Date: March 25, 2020
To: Deans, Directors, and Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty
From: Provost Katherine Fleming

I know that many tenure-track faculty are concerned about possible impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on their tenure clocks. Certainly, we all share in the goal to minimize the impacts of COVID-19 as much as possible, including impacts on our faculty members’ long-term success.

The Executive Committee of the NYU Board of Trustees has approved an extension of the tenure clock for tenure-track faculty. Tenure-track faculty who are not currently under tenure review will have their tenure clocks extended by one year. A 12-month extension will apply for both tenure review cycles that begin in fall semester and those that begin in spring semester.

Faculty who are already under tenure review—that is, those for whom the due date for submission of their materials for tenure review has already passed—are not affected by this proposed action. For faculty who are already under tenure review, the review will proceed as it would normally.

Details on the extension are as follows:

  • All tenure-track faculty members who are not currently under tenure review will have their tenure clocks automatically extended for one year.
  • Faculty members who prefer NOT to have their tenure clock extended by one year may request in writing to keep their current tenure clocks.
  • Faculty should discuss their requests with their department chairs (or equivalent, in units without departments.) Department chairs should send requests to deans, along with an indication of the chair’s support for the request. Deans or their representatives should send requests to maintain the current tenure clock to Kelly Long. All requests NOT to have the tenure clock extended should be submitted by August 31, 2020. In the absence of a request for a clock NOT to be extended, all tenure clocks will be reset as of September 1, 2020.
  • Third year reviews (and 6th year reviews, in schools that include a 6th year review) will be rescheduled as follows: Third year reviews that are already underway—that is, those reviews in which the due date for submission of the faculty member’s materials was March 1, 2020 or earlier—will continue as scheduled. In these cases, the tenure clock will be extended to add a year after the third year review. On September 1, tenure clocks will be reset (see above) so if a faculty member’s materials were due for the third year review after March 1, 2020, that review will be postponed for one year from its normal date.
  • Tenure reviews for lateral (new) hires who have been awarded tenure at their prior institutions and who would join NYU with their NYU tenure decisions pending review at the departmental, school, and Provostial levels are not affected by this proposed extension. Tenure reviews should continue for these individuals on the normal schedule.
  • Newly hired faculty (joining for the 2020-21 academic year) who are on the tenure-track are also not affected by this extension. The tenure clock for these individuals will be the same as under normal conditions.

We still do not know the full length and impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. In this context, we recommend that faculty members accept the one-year tenure clock extension if it is available to them. This extension is intended as a measure to help faculty members reduce their stress and address the multiple aspects of their lives that are being impacted right now. To preserve the integrity of the tenure review process, faculty members who decline the tenure clock extension will not be permitted to change this decision after their tenure reviews have begun.

Thank you all for your partnership and forbearance as we work together to address the health and well being of our NYU community and the success of our research and teaching endeavors.