Dear Junior Faculty Colleagues in the Academic Council,
As our world is slowly returning to normal after more than 22 months of pandemic interruption to our lives (and continued challenges such as Omicron), I want to acknowledge that the journey back to normal is proving much more difficult for some than others. Over the past year we have provided support to all untenured faculty in the form of an additional year on the tenure (or appointment) clock, and a “post-pandemic leave quarter” to be taken at the time of the individual’s choice. I am reaching out today to offer some more targeted help to those who are continuing to struggle, specifically eligible pre-tenure faculty in the University Tenure Line, junior faculty in the Research and Teaching Lines as well as Center Fellows.
As I have been meeting with faculty over the past weeks and months, I am recognizing a few different challenges that are coming up.
- For faculty with young children at home, the extra year on the tenure clock and the post pandemic leave quarter helped to mitigate the loss of research time due to closed schools and day care centers. However, some are struggling with the additional expenses related to childcare because of the pandemic.
- For faculty who have incurred exceptional childcare costs that were directly related to the pandemic, a taxable salary grant (up to $30K) can be requested to defray expenses.
- Other similar pandemic-induced personal expenses could be supported with such a grant.
- For some faculty the losses and isolation of the pandemic have had unanticipated and long-lasting emotional impact, and it may simply take extra time to get back to the level of productivity and creativity that was natural before the pandemic.
- For these faculty, it may be that the best support is extra time. This can come through an additional (non-tenure accruing) year on their appointment if requested, or an additional post-pandemic leave quarter.
- For faculty in the middle of setting up research projects, in some cases financial obligations made before the pandemic were wasted to some degree when the pandemic made it impossible to get the research started.
- For these faculty who were in the initial phase of their research career and had specific expenditures for work that was not getting done, some extra research funding (up to $100K) can be requested to offset pandemic-related funding shortfalls that are jeopardizing their current research progress.
- For faculty whose book manuscript will be a key part of their tenure package, the pandemic may have reduced their exposure to senior individuals in their field who could have provided useful mentoring and advice on early chapters.
- For these faculty, a small research grant (up to $10K) could support a virtual or in person book conference, or support travel to other institutions.
- Other similar pandemic induced research needs could be supported with such a grant.
I would also like to acknowledge that many faculty found the pandemic months very productive and may even feel that some of their research was accelerated by restricted travel and fewer distractions. This dichotomy brings up concerns of inequity at tenure/promotion evaluation time, which our appointments and promotions committees are working to address, along with the programs being announced here.
To help support untenured faculty who continue to struggle with the effects of the pandemic, the provost’s office will provide support in cases of need. In summary, the type of support that can be requested is:
- Additional Time
- Additional year on their appointment -or-
- Additional post pandemic leave quarter
- Personal financial help for childcare or other personal expenses
- A taxable salary grant up to $30,000
- Research support
- A small research grant up to $10,000 -or-
- A large research grant up to $100,000
To request help, individual faculty should complete the form posted here and include a short justification that addresses the criteria outlined above for the particular type of support requested. If multiple types of support are being requested, they should be listed in priority order based on which would be most valuable. The request should go to your Dean, who will then make a recommendation to the Provost’s office. In the case of an additional post-pandemic leave quarter, there will be communication with the department chair. The evaluation of the other mitigations will be handled without involving the department chairs. All requests must be received by March 28, 2022. If you have any questions about this, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I very much hope that we can alleviate some of the burden and stress for those of you who have been significantly affected by the pandemic, so that you can focus on your research and your inspiring teaching, and at the same time feel supported as valued members of a vibrant Stanford community.