Date: January 29, 2021
To: NYU Tenured and Tenure Track Faculty
From: Vice Provost Kristen Day

COVID has affected how we have all done our jobs this year. You have risen to these challenges, changing how and what you teach and adjusting your research and creative activities as necessary. We know that doing so has not always been easy, and we want to build into our promotion and tenure processes a way to recognize that. Thank you to the Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty Senators Council for their input on this measure.
COVID impact statements: Guidance for faculty who are submitting materials for promotion and tenure review. As you prepare your materials for third year review and/or tenure or promotion review this year and in upcoming years, faculty may choose to include a short description of the impact COVID had on your teaching and/or research and creative work, as part of your statement on research and teaching activities for this review. This “COVID impact statement” provides specific information to help reviewers understand any new responsibilities or unexpected challenges that were brought on by COVID. In this statement, you may address changes to courses and teaching modalities; additional or different job responsibilities; changes in resources to support your work; innovations that you enacted; or disruptions to research and creative work and how they were addressed.  

In general, the COVID impact statement should not be a separate document; this information should be included as part of the existing statement on teaching and/or research activities that is already part of the review. In cases where review materials have already been submitted earlier in the fall, schools are asked to allow faculty a short window to submit such a statement as an addendum to the materials that were submitted earlier, to be considered as part of the review. The information that you provide in this COVID impact statement will not negatively affect your review. At a minimum, the information will be treated neutrally and at a maximum, it may positively impact your review.

Note that this COVID impact statement will be shared as part of your dossier with all internal and, if relevant, external reviewers. Standard language has been developed that will be included in all letters to external reviewers for faculty reappointment, promotion and tenure reviews (as appropriate), alerting reviewers to potential COVID impacts on faculty work. This letter will note that the tenure clock was automatically extended for all Tenure Track faculty in cases where this extension applies, except for faculty who did not accept the extension.  

Guidance for review of faculty for reappointment, tenure and promotion, and tenure. Faculty review committees for reappointment (for Continuing Contract faculty), and tenure and promotion reviews are asked to consider the information conveyed in COVID impact statements, along with all other information that is normally part of the review process. As noted above, the information in the COVID impact statement should not negatively affect the review. At a minimum, the information should be treated neutrally and at a maximum, it may positively impact the review. Because of major disruptions with the abrupt shift to remote teaching in Spring 2020, faculty course evaluations from Spring 2020 should not be considered as part of the review, unless a faculty member requests that these be considered. Note that the impacts of COVID for faculty career trajectories may continue to be relevant for several years, even if COVID is no longer a major factor in daily life.

Tenure clock extensions. Faculty involved in tenure reviews should keep in mind that all Tenure Track faculty were automatically granted a one-year tenure COVID-related clock extension, unless the faculty member requested to stay on the original tenure clock. Faculty who did not accept an extension of the tenure clock should be regarded as “on time” tenure reviews; these cases are not “early” reviews. Any tenure clock extensions for other, non-COVID reasons should be considered as separate from and in addition to COVID tenure clock extensions.