Extension of the Tenure Clock and Course Evaluations

Tuesday, April 7, 2020; 10:45 a.m.

Dear Colleagues,

We understand the disruption that has been caused by forced closure of the buildings on the LSU campus and the transitioning of courses to an online format. This has created a situation where research in labs has come to a halt, research requiring face to face interaction with humans is not possible, performances have been cancelled, and myriad other scenarios that impede faculty’s ability to move their scholarly activities forward at the normal pace. Additionally, the transition to online teaching on such quick notice has put many faculty members in an uncomfortable position with regard to instruction. We acknowledge the need to give some grace in these unprecedented times.

Our policy statement on promotion and tenure, PS 36T, allows for an extension of the tenure clock for those situations that might severely impact the tenure case of a faculty member. The COVID-19 pandemic certainly rises to that level. In more normal circumstances, these requests are reviewed by the department chair, dean, and provost who consider overall productivity and timing of the request when determining their support. The current situation requires more generous consideration of this policy, and we have worked with the Faculty Senate to provide the flexibility below.

All nontenured faculty members with the exceptions of (1) the people in the 2019-2020 cohort currently in the promotion and tenure process and (2) those who had an unsuccessful third-year review will be granted a one-year extension of the tenure clock. For faculty in their first or second year of a tenure track position who have not entered into the third-year review, this action also will have the effect of extending the third-year review. This will be automatically loaded by HRM into Workday with the justification of COVID-19. You do not have to do anything if you want the extension. In the future, you may request a revocation to return to your original timeline. 

If you do not want your tenure clock extended due to COVID-19, you can opt-out by sending an e-mail with that explicitly stated to Senior Vice Provost Jane Cassidy (jcassid@lsu.edu) by May 1, 2020. This revocation will be recorded, and you will remain on your current timeline. Faculty in their first or second year of a tenure track position who choose to opt out of the tenure review extension will automatically forego the reappointment review extension and undergo both third-year reappointment review and mandatory tenure review according to their original timeline. 

Should you opt out of the extension, you will not have the ability to claim COVID-19 disruptions for any future request for an extension. This extension is considered a one-time adjustment and will not replace the two extensions possible under the current policy.

After consultation with the Faculty Senate, we have decided that course evaluations will be administered electronically through Blue Explorance as usual. However, HRM will provide the following notation in Faculty360 for all courses taught in Spring 2020, “Courses taught during spring semester 2020 were complicated by the effects of COVID-19. Evaluations should be considered in that context.” A faculty member may opt to have course evaluations from Spring semester 2020 excluded from the 2021 annual review.


Stacia Haynie
Executive Vice President & Provost