Stop the Tenure Clock Procedure

Duration: Normally for one academic year.

Criteria (excerpts repeated from the Office of the Provost’s Supporting Guidelines & Resources)

There are two categories for which untenured faculty can request a tenure clock adjustment:

  1. Critical life event, e.g. childbirth, personal or family member serious illness, elder care issues, etc. This clock stop does not require Provostal approval.
  2. Extenuating circumstances for which there is a research setback due to a situation beyond the faculty member's control. Examples of such reasons have included unforeseen delays in setting up labs or obtaining equipment; data destruction; animal problems; university press editor quitting and losing manuscript. The clock stop must be approved by the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Office. Because the individual circumstances vary, these clock stops are evaluated on a case by case basis.

It is preferred that clock stops be granted for a year; that makes keeping track of contract renewal periods much easier, and keeps people “on cycle” for coming up for tenure in the  normal semester.  Also, just because one has a clock stop with extra time does not mean one has to use the extra time. i.e. he/she could come up for tenure if ready even if he/she still has extra time due to the clock stop.

Please note that this accommodation only provides additional time towards tenure and is not a leave of absence.  Faculty are expected to maintain their normal teaching and service commitments unless other arrangements have been explicitly approved.

Note: When applying for tenure and promotion, it is the responsibility and choice of the candidate to decide whether clock stoppages will be made known to external and internal evaluators. If you wish your clock stoppages to be made known you must make sure it is in your documents, such as personal statements and/or CV.


1)      To initiate the request:

a. For a “critical life event” based on maternity or paternity, the faculty member submits a memo to the Chair for the need to stop the tenure clock. The Chair writes a memo to the SEAS Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs to indicate his/her approval. The SEAS Stop-the-Clock checklist and the Request to Stop-the-Clock For Birth/Adoption/Foster Care of a Child must accompany the Chair’s memo and the faculty request. The Associate Dean reviews the documents to determine if he/she agrees, and signs accordingly. A copy of the documents is sent to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.

b.  For a “critical life event” for reasons other than maternity/paternity (i.e., personal illness or the medical care of a close family member), only the SEAS Stop-the-Clock checklist is required with the written request and Chair’s endorsement; no other forms are necessary.

c.  For “extenuating circumstances”, the faculty member should send a formal request to the Chair with the reasons for the clock stop. The Chair writes a memo to the SEAS Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs to indicate his/her approval. The SEASStop-the-Clock checklist and the Request to Stop Tenure Clock under Extenuating Circumstances must accompany the Chair’s memo. The Associate Dean reviews the documents and indicates whether she/he supports the request.  The SEAS Dean reviews the documents and makes a recommendation to the Office for Faculty Affairs; the Vice Provost reviews and either approves or denies the request.

2)      To process the request, department administrator must initiate an eptf and attach the completed checklist, the Chair and faculty memos, and any pertinent forms, and submit the transaction to SEAS Review in the eptf system.  The Dean’s Office will review the paperwork, obtain the necessary signatures and route the eptf to UB-HR or the Provost’s Office, as appropriate.  Please refer to the checklist for specific information regarding the eptf and contact Monica Vacanti with any questions.

3)      The Department can monitor the progress of the ePTF to determine when it has been fully approved, and will be copied on correspondence sent to the faculty member regarding the request.

Last updated February 2020; previously updated February 2015