Takeaway: Our union successfully negotiated an option for faculty in the probationary period for tenure to exclude the 2020-21 academic year as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis.
Our union has signed an agreement with the university allowing faculty in their probationary period for tenure as of July 1, 2020 to exclude an additional year from their probationary period in light of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis (read the Memorandum of Understanding here). Last March, we reached an agreement that permitted faculty to exclude the 2019–20 academic year. We want to thank Executive Vice President Moghe and Assistant Vice President Hak for working with us to quickly address this matter. We expect to reach a similar agreement with them on grad milestones soon.
The pandemic has created enormous challenges for all faculty, and this is especially true for those in a probationary period for tenure. Lack of access to research locales; lack of childcare connected to school closings; working extra hours to shift courses to be effective and accessible online; health worries and illnesses in families; and, economic challenges are all examples of the ways faculty have been challenged during this time. We continue to fight for funding and milestone extensions for our graduate workers, who have also been greatly challenged by this crisis in similar ways.
What you need to know:
1. If you’re slated to be reviewed for reappointment or tenure in a probationary period in the 2021–22 academic year, you may request an exclusion and delay of review (this will automatically extend the term of your appointment). The request must be made by May 1, 2021, and must be done in writing to your department chair and dean. The request can be via email and as simple as the following:
Dear [Chair/Dean],I have been advised of the option to have the 2020-21 year excluded from my probationary period for tenure as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis. I wish to have my [reappointment/tenure] review delayed by one year and my employment automatically extended by this period of time, as is now permitted. If anything further is required, please let me know.Sincerely,
2. If you’re slated to be reviewed for reappointment or tenure beyond the 2021–22 academic year, you may also opt to have a year excluded from the probationary period. You don’t have to immediately request the exclusion; you will have until May 1, 2022 to determine if you want it. In addition, faculty who request an exclusion by May 1, 2022 may later opt out should they determine they have made sufficient progress and no longer desire an exclusion/extension of the probationary period. This can be done without penalty or prejudice to the review (e.g., it cannot be considered an *early* action). If you later rescind an extension, you must provide notice to your chair/dean no later than March 1 of the evaluation year.
3. The option to have a year excluded under this agreement is separate from and in addition to options for exclusions under the prior COVID-19 Agreement related to the 2019–20 academic year, Article 16, Parental and Medical Leaves, and, Article 17, Leave of Absence Without Pay.
4. Additional protections in this agreement allow for evaluators to be informed that the record of a faculty member opting to have time excluded must be evaluated in the same manner as the record of a faculty member without an exclusion; external evaluators may be asked to take into account the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on scholarship, teaching, and service during AY 2020–21; candidates will have the option of excluding teaching evaluations from the Fall 2020 and/or Spring 2021 semesters; and, faculty advised of their right to address the impact of the crisis in any personal statement appended to their packet.
We understand that you may have questions and concerns about these options, so we’ve scheduled the following times to hear from you via Zoom and to answer your questions. Given the challenges that continue to arise during this crisis, we ask that you use this opportunity to ask questions which will allow us to address concerns most broadly and efficiently. Available dates and instructions for joining a meeting are below:
Tuesday, January 5 at 4 p.m.
Monday, January 11 at 12 Noon
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8614702141
Meeting ID: 861 470 2141
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Todd and Becky
Todd Wolfson, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Rebecca Givan, Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
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