The tenure clock automatically pauses if a faculty member’s family adds children. Faculty members may indicate that they wish NOT to pause the clock.
Faculty suggested broadening this to any life event that would trigger Family and Medical Leave Act consideration.
The Family and Medical Leave Act is described on Wikipedia here.
Considerations for FMLA (from the linked site) include:
- caring for a new child, whether for the birth of a son or daughter, or for the adoption or placement of a child in foster care
- caring for a seriously ill family member (spouse, son, daughter, or parent)
- recovering from a serious illness
- caring for an injured military service member in the family
- addressing exigencies arising out of a family member’s military deployment
Questions to ponder:
- Are there other conditions or situations that should trigger an automatic pause of the tenure clock?
- When the clock restarts, should we include or exclude years in which the new child or other consideration was in effect?
- Should this be opt-in or opt-out?
- Opt-out is better management practice because it does not require people to ask for what might be considered special treatment, which might in turn prevent people from making use of a needed benefit