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Requesting a Stay of the Provisional Tenure Period

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:

  1. The faculty member writes a letter to the chair requesting the stay, stating the
    reason and timeline, and providing a current CV;
  2. 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;
  3. the Dean reviews the request and, if approved, forwards the packet of materials to the Provost; and
  4. 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.

Please direct any questions to the Office of Faculty Affairs.


Revised Oct. 2, 2014
Formatting revised August 2016