Provost responds to union, will grant 1-year tenure clock extensions

3/25/2020 update:

Dear Colleagues,

In recognition of the extraordinary disruption in both professional and personal lives caused by COVID-19, all currently untenured faculty may request a one-year extension by simply communicating their preference to add an additional year to their tenure clocks. All requests will be honored.

Faculty should forward requests to their dean’s office so that the new date will be recorded in Banner. Faculty scheduled for tenure reviews in 2020-21 must do so by May 1, 2020. All others must do so by January 1, 2021. These extensions will be documented by Human Resources. Faculty who elect to keep their existing tenure decision date may also do so.

We hope that the ability to request an extension alleviates some of the stress associated with remote instruction for our tenure-track faculty this term and recognize United Academics partnership in these efforts. If you have any concerns, please send me an email at [email protected]

Best wishes,
Patrick Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President

3/21/2020: Faculty Union calls for 1-year tenure clock extension

At Harvard and many other universities have already done this.

Tenure Clock Extension

On at least four occasions last week, President Sinclair and Executive Director Cecil encouraged the Provost’s Office to allow non-tenured faculty in the tenure-track to extend their tenure clock for one year at their discretion. These requests were the result of several emails and conversations from faculty requesting this extension. On each occasion, the Provost’s Office responded positively to this request and indicated that the opportunity for extension would be given soon. Unfortunately, the week ended with no such extension granted.

We are seeing that clock extensions are widespread in the academy as a response to the uncertainties all faculty face regarding their research projects right now. With travel suspended and libraries closed, conducting research is impossible for many. Of course, we’re all rising to the challenge of retooling our classes to remotely provide the quality instruction our students deserve. And many of our faculty are dealing with the sudden challenge of caring for and educating their children at home for an indefinite period.

The leadership of United Academics will continue to call for the opportunity to extend the tenure clock every chance we get until the request is granted.

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19 Responses to Provost responds to union, will grant 1-year tenure clock extensions

  1. Anas clypeata says:

    A minor and shameful correction: the UO libraries are still not closed, as of the time of this comment. See

    • uomatters says:


    • unclassifiedUO says:

      Wow, “on at least four occasions” the United Academics leadership “encouraged” the provost office to extend the tenure clock by a year. Keep up the hard work and unwavering leadership. It’s during times like these – a global pandemic and overwhelmed health care system – that our faculty leaders step up and stand up for what’s most important, their own self interest.

      • uomatters says:

        The faculty union leaders are all either tenured or non-tenure track – so this extension will not benefit them personally. A better question would be will it benefit the university as a whole? I think yes. Partly because not doing it sends a bad signal and it will be harder to make future hires. Partly because if we don’t do it tenure committees and letter writers will compensate by recommending marginal cases for tenure – where another year might have made a marginal case unacceptable. And partly because we already offer family leave extensions, and this seems similar. And partly because it’s crazy times and anything we can do to make it less crazy for stressed out people is a good thing – and faculty going up for tenure are stressed.
        BTW the elected UAUO leadership is at

        • anon says:

          Keep defending the union UOM with your snark and half-baked, self-interested arguments. You are not convincing anyone that the faculty union has had positive benefits for anyone except NTTF.

          • Fishwrapper says:

            I’m convinced. But, then again, it’s an easy argument to convince me that an organization of academics united in promoting what’s good for the academy is better than just leaving JH alone to do what it feels best elevates the brand (and colors their parachutes).

          • Canard says:

            I’m kind of confused how UOM can be advancing “self-interested arguments” in support of the union, when you also deny it “has had positive benefits for anyone except NTTF”. With arguments like this, I think you’d have a hard time getting tenure, even with a year’s extension.

  2. marmot says:

    Clock extensions mean that the raises, job security, and prestige that come with T&P will be delayed a year for faculty who exercise this option. Maybe that’s the only workable solution. But we should at least be thinking about whether there are other approaches that would let people’s careers continue to grow on schedule.

    • Dog says:

      Nothing is on schedule anymore, all my grants programs have been delayed by 6-9 months including things associated with Launching
      the James Webb Space Telescope. Lot’s of things are being pushed out in this currently unknowable world and even if the world recovers tomorrow, many of those things won’t get rescheduled now to be earlier. This is just the way it is. Nobody’s career is now growing on schedule …

    • thedude says:

      Given nobody is going pay tuition next year teaching load reductions!!!

      Also you get furloughed.

      • apt says:

        Was there a furlough in 08? or at other times? Curious how that played out?

        • thedude says:

          This will look nothing like 2008 when students ran to higher ed to avoid the recession. This is something else entirely. Why pay for a school that has labeled itself a bigtime sports party school if there is no sports, no party, and you can’t even hike without people shaming you.

          There’s a wide degree of uncertainty, but if people don’t pay tuition, we’re basically bankrupt after 1 quarter.

          • uomatters says:

            The athletic department is sitting on $65M in reserves. Cash it in, auction The Phildo off for aluminum scrap and we can make payroll til mid January. Except for the coaches salaries, of course.

          • apt says:

            thanks dude. I can definitely see students not coming here; maybe LCC will see increased enrollments…

        • DTL says:

          Classified staff get furloughs. Faculty and management and admins do not suffer furloughs.

  3. premature says:

    Granting a year on the clock at this stage is very premature. For folks without kids, if anything, this is a boon to their productivity.

    • ScienceDuck says:

      Considering the effort needed to go online for teaching, and considering that science labs will have a long stretch of zero output regardless of children, I’d say evaluating the impact will be complicated.

    • Observer says:

      That study concerns new parents, though. We’re in a different situation here, although as always, on average mothers are going to be doing more domestic work than fathers if there are kids at home during this no-school period. That doesn’t mean that mothers shouldn’t get an extra year on the tenure clock, though — on the contrary, they need it more.