Tenure Clock Extension – Policy

At the University of Washington, the transition from Assistant to Associate Professor is an “up or out” decision. Supporting all Assistant Professors to do their very best work is therefore crucial to the success of the individual, and more broadly their unit and college. The College of the Environment seeks to support pre-tenure faculty before and during this decision, and invest in their future by helping them successfully manage their work and life balance.

Recognizing that: (1) faculty may find it difficult to balance their work-life in the first year following the birth or adoption of a child, and (2) Assistant Professors may be reluctant to request a tenure clock extension due to the belief that a bias or stigma against such extensions exists, the College of the Environment has streamlined the process of tenure clock extension. Additional information on Promotion and Tenure Clock Waivers can be found at the Academic HR website.

Faculty members need only inform the Dean’s Office of the birth or adoption of a child, in order to begin an automated approval process for a one-year tenure clock extension. As part of the notification process, faculty members will have the opportunity to grant or deny the Dean’s Office permission to communicate to their chair/director the reason for the extension. Although final approval through Academic Human Resources and the Office of the Provost is still required for all tenure clock extensions, review in the case of extension due to birth or adoption is cursory.

If the faculty member does not want a tenure clock extension due to the birth or adoption of a child, the year of tenure review remains unchanged.

Faculty may also request a tenure clock extension due to the birth or adoption of a child during the probationary period at any point in time, as long as it is submitted no later than June 30th of the year prior to the mandatory year. (i.e., If the mandatory review year is AY24-25, the request must be submitted by June 30, 2024.) Ideally, requests should be submitted no later than Winter quarter of the previous academic year to insure timely processing of the request.

Finally, it is important to note that tenure clock extensions do not prevent faculty members from going up for tenure review early, essentially reversing the extension after the fact.

Faculty may additionally request medical leave and/or family leave associated with the birth or adoption of a child. Please see the Academic HR website for details on leave options.

Medical and/or family leave are not prerequisites for tenure clock extension; the tenure clock can be extended when no leave is taken. However, there are thresholds of leave that will automatically extend the tenure clock:

Annual Appointment

Leave Duration

  9 months

>3 months and ≥50% time

12 months

>6 months and ≥50% time


Tenure Clock Extension – Guidelines

Faculty should send an email directly to the Dean’s Office at envhr@uw.edu indicating they would like to request a tenure clock extension due to the birth or adoption of a child. Please include the birth or adoption date(s) of the child(ren) and whether you do or do not grant permission for the Dean’s Office to communicate the reason for the extension request to your Chair/Director. The Human Resources department will communicate with your Chair/Director only that you have requested a tenure clock extension, but the reason for the extension will be provided only if you give permission to do so. The Tenure Clock Extension request is then submitted in Workday to be reviewed directly by Academic Human Resources and the Provost’s Office. If approved in Workday, Academic HR will email the faculty member and the Human Resources department notifying them of this approval. The Human Resources department shares that approval with the faculty member’s administrator and Chair/Director for their records.

If faculty who have previously elected not to exercise the right to a tenure clock extension due to the birth or adoption of a child realize at a later date (up to the point of submission of their tenure packet to the unit) that extension would be in their best interest, they may follow the directions above to initiate the extension process at that later date.

COVID-19 Tenure Clock Extension Instructions for Workday

Step 1:

Job Profile:

  • Change Job
  • Use reason code “Data Change > 02 –  Change End Date – Clock Adjustment (Academic Only)”
  • Use the current date of the recent pay period as the start/effective date
  • Extend the position end date by one year

Step 2:

Academic Appointment:

  • Update Academic Appointment
  • Use reason code “Mandatory Promotion Clock Adjustments > Waiver: Other Reason”
  • Extend the appointment end date by one year
  • Enter in Comments Box: This is a COVID-19 related clock waiver
  • Once the BP is submitted, click the “Edit Additional Data” button

From the drop down, choose the appropriate promotion clock waiver year (it will be AY 2019-20 for all COVID-19 related clock waivers)

Please also make sure to attach the request from the faculty to Maintain Worker Docs.

Tenure File Evaluation – Policy with Regard to Extension

The University of Washington (UW) and the College of the Environment provide tenure clock extensions to faculty as a benefit to help balance professional and personal goals.  As such, tenure clock extensions do not negatively affect faculty who exercise this right.  The tenure review file is evaluated based on the totality of accomplishments, not the rate or timing of accomplishments.  Any calculation of production or publication rate must explicitly include the fact of the extension(s).  A simple formula would look like:

Relevant Scholarly Production Units
Total Years – Extension Year(s)

To ensure that tenure clock extensions are considered during tenure review, the Dean’s Office and each relevant unit will maintain a record of all tenure clock extensions and will remind the Chair of the relevant Promotion & Tenure Committee within the unit, the unit Chair/Director, and the College Council each year prior to the submission of tenure files that their faculty member(s) has received an extension of their tenure clock and that the file must be evaluated accordingly.

Tenure File Evaluation – Guidelines

For all faculty who receive tenure clock extensions, review of their tenure file must take the extension(s) explicitly into consideration, including but not limited to:

  • The Dean’s Office must inform the Chair of the relevant Promotion & Tenure Committee within the unit, the unit Chair/Director, and the College Council of the tenure clock extension before consideration of the file.
  • Chair/Director’s letters to external reviewers must also inform reviewers of the tenure clock extension and how to incorporate this fact into their evaluation.  Letters will contain the same language as the Dean’s Office letter to the Promotion & Tenure Committee and College Council.

Additional Faculty Resources

Medical and Family Leaves

  • To learn more about the leave benefits faculty are eligible for, please visit the Academic HR website.

Childcare at the UW

  • On-site childcare at four childcare centers: open to all benefits-eligible faculty
    • Three Children’s Centers at the University of Washington’s Seattle campus provide year-round, on-site infant, toddler, and preschool childcare.
  •  Childcare outside the UW:
    • Bright Horizons Family Solutions: priority enrollment open to all UW faculty
      • UW faculty are eligible for enrollment priority at designated Bright Horizons centers on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact Bright Horizons to locate centers in your area and receive information on their tuition rates and potential waitlists. All necessary registration and tuition fees are the responsibility of the family.
    • WA EAP offers a childcare locator service that can help locate care for infants through pre-schoolers. Access the full array of WA EAP resources through the WA EAP (use “UW” as the company code to log in and register).
  •  Caregiver Directory: open to all faculty
    • Free service that provides a means to connect potential caregivers and employers for childcare, elder or adult care, or to run errands or do light housekeeping.
  •  Sick Child Care: open to UW faculty, staff and student parents
    • Login information for both sick child care options located on UW HR page 
    • When your regular child care is unavailable, KinderCare provides backup care options throughout Puget Sound and nationwide. The cost is $20 per child per day (full or partial), and you may use the service up to 10 times per calendar year.
    • Bright Horizons provides backup and sick child care. When your regular child care is temporarily unavailable, you can take your child to one of the many Bright Horizons centers or affiliates, or request to send a caregiver to your home. If your child is mildly sick, in-home care is your option. In center backup care costs $20 per child and $35 per family. In-home care costs $32 for up to four hours of care (for up to three of your children). Each additional hour costs $8.
  •  Emergency Back-up Care: open to all UW faculty
    • Numerous Bright Horizons centers are available in the area and nationwide to provide back-up care when a child’s school is closed or a childcare provider calls in sick.  Most accept children 6 weeks – 5 years of age.  Current UW ID required at time of drop-off.  Cost is $100/day, paid by faculty.

Lactation Stations:

  • 14 stations across campus with new-mother orientations that provide information on identifying the correct accessory kit to purchase for use with available pumps and accessing and scheduling lactation rooms

UW ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change

  • A campus and national resource for best practices in academic leadership development, cultural change and policy transformation, and increasing the advancement and number of women in STEM fields


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