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COVID-19 Resources

Message Regarding Faculty Vacation Accrual


Full-time SMD faculty will be allowed to accrue up to 33 vacation days (1.5 years' accrual) through January 1, 2022.  Full-time SMD faculty will still only accrue 22 days/year, but they will be allowed to accrue up to 33 days.

In light of work disruptions caused by the crisis, the University wants to ensure that faculty and staff maintain access to earned vacation time so it is available when they are able to use it.

For SMD faculty members, this means:

  • Effective immediately, all full-time SMD faculty members will be allowed to accrue up to 33 vacation days (i.e., 1.5 years’ vacation accrual, which will continue to accrue at the rate of 22 days/year)
  • On Jan. 1, 2022, maximum allowed vacation accrual will be reduced to 28 days/year (i.e., 1.25 x 22 days)
  • On Jan. 1, 2023, maximum allowed vacation accrual will be reduced back to the standard 22 days
  • Part-time faculty members will accrue vacation in accordance with the above, as always prorated for the percent effort of their faculty appointment
  • As always, faculty must obtain approval from the department chair or chair designee (often a division chief or other faculty leader/supervisor) to use vacation time, in order to minimize disruptions to essential functions
  • We are aware that departments vary considerably in how closely they monitor faculty vacation time. These pandemic-related temporary policy changes will not change whatever tracking approach is used in each department.
  • As a reminder of longstanding SMD policy, faculty who leave the University are not entitled to a payout for unused vacation time, nor are they generally allowed to use up vacation time at the end of their employment

Message Regarding Promotions During COVID-19


To all SMD faculty members,

Please see the note below from the UR Provost Office, extending the academic clock for tenure decisions by a semester in light of the impact of the pandemic on all of our professional and personal lives.

In the SMD, we will operationalize this with a 6-month extension for all faculty on any kind of mandated clock (e.g., re: tenure review or re: maximum allowed time-in-rank for Instructor, Senior Instructor, or Assistant Professor appointments). Of course, anyone ready for tenure or promotion sooner will not be required to wait out the extension period. I have not mentioned more senior ranks (Associate Professor, Professor) because there are no maximum time-in-rank rules at those levels (other than mandated tenure review for those on research-oriented career paths).

I also want to say that we recognize the pandemic may affect our faculty members’ promotions more broadly, since our career activities may be quite altered in many ways, including missed opportunities to present at meetings and potentially considerable lost time related to ramp-downs of research, clinical, educational, and community efforts and/or energies being spent responding to our national crisis. I think it is too soon to know the full scope of this impact, and therefore it’s premature to promise specific ways in which we will respond. But I do want to assure you that we will respond over time, we will be as flexible as we need to be in doing so, and we will communicate all the approaches we develop. The last thing any of us should have to worry about these days is our candidacies for reappointment or promotion.

As ever, please let me know if you have suggestions, concerns, or questions.

Thank you.

Jeffrey M. Lyness, M.D.
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

To Pre-Tenure Junior Faculty

COVID-19 has disrupted our lives personally and professionally, and we know that it has created many feelings of uncertainty.  We greatly appreciate the flexibility that you have shown in adapting your teaching and research activities to deal with the need to maintain social distancing.  The administration wants our pre-tenure, junior faculty, to know that we are thinking about how this impacts your scholarly activity and productivity and are granting a tenure clock extension of a semester for all junior faculty, with the exception of those faculty already under review and thus unaffected.  You are not required to delay consideration for tenure should you choose to proceed on the original schedule, and of course, you always have the option of having your dossier considered earlier for tenure.  We will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 relative to any further adjustments deemed necessary.  In the meantime, keep your spirits up, practice social distancing, and stay healthy.  You are important to the future of our University.

Thank you.

Robert L. Clark
Provost and Senior Vice President for Research