Tenure-track faculty to receive extension of probationary period amid pandemic

Media Credit: File Photo by Gabrielle Rhoads | Photographer

Blake said he consulted with the deans of each of GW's schools and the Faculty Senate before developing the guidelines.

Tenure-track faculty will be able to request a one-year extension on their tenure clock as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Provost Brian Blake said his office made the decision after considering the effects of the pandemic – including limited access to offices and “research environments” – on tenure-track faculty in their probationary period, the period of time after which officials make a decision on whether to grant tenure based on the candidate’s scholarly accomplishments, according to the Faculty Code. He added that details about how faculty can extend their tenure timeline will be released next week.

“Last week, we started developing guidelines that are reflective of the unique characteristics of GW’s schools and colleges, solicited advice from the deans and consulted with the Faculty Senate,” Blake said in an email. “Among other important details, I am pleased that we have developed guidelines that would allow an one-year extension to the tenure period for faculty who desire that flexibility.”

Blake said he has not received any specific requests from tenure-track faculty for an extension but added that he hopes the policy change will “lessen their burden” as professors and students cope with the pandemic.

Officials announced last week that classes would be moved online for the remainder of the semester, forcing faculty to adapt courses to an unexpected medium of instruction.

“As provost, I want all of our tenure-track faculty to be successful, and I remain committed to providing an abundance of latitude during this important period of their professional careers,” Blake said.

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