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Northwestern University

Covid-Related Support


The Weinberg College Dean's Office has developed the following resources and policy updates in response to the challenges created by Covid-19, particularly for faculty who are primary caregivers for family members and faculty of color in our College community. In addition, University resources and policies can be found below.

Policy and/or Resource

Contact and/or information page

Additional extension to probationary period (tenure clock): Faculty may apply for an additional probationary period extension according to existing College policies, beyond the Covid-19 Tenure Clock Extension granted in spring 2020 (see below). Faculty members may consult with the Associate Dean for Faculty about this possibility.

Associate Dean for Faculty; Promotion and Reappointment Guidelines

W Awards Research Recovery Grants: The College W Awards Research Recovery Grants will support a course reduction or a quarter of graduate student support, as well as the possibility of modest research funds, for faculty members who qualify due to disruption of research productivity during the pandemic.

Associate Dean for Research; W Awards information and application

Service reduction: Reductions or excusal from administrative/service obligations are possible and should be discussed at the department or program level. However, the Dean's Office should be consulted if service reductions cannot be accommodated by the unit. 

Associate Dean for Faculty

The Dean's Office has urged departments and programs to be as flexible as possible in accommodating faculty facing Covid-related disruptions and challenges. Departments and Programs have worked to provide support and relief where possible with existing resources. Below are some of the ways units have been able to offer faculty Covid-related support.

NOTE: not all these solutions will be available in every department or program, or applicable to every faculty member's situation. Consult with your chair or director if you feel some of these solutions might provide relief for your situation.

Covid-related issue

Department or Program resource

Childcare/family obligations

  • Course Reductions
  • Schedule Changes
  • TA/GSI deputized as a "Lead TA/GSI" to act as alternate instructor if family obligation arise
  • Department assigned an extra TA/GSI to course to help instructor
  • Teaching times rearranged to allow faculty to coordinate with their children’s school schedule
  • Teaching assignments rearranged/changed

General Covid-related difficulties for faculty

  • Number of fall quarter events minimized by departments
  • Service obligations reduced
  • Team teaching permitted in many cases
  • Enrollment caps of sections raised to avoid adding additional sections
  • Enrollment caps of sections lowered
  • TAs/GSIs added to assist faculty
  • Supplemental graders provided from department funds
  • Graduate teaching committee on research for remote teaching supported

Visa Problems


  • Remote teaching permitted (waived College’s residency requirement)
  • Schedule change

Scheduled Leave

  • Leave deferral permitted to a time when travel is possible

Research Productivity Concerns

  • Service Relief

Technological Limitations


  • Modest grants to faculty to purchase equipment
  • Devices distributed to faculty
  • Hardware/software/licenses purchased by department



Several resources and policies are in place to assist faculty with Covid-related disruptions to teaching and research.

Covid-related issue

Resource or Policy

Childcare Services


Senior and adult care


Mental Health and Well-being


Flexibility and Support in Work Arrangements


Faculty advancement and research productivity


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