In spring of 2020, the Provost identified COVID-19 as a situation falling within the domain of extraordinary circumstances.
Tenure Clock Extension Due to Extraordinary Circumstances
Extension of the tenure clock for a tenure-track faculty member may be approved for extraordinary circumstances that has substantially impeded progress toward tenure in a specific way. All tenure-line faculty who were hired in or prior to August 2020 are eligible for a COVID-19 tenure clock extension. This extension can be used only once and counts as one of the maximum three that is allowed during the tenure-line process.
The request must state clearly the circumstances in the faculty member's situation that might justify an extended probationary period. The letter must also state explicitly that the faculty member making the request understands that he or she will not enjoy an entitlement or stronger claim to tenure by virtue of continued membership on the faculty beyond the customary period. The request is to be forwarded (in most cases via the local unit administrator) to the school dean. If the school dean supports the request, the request, along with the dean's formal endorsement, is then sent to the Provost for further review. A decision to extend the probationary period will be made by the Provost. The faculty member will receive written notification when the request is approved.
Faculty members who have requested this tenure clock extension due to extraordinary circumstances must not be held to higher standards by reviewers, whether those reviewers were solicited to serve as external reviewers or are part of Mason’s internal review process.
Research, Scholarship, and Creative Work
Candidates are encouraged to ensure that their materials include abstracts and conference/scholarly presentations that were canceled during the time of the pandemic.
Teaching, Learning, and Mentoring
Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, there were no student teaching evaluations for spring 2020, although faculty may choose to include evidence of efforts made to address student needs. Many faculty members engaged in significant professional development activities to adapt their teaching and learning practices, and mentored peers. Candidates are encouraged to include any professional development activities they engaged in order to better serve students and their colleagues during the pandemic.