Policy to Allow for the Extension of the Pre-Tenure Probationary Period
Personal circumstances may prevent a faculty member in a tenure-track position from performing at the level that is necessary to attain the stature expected of University of Mississippi faculty within the time frame of the standard probationary period. An individual faculty member may be able to fully and competently meet the usual demands of his or her job, but may not have the concentration, creativity or time required to achieve tenure while experiencing high demands in other aspects of life. Therefore, under unusual circumstances, faculty in tenure-track positions may during the probationary period request that the probationary period be extended by one year.
An extension of the probationary period may be requested for personal reasons (e.g. child bearing or adoption, severe illness), but generally not for circumstances under the control of the University (e.g. undertaking administrative assignments, lack of adequate facilities).
The process can only be initiated by the faculty member. A written request for an extension shall be prepared by the faculty member and submitted to the Department Chair. The request should include the following information:
a. The justification for the requested extension of the probationary appointment
b. A plan of activities which will be conducted during the extension that are designed to make the faculty member eligible for tenure at the conclusion of the extension period.
c. A list of anticipated outcomes from the activities with accomplishment dates.
A request for an extension must be initiated on or before the September deadline for tenure application.
The faculty member making the request shall be notified in writing at each stage of the process or the recommendation made at that stage.
Upon receipt of the written request, the Department Chair will provide copies of the request to members of the tenured faculty of the department and schedule a meeting for the purpose of making a recommendation on the extension request. After discussion at the meeting, the tenured faculty, exclusive of any administrator who may later make a formal recommendation in the tenure process, will indicate their decision by vote, to be taken by secret ballot. Upon giving due consideration to the discussion and to this vote (which, however, is not binding upon him or her), the chair will then make his or her recommendation to the Academic Dean. As a part of the recommendation, the chair will include the record of the vote of the tenured faculty. The Academic Dean's recommendation will be forwarded to the Graduate Dean who will subsequently forward his or her recommendation to the Provost /VCAA. The recommendation of the Provost/VCAA shall be forwarded to the faculty member. If the Provost /Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs supports the extension request, the request shall be forwarded to the Chancellor. The Chancellor shall take final action on the request to extend the probationary period. The Chancellor will inform the faculty member, Department Chair, Academic Dean, Dean of the Graduate School and the Provost /VCAA of the final disposition of the request. When all action has been completed the request and recommendations will be filed in the Human Resources Office. Each person or group who is required to make a recommendation or a final decision on the request shall complete that recommendation or decision within five working days of the receipt of the request.
The appeal process shall be through the Tenure and Promotions Appeals Committee using the same procedure as used for tenure decision appeals. A request for appeal must be made to the Chair of the Tenure and Promotion Appeals Committee within five working days from receipt of the negative recommendation of the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
Approved by the Senate of the Faculty, November 13, 1998.