December 17, 2020 - TO: umdearborn-all-faculty, umdearborn-leo-faculty, umdearborn-all-staff

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

Recognizing the ongoing extraordinary circumstances wrought by the pandemic and the increased burdens faced by faculty, the University of Michigan-Dearborn is again offering an option to extend the tenure clock by one year to all current tenure-track assistant professors and untenured associate professors who are scheduled to apply for promotion and tenure (P&T) in Fall 2021 or later. Those individuals who chose to defer their application last year because of the impact of COVID will be allowed to do so for Fall 2021 as well.

The faculty member’s decision to extend the tenure clock will have no bearing on tenure decisions. 

Tenure-track faculty must inform their department chair and dean by March 31, 2021 whether they wish to exercise this option. We ask that you submit with this request a short report (1-2 pages) explaining how progress to promotion has been negatively impacted and why the request is being made. We also encourage individuals considering this course of action to talk to their chair, faculty colleagues, and mentors before making the decision, for example, in order to assess the implications of deferral on matters such as salary. Each request will be discussed on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with the faculty member, chair, and dean.

Those faculty who choose to proceed with the tenure process may also choose to document how COVID — with its particular challenges, including its potential overlap with caregiving and other obligations — has affected their work, and submit an Impact Statement for consideration as part of their promotion dossier (more information and examples of such impact statements will be forthcoming soon from the Care & Equity Task Force). While course evaluations will be submitted as part of the dossier, the deans and the provost continue to support that such evaluations be ‘read’ through the COVID lens and be considered as developmental, rather than evaluative, in nature.

Choosing to extend the tenure clock will automatically extend the faculty member’s next reappointment decision by one year, if this decision is due before their P&T decision.

Exercising this option will not count as one of the two extensions already available under Standard Practice Guide 201.13 (Health, Personal Emergencies, and Other Extenuating Circumstances) and/or Standard Practice Guide 201.92 (Tenure Probationary Period: Effects on Tenure Clock of Childbearing and Dependent Care Responsibilities).

No adjustments will be made to the process for promotion to full professor since there is no mandatory deadline for that process. Those choosing to apply for promotion to full professor in Fall 2021 will follow the normal promotion to schedule.

We are happy to answer any questions, and do encourage those involved to carefully consider this option.

With best wishes,

Sue Alcock

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Raju Balakrishnan 

Dean, College of Business  

Ghassan Kridli

Interim Dean, College of Engineering and Computer Science 

Martin Hershock

Dean, College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters 

Ann Lampkin-Williams

Dean, College of Education, Health, and Human Services

Back to top of page