Help for Department Chairs/Unit Heads

Submitting the department/unit recommendation • Certifying the Checklist to Assure Fairness • Answers to common department chair/unit head questions


In DivData Review, department chairs/unit heads continue to be responsible for the department’s/unit’s additions to the Review file, including the contents of the department/unit recommendation letter.

Roles and Responsibilities

A department chair’s/unit head's role and responsibilities extend throughout the review process; most of which involves direct communication to inform and advise the candidates undergoing review. There are three actions that a department chair/unit head can or must take in DivData Review:

  1. The chair can upload the department/unit letter once faculty/unit review is complete, or delegate this task to the department/unit review manager.
  2. The chair signs off on the review, which certifies the Checklist to Assure Fairness ("Checklist") and submits the recommendation letter. This is the department chair/unit head's last responsibility before the file goes to the division office.
  3. In cases where departmental recommendation is made by a body of reviewers, such as the voting faculty of a department, the chair may optionally include a Department Chair Letter. The chair's letter is separate and distinct from the departmental recommendation. It contextualizes the departmental assessment and/or presents the chair's own recommendation and evaluation; it may not introduce new material.  

The steps for each process are outlined below. General information on navigating DivData Review and an individual review file is available as Help for Faculty Reviewers.

Your Review Docket

The Review Docket of a department chair or unit head looks and operates much like that of any reviewer, except that a second table will appear when the chair is responsible for moving a file forward:

Screenshot showing the docket for a department chair.

The system will send a notification email when a review is newly placed into a user’s docket that is waiting on that user to move the file forward. (The system allows users to opt out of these emails, but this is only recommended for those who are actively monitoring their review docket on a daily basis.)

Upload and Submit the Department Recommendation Letter

Once the department/unit review has taken place and the recommendation letter has been finalized, that letter should be added to the personnel file as a PDF document. In some departments, this responsibility may be delegated to the Department/Unit Manager.

  1. Login to DivData and navigate to the Docket screen.
  2. Find the record for the review file that you want to work with and click View link.

You’ll be taken to the Dossier tab in the Review file, which is in the Dept/Unit Faculty Review (DP-60) state.

To upload the department letter

  1. Click Add File or "drag and drop" to upload the file as a Recommendation/Decision Letter.

Screenshot of the Dossier tab showing the Add File and "drag and drop" options to upload a department recommendation letter.

  1. The document will be saved with the original file name as the title. You can change that title by clicking the Edit link. (Note that changing the title does not change the underlying filename.) You can also delete the file and attach a newer version by clicking the Delete link.

 The image shows the Edit and Delete links for a Dept/Unit Letter record in the Recommendation/Decision Letters section on the Dossier tab.

To submit the recommendation

  1. Click the Submit Recommendation button on the right of the screen.
  2. On the subsequent confirmation screen, click Submit Recommendation again.

For Appointment reviews, this moves the file forward to Chair/Unit Head Signoff (DP-74) for you to certify and sign off on the review.

For Reappointment/Advancement reviews, the file moves to the department review manager to prepare it for candidate review of the department recommendation.

Sign Off on the Review

After the Dept/Unit recommendation is uploaded and submitted, the next step is for you to sign off on the review so it can be finalized and submitted to the Division. This action can only be done by the department chair/unit head.

  • If you uploaded and submitted the recommendation and the review does not involve the Checklist, you'll be returned to the file to sign off on it.
  • Otherwise, you'll receive an email notification from the system when the review is ready for your sign off. To access the file, click the View link for the file on your docket.

To complete the signoff

  1. Review the contents of the file. If this is a reappointment/advancement review, this is your opportunity to see whether the candidate responded to the department, and to examine the Checklist.
  2. If you wish to submit a Department Chair Letter regarding this review:
  1. Click Add File or "drag and drop" to upload the file.
  2. If desired, you can change that name of the file by clicking the Edit link.

The image shows the Edit link for a Department chair letter record in the Recommendation/Decision Letters section on the Dossier tab.

  1. Click the "Sign off on this review" button on the right side of the screen. The final Sign Off screen is displayed.

If the review is for a reappointment/advancement, this screen provides a link to the final Checklist To Assure Fairness.

 Screenshot of the "Sign off on this review" screen without the department data entered.

If the review manager uploaded the dept/unit letter, the screen will also include the department recommendation. If you uploaded the dept/unit letter, the review manager will add this information when finalizing the file for the division.

 Screenshot of the "Sign off on this review" screen with the department data entered.

Note: The screen also gives you the option to go back and submit a chair’s letter by clicking Cancel to return to the previous screen to upload the file.

  1. If you have not already done so, review the Checklist to verify that it is complete. Click "Back To Sign Off" to return to the sign off screen. Click "Back To File" to return to the Dossier tab in the review.
  2. Click "Sign off on this review" to complete your certification.

Upon sign off, your certification will be added to the checklist report and the department review manager will be notified that the file is ready to be finalized and sent to the division.

Answers to common department chair questions:

I’m new to DivData Review; where do I find files I need to review?

See the Faculty Reviewer help page for assistance navigating your Review Docket and reviewing a file.

When can I see the review files that I need to work on?

Your review files first appear on your Review Docket as soon as the candidate begins to build his/her online file.

As was the case before the online system, what parts of the file you have access to depend upon where the file is in the process:

  • Candidate Materials: The candidate’s dossier materials, publications and unsolicited materials are visible once the candidate officially submits the file to the department; earlier if they have provided you with “pre-submission view access.”
  • Course Evaluations and Department Documents, including letters, become visible to you as soon as they are added to the file.

Once the file leaves the department, you and your department/unit manager retain view-only access to all candidate and departmental/unit materials in the file. The candidate retains view-only access to their materials and the non-confidential and redacted items presented to them in accordance with the Checklist to Assure Fairness.

Once the decision is posted, candidates, chairs/unit heads, and deans gain access to the decision letter and intermediate recommendations including dean recommendations and CAP letters. Academic appointees retain access to their own reappointment and advancement review files throughout their tenure with the campus; chairs/unit heads and deans have access to senate files for at least one full academic quarter; and the default for nonsenate files is two weeks. After that, please see your department/unit manager regarding access to prior reviews.

See Also