Flexible Work Arrangements for Professoriate Members (MCL, UTL, NTL Faculty)
September 26, 2012





Part time appointment –

  Two years or less

Available to all faculty.

Partial leave without salary (LWOS).  Reduced effort for a period of two years or less (e.g. LWOS at 20% means working at 80% full time effort (FTE)); sabbatical accrual is prorated.  For UTL, time toward acquisition of tenure is also prorated.

Benefits may be affected depending on leave percentage. 

Fill out leave request form.

Must be approved by department chair, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Part time appointment –  

  Over two years

Available to all faculty.

Reduced FTE (change in appointment).  Can be used after LWOS to extend part-time status.  Formal reduction of faculty “billet” to part-time status for a period of years (can be renewed repeatedly).  Same effects on sabbatical, time toward tenure/promotion deadline as above. 

Benefits may be affected depending on percentage FTE.

Dept requests change in appointment using blue form.

Must be approved by dept chair, Sr. Assoc. Dean, Provost.

Extension of appointment – Assistant Professors

Available to Assistant Professors (UTL, NTLR).

Assistant Professors in the UTL and NTLR are normally in rank up to seven years.  Extensions may be granted for up to an additional three years for various reasons:  leaves without salary, reduced FTE, overwhelming clinical duties, delays in initial laboratory setup, etc.  Extensions past 10 years are extremely rare.

In 2009, appointment terms for Assistant Professors in the MCL were extended to a total of 10 years in rank, thus extensions are not normally available for them.

Department must request with formal memo, blue form, from Academic Affairs.

Must be approved by dept chair, Sr. Assoc. Dean, Provost.


New Parent Extension – Assistant Professors

Available to Assistant Professors (UTL, NTLR) (and Associate Professors in special circumstances).

A one year extension of appointment and of promotion/tenure deadline granted for faculty members with a new birth or adoption in the family (while appointed as faculty).  May be requested during initial term or reappointment term.

Approval is more or less automatic for cases that follow policy; exceptions may be considered.

Example:  Assistant Professor appointed 7/1/10 – 6/30/13; promotion deadline 7/1/17.  Birth in family in 2011.  NPE request changes adds a year to current appointment (now 7/1/10 – 6/30/14) and to promotion deadline (now 7/1/18). 

Up to three NPE’s may be requested per faculty member; if both parents are faculty, both may take advantage of this policy.

Initiated by faculty member.

Fill out NPE form and submit to department (they do not need to approve it).  Department will add blue form requesting appointment extension.

Approval is assumed for all cases adhering to policy (Sr. Assoc Dean, Provost).

Reduction in teaching and/or clinical duties

For all faculty, reduction in clinical/teaching duties for the period of one quarter, for new birth or adoptive parents who have substantial and sustained childcare duties, during the quarter of the birth or adoption or the subsequent quarter.

This reduced teaching and clinical duties policy is not intended for parents whose newborn or newly adopted child is cared for more than half-time by either a spouse/partner or a childcare provider.

See University Faculty Handbook Chapter 3 (3.5B) for details.



LWOS (full or part time) for birth or adoption

Available for faculty who will be caring for the child.

May affect benefits, sabbatical accrual, time toward tenure as noted above.

Fill out leave request form.

Must be approved by department chair, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

From the Dean’s Newsletter, 2006:

Over the course of the last few years, the University has focused attention on a variety of issues related to work-family policies and practices. The Provost's Office has published an informational brochure entitled "Family Matters @ Stanford — For Faculty," which highlights Stanford's commitment to faculty with families, from child-care and child-support programs to part-time employment options. This brochure may be downloaded at http://facultydevelopment.stanford.edu/reports_studies/FamilyMatters2008.pdf .

More broadly, members of the Executive Committee discussed the reticence that faculty, particularly women, might feel in taking advantage of these arrangements. Among the causes posited for this hesitance was a concern that those evaluating their performance for reappointment or promotion might view anything other than full-time effort in a negative manner — perhaps as a sign of weakness or lack of commitment. The chairs noted that such concerns, whether or not they are valid, reflect the academic culture and, in particular, the "evaluation milieu" in which faculty work. And because experts at other institutions evaluate faculty, the milieu - and the culture - are national in their influence and importance. While I understand those observations and concerns, I also strongly believe that it is incumbent on us to change them — and to develop a more supportive culture that fosters different trajectories for career development

While these issues are generic and affect all faculty, both men and women, they are particularly serious for clinical faculty, who work in an environment where the pressures to achieve in all three areas of endeavor — scholarship, teaching, and clinical care — are extremely high. This is further exacerbated by the policy that all assistant professors face an up-or-out decision. In addition, because of the exceedingly lengthy training periods in many medical specialties, for women faculty the promotion clock and the biological clock are frequently running simultaneously. The flexibility offered by some of the arrangements described above can be very helpful and should be viewed by all as available without stigma. I certainly view them as helpful tools for faculty to manage their careers and maintain work/life balance, and I encourage interested faculty to explore them as they fit their particular circumstances.

Moreover, it is becoming apparent that for young scientists and physician/scientists, both men and women, work/life balance is a significant, if not the most significant, factor in their considerations of career choices. We are already seeing a shift away from entrance into the surgical specialties in favor of such "life-style specialties" as dermatology, radiology, and emergency medicine for these reasons. Moreover, as the pressures mount to achieve success in all three academic missions, the demands of patient care generally trump pursuit of scholarship. As a result, individuals may leave academic medicine to go to private practice. In short, we risk losing a whole generation of bright physician-scientists because the combination of professional pressures in academic medicine and family responsibilities becomes untenable. We must make renewed efforts to address this.

Members of the Executive Committee also discussed the challenges faced by residents and clinical fellows and made several suggestions for flexibility that we will be following up on. As the pipeline for academic medical faculty, how this group experiences their fellowship years obviously has a significant impact on the composition of the faculty in the future.

This is clearly a topic that deserves attention and focus. I am certainly interested in your thoughts about it as well. In any event, I will keep you apprised of our further discussions and actions in this area over the next months.