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Family Leave and Tenure Clock Extension

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Family and Medical Leave for academic appointees, including Cornell Academic Parental Leave, are described in the Human Resources Policy 6.2.1 Leaves for Professors and Academic Staff (https://www.dfa.cornell.edu/sites/default/files/vol6_2_1.pdf). Please consult the policy for precise language. The highlights are paraphrased below.

Cornell University provides Family and Medical Leave to assist faculty and academic staff in balancing the demands of work with personal needs and family responsibilities. Cornell’s Family and Medical Leave implements and supplements the regulations established by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act; the Act mandates up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in any one-year period. Cornell allows some forms of paid or partially paid academic leave including Cornell Academic Parental Leave, Academic Short-term Medical Leave, and Long-term Disability Leave. Parental Leave and Medical Leave, though paid, meet the federal requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act and therefore, count in meeting the 12-week mandate.

Cornell Academic Parental Leave is for primary or coequal care-giving parents who have significant responsibility for the care of a child, if such responsibility interferes substantially with academic responsibilities. If the child is adopted or placed for foster care, the child must be younger than five years old for the parent to qualify for parental leave per Policy 6.2.1.

An untenured faculty member who becomes a parent by birth or adoption, or who becomes a foster parent in the child’s first year in the household, and who shares duties as the primary or coequal care-giving parent, will be granted an automatic extension of the tenure clock for one year upon notification to HR via email or letter.  It is the responsibility of the academic department/unit to make the notification in writing of the change in the faculty member’s status at the earliest possible date but no later than (date) of the year in which recommendation on reappointment or promotion to tenure are made.  After the notification, HR will file a record of the tenure clock extension with the Office of Workforce Diversity and Inclusion and notify the Office of Workforce Policy and Labor Relations and the Recruitment and Employment Center.  Faculty members who choose to opt out of an extension of the tenure clock must notify the SrAD and HR in writing.

Similarly, in situations beyond those of primary or coequal care-giving parent where parenting duties interfere substantially with progress in the academic program, tenure-clock extensions may be requested through the dean, with the provost’s approval coordinated through Workforce Policy and Labor Relations.

For all academic appointees, including faculty already tenured, Cornell Academic Parental Leave provides up to one semester of partial relief of duties with full pay for a primary or coequal care-giving parent. This relief may be applicable during the semester that the child was born, adopted, or otherwise joined the household or during a contiguous semester.  HR must be notified of this change either via email or letter.

Consultation with the Department Chair is necessary for any type of leave.