COVID-19 Context

The global pandemic crisis of COVID-19 has created many challenges for faculty. We offer flexibility in our promotion process in the coming year to help offset any additional stress and burdens of the complex times we are experiencing; we encourage all units and colleges to also be flexible with their deadlines and timelines for submission for promotion review.  Following are some updates on changes in the promotion process during 2020-2021 as impacted by the global pandemic.

  1. Deadlines are extended for this year’s 2020-2021 promotion packet submissions to the university-level for
    1. Career-Track Promotion are extended until January 15th,2021.
    2. Continuing and Tenure-Tracks are extended until February 15th,2021.
  2. A new dossier section [Section 2A: IMPACT ON CAREER PROGRESSION FROM COVID-19 (OPTIONAL)] has been added to provide faculty an opportunity to describe the impact of the global pandemic on their workload assignment or trajectory of their scholarly activity, teaching, service, clinical activities, extension activities, or administrative roles. Please see link here for more details, the form, and tips for completing this new section.
  3. Student Course Surveys and Peer Observations during Spring 2020: Given the unexpected changes in teaching format this semester, the following recommendations are provided:
    1. It is recommended that new peer observations and Student Course Surveys (SCS) for the Spring 2020 semester were NOT necessary to collect and are NOT required to be used for evaluation purposes. If requested and included by the faculty member surveys and observations from the Spring 2020 semester may be used. Even if faculty requested reviews or surveys they may choose to use them only for their professional development and are not required to include them in the promotion dossier.
  4. COVID-19 Promotion Clock Delays are available for tenure-eligible faculty and continuing eligible faculty through a simple opt-in website link until June 30th, 2020. Promotion to Full Professor does not have a mandatory review year; we encourage faculty and department heads/directors to be compassionate and flexible in considering the best timing to submit for review in light of COVID-19.
  5. We are dedicated to improving Equity in the promotion process. We will work with review committees, department heads, and deans to consider how the global pandemic may have disproportionately impacted women and minorities. We will be adding new information on this topic into our training for department heads and promotion review committees.  

Given growing evidence that COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on women, underrepresented ethnic/racial/sexual groups, family caregivers, and those with health risks, we recognize that more than ever it is critical to acknowledge and consider issues of equity, diversity and inclusivity in the review of promotion materials. Moreover, individuals should not be penalized for adjusted work schedules, modified duties, or changes to research and creative momentum due to the extraordinary obstacles to everyday life that have resulted from the pandemic. However, we also acknowledge that unexpected changes in scholarly work, teaching, and service may lead to new and unexpected innovations and breakthroughs that have significant societal impact and which should be viewed in the light of the context of COVID-19, even if they do not follow a traditional pathway. As such, we call on all administrative leaders and review committees to not only recognize and mitigate these concerns, but also to proactively seek opportunities for resource reallocation and infrastructure investments to support the professional development and promotion process for all faculty.  Here you can find some recent articles for more details on the gendered impact of COVID-19 on research and publishing. These findings are important for review committees to consider:

  1. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/04/21/early-journal-submission-data-suggest-covid-19-tanking-womens-research-productivity
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01294-9
  3. https://www.thelily.com/women-academics-seem-to-be-submitting-fewer-papers-during-coronavirus-never-seen-anything-like-it-says-one-editor/
  4. https://www.natureindex.com/news-blog/decline-women-scientist-research-publishing-production-coronavirus-pandemic
  5. https://voxeu.org/article/who-doing-new-research-time-covid-19-not-female-economists
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/may/12/womens-research-plummets-during-lockdown-but-articles-from-men-increase
  7. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/voices/scientist-mothers-face-extra-challenges-in-the-face-of-covid-19/