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Steps to Request a Tenure Clock Extension

Following is a general outline of the steps for requesting a tenure clock extension related to the impact of COVID-19 measures on a faculty member’s productivity (per University Policy 4340 and Interim Provost Roark’s March 20 memo).

  1. Discussion with supervisor or mentoring committee: To request an extension of the probationary period, the faculty member should begin by discussing the relative advantages and disadvantages of doing so with their supervisor or mentoring committee.
  2. Written request with documentation: If a faculty member wants to pursue an extension, they should provide a written request to the Provost that explains how the faculty member’s progress toward tenure was impeded by the pandemic (whether it be illness or the impact of various disruptions to the faculty member’s productivity). According to the policy, “requests should be made in a timely manner, proximate to the events or circumstances that occasion the request. All requests should include appropriate documentation.” The Provost recommends that “the faculty member and supervisor…document and describe any productivity disruptions experienced in enough detail to allow future reviewers to make informed and appropriate judgments within the evaluation context at hand.”
  3. Notification of Decision: After the Provost has reviewed the request, he “will notify the faculty member, department chair, and dean of [his] extension decision.”

Please direct questions about this procedure to your department chair, college dean, and/or the Assistant Provost for Academic Leadership and Faculty Affairs (mpayne@boisestate.edu or 208-426-4190)

Excerpt from Policy 4340 on Tenure Clock Extensions

Faculty Tenure and Promotion Guidelines (Policy 4340)

4.1.3 Extensions of the Probationary Period

Boise State University has an approved Family and Medical Leave Policy (See Policy 7230). In addition to the provisions of that policy, faculty shall be granted an extension of the probationary period in certain circumstances where the faculty member’s progress toward tenure is impeded. These circumstances include responsibilities related to childbirth/adoption, significant responsibilities with respect to elder/dependent care, disability/chronic illness, or other circumstances beyond the control of the faculty member. The procedures and policies for extensions are as follows:

a. The faculty member provides a written request to the Provost.

b. Requests for extension of the probationary period with respect to childbirth or adoption may be made at any time prior to the start of the year of tenure review. Other requests should be made in a timely manner, proximate to the events or circumstances that occasion the request. All requests should include appropriate documentation.

c. A request for extension of the probationary period with respect to childbirth and adoption responsibilities carries with it the presumption of approval for a one-year extension. Except to obtain necessary consultative assistance on medical or legal issues, only the Provost will have access to documentation pertaining to a request related to disability or chronic illness. For requests in circumstances beyond the faculty member’s control, the Provost will, at his/her discretion, determine if consultation with the dean and/or department is appropriate. The Provost shall notify the faculty member, department chair, and dean of his/her extension decision.

d. Multiple extension requests may be granted. All requests for probationary period extensions shall be made prior to commencing with a tenure or contract renewal review.

e. If a probationary period extension is approved, a reduction in productivity during the period of time addressed in the request should not prejudice a subsequent contract renewal decision.

f. Because an extension is only granted when a faculty member’s progress toward tenure is impeded, the faculty member’s productivity over the entire probationary period should be evaluated as if the extension never occurred; that is, the faculty member’s accomplishments over the extended probationary period should be viewed as if they had been accomplished in the shorter standard probationary period-the additional time due to the extension should not be a factor in the evaluation.