Tenure Policy Adjustments

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I write to provide information about tenure policy adjustments that will be implemented University-wide at Yale.  

I am heartened to see the community spirit with which everyone at Yale—staff, faculty, and students—is approaching the disruption caused by this pandemic. You have received multiple messages from me over the past few weeks urging action to prepare for the significant changes we are now experiencing.  Thank you for all you are doing to ensure educational continuity for our students, continuity of critical research, and as much continuity as possible for all other kinds of research.  Today I write to offer some relief to the pressure felt by the newest generation of ladder faculty in our community of scholars.

The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and its downstream repercussions will significantly affect faculty research in its various forms across the University.  For those on the ladder track, this adds a distinctive level of concern and uncertainty as deadlines approach for renewal, promotion, and tenure. I am therefore happy to be able to share with you that we will be extending tenure clocks and select multi-year appointments.

Yale will grant to tenure-track faculty (except those whose dossiers for review have already been submitted) a one-year extension to their current appointment.  This will also entail a one-year extension to both the maximum time in that rank and the combined non-tenure ranks. In the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health, Yale will grant an extension of the current appointment and of the maximum time in the current rank to those faculty in the non-tenure-track ladder ranks listed below.* Procedures for implementing this extension will follow the policies described in the Faculty Handbook, Section III.F, except that this extension will not count toward the combined total of three years that Section III.F currently allows for extensions. For assistant professors whose dossiers for review have already been submitted, if they are promoted to associate professor on term (tenure-track or investigator track) by July 1 this year, they will automatically be granted a one-year extension to their appointment as associate professor.

No faculty member is obliged to accept the extension; they may choose instead to follow the original review schedule.

President Salovey, the Deans, and I recognize the difficulty that rapidly changing circumstances have  caused our faculty. I hope that this tenure-clock extension will ease any anxiety that our junior colleagues may be feeling about the implications of the current public health situation for their careers at Yale. Thank you all for your essential contributions to our academic community.


Scott Strobel
Henry Ford II Professor 
Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry

*Extensions of the current appointment and maximum time at rank will be granted to: 


Tenure-track: assistant professors and associate professors on term

Medical School and School of Public Health: 

Traditional Track: assistant professors and associate professors on term

Clinician-Educator track: assistant professors

Clinician-Scholar track: assistant professors

Investigator track: assistant and associate professors

School of Nursing:  

Clinical track: assistant professors and associate professors

Traditional track: assistant professors and associate professors on term