Departmental Review Procedures

APO: Fall 2006 (Rev: 09/16)

This document focuses on the internal department procedures that implement the department review specified in the APM and CAPM. General procedures are included in the APM and CAPM. Sections that are italicized indicate where Departments may wish to adopt more specific procedures. Please forward a copy of any written departmental review procedures to your dean and Academic Personnel. For a department manager's guide by DivData Review state, see the Departmental File Preparation Worksheet for Senate Advancement.

Key Acronyms/Symbols:

  • APM = Academic Personnel Manual (University of California)—APM
  • CAPM= Campus Academic Personnel Manual (UC Santa Cruz campus)— CAPM
  • The CALL Letter and Calendar

*The duties of the department chair may be delegated to a committee or other faculty member

Responsible Task Resources
Chair* Review status and determine who to review

Annually review status and performance of each faculty member in the spring quarter. Check the CALL. Are reviews warranted for faculty not on the CALL, including those at indefinite steps?

Discuss research plans, teaching, and service with every assistant professor annually.

Refer to Incompetent Performance section of APM for cases of unsatisfactory performance.

APM 220-80-b

CALL Letter
CALL Calendar

APM 075 Termination for Incompetent Performance

Chair or department manager

Notify faculty being reviewed

Faculty being reviewed must be notified in spring quarter of the action, informed about the review process, deadlines to submit materials, and made aware of APM 210, CAPM 400.220, CAPM 200.160 and other appropriate sections.

After initial meeting to discuss the review, the Department Manager initiates the review in DivData Review, and provides Checklist 1 to the candidate, via DivData Review. 

Checklist to Assure Fairness 

APM 220-80-c

APM 210 review criteria

CAPM 400.220

CAPM 410.220 (promotion)

CAPM 406.220 (merit)

CAPM 200.160

Department option Deadline for candidate to upload materials.

Department determines whether to adopt campus deadline for materials (first day of fall quarter) to be submitted by all candidates or set earlier deadline. Candidate must be informed of the deadline at time of initiation of Checklist 1. 

CAPM 400.220
Chair and Candidate

Chair should be helpful in responding to the candidate’s questions and in advising on what to submit for review by deadline.

As criteria for evaluation varies among disciplines, candidates may request guidance from department colleagues about the review criteria as they are used in the department.

Checklist to Assure Fairness 

APM 220-80-c

APM 210 review criteria
Chair and candidate Candidate submits list of possible reviewers in spring quarter

Soliciting confidential letters

Letters are required for appointment to a tenured position; promotion to tenure; promotion to professor; merit to Professor Step VI (only if CER is requested), and merit to Professor Above-Scale.

Candidate provides a list of suggested reviewers, including candidate's relationship to proposed letter writers, as well as those who the candidate feels may not be objective (both internal and external) in the review. A reviewer named as possibly not objective is not necessarily barred from participating in the review; however, the department should have good reason to include the input of a reviewer named as possibly not objective.
Link to sample solicitation letters

CAPM 401.220
Department Option Determine how to choose reviewers.

Some departments may solicit input from all department faculty and some may have reviewer names recommended by committees or some leave this to the chair. Department must include a reasonable number nominated by the candidate.

If department faculty have input into the selection of internal and external reviewers, the department chairperson should request the list of suggested reviewers from the candidate in time to discuss them with the department faculty before the last department meeting in spring quarter.
APM 220-80-c

CAPM 401.220
Chair or Department Manager Securing reviewers

Chair should call or email prospective reviewers in the spring and summer to secure their commitment to submit a review letter when solicited in fall quarter (some departments may solicit these letters in the summer).
Chair and Candidate

Submission of Materials

Candidate uploads materials (biobibliography, publications, personal statement, etc.) for review file by established campus (first day of fall quarter) or department deadline.

Chair is responsible for ensuring that faculty uploads a complete set of required materials no later than the deadline. In justifiable circumstances, the chair, upon request by the faculty member, may request up to a 30-day extension to this deadline. The dean has authority to approve these extensions.

Electronic publications (or websites) are generally required. For reviews requiring external letters and a faculty member submits hard copy materials (e.g., textbook), department will need to inform letter writers of additional materials not available in system. 

A personal statement (refer to the Candidate’s Optional Statement in the Checklist to Assure Fairness) is highly recommended. This document should explain the work and accomplishments during the review period, provide overview of future plans, and address problem areas, if any.  Faculty under reviews that require external letters may wish to produce two self-statements; one for external reviewers and one for on-campus reviewers. 

Descriptions and explanations of teaching as well as service outside the department, campus or university are encouraged. Sample tests, syllabi, reading lists may be included as evidence of teaching.

Checklist to Assure Fairness 

CAPM 400.220.2

Link to advice on identifying contributions to joint work.


Biobib Guidelines

Chair Decide what materials to provide to outside reviewers

It is important for the candidate to understand what materials are being provided to external reviewers and that faculty within the department are treated substantially the same in similar situations. For tenure review, include all the publications that the candidate submits. For other actions, the candidate and/or department may decide to provide reviewers a sub-set of publications/creative work from the review period.

Reviewers should be provided with the candidate’s biobibliography, personal statement, publications/creative work, etc.  Department Managers control access to materials via DivData Review, once a decision has been reached about what materials reviewers will access.  
Department manager Solicit external letters and provide access to candidate’s review materials to reviewers via DivData Review

Once the candidate has uploaded a complete review file (by deadline), the Department Manager will solicit external letters from the list agreed to by the department as early in fall quarter as possible in order to receive a response in time to meet the deadline for submission of review files to the division.

DivData Review provides external reviewers with access to the required documents, as set above (personal statement, publications/creative works, etc.).  If faculty submit hard copy materials, in addition to the uploaded materials, arrangements will need to be made to get these hard copy materials to the external reviewers. Give all letter writers a deadline to respond, usually 30 days after receipt of the materials. Contact letter writers who have not responded as the deadline approaches to check on the status of the letter and give a final extended deadline if necessary. Responses to solicited letters are received via DivData Review. 
Link to sample solicitation letters
Chair Letters in the review file

The number of letters needed is determined by what is required to make the case; generally, five letters are included; however, it could be as few as three, as many as eight. The most effective letters are analytical and from leading experts in the discipline. It may not be necessary to hold the file waiting for letters not received if the letters in hand provide a thorough assessment of the candidate.

“No response” should be indicated on the list of letter writers for those who do not submit a letter. All letters received, including declining and unsolicited letters, must be included in the file. (See section below, “access to confidential material”, for instructions on declining letters.)  (This list of letter writers is uploaded to DivData Review by Department Manager.) 

The department may receive unsolicited letters from faculty, students or other interested parties. All unsolicited material (unless received by the University with the understanding that the identity of the author will be held in confidence to the extent permissible by law) is non-confidential. Chairs should check with the letter writer to ascertain whether the letter was intended to be confidential or not.

An unsolicited letter should be clearly marked ‘unsolicited-confidential’ or ‘unsolicited-non-confidential,’ as appropriate, before adding it to the review file.  (These letters are uploaded into the appropriate section of DivData Review, including redaction as appropriate, by Department Manager.)  
APM 160-20-c(4) and

CAPM 200.160
Chair or department manager

Candidate inspection of materials before Department Review

Department Manager insures file is complete and ready for review (including uploading of all documents, including redacted letters as appropriate*, other unsolicited materials, etc.)  Once file is ready for review by candidate, Department Manager notifies candidate, via initiating Checklist 2 in DivData Review.  

APM 160-20-c(4) and

CAPM 200.160

Checklist to Assure Fairness 

Chair or department manager *Access to confidential material for candidate

The candidate is provided a redacted copy (as defined in APM 160-20-c(4) and 200.160) of the confidential academic review letters that will be included in the review file. These letters are provided to the candidate via DivData Review, requiring the deparment managers to rename each redacted letter. Naming convention should include assigning each reviewer’s letter with an alpha identifier and delete letterhead and signature block. In addition, pay special attention to metadata that might be in the original letter and insure it is removed.

Declining letters are not provided to the candidate, but should be attached to the list of letter writers when the file is sent forward. This protects the identity of the letter writer who may be identified by the reasons they are unable to provide a letter.

APM 160-20-c(4) and

CAPM 200.160

Checklist to Assure Fairness 

Candidate Candidate review of material and completion of Checklist 2

Candidate reviews materials in DivData Review. This is the candidate’s chance to insure all the appropriate materials are included and the opportunity to review redacted confidential documents. Candidate may include a written response to the material in the review file within 10 working days. The chair may grant an extension to the deadline in cases of illness or exceptional circumstances. When submitting file back to the Department, the candidate is given an option to upload response into DivData Review.  

Checklist to Assure Fairness 

Department Option

Determining faculty eligible to access the review file and vote

Refer to academic senate bylaw 55 and departmental voting procedures.

Department faculty should be given a time frame in which to review the file prior to the department meeting when the file will be discussed. Suggested time frame: allow one week for review before department meeting.

In developing the departmental voting policy consider:
whether to extend voting rights per bylaw 55
voting method: secret ballot, email, phone
whether to receive votes after meeting and if so, how long after

Faculty on leave
Departments should develop a procedure to handle faculty who are on leave. When the leave is approved, this is the time to discuss with faculty their participation in personnel actions while on leave. Faculty may wish to consider to waive their right to vote since they are neither present for the discussion nor usually available to read the review file.

Department Manager will control who has access to review materials in DivData Review.  

Bylaw 55
Department Option Department meeting

Departments may choose to have a sub-committee, a particular faculty member, or the chair analyze the review file and present the material. Some chairs come to the department meeting with a draft department letter to help frame the discussion.
APM 220-80-e
Department Option Department augmentation

In the case of small departments or programs or if additional subject matter expertise is deemed necessary to conduct a thorough academic personnel review, the Divisional Dean or the unit may propose that one or more tenured faculty from other departments be temporarily appointed to join the department for participation in personnel matters. An augmentation proposal must be reviewed by the dean, CAP and approved by the VPAA. Appointments through augmentation carry Bylaw 55 voting rights.

Bylaw 55

CAPM 414.220

Chair Draft Department Letter

Evaluate (rather than summarize) the evidence in the review file in accordance to the criteria (APM 210) for the particular action.

Include the exact vote(s) of the eligible department faculty. If there are negative votes and nothing negative came up in the department discussion, say so.

All references to confidential letter writers must be by alpha code.
Suggestions for department letters of evaluation may be reviewed in CAPM appendix 4

APM 220-80-e

APM 210
Chair or Department Manager Faculty Review of the department letter

The department letter should be provided to all members of the department eligible to vote on the review file. Set a deadline (suggest one week from notice that letter is available) for the review of the department letter and any suggested changes.  Departments may choose to use the “Working Documents” section of DivData Review for this process.

Eligible department faculty can suggest revisions to the department letter.
APM 220-80-e
Department faculty Minority letter

Academic Personnel policy, 220-80-e, states that the department's letter "shall report the nature and extent of consultation on the matter within the department and present any significant evidence and difference of opinion." On rare occasions, a minority letter may be employed when it is necessary to express a disagreement or a differing point of view. When an eligible department faculty member believes that the department does not adequately represent her/his views, he/she may submit a minority letter directly to the department chair for attachment or inclusion in the department letter. In the same way that specific views of individual faculty members are not identified in the department letter nor are faculty required to reveal their votes, an attached minority opinion need not bear a signature. However, the chair must know the author of the minority letter in order to verify eligibility to vote on the action. The chair may incorporate the minority language or attach the minority letter to the departmental letter.

If a minority letter is added or incorporated, the faculty must be notified and given an opportunity to review the newly revised letter. Set a deadline for the review of this revised letter (suggest one week from notice).
APM 220-80-e
Chair or department manager Candidate given copy of department letter

The candidate is provided  access to the department evaluation and recommendation. Check to be sure alpha codes replaced each confidential reviewer name. This is done by Department Manager initiating Checklist 3 in DivData Review. 

APM 220-80-e

Checklist to Assure Fairness 

Candidate Candidate optional response

At time of completing Checklist 3, the candidate is informed that he/she may provide a written response to the department letter within ten days from the receipt of the letter. A deadline is set for the candidate’s response and recorded on  Checklist 3. The candidate’s comment may be submitted to the department or directly to dean. If the candidate chooses to send a comment directly to the dean, it is confidential from the department. The candidate's comment, if any, will be included in the review file.  When submitting file back to the Department, the candidate is given an option to upload response into DivData Review, including submitting response to department or to dean. 

Departments are not encouraged or required to respond to the candidate’s response.
APM 220-80-e

Checklist to Assure Fairness 

Department chair only Department certifies the completion of the Checklist to Assure Fairness, may upload confidential chair letter, and finalizes file

The chairperson of the department may submit a separate independent evaluation, which may differ from the department. The chairperson may not introduce new evidence but bases the evaluation on the review file.

During the review, the letter is not shared with the candidate or the rest of the department. This letter will be available to the candidate, in redacted form, after the final decision has been issued.
APM 220-80-e
Chair or department manager Submits the file to the dean via Div Data Review

Questions concerning the status of the review file may be directed to the divisional academic personnel coordinator
APM 220-80-f
Chair or department manager Additional Information after file has left department

Additional information will be requested if needed. Departments should consult with their division about the appropriateness of forwarding additional materials that have not been requested. Any additional material forwarded after Additional Information has been requested is accompanied by a Checklist to Assure Fairness within DivData Review. When submitting file back to the Department, the candidate is given an option to upload response into DivData Review.

If a promotion is tentatively not approved, the preliminary assessment process will provide an occasion for any late letters or other information to be added to the review file.
Checklist for Additional Information

APM 220-80-h
Candidate/Chair Preliminary assessment

If the Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor’s preliminary assessment of the file (appointment or promotion to Professor) is contrary to that of the department, the CP/EVC will notify the department, dean and CAP and invite further information which might support a different decision.

A Checklist to Assure Fairness is provided for the candidate within DivData Review, and accompanies any material submitted.

Checklist for Additional Information

APM 220-80-j

Preliminary assessment of an Assistant Professor

If the CP/EVC’s preliminary assessment is to not promote, or to make a terminal appointment, or is contrary to the department recommendation, the chair and the candidate shall be notified in writing and shall have an opportunity to respond in writing and to provide additional information and documentation.

The candidate has ten days to respond to or comment upon the material provided. New material must be submitted to the department, to be uploaded into DivData Review. If candidate responds without providing new information, the candidate’s response may be sent to the department or directly to the dean. A response sent directly to the dean will be kept confidential from the department. DivData Review offers the opportunity to respond to the department online after signing off on a Checklist to Assure Fairness.  Responses intended for only the dean should be sent separately.

A Checklist to Assure Fairness is provided for the candidate within DivData Review, and accompanies any material submitted.

Checklist to Assure Fairness: Response to Preliminary Assessment for an Assistant Professor

APM 220-84-b

CAPM 404.220

APM 160-20-c

CAPM 200.160

The department has twenty days to comment on, or respond to the material provided in the preliminary assessment. The chair gives a copy of the department’s response to the candidate.

A Checklist to Assure Fairness is provided for the candidate within DivData Review, and accompanies any material submitted.

Checklist to Assure Fairness: Response to Preliminary Assessment for an Assistant Professor

The candidate has five days to respond to the department’s response to the preliminary assessment. The candidate has the option of sending his/her response to the department or directly to the dean. A response sent directly to the dean will be kept confidential from the department. When submitting file back to the department, the candidate is given an option to upload responses into DivData Review, including submitting responses to department or to dean.

The information shall be forwarded to the dean. The dean shall add his/her comment and forward the material to the Academic Personnel Office.

Checklist to Assure Fairness: Response to Preliminary Assessment for an Assistant Professor