4.4.18 Temporary Covid Related Changes

4.4.18 Temporary COVID Related Changes

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and 2021, the following changes to the Promotion & Tenure policies apply:

  1. Contract and Tenure Clock Extension

A one-year extension to the tenure/contract clock is granted to all tenure track faculty and continuing track faculty as of the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 academic years. This extension will also affect the timing of 2- and 4-year reviews for contract renewal. Faculty members can elect to opt out of this one-year extension and undergo peer review and apply for promotion and tenure on their original contract schedule. To opt out, a faculty member must notify the department chair in writing and before the next scheduled review that they wish to continue on their original clock. This universal extension does not affect a faculty member’s eligibility to exercise “Stop-the-Clock” options; rather, it is in addition to those.

  1. Evidential Materials, Teaching:

    Student course feedback, solicited according to normal departmental practices in Spring 2020 through Summer 2021, may be included in future faculty evaluations and future peer reviews only at the discretion of the faculty member.  Notwithstanding this provision, faculty members must provide evidence of quality teaching for promotion and tenure applications and peer reviews.

    Student course feedback from the 2020-2021 academic year will be included in the annual faculty appraisal process.

  2. COVID Impact Statements

Through the 2028-2029 academic year, all faculty members are required to include a “COVID Impact Statement” in their dossiers for peer reviews and promotion and/or tenure reviews. The purpose of the statement is to provide reviewers the information they need to perform a fair, contextual review; faculty members should not feel compelled to divulge personal information that they would prefer to keep private.

The COVID Impact Statement is separate from the required workload statement and the

conventional candidate statement. Candidates are encouraged to describe both negative and positive impacts they have experienced as a result of the pandemic. The statement should identify impacts that help reviewers to understand how COVID-19 influenced their work, both in terms of the impacts on their workload, as well as unexpected opportunities and challenges.

If a candidate believes that there was no discernible impact, the candidate can use the statement to indicate that.

Guidance for Writing Your COVID Statement

The goal of the COVID statement is to give faculty members an opportunity to formally contextualize the impact of the pandemic on their work productivity across the areas of research, teaching, and service. This statement is not meant to replace language that discusses your accomplishments as references to COVID may make sense as you write-up other parts of your dossier. Below are some prompts to consider in writing your COVID statement. These prompts are not prescriptive; you can consider them or not.

  • Provide details of how your work was impacted, steps you have taken or need to take to address the impacts, and any outcomes that have resulted from those actions.
  • Was your program of research specifically impacted? If so, how? [lab closings, access to populations, team challenges, increased workload in another area, decreased attention to it due to caregiver responsibilities, new data etc.]
  • What specific challenges, if any, did you encounter in shifting your courses to online


  • Have you experienced increases/decreases in service load and/or ability to effectively

meet current service obligations?

  • Has your actual and/or assigned workload changed?
  1. External Reviewers

 Letters to external peer reviewers should include the following language:

During the period from the beginning of the Spring 2020 term to the end of the Summer 2021 term, the COVID pandemic may have affected the candidate’s teaching, service, and research record.  We ask you to also recognize that not all candidates may have been affected the same way and to consider the particular circumstances that may have affected this candidate.  Please consider those circumstances when evaluating the candidate’s contributions from this period.

It is important to note two procedural adjustments made due to the pandemic. Please do not negatively view any candidate for exercising these options:

a. All faculty members had their tenure/contract clocks automatically extended by an additional year. Individual faculty members retained the right to opt out of this extension.

b. Faculty are not required to present results from student evaluations of teaching from the Spring 2020 through Summer 2021. They are, however, expected to provide evidence of teaching quality from that period.