Office of Faculty Development and Diversity

Scenario #3- Self Care

Zora is a tenure-line Assistant Professor at the School of Medicine. A “rising star," single, and a long way from her native Nigeria, Zora consistently works 60 to 70 hours a week. After a year at Stanford, she experiences some unusual health problems that cause her to seek medical attention. Several appointments and a battery of tests later, Zora is faced with a diagnosis of Systemic Lupus. Zora meets with her department chair to discuss her options in managing her illness and her significant career. Initially, her doctor has recommended that she take six weeks off to recover and acclimate to the medications that will, hopefully, control her symptoms. The Department Chair is committed to Zora’s long-term success at Stanford, and they begin to outline a collection of policies and flexibility options that will allow her to take care of herself and accomplish her goals of returning to health and obtaining tenure.


* In such a case, faculty should work with departmental leadership, Human Resources, and the Office of Academic Affairs to create the best possible plan.

* Family and Medical Leave Act: Up to 12 weeks of protected time off for faculty 50% and above in the case of a serious health condition (details in the University Faculty Handbook, the Benefits website, and the Administrative Guide)

* Short-term disability (three months) – provides pay-protected leave in case of short-term leave due to illness or pregnancy through Voluntary Disability Insurance (for California residents - Short Term Disability otherwise) Details available at:

* Long-term disability – provides pay- protected leave (up to 66.6% of salary) after period of short-term disability (90 days) and continues for as long as one is disabled. Details available here.

* Tenure clock extension: In cases of disability or personal circumstances that significantly disrupt teaching and scholarly activities, non-tenured UTL faculty should contact their departmental leadership, and if necessary the Office of Academic Affairs, to explore potential modifications of their tenure clock and reappointment or promotion timeline.

* Teaching (or clinical, if applicable) relief: subject to departmental approval.

* FTE reduction: faculty may elect to have a part-time appointment on a temporary or permanent basis (not limited to family situation), subject to approval by the department, school and university. Faculty members should discuss first with their departmental leadership, and if needed with the Office of Academic Affairs. This chart shows some of the flexible work arrangement options.

* Faculty Back-Up Care Advantage program: in-home adult care available
24/7 access by internet at (login sucares, password 2011), or call 877-BH-CARES (877-242-2737)

Stanford Medicine Resources:

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