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Stop the Clock Tenure Process and COVID-19

As we move forward together, we are suspending the automatic approval of COVID-19 as an exceptional case for Stop-the Clock. We will still identify COVID-19 as an “exceptional case” under ISUPP 4020 (Promotion and Tenure). However, starting Fall 2023 (August 21,2023) in order for a faculty member to identify COVID-19 as an “exceptional circumstance” as a rationale to defer tenure for a year, they must follow the process as outlined in ISUPP 4020.

The following procedures are in place until the first day of Fall Semester 2023 (August 21, 2023): The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for faculty pursuing tenure. In recognition of this, ISU has identified COVID-19 as an “exceptional case” under ISUPP 4020 (Promotion and Tenure). As a result, Idaho State University will offer automatic approval for all faculty who request a Stop-the-Clock tenure deferral (adding one additional year to the current tenure clock) due to COVID-19 circumstances. No additional information is necessary other than a notification based on COVID-19 impacts.

ISUPP 4020 V.D.2 states, “In certain exceptional cases a faculty member may petition for extension of the timeline for tenure due to extenuating circumstances (as provided in Board Policy II.G.6.d.4.b).” Exceptional cases are defined by the ISU policy as unforeseen research-related difficulties; family emergencies; illness; childbirth; unforeseen emergency; operational impacts on the unit housing the faculty member resulting in significant workload readjustment; or other extenuating circumstances. The following process allows for a streamlined Stop-the-Clock request for COVID circumstances; all other Stop-the-Clock requests should follow the process as outlined in ISUPP 4020.

Assistant professors who are tenure-eligible with currently active tenure clocks.

The following procedure will expire on August 21, 2023 (The First Day of Fall Semester 2023):Faculty members shall submit a notification to their program/department chair that includes:

  1. Their intention to utilize a Stop-the-Clock deferral for reasons related to COVID-19.
  2. A new tenure clock timeline that includes the deferral period requested and the year that the faculty member will be eligible to sit for promotion and tenure.
  3. If asking for more than the automatically granted single deferral year, an explanation for why additional years are being requested.  If additional time is requested beyond the automatic single year, the dean’s office is responsible for reviewing and recommending the additional time. The Provost’s Office will review and approve the extended period.

The faculty letter and a letter from the chair acknowledging the new timeline shall then be forwarded to the appropriate dean, who will record and maintain the new timeline and will notify the Provost’s Office of the change. The Provost’s Office will respond in writing that the faculty member’s new timeline has been adjusted.

Stop-the-Clock requests must be made before submitting a complete tenure portfolio.

Faculty who have questions about whether it is advisable to request a waiver are encouraged to consult with their program/department chair and/or dean.