaluation process
Granting of LWOP is at the discretion of the Provost. LWOP may be taken to pursue
full-time scholarly or creative work opportunities at national labs, government, or
private sector facilities, to receive prestigious awards or fellowships, and/or to
engage in special assignment opportunities.
Child birth, adoption or foster placement:
An employee may make a written request to stop the "tenure" clock following child
birth, adoption or foster placement. Approval of written requests for clock stops
for this purpose are mandatory as long as they fall within these parameters*:
* Academics and Professionals can request to stop the "tenure" clock for child birth,
adoption or foster placement for periods of time beyond that discussed above by requesting
qualified academic rank or a qualified professional title for a pre-defined period.
1. Academic employees with an academic year obligation shall be entitled to a tenure
clock stop for either one or two semesters;
2. Academic employees with a calendar-year obligtaion shall be entitled to a tenure
clock stop for either six months or 12 months;
3. Professional employees shall be entilted to a "tenure" clock stop for up to the
length of the employee's family leave associated with child birth, adoption or foster
Requesting the Extension
For the extension of the time-to-tenure, the department chair or area coordinator
must submit a request to their Dean that includes the following information:
- The specific reason for the request, i.e., what are the circumstances that had an
impact on the faculty member’s progression and justify making an exception to the
standard procedures governing the tenure system.
- What is expected to be achieved at the end of the requested extension, including the
prospects for success and a description of the resources and/or proposed changes that
will be made to facilitate success.
- A curriculum vitae and a one-page summary of prior assignments in research, teaching,
and administrative duties during the previous three years (two years for non-tenured
Associate Professors) for the faculty member seeking the extension.
- Endorsement and signatures of the faculty member and department chair.
The faculty member should notify his / her chair of this request for change in status
at the earliest possible date. It will be the responsibility of the Chair or area
coordinator and Dean to secure substitutes for the faculty member's teaching and committee
When a faculty member has been granted an extension to the tenure clock, the Dean
should explain the basis for the extension in the materials provided to the Provost's
Office when the faculty member is eventually assessed for the recommendation for or
against granting of tenure. A faculty member who is formally granted an extension
of the probationary period will be judged and evaluated on the same basis and by the
same standards as though there had been no extension.
Request for Interruption of Tenure-Track Service Form (PDF)
Request for Interruption of Tenure-Track Service Form (Word)