Extending the Reappointment/Promotion/Tenure Review Timeline
Last Updated: June 28, 2022
The following frequently asked questions provide information about the tenure clock extension related to COVID-19. Review the full Extending the Reappointment/Promotion/Tenure Review Timeline (Extending the Tenure Clock) policy here.
Tenure Clock Extension Frequently Asked Questions Related to COVID-19:
Who is eligible for the COVID-19 automatic extension of the reappointment and tenure review timeline?
Any probationary faculty member who: a) was in the tenure system at MSU as of Spring 2020 scheduled for a reappointment or tenure review, or b) has an employment start date in the tenure system through August 15, 2023. The automatic extension is applied to your record by Human Resources.
What if I was not scheduled to be reviewed for reappointment until academic year 2021-2022 or later?
If you were in a tenure system appointment at MSU during spring 2020 and beyond a one-year extension will be applied automatically to your probationary end date.
What if I am in my first probationary appointment and would like to be reviewed for reappointment (not tenure) at my original scheduled time (i.e. the pre-COVID-19 extension timeline) and, therefore, not use the automatic one-year extension in my first probationary period?
You can be reviewed for reappointment as you were previously scheduled (the pre-COVID-19 extension timeline). However, a faculty member is bound by the outcome of the reappointment review if unsuccessful.
Example: Prior to the COVID-19 automatic extension, I was scheduled for my first reappointment review in 2022-2023 (i.e. my probationary appointment end date is 2023). I received the one-year COVID-19 tenure clock extension, so I am now scheduled for review in 2023-2024. I want to still be reviewed in 2022-2023. If I am unsuccessful, can I be reviewed again in 2023-2024?
No. The policy states “… a faculty member is bound to the outcome of the reappointment review if unsuccessful.”
What if I would like to be reviewed for promotion to associate professor with tenure at my original scheduled time (i.e. the pre-COVID-19 extension timeline)?
You can be reviewed at your original scheduled time (i.e. the pre-COVID-19 extension timeline) without losing the one-year automatic extension. The standards for research, teaching and service for a successful review is not changed, as determined by the department, college and the university.
If you are unsuccessful, you will be reviewed again at the new review time (post-COVID-19 extension timeline). The recalculated mandatory review timeline includes the COVID-19 automatic extension. If you are unsuccessful, you are provided the standard final terminal year of your appointment.
Example: Prior to the COVID-19 automatic extension, I was scheduled to be reviewed for promotion to associate professor with tenure in 2022-2023. I was given the one-year COVID-19 tenure clock extension, so I would now be scheduled to be reviewed for promotion in 2023-2024. I still want to be reviewed for promotion in 2022-2023. If I am not successful, will I be reviewed for promotion in 2023-2024 again?
I am scheduled for my first probationary reappointment review in 2022-23. Can I continue with the reappointment review at the scheduled time (pre-COVID-19 extension timeline) and then use the COVID-19 automatic extension in my secondary probationary appointment if successfully reappointed (i.e. between my reappointment and tenure)?
Yes. The one-year COVID-19 extension can be used in your second probationary period if the extension is needed due to COVID-19 impact on your performance. You must notify your chair/school director that you will use the one-year COVID-19 extension no later than the due date for the submission of your dossier for review for promotion to associate professor with tenure to your department/school.
What is the process for notifying the department, college and university that I wish to be reviewed at my pre-COVID-19 extension scheduled time?
- Faculty member informs chair/school director and dean that they would like to be reviewed at the pre-COVID-19 extension scheduled time no later than the due date for the submission to the department/school of the dossier for the next reappointment/promotion/tenure review.
- The dean’s office provides a formal notice back to faculty member notifying them of their request and documenting the request.
- The request gets signed and sent to HR Academic Operations
Previously, I was granted an automatic tenure clock extension for the birth of my child. Am I still eligible for the COVID-19 one-year automatic extension?
Yes. The automatic COVID-19 extension is in addition to any other approved extensions to the tenure clock.
What if I have been granted an automatic extension for the other eligible reasons, am I still eligible for the COVID-19 one-year automatic extension?
Yes. The automatic COVID-19 extension is in addition to any other approved extensions to the tenure clock. The other automatic extensions which do not require a faculty member to notify their chairperson, school director or dean are:
- Leaves of absence with or without pay that are one semester to twelve months.
- Changes in appointment to 50% time or less for one year.
- Immigration/visa status that does not permit the award of tenure for candidates who have been recommended for tenure.
- An extension recommended as an outcome of a hearing and/or appeal conducted pursuant to the Faculty Grievance Policy.
If situations caused by coronavirus necessitate an extension of longer than one-year, how will I apply for a regular extension?
If situations caused by the coronavirus necessitate an extension of longer than one year, the regular process for having adjustments made to the tenure clock for pre-tenure faculty must be utilized. It includes review at the unit, college, and Provost Office level, and required approval by the University Committee on Faculty Tenure (UCFT).
To request an extension of the probationary appointment, the department chair or unit administrator must submit a memorandum to the Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs that includes the following information:
- the specific reason delineated in this policy that justifies an exception to the standard procedures governing the tenure system;
- clear explanation of the impact of the specified condition on the normal activities of the faculty member;
- 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 current curriculum vitae and a one-page summary of prior assignments in teaching, research, outreach, and administrative duties during the previous three years for the faculty member seeking the extension;
- endorsement and signatures of the faculty member, department chair or unit administrator, and dean.
Additionally, the department chair or unit administrator must provide written documentation from the department or school peer review committee that they reviewed the extension request and had an opportunity to render advice as appropriate. The committee's approval is not necessary.
Requests endorsed by the Office of the Provost and the Executive Vice President for Health Science, as appropriate, will be considered by UCFT according to the standards specified herein.
What language will be added to the letters that unit administrators send in their request to external review letter writers as required in tenure recommendations?
In 2020, Michigan State University granted all pre-tenure faculty an automatic one-year extension in the tenure clock because of the impact on scholarly productivity caused by adjustments to COVID-19. The extra time provided by this extension should not in any way be viewed harmful to the faculty candidate. As with other extensions granted under this policy, it should not lead to an expectation that “more should have been accomplished” by the faculty member given the extra year in the probationary appointment.
My department has hired a new tenure system assistant professor with a start date between August 16, 2020 and Summer 2023. Do they automatically get the COVID-19 automatic extension?
Yes. The automatic extension applies to new probationary tenure system faculty with employment start dates between August 15, 2023.
My department has hired a new tenure system assistant professor who will start on August 16, 2023. Do they automatically get the COVID-19 automatic extension?
At this time, there are no plans to provide an automatic extension for new hires who start in the fall of 2023.