Tenure-Clock Extension Policy, Procedures and Guidelines**

(Presented at Faculty Senate, January 2007)

Purdue University recognizes the importance of providing a workplace that enables faculty to do their very best work. The university also recognizes that faculty may encounter circumstances which impair or prevent progress toward professional and scholarly achievement. This is an especially critical issue for faculty working toward tenure within a limited and specified timeframe. This policy provides faculty the opportunity to seek an extension of the tenure clock when certain situations arise that slow or hinder achieving tenure.


The University tenure policy (Executive Memorandum B-48, Section II) states that justifiable conditions or interruptions may be considered as a basis for deviations from the traditional probationary tenure clock. Furthermore, the policy grants the University discretion in determining what kinds of conditions shall be deemed justifiable. The President has delegated the authority to approve tenure-clock extensions for justifiable conditions to the Provost.


To ensure consistency and fairness in determining which conditions are sufficiently justifiable to warrant deviation from the tenure policy, the following guidelines are recommended:

  1. A one-year automatic approval will be granted for birth of a child and adoption, provided a Request for Tenure-Clock Extension form is submitted within one year of the occurrence and prior to the penultimate year. This provision applies to either or both parents.
  2. When conditions and personal circumstances arise which substantially interfere with progress toward achieving tenure, faculty may request that time be excluded from their probationary periods. Justifiable conditions for granting exclusions include, but are not necessarily restricted to, severe illness, disability, or caregiving of a family member.
    1. Ordinarily, requests for tenure-clock extensions are for one year.
    2. Requests for exclusions should be made within one year from the time the conditions occurred which precipitated the request.
    3. Exclusions will not be granted after the beginning of the penultimate year.
    4. Requests for exclusions will be reviewed by the Provost upon receipt.
    5. Decisions regarding the granting of exclusions shall be based upon:
      1. Verification that the conditions leading to the request occurred or continue to exist.
      2. Verification that the faculty member demonstrated progress prior to the conditions leading to the request.
    6. Deans and department heads have a responsibility to inform faculty of this policy, especially upon recognition that a qualified faculty member’s progress toward tenure may be impeded by circumstances cited within this policy. Furthermore, faculty members are encouraged to discuss this policy with their head when qualifying circumstances arise or are anticipated.
  3. Procedures for initiating, reviewing, and approving requests to exclude time from the probationary period are as follows:
    1. Faculty should submit a Request for Tenure-Clock Extension form to the department head.
    2. The department head shall transmit the request to his/her dean. The department head and/or dean is responsible for ascertaining that the request is valid.
    3. If the dean approves the request, he/she will forward it to the Provost, who will act upon it.
    4. Revised President’s Office Form 19 should be processed to reflect the change in the end of the maximum probationary period.
    5. Any faculty member who feels it necessary to appeal a decision may utilize established grievance procedures.

Download the Request for Tenure-Clock Extension form.