Handbook of Operating Procedures 2-2020

Extension of the Tenure Track Probationary Period


Effective September 01, 1997
Executive Sponsor: Executive Vice President and Provost
Policy Owner: Associate Vice President - Provost Office


Regents' Rules and Regulations Rule 31007, provides for the extension of the tenure track probationary period for faculty under certain circumstances. An extension of the probationary period is never automatic but is granted in the best interest of The University of Texas at Austin and its faculty to promote and tenure faculty of the highest quality, based on a process and procedures that are fair, equitable, and humane.


A tenure track faculty member who determines that certain personal circumstances may impede his or her progress toward achieving demonstration of eligibility for recommendation of the award of tenure may make a written request for extension of the probationary period specifying the reasons for the requested extension. Personal circumstances that may justify the extension include, but are not restricted to: disability or illness of the faculty member; status of the faculty member as the principal caregiver of a preschool child; or, status of the faculty member as a principal caregiver of a disabled, elderly, or ill member of the family of the faculty member. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to provide appropriate documentation to adequately demonstrate why the request should be granted. The documentation should include substantiation of why the circumstance placed an unreasonable burden upon the ability of the faculty member to meet progress expectations.


Requests for an extension must be submitted to the department chair (or dean in non departmentalized colleges/schools). The request should be made during or in advance of the academic year or semester in which the extension is justified and shall not be made later than the end of the spring semester before the faculty member's sixth year of full-time probationary service ('up-or-out year"). Faculty members should not wait to request an extension but should make the request whenever it becomes clear that circumstances consistent with the policy may warrant it. Also, department chairs who recognize the possible need for a faculty member to request an extension are encouraged to discuss this policy with him or her. The request for an extension shall be limited to one academic year. In exceptional circumstances, a second academic year of extension may be requested and granted. However, the maximum duration of extension, whether consecutive or nonconsecutive, shall be two academic years.


The Executive Vice President and Provost shall decide whether to grant the extension based upon review and consideration of the faculty member's written request and the recommendation of the budget council, department chair, and dean. One consideration will be the faculty member's annual evaluations and record of progress toward eligibility for recommendation of award of tenure prior to the occurrence or circumstance that may justify the extension. The decision of the Executive Vice President and Provost will be made within 30 days of his or her receipt of the request and all appropriate documentation unless exceptional circumstances mandate additional time for consideration.


The approval of an extension will be documented in writing and include the reason(s) for the extension, the period of the extension and its effect upon the length of the probationary period, and the plan for the faculty member to meet his or her instructional and other academic responsibilities during the period of the extension. The faculty member will sign this document prior to implementation of the extension. The denial of the extension may be appealed through regular faculty grievance procedures.



Questions regarding this policy may be directed to the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost 512-232-3320.



Previously HOP 3.11