Section II. Item 31.
A faculty member may request an extension of the tenure probationary period for a period of one year in conjunction with an approved application for benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or in accordance with NIU family illness leave policies for situations involving personal medical emergency or serious health condition; birth or adoption of a child or assuming responsibility for a foster child, if the faculty member is the primary or coequal caregiver for the child; or major responsibility for the care of a sick or disabled child, parent, spouse, or domestic partner. The FMLA benefit request should be submitted to Human Resource Services at the time of the qualifying event. Human Resource Services will inform the department of an approved request.
The faculty member must submit a written request for an extension of the probationary period to his or her department chair. This request should be submitted at the time of the qualifying event, and must be submitted prior to the academic year in which the tenure review is to be conducted. The faculty member's chair in consultation with the appropriate departmental personnel committee will forward a recommendation concerning the request to the dean of the department's college. The department chair's recommendation will state the reasons for supporting or not supporting the request. If the department chair does not support the request, the faculty member may submit a written response to be forwarded to the dean with the department chair's recommendation. Upon approval by the dean, the request is forwarded to the provost for final approval. If the dean denies the request, the faculty member may appeal to the provost, whose decision is final.
A request for an extension of the tenure probationary period may be denied if the faculty member is not making appropriate progress toward tenure. Evaluations of the faculty member's progress toward tenure are made by the department chair and appropriate personnel committee, and must be included as part of the department's recommendation. It is assumed that the faculty member is receiving timely assessment of progress toward tenure.
A faculty member requesting an extension of the probationary period for tenure in conjunction with an approved family or medical leave is required to apply for leave benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or NIU family illness leave policies. This enables the verification of the nature and severity of the illness or other qualifying event by appropriate medical and Human Resources personnel, and maximizes the faculty member's privacy with respect to personal information. However, the faculty member is not required to take leave under the provisions of FMLA, nor is he or she required to request any other type of leave.
If a faculty member's probationary period is extended under the provisions of this policy, the standards and criteria applied during the tenure review will not be increased as a result of that extension. This will be articulated in a memorandum of understanding approved by the faculty member, the department chair, and the dean.
The dean of the faculty member's college may submit a written request to the Provost for approval of exceptions to this policy.
Approved by UC February 16, 2005
Last Updated: February 16, 2005