Guidelines for Requesting Extensions of the Tenure Probationary Period

Please forward all information (outlined below) required for making an application for an extension from the Dean's Office to the Office of the Provost, 114 Jesse Hall, Attn: Teresa Davis (davistl@missouri.edu). An original paper copy and one electronic copy are requested. The faculty member, dean, chair/unit leader will be notified of the decision by the Provost.

Note: Except for well-documented emergencies, no request for extension will be considered or granted if submitted later than 18 months prior to the tenure notification date.

Faculty members who have received an extension but wish to be considered for promotion and tenure in any year prior to their new mandatory notification date have two choices:

  1. They may keep their new mandatory notification date and be considered for promotion and tenure as an “early” case. In this situation, they will be evaluated by the standard indicated in Collected Rules and Regulations 320.025 for early consideration (“rare and restricted to truly exceptional cases”).
  2. Alternatively they may notify the Provost, in writing, that they do not wish to use the approved extension. In this case, their mandatory notification date will be changed.

Faculty with questions about implications of declining an approved extension should contact Teresa Davis in the Office of the Provost.

A. Procedure for applying for an extension
(Except for Circumstances in B. and C. below)

Requests for extensions are to include the following written information from the faculty member:

  1. Date of appointment
  2. Mandatory tenure notification date
  3. The reason for requesting an extension
  4. The date(s) of relevant events
  5. An explanation of how these events substantially burdened progress to tenure and an outline of works for which progress has been hampered
  6. Copy of vita
  7. Copy of the letter of appointment
  8. Copy of last annual review by department chair/unit leader

Requests for extensions also are to include the following written information:

  1. Formal statement of support of an extension from the dean and department chair/unit leader, including any changes in expectations from the letter of appointment (see "Background Information" section below)
  2. A copy of the understanding on evaluation referenced in the last two paragraphs of the "Background Information" section of this Guidelines document. This document is to be signed by the faculty member and the department chair/unit leader.

Background Information

A faculty member should apply for extension as soon as it becomes clear that an extenuating circumstance has substantially impeded progress toward tenure in specific ways. Above all, the member should not wait until the tenure decision date to make such an application based on events and effects which are already completed and otherwise resolved. The purpose of the extension is to provide another year to work toward tenure because of an extenuating circumstance, not retroactively to evaluate a candidate's entire probationary period and give that person a "second chance."

On the other hand, requests for extension should not be made prematurely on the basis of speculation about how a coming rough period might affect progress toward tenure. Evidence must be provided of how the difficulties have impeded or will impede progress, and the application must clearly outline which of the applicant's books, papers, experiments, etc. have been or will be hampered by the specific difficulties.

In the formal statement of support of an extension from the dean and department chair/unit leader, any changes in expectations from the letter of appointment should be described regarding their impact on progress toward tenure. Changes may include, but are not limited to: resources, lab space, lab equipment, and start-up funds promised in the letter of appointment.

When asked by a faculty member to support a request for extension of the tenure probationary period, a department chair/unit leader and/or dean should discuss and reach a clear understanding with the faculty member on the criteria and processes whereby the faculty member will be evaluated during the remainder of the probationary period, if the requested extension is granted. Recommendations for extension should be made only for faculty whom the recommending unit and division reasonably expect to be able, if an extension is granted, to meet applicable standards for tenure. Specifically, there should be an understanding as to what other adjustments, if any, will be needed as a result of the extension or of the extenuating circumstance giving rise to the request, to the normal expectations for the applicant's position concerning workload, performance, or the format and timing of periodic evaluation processes. This understanding should be reduced to writing and signed by the faculty member and department chair/unit leader.

A copy of the understanding should be attached to the documents submitted to the Provost with the request for extension. The Tenure Probationary Extension Committee, in making its recommendations to the Provost concerning the request for extension, will receive and may comment on the understanding.

The Tenure Probationary Extension committee will review applications for extensions in September, February, and June. Please forward all information required for making an application by the first day of these months. All information should be included before requests are forwarded. The faculty member, dean, chair/unit leader will be notified of the decision by the Provost.

B. Procedure for Applying Due to Birth, Adoption, or Gaining Custody of a Child

An extension of the probationary period for one year for faculty who experience birth, adoption, or who gain custody of a child will be approved for faculty upon request. A second one-year extension is permitted for the second time any faculty member becomes a new parent and requests an extension. These requests must also be submitted in writing following steps 1-4 in Section A above. One paper copy and one electronic copy of the request is needed and such requests can be submitted anytime throughout the year.

Exception: No request for extension will be considered or granted if submitted later than August 1 of the year immediately prior to the tenure notification date.

C. Procedure for Applying Due to a Qualifying Family and Medical Leave

(See Section 340.070.D. of the University of Missouri Collected Rules and Regulations)

An extension of the probationary period for faculty members who have been granted a qualifying FMLA leave will be approved upon request. These requests must also be submitted in writing following steps 1-4 in Section A. above. One paper copy and one electronic copy of the request is needed and can be submitted at any time throughout the year. Please note that FMLA leaves may be granted for the reasons listed in B. above, but also for other qualifying events. However, the maximum number of extensions for all reasons cannot exceed two one-year extensions.

Exception: No request for extension will be considered or granted if submitted later than August 1 of the year immediately prior to the tenure notification date.

Extension of Probationary Period for Faculty on Regular Term Appointment

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