Emory Approves Automatic Extension of the Tenure Clock for the Birth or Adoption of a Child

Emory University recognizes the importance of flexible work-life policies for Emory faculty. One of the goals of the Work-Life Initiative was to create a new, more flexible model for academic advancement that sustains personal growth, encourages professional excellence, and nurtures community and family life. (WL Report, p. 12) To that end, the Report of the Work-Life Task Force recommended that "a tenure-track faculty member who becomes the parent of a child by birth or adoption will automatically be granted a one-year extension of term by the Provost for each birth or adoption, upon notification by the dean. In keeping with current policy, additional extensions may be requested by the faculty member in unusual circumstances through the chair and dean." (WL Report, recommendation 15.1, p.18).

In March 2008 the Faculty Life Course Committee reviewed the Work-Life Report and made a series of endorsements/recommendations. These included a recommendation for automatic extension of the probationary term for new parents. The Committee recommendation was as follows:

Automatic extension of probationary terms for new parents. The committee strongly supports the new "opt-out" approach granting automatic extension of the tenure clock by one year for birth or adoption of a child, but recommends in the interests of fairness that current tenure-track faculty who have not yet been reviewed for tenure but have become parents by birth or adoption while on the tenure track also be made eligible for the extension.


The Board of Trustees voted on the above recommendation and endorsed it in March 2009.


Policy Statement for Faculty Handbook:

If a faculty member on the tenure track who has not yet been reviewed for tenure becomes a parent by birth or adoption, he or she will be granted an automatic extension of the tenure clock by one year. The faculty member should notify his or her chair (for those schools that have departments) and dean in writing of this change in status at the earliest possible date.  It is the responsibility of the chair and dean to secure substitutes for the faculty member’s teaching and committee responsibilities.

For questions about this policy, please contact Dr. Claire Sterk, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.