The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created “extraordinary circumstances” that may seriously impact productivity for faculty at the University of Washington (Executive Order 27). This problem is particularly critical for faculty working toward promotion and/or tenure in a mandatory and specified timeframe, as outlined in the Faculty Code. This probationary period is otherwise known as a faculty member’s “promotion and/or tenure clock”. As a result of the extraordinary circumstances associated with COVID-19, the University of Washington is offering automatic extension of the promotion and/or tenure clock for up to 2 years for eligible faculty who request the waiver of the 2019-20, 2020-21, and/or 2021-22 academic years. More details can be found on the FAQ page.

Eligibility Details 

  • Assistant professors (tenure eligible, without tenure by reason of funding (WOT), research, clinical dental-pathway) with mandatory promotion and/or tenure clocks who are in the probationary period of their appointment during the period of winter quarter 2020 to spring quarter 2022.
    • Assistant Professors (tracks as listed above) in their probationary period during at least 2 of the eligible academic years (i.e., 2019-20, 2020-21, and/or 2021-22) can request to waive up to two years.
    • To be eligible for a second clock waiver, assistant professors (tracks as listed as above) at the time of the request have been deemed meritorious in each of the annual merit review cycles during their probationary period.
  • Assistant Professors (tracks as listed above) who begin their promotion and/or tenure clocks in academic year 2021-2022 are eligible to request a single waiver for the 2021-2022 academic year, resulting in a 1 year extension.
  • There is a maximum total limit of 4 clock waivers for any allowable reason, including COVID-19, parental, medical, and/or other extraordinary.

Request Process

  • Eligible faculty may request to waive up to 2 years from their promotion and/or tenure clocks for the 2019-20, 2020-21, and/or 2021-22 academic years.
  • Faculty members should send a memo to their unit noting that they are requesting a COVID-19-associated clock waiver and/or a second waiver to their chair/director/campus dean/dean for processing in Workday. They should also identify which academic year(s) they are requesting to waive. A single request can be submitted to waive 2 years (e.g., 2020-21 and 2021-22).
  • Administrators should upload the memo to Maintain Worker Documents and use the Workday “Waiver – other reason” code and record “COVID-19” in the notes section.
  • For second year COVID-19 clock waivers, the administrator must document the dean’s/chancellor’s confirmation that “This faculty member has been deemed meritorious in each of the annual merit review cycles during their probationary period and is eligible for this second year COVID-19 waiver”.
  • Request(s) route for approval through the faculty member’s chair/ director/campus dean and dean/chancellor’s office to the Office of Academic Personnel.


  • Faculty whose mandatory promotion and/or tenure review is scheduled for academic year 2022-23, have until June 30, 2022 to request the waiver(s).
  • For all other faculty, requests for clock waivers may occur anytime up to June 30 of the year preceding the mandatory promotion year. This process is similar to clock waivers granted in the case of the birth or adoption of a child.

Where to Direct Questions

  • Faculty who have questions about their eligibility or how or whether to request a waiver are encouraged to consult with their chair/director/campus dean/dean.
  • Regular conferences (UW Faculty Code Section 24-57) with the chair/director/campus dean/dean provide an optimal opportunity to discuss these options in the context of the faculty member’s present responsibilities and accomplishments and in planning their future goals.