Memo on Tenure-Track Probationary Period Extensions Due to Covid-19

Date: 04/09/2020
Contact Office: Executive Vice President and Provost (Office of the) 
Oversight Executive: Executive Vice President and Provost 

Applies To: Academic Division

Statement

Eligibility:

The review extensions discussed in this document apply to tenure-track faculty at UVA who meet this eligibility criteria: 

  • Tenure-track faculty scheduled to be reviewed in the 2020-21 academic year or later; 
  • Tenure-track faculty whose contracts specify a start date of employment of no later than April 1, 2020.

This review extension does not apply to any faculty member who has undergone a pre-tenure or tenure review with an unsuccessful result; any faculty member who chose to not be reviewed on the date that they were required to undergo such review; or any faculty member who currently is undergoing a pre-tenure or tenure review in the 2019-2020 review cycle.

Any tenure-track faculty member hired after April 1, 2020, or any eligible tenure-track faculty member, as defined under the criteria defined in this memo, who requires an additional tenure clock extension due to Covid-19 beyond the one provided by this memo, must request such extension as described in PROV-017, Promotion and Tenure.

Extensions:

Tenure-track faculty who meet the eligibility criteria automatically have their probationary period extended by one year.  This means:

  • Tenure-track faculty who must undergo a pre-tenure reappointment review (required before their tenure review) have the reappointment review automatically postponed by one year. For example, a faculty member due for a third-year review will now undergo that review in their fourth year (and their tenure review will correspondingly shift from year six to year seven).

  • Tenure-track faculty who already have undergone their reappointment reviews will have their tenure reviews automatically postponed by one year. For example, a faculty member that is due for a sixth-year tenure review will now undergo that review in their seventh year.

Related sabbatical leave:

Some schools grant sabbatical leaves in association with the probationary period (e.g., post reappointment semester leave, seventh-year leave, etc.). The impact of the probationary period extension on the awarding of sabbatical leaves will be determined by each school.

Opt Out Procedures:

Faculty may opt out of these automatic extensions prior to the start of the academic year of their normal clock review cycle or prior to the start of the 2023-2024 academic year, whichever comes first. After consulting with their department chairs or supervisors, faculty should inform their dean in writing of their decision to use their normal clock for their review. The dean of each school will inform the faculty of the precise date by which they need to be informed so that the normal review process in the school is not disrupted.  Any faculty member who wishes to be considered for pre-tenure or tenure review according to their current clock is allowed to do so without penalty. Departments and schools will not impose higher expectations for faculty choosing to use their current clock, nor penalize faculty who choose to take the extra year. 

A faculty member’s decision to be reviewed under their normal clock is final. Faculty who choose to be reviewed under their normal clock and who subsequently receive an unsuccessful result may not be reviewed again in the following year.

Faculty remain eligible for one post-review year of employment should their tenure review be unsuccessful, whether they choose to take the one-year extension or opt out.

Faculty who have not opted-out of the extension by May 1, 2023, and then subsequently choose to use their original clock, will be considered as being reviewed early.

Related Information: 

Approved by M. Elizabeth Magill, Executive Vice President and Provost, on 4/9/2020, as a blanket extension of tenure-track probationary periods under provost policy PROV-017, Promotion and Tenure.