COVID-19 Tenure Delay

The University community recognizes that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created unanticipated circumstances that may be seriously interrupting faculty progress toward professional and scholarly achievement. This problem is of great concern to us all but is especially troubling for faculty working toward promotion with tenure. The Board of Regents and the University of Maryland System have authorized us to offer a one-year extension of the pre-tenure probationary period to all eligible tenure-track faculty who request it, due to effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their ability to work.

Who is eligible?

  • All tenure-track faculty who are in their probationary period (pre-tenure) on or after March 1, 2020.

How Should the Request for Tenure Delay due to COVID-19 be made? 

  • Eligible faculty will need to apply for a COVID-19-related tenure delay. They should discuss their intent to apply for a tenure delay with their unit head (Chair/Director/Dean) as soon as possible and before submitting the tenure delay request.
  • Faculty who wish to apply should go to to begin the process and select “COVID-19 Pandemic” as the reason for the tenure delay request.
  • Faculty should provide a brief justification of the pandemic-related disruption to research, teaching, and/or service activity.
  • The request will be routed to the Chair/Director (if applicable), the Dean, and the Provost for approval, but assuming the faculty member is eligible, approval will be automatic and without penalty or prejudice.
  • Once approved, the faculty member, Chair/Director (if applicable), and Dean will receive notification of the approval and the new mandatory tenure/promotion decision date.

Timing of the Request:

  • Eligible faculty whose mandatory tenure review is scheduled for Academic Year 2020-21 need to apply for the delay by June 1, 2020.
  • All other requests for the extension from eligible faculty must be received by June 1, 2021.
  • Eligible faculty who do not apply for a tenure delay by June 1, 2021 will still be able to do so later, view the UMD process: II.1.00(D) - University of Maryland Policy on Extension of Time for Tenure Review Due to Personal and Professional Circumstance. Later approval via that process, however, will not be automatic, but will be reviewed in the normal way.

What does it mean to request the COVID-19 tenure delay?

  • Eligible faculty currently undergoing their third-year reviews will complete that process as intended by the end of this Academic Year.
  • Faculty who request a tenure delay and would have undergone their third-year review in Academic Year 2020-2021 or beyond will also have their third-year review period extended by one year.
  • Eligible faculty who apply for a tenure delay, but later decide that they do not need the additional year, may request that their tenure unit advance their candidacy according to the original schedule without being required to justify an “early” promotion.

Who should faculty contact with questions?

  • Questions about the process should be directed to John Bertot, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs.