In 1994, the Senate Committee on the Faculty was asked by Deputy Provost Walter Wales to consider whether Penn should institute an extension of the tenure probationary period for junior faculty members who give birth. The committee decided to broaden the scope of its discussion and undertook a full-scale review of Penn's parenting policies. After considerable discussion and responses to a report published for comment in Almanac, the Committee recommended the adoption of two distinct policies. The first is a revision of the current Faculty Maternity Policy; the second is a new policy allowing extensions of the tenure probationary period, not only for faculty members who become parents, but also for faculty members who experience similarly career-disrupting events. (In identifying those events, the Senate Committee followed the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.)
Both of these policies were discussed by the Faculty Senate and the Deans and subse quently approved by us.
On the issue of whether the policy on the extension of the tenure probationary period should be retroactive, we have agreed upon the following:
Any currently employed member of the standing faculty who believes himself or herself to be eligible for an extension of the tenure probationary period because of an event occurring before the adoption of the policy must make a request for consideration to the Provost's Staff Conference within one calendar year of the adoption of the policy.
-- Judith Rodin, President
-- Stanley Chodorow, Provost
B. The length of the extension shall be one year unless the faculty member requests one semester instead and the department chair and the dean agree to its feasibility in light of the school's tenure review process.
C. Extensions of the tenure probationary period shall be without prejudice to the obligation of the University to provide faculty members with twelve -months' notice of termination.
D. Requests for extensions of the tenure probationary period shall be made in writing via the Chair and/or Dean for consideration by the Provost's Staff Conference subject to timeliness requirements adopted and publicized by the faculty member's school. Normally, requests will be viewed favorably by the University and granted unless specific and compelling factors require their denial. The action of the Provost shall be communicated in writing to the faculty member and shall specify any revised date of tenure review and termination date of the probationary period and (in the event that the request is denied) shall specify the grounds for the denial.
N.B. The statute defines a "serious health condition" as "an illness, injury, impairment, or physi cal or mental condition that involves"-- "(A) inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility"; or "(B) continuing treatment by a health care provider." "Health care pro vider" is defined (2611(6)) as: "(A) a doctor of medicine or osteopathy who is authorized to practice medicine or surgery (as appropriate) by the State in which the doctor practices; or "(B) any other person determined by the Secretary [of Health and Human Services] to be capable of providing health care services."
Volume 43 Number 26
March 18, 1997
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