Personal Circumstances Flag
A Personal Circumstances Flag offers professional-track and tenured faculty the opportunity to designate a year within the scope of a multi-year review as having been impacted by personal circumstances as is available for tenure-track faculty. This notation, but not the reason for it, is available to review committees and provides context for that particular year being reviewed.
A Personal Circumstances Flag will never be automatically added to a faculty member’s record. A Personal Circumstances Flag can be rescinded at the faculty member’s request.
A Personal Circumstances Flag may be noted for reasons including but not limited to:
- General examples aligning with probationary period extensions including: disability or illness of the faculty member; status of the faculty member as the principal caregiver of a preschool child; or, status of the faculty member as a principal caregiver of a disabled, elderly, or ill member of the family of the faculty member
- COVID-specific examples:
- For a faculty member who is the principal caregiver for a dependent and COVID led to a lack of care availability (e.g., childcare, school, eldercare) for the dependent
- Sickness of individual or of their a dependent for whom the faculty member is the principal caregiver would already count under more general health of self and dependents.
Impact on Faculty Evaluation
Comprehensive Periodic Review
Tenured faculty are required to undergo a comprehensive periodic review every six years. In accordance with Texas Education Code Section 51.942 and Regent’s Rule 31002, Evaluation of Tenured Faculty, the review may not be waived for any tenured faculty member but may be deferred for one year in some circumstances.
Therefore, the Personal Circumstances Flag does not in and of itself adjust the timing of comprehensive periodic review. But it should prompt reviewers and peer review committees to reframe the review period for the faculty member. For example, if a faculty member is going through comprehensive periodic review and has been approved for one Personal Circumstances Flag during the period of time under consideration, the peer review committee should consider the body of work as having been completed in five years rather than six.
The timing for promotion reviews for tenured and professional-track faculty is largely determined by the department/college/school and candidate.
Reviews are considered accelerated when the Effective Years in Rank is less than six. Tenured and professional-track faculty accrue one effective year of service in rank for every nine months of full-time academic service during any academic year. An academic year does not count as an effective year in rank if the tenured associate professor: (1) begins employment after the start of the fall semester, or (2) has an approved personal circumstances flag.
Timing of Request and Limitations
A faculty member may request up to two Personal Circumstances Flags while in rank. A faculty member should request a Personal Circumstances Flag as soon as it is apparent that personal circumstances have impacted the faculty member’s work.
Tenured and professional-track faculty should complete and submit a Personal Circumstances Flag Request Form to be routed via DocuSign to their department chair (if applicable), dean, and the Provost’s Office. Upon approval by the Provost’s Office, a copy of the decision will be provided to the faculty member and other approvers on the request form. Approved Personal Circumstances Flags are documented and viewable in the Provost’s Office Faculty Profile system.