As a faculty member in the College, you are expected to promote our commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship and service, as well as academic freedom of thought, teaching, learning, inquiry and expression. Our Promotion and Tenure Guidelines conform to VCU’s Faculty Promotion and Tenure Policies and Procedures of Virginia Commonwealth University, with procedures specific to the College and its programs, and establish and define the standards for appointment, promotion and tenure within the College.
The best judges of a faculty member’s contribution are colleagues both within the university and within the profession. Our guidelines, along with the university and approved departmental guidelines, are designed to facilitate peer evaluation; in doing so, we strive to ensure established standards of faculty performance while protecting the rich blend of unique talents and diverse accomplishments that constitute the core of the College and the university.
The College of Humanities and Sciences participates in a program originally sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, now adopted in full for the College of Humanities and Sciences, whereby tenure-track faculty members whose tenure track is interrupted by family responsibilities will not be adversely affected by taking a family leave. Family responsibilities under the “Sloan” leave program include the birth/adoption of a child and dependent care. The faculty member also can elect to extend his/her promotion and tenure review date by up to one year. Sloan Pre-tenure leave is distinguished from educational leave in that Sloan stops the tenure clock so that tenure-eligible faculty can focus on family obligations. Educational leave is an opportunity for tenure-eligible faculty to take leave from instructional and service responsibilities to focus on research.
Eligible faculty member is any tenure-track faculty member who has not yet reached his/her tenure review date.
Family member is defined as a child (biological, adopted, foster, step or legal ward) under age 18, a dependent child over 18 years of age who is incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability, a spouse, or a parent who has a serious health condition. Also includes “next of kin,” defined as the closest blood relative, if the leave is used for the serious health condition of a covered service member.
Eligible faculty must submit a written request for leave under the Sloan Pre-tenure Leave program to their respective department chair or school director. The request must include the following information:
Although the use of Sloan pre-tenure leave mirrors portions of the Family and Medical leave Act (FMLA), eligibility criteria are different such that Sloan leave may be available when FMLA is not (e.g., Sloan is available in the first year of employment regardless of hours worked). Use of Sloan leave will run concurrently with FMLA when the faculty member also is eligible for FMLA.
If the request is approved, the faculty member will be placed on a leave of absence with pay for the approved period of leave. The leave period is typically one semester, although lengths of time may be considered depending on the faculty member’s individual situation. During this time, the faculty member will not be required to use any of their accrued leave. If the faculty member is also eligible for FMLA leave, that leave will run concurrently for up to 480 hours or 12 weeks. Medical certifications and other requirements of FMLA must be met.