602.330 - Specialist Series

UCSC:APO:CAPM 9/16

A. DEFINITION

The specialist series is used for academic appointees who are engaged in any specialized research, professional activity, and University and/or public service and who do not have any formal teaching responsibilities. Specialists are expected to use their professional expertise to make scientific and scholarly contributions to the research enterprise of the University and to achieve recognition in the professional and scientific community.  Specialists may participate in University and/or public service depending upon funding sources and the duties required by the job description for the position.  Graduate students are not eligible for appointment to this series.

B. POLICY REFERENCE

APM 330 Specialist Series

C. CRITERIA

A candidate for appointment or advancement in this series is evaluated using a process of academic peer review and is evaluated on performance in specialized research, professional competence and activity, and, if appropriate, University and/or public service.  The degree of responsibility in each criteria is dependent on multiple factors, including funding source for the position and level of independence required to fulfill the duties of the position.  Please see APM 330-10 for further details on the criteria for appointment and advancement.

D. QUALIFICATIONS

Appointment, reappointment, and promotion in this series may be made to the ranks listed below based on such criteria as level of expertise and independence required for the position, professional competence, the complexity of the research responsibilities, the potential for intellectual/scientific contributions to the field, the scope of professional activities, and University and public service. 

Junior Specialist:  Must possess a baccalaureate degree (or foreign equivalent degree).

Assistant Specialist:  Must possess a master’s degree (or foreign equivalent degree) or a baccalaureate degree (or foreign equivalent degree) and a minimum of two years, post-baccalaureate, of experience demonstrating expertise in the relevant specialization. 

Associate Specialist:  Must possess a master’s degree (or foreign equivalent degree) or a baccalaureate degree (or foreign equivalent degree) and a minimum of six years, post-baccalaureate, of experience demonstrating expertise in the relevant specialization.  Associate Specialists are normally expected to have a record of academic accomplishments, including contributions to published or in-press research in the field and a demonstrated record of University and/or public service. 

Specialist:  Must possess a terminal degree (or foreign equivalent degree) or baccalaureate degree (or foreign equivalent degree) and ten or more years of experience, post-baccalaureate, demonstrating expertise in the relevant specialization.  Specialist at full rank are normally expected to have a significant record of academic accomplishments, including contributions to published or in-press research in the field, professional recognition in the field, and a demonstrated record of University and/or public service.

E. ELIGIBILITY FOR REVIEW

An appointment or reappointment shall be made with a specified end date, which should coincide with the normal period of service of the step to which the candidate is appointed or advanced, but may be of a lesser period, if required.  Appointments may be made on a full- or part-time basis.  The normal periods of service at each rank and step are as follows: 

Junior Specialist:  1 year at each step. 

Assistant Specialist:  2 years at each step. 

Associate Specialist:  2 years at each step. 

Specialist:  3 years at Steps I through IV; 4 years at Step V and Above Scale. 

The normal period of service prescribed for each salary level does not preclude more rapid advancement in cases of exceptional merit, nor does it preclude less rapid advancement.

All advancement actions are based on merit. Advancement actions shall normally be effective July l.

The department chair or principal investigator (P.I.) is responsible for making certain eligible candidates are reviewed.

Reappointment and merit increase: Candidates are normally eligible for review for reappointment and merit increase after serving the normal period at step.

Reappointment and promotion: Review for reappointment and promotion to the Assistant Specialist rank normally shall be after one year at Junior Specialist, Step II. Review for promotion to Associate Specialist rank normally shall be after two years at Assistant Specialist, Step III. Review for promotion to the Specialist rank normally shall not occur prior to two years at Associate Specialist, Step IV.  The normal period of service at Specialist, Step V, is four years and a candidate may continue to be reappointed at Step V for an indefinite time.

Specialist Above Scale: Review for advancement to Above Scale normally shall not occur prior to four years at Step V. Eligibility based on years of service does not apply to advancements beyond Step V. Advancement to Above Scale status involves an overall career review and is reserved for only the most highly distinguished Specialist whose (1) work of sustained and continuing excellence has attained national and international recognition and broad acclaim reflective of its significant impact, (2) professional achievement is outstanding, and (3) service is highly meritorious.

F. SALARY LIMITATIONS

  1. The campus salary limit for the Specialist series, absent advancement to Above Scale, is the annual salary rate for Step 5, plus 11 percent.
  2. A candidate at Step 5 who chooses not to undergo review for advancement to Above Scale, and instead requests review for a salary increase only, is eligible to be considered for a modest off-scale increase, such as a quarter or a half step, in recognition of the candidate's overall performance during the review period.

G. AUTHORITY

  1. The dean is delegated authority for all appointments and advancements up to the UC Salary Threshold. The dean has discretion to require DCAP review for dean-authority actions.
  2. The Provost of Academic Affairs (UCOP) has authority for all appointment and advancement actions above the UC Salary Threshold. Contact the Academic Personnel Office for guidance.

H. REVIEW PROCEDURES

All reviews are conducted using the DivData-Review online system. All advancement actions require the use of the Checklist to Assure Fairness.

Recruitment Compliance: Indication of compliance with recruitment policy (e.g. date of recruitment compliance approval) must be included in any review file for appointment or reappointment in the Specialist series. Please refer to CAPM 100.500- Academic Recruitment Procedures.

Deadlines:  Deans are responsible for setting deadlines for specialist review files.

Document Requirements:  All review files must contain documentation of compliance with recruitment policy. The supervisor or principal investigator is responsible for obtaining compliance and providing documentation, in advance of submitting the review file.

  1. All review files must contain the candidate’s curriculum vita (CV) with current biographical and contact information. The candidate is responsible for providing an updated CV.
  2. Candidates may choose to include an optional personal statement regarding their qualifications, research progress and plans, service, and other relevant information.
  3. All review files must contain copies of publications (or like material) that are listed on the candidate’s CV for consideration by reviewers. All publications within the review period should be considered and included.
  4. Candidates may choose to include additional optional material relevant to the personnel review.
  5. The department or PI may include non-confidential materials relevant to the personnel review in their possession, such as unsolicited letters from students or colleagues about the candidate. Such letters are not confidential unless received by the University with the understanding that they will remain confidential. Then they are handled as confidential and redacted for the candidate.
  6. External letters of recommendation are required for appointment to the specialist series at the rank of Assistant Specialist or above and for promotion to Associate Specialist or above. For appointment reviews, the letters can be those provided by the candidate with his/her application. If none were provided, letters must be solicited. When external letters are solicited, a review file must also include a list of reviewers, a sample solicitation letter, and redacted copies of the letters. Additional requirements for all of these documents are contained in CAPM 401.220- Instructions for Soliciting Letters.
  7. All review files must contain a department recommendation letter. The supervisor or principal investigator may prepare the recommendation on behalf of the department for reviews in the specialist series. Refer to CAPM Appendix 4-  Suggestions for Department Letters of Evaluation.  
  8. Candidates will be provided with opportunities to review and comment upon all non-confidential materials, redacted confidential materials, and the department recommendation letter. Any responses provided by the candidate within the applicable response period(s) must be included in the review file. 
  9. Divisions and departments may implement additional document requirements or specific forms.
  10. If a review file is found to be incomplete or inadequate during the review, additional information may be requested from the candidate, PI, department or dean.  Any new material added to the file shall be provided to the candidate.  Candidates shall be given ten working days to provide a written response to added materials.  Such response shall be included in the review file.