The Office of the Provost, in consultation with the COVID-19 Workgroup, provides the following updates to accommodations for academic faculty to address the impacts of COVID-19 on advancement and evaluation. The COVID-19 Workgroup’s analysis is ongoing, with a final report expected in Fall 2021.

Promotion & Tenure and Reviews

The deadline to request a one-year COVID-19 tenure clock extension (TCE) has been extended to June 1, 2023 for all faculty who are in the probationary period of their appointment. While all requests for the TCE will be automatically approved by the Vice Provost, faculty must complete the request form. Approvals will be communicated to the faculty member and unit supervisor.

Requests for a COVID-19 TCE must be made by June 1 of the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the tenure decision will be made (for example, a faculty member with a June 15, 2023 tenure deadline would need to make their TCE request no later than June 1, 2022).

Eligible faculty members can request a second tenure clock extension due to extenuating circumstances related to COVID-19 or other personal circumstances. This request will follow the normal process established for tenure clock extensions.

Consistent with OSU policy for all tenure clock extensions, if an extension is granted, the faculty member may later decide that they do not need the additional year and request review for promotion and tenure in accordance with the previous timeline. Faculty with questions about whether to request a COVID-19 tenure clock extension are advised to contact their academic unit leader and/or dean.

Please note that tenure-track faculty in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences with mandatory promotion deadlines may request a promotion extension by submitting a request to their Dean.

The purpose of the optional statement is to help reviewers understand how the COVID-19 pandemic may have affected the candidate’s work, from the outset of the spring 2020 term.

COVID-19 impact statements describe the impact of the pandemic on the ability to perform duties in the position description.  Impacts may include the following examples: personal circumstances that impede work, lack of access to research facilities and sites, inability to collect data, publication delays, cancelled conferences and seminars, or other circumstances attributable to the changed landscape of working under pandemic conditions.

For promotion and tenure processes, COVID-19 impact statements are limited to one page, single-spaced and, for dossiers prepared for review in 2021-22 or later, should be included as “Part B” in Section V: Candidate’s Statement, immediately following the 3-page Candidate Statement (now labeled “Part A”). The COVID-19 impact statement does not affect the 3-page maximum for the Candidate’s Statement.

For courses taught from Spring term 2020 through Winter term 2022, it will be at the faculty member’s discretion to use Electronic Student Evaluation of Teaching (eSET) and/or Student Learning Experience* (SLE) scores in their annual periodic review of faculty materials and promotion and tenure dossiers, without prejudice. This applies to all courses, including Ecampus courses. Supervisors do not have access to eSET/SLE scores for this time period, so faculty will need to access their scores through the eSET website (https://apa.oregonstate.edu/eset) or via the instructions on the SLE website (https://apa.oregonstate.edu/student-learning-experience-survey).  In lieu of eSET/SLE scores, faculty may want to provide narrative about how they modified their course(s) for remote delivery worked with students to ensure their success.

Faculty are strongly encouraged to seek periodic peer teaching reviews and work with their supervisors to schedule these reviews on a timely basis.  The process by which student feedback is solicited at the time of promotion and/or tenure review and entered into the dossier, via the student summary evaluation letter, is unchanged.

Beginning Spring term 2022, the former practices of sharing and reporting electronic student evaluations will resume.

*Please note that in fall term 2021 the eSET items have been replaced with a new set of questions to assess Student Learning Experience (SLE). This instrument was recently approved and will be implemented in all fall courses. Former eSET items #1 and #2 will continue to be asked through at least this academic year. In the months ahead, we will develop guidance for the use of the SLE items in annual and promotion and tenure reviews. The SLE instrument was developed by the Advancement of Teaching Committee (AOT) and ratified by the Faculty Senate. Questions about the SLE can be directed to the Chair of the AOT, Devon Quick.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a serious toll on many faculty members’ research, scholarly, and creative work, as well as their teaching, mentoring, and service. Research suggests that nationally faculty of color and women faculty may be disproportionately affected.  Deans and unit leaders should discuss how the pandemic has impacted their faculty and provide guidance to external evaluators and internal review committees to take into consideration these disruptions.  Reviewers should also be mindful of impacts that may have been noted in the optional COVID-19 impact statements.

The following language should be included in letters provided to all external reviewers:

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a serious toll on faculty productivity especially research, scholarship and creative work, as well as their teaching, mentoring and service. Research on a national level suggests that faculty of color and women faculty may be disproportionately affected. We ask that you consider this candidate’s professional accomplishments in the context of the disruptive and prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and the circumstances under which faculty have been operating since March of 2020.

Oregon State University has provided COVID-19 accommodation for academic faculty including (a) COVID-19 tenure clock extension to all tenure-track faculty upon request; (b) the inclusion of a COVID-19 impact statement in the dossier at the faculty member’s discretion; and (c) optional inclusion of eSET scores in promotion and tenure dossiers for courses taught in Spring 2020 through Spring 2021. Evaluators and reviewers should assess the candidate’s accomplishments and productivity and provide an evaluation of the merits of the dossier without prejudice related to COVID-19 tenure clock extensions and without prejudice related to the candidate’s decision about reporting or not reporting eSET scores for the Spring 2020 to Winter 2022 terms. Reviewers should also be mindful of impacts that may have been noted in the COVID-19 impact statements.

Thank you for agreeing to conduct this review.

COVID-19 impact statements describe the impact of the pandemic on the ability to perform duties in the position description.  Impacts may include personal circumstances that impede work, lack of access to research facilities and sites, inability to collect data, publication delays, or other circumstances attributable to the changed landscape of working under pandemic conditions.

For Periodic Review of Faculty (PROF): COVID-19 impact statements are limited to one page and should be included subsequent to the statement concerning current responsibilities of the faculty member, per the Guidelines for Periodic Review of Faculty.

For Mid-Term Review: For dossiers prepared for review in 2021-22 or later, a one-page COVID-19 Impact Statement may be included as “Part B” in Section V: Candidate’s Statement, immediately following the 3-page Candidate Statement (now labeled “Part A”).  The COVID-19 impact statement does not affect the 3-page maximum for the Candidate’s Statement.

For Post Tenure Review: In accordance with the policy for dossier preparation for tenure and promotion, a faculty member undergoing post tenure review may include a one-page COVID-19 Impact Statement as “Part B” in Section V: Candidate’s Statement, immediately following the 3-page Candidate Statement (now labeled “Part A”). The COVID-19 impact statement does not affect the 3-page maximum for the Candidate’s Statement.

For Periodic Review of Faculty, Mid-Term Review and Post Tenure Review, the Provost’s Office will extend the faculty member’s discretion to use eSET scores in their evaluative materials, without prejudice, for courses taught in Spring 2020 through Spring 2021. This applies to all courses delivered in these terms including Ecampus courses.

Each academic unit head or college initiating the review must inform faculty members of the option to include a description of the impact(s) of COVID-19 and provide the instructions, so that faculty members understand how to include this information in their submitted materials.

Additional COVID-19 Resources

The COVID-19 Work Group is charged to uncover, measure, and communicate the impacts of the pandemic on academic faculty — including differential impacts associated with disciplinary fields, race, gender, and other factors — and mitigate impacts through development of guidance, mentorship, and related policies and practices that can be feasibly and readily implemented.

University Human Resources maintains the COVID-19 Resource page. This includes information about COVID-19 Leave. Please monitor this page for all HR-related updates.

Refer to the COVID-19 Safety and Success site for current information about vaccines, planning for fall 2021, and more. The site includes a page with information for teaching faculty.