Dear VSE Faculty:

This message is important for tenure-track faculty who have not yet gone through their tenure evaluation.  The Office of the Provost, announced the extension of the RPT Process in their Special Edition Newsletter sent out yesterday.  The language of the announcement is given in italics below.  You may also find it at the Provost's Web site under Newsletters,

The Provost’s Office, in conjunction with members of the Faculty Senate, considers COVID-19 as a circumstance that warrants the granting of an extension of the tenure-track contract and of the third-year renewal, as per Faculty Handbook

  *   All tenure-track individuals may seek to extend their tenure clock by one year by notifying their local academic unit head as soon as possible, but no later than August 25 of the academic year in which their tenure decision would have been made.
  *   All tenure-track faculty who are in their first or second year of their tenure clock, including those hired in January 2020, may seek to extend their third-year contract renewal by one year by notifying their local academic unit head as soon as possible, but no later than August 25 of the academic year in which their tenure decision would have been made.
  *   Tenure-track faculty will receive only one extension due to this extraordinary circumstance.
  *   This extension does not preclude the granting of other extensions based upon criteria listed in the Faculty Handbook (Section 2.7.4).

Please note the following:

  *   The system is an “opt in” rather than an “opt out,” namely, the assumption is that you are not requesting an extension.  If you wish to get an extension, you need to let your chair know no later than the August 25 deadline of the academic year in which the decision would have been made.
  *   For those tenure-track faculty who are considering requesting an extension of their tenure clock, please note that despite the deadline of August 25 for notifying your chair of such a request, you will have to submit the tenure materials to the committee in advance to meet the July deadline for sending out your casebook to external reviewers, unless you have already notified your chair of this request.  (See my note on this in the next bullet.) I would therefore suggest making your final decision before the casebook is  sent out to the reviewers.
  *   To remind you, the implementation of the new university-wide online system for supporting renewal, promotion and tenure (aptly called "RPT") has specific university-wide deadlines that will be strictly enforced.   Key among them is the deadline for accepting external review letters, which is the Friday before Columbus Day (a university-wide deadline).   In turn, the requests for external reviews should be sent out by the chairs in July of that year.  And in turn, since the external reviewers are selected by the Department  (Level-1) P&T Committee, they would need some time to  meet (this year, most likely electronically) and decide on the external reviewers.   Moreover, all candidates have to upload their full dossier by the first day of classes (this year: August 24).  If you are reading this and are a tenured faculty considering promotion to Full, please note that you will still need to notify your chair of your intent by May 23; you can later opt out of that decision.

Feel free to send me an email should you have questions


Ariela  Sofer
Associate Dean, Administration and Faculty Affairs
Volgenau School of Engineering
Professor, Systems Engineering and Operations Research Dept.
George Mason University
(703) 993-1692 (tel)  (703) 993-1521 (fax)