Department chairs are urged to ensure that tenure-track faculty members are aware of Penn State’s stay-of-tenure policy and request stays when appropriate. The College of Medicine encourages faculty members to apply for stays if they experience extenuating circumstances that impede their progress toward tenure.
AC-23 includes a provision for stopping the tenure clock for one academic year (July 1 to June 30) for such extenuating circumstances as “the birth or adoption of a child, serious personal illness, or the provision of care for a close family member” (AC23 Administrative Guidelines, page 25). Note that stays of tenure are not linked to a leave of absence. Second stays may be requested (e.g., for birth or adoption of a second child) and are likely to be approved if the faculty member is making satisfactory progress toward tenure, as indicated in provisional tenure reviews. The procedures for requesting a stay of tenure may be found in AC23 Administrative Guidelines, Appendix G.
Whenever possible, the request should be submitted to the Office of Faculty Affairs prior to July 1 of the academic year in which the stay will occur. This is especially important if a provisional tenure review or the final tenure review is scheduled for that academic year.
The steps are:
- The faculty member writes a letter to the chair requesting the stay, stating the
reason and timeline, and providing a current CV;
- the chair reviews the request and writes a letter to the Dean, which is submitted to the Office of Faculty Affairs along with the items from the faculty member;
- the Dean reviews the request and, if approved, forwards the packet of materials to the Provost; and
- the Provost makes the final decision.
The departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee should not be involved in the review of the stay of tenure request.
When a stay is granted, the reason for the stay remains confidential and should not be mentioned in the dossier.
Revised Oct. 2, 2014
Formatting revised August 2016