Extension of the Tenure Clock
West Virginia University Board of Governors Policy 51
Section 1. General
1.1 This policy relates to the circumstances under which the usual seven-year tenure clock may be extended.
1.2 Authority; W. Va. Code §18B-1-6 and 18B-1B-4; Also HEPC Series 9: “The university shall develop a policy on faculty matters for its campuses as set forth in Series 9 and shall file its policy with the Board” and Section 10.3.1 of Board of Governors Policy 2.
1.3 Effective Date: September 12, 2008
Section 2. Circumstances Permitting Extension of the Tenure Track Period
2.1 A one-year probationary period extension, if requested, will be granted upon the birth of a child or the adoption or guardianship of a child under five years of age. Up to three such extensions may be awarded prior to the faculty member’s critical year. Both male and female faculty members are eligible to request such an extension.
2.2 A one-year probationary period extension may be granted by the Provost or Vice President for Health Sciences for extenuating non-professional circumstances that have significant impact on a faculty member’s productivity, such as serious personal illness or care for an immediate family member or other qualified adult. Up to three such extensions may be awarded prior to the faculty member’s critical year.
2.3 In rare cases during a faculty member’s first year, exceptional professional circumstances not of the faculty member’s own making may be acceptable justification for the Provost or Vice President for Health Sciences to grant a one-year probationary period extension. Only one such extension may be granted. Such circumstances may include exceptional delays in providing critical equipment, laboratory renovations, IRB approval or other elements of committed start-up package essential in establishing a viable research program. Slowness of response from journal review processes does not constitute an exceptional professional circumstance for purposes of this policy.
2.4 Requests for extensions must be made within one year of the qualifying event for 2.1 and 2.2 . A request may not be made during the faculty member’s critical year. A request for an extension under 2.3 must be made prior to the start of classes in the faculty member’s fourth semester (excluding summer sessions) of employment.
2.5 A total of three years is the maximum probationary year period extension for any combination of circumstances. Under no circumstances may the probationary period be extended beyond ten years.
2.6 A faculty member who has been awarded an extension may ask that he/she be reviewed for tenure in advance of his/her extended critical year. Such a request must be made in writing and approved by the Provost or Vice President for Health Sciences, as appropriate. If tenure is denied, the faculty member will be provided with a terminal contract even if the full period of the extension has not yet passed.
Section 3. Application Process for Probationary Extension
3.1 Requests for a probationary period extension must be made within one year of the qualifying event using a form available from the Office of the Provost or Vice President for Health Sciences.
3.2 Requests for extensions under 2.1 and 2.2 (above) will ordinarily be associated with substantial care provided by the faculty member.
3.3 Requests will be reviewed and commented upon by the faculty member’s chairperson and dean and acted upon by the Provost or Vice President for Health Sciences, as appropriate.
Section 4. Performance Review
4.1 A faculty member awarded an extension will have the workload assignments determined by the chairperson or other responsible administrator. The workload will represent a 1.0 FTE assignment. A faculty member awarded an extension shall not be penalized or adversely affected by the delay of the critical year through such activities as assignment of a heavier than usual teaching load, etc., unless the faculty member’s workload agreement is adjusted in other areas to reflect such an assignment.
4.2 A faculty member granted an extension will be eligible for merit pay, which will be determined by the quality of the faculty member’s performance and proportion of effort devoted to particular activities.
4.3 The faculty member shall be reviewed for tenure under the academic standards in effect at the time of review, which will be the same academic standards applied to a candidate whose probationary period has not been extended.
4.4 An extension of the probationary period in no way limits the right of the University to terminate a probationary appointment prior to a faculty member’s critical year, should circumstances warrant such action.