Annual Memo from CP/EVC and CAP Chair on Academic Advancement-2014

August 05, 2014

By Alison Galloway, Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor 
By Ana Christina Ravelo, Chair, Committee on Academic Personal 


             Re: Annual Memo from CP/EVC and CAP Chair on Academic Advancement-2014

Dear Colleagues:

As we approach another academic year, we write to provide you with important information regarding academic personnel matters.

Online Review

As was announced on May 1, the campus has implemented its online process for ladder-rank faculty advancement reviews. During 2014-15, only ladder-rank reviews will utilize the online review process. Further enhancements will take place throughout the year. Starting in 2015-16, we anticipate that all appointments and Non-Senate actions, excluding student titles, will be conducted via the online system. Please see the schedule of workshops and open labs on the Academic Personnel Office website at

Campus’s “Special Salary Practice” on Current Reviews

We are happy to announce that the campus’s special salary practice will continue for the 2014-15 review year. Details of this plan were included in the May 2011 memo to department chairs and deans.

Guidance on Evaluation of Teaching Workload

The University of California Academic Personnel Manual (APM 210-1.d) describes policy regarding the criteria, and types of evidence, used to evaluate faculty teaching. Evaluation of teaching focuses on assessing the quality of instruction as outlined in APM 210-1.d, but does so in the context of workload. Here, further guidance is provided on how teaching workload is evaluated in personnel reviews.

APM 210-1.d states that reviews “should pay due attention to the variety of demands placed on instructors by the types of teaching called for in various disciplines and at various levels, and should judge the total performance of the candidate with proper reference to assigned teaching responsibilities.”

Thus, evaluation of teaching in personnel reviews is holistic and accounts for the fact that there is a wide range of teaching opportunities and that different departments have different teaching workload requirements. The expected workload is department-specific and merit reviews should take this into account.

This information should be provided in the department letter; workload should be described in terms of the number of classes taught, how challenging the classes are - which includes consideration of class size, level, and type (e.g., large lecture, lab or studio intensive, etc.), whether new preparation or development was required, and if teaching accomplishments include innovative and time-consuming approaches. Evaluations of the quality of teaching take into account that it is typically more difficult to get excellent evaluations in many service and/or lower division classes.

The amount and quality of undergraduate, graduate, and post-doc mentoring should also be considered; a heavy workload and excellent performance in mentoring can compensate, to some extent, for a lighter workload in classroom teaching, and vice versa. Mentoring should not just be discussed in terms of the numbers of advisees, but also in terms of the quality and success of student training. For example, information regarding student awards/fellowships, publications, and placement in post-graduate positions should be provided.

Generally, the ability to teach effectively at all levels is an indication of exceptional achievement in the area of teaching. Ideally, faculty should strive to be excellent teachers across all levels. However, there is recognition that it is not always practical for a faculty member to teach at all levels during a single twoto three-year merit review period. In some cases, a department chair may assign a more limited range of classes to a faculty member who mentors a large group of graduate students.

APM 210-1.d states, “It is the responsibility of the department chair to submit meaningful statements, accompanied by evidence, of the candidate’s teaching effectiveness at lower-division, upper-division, and graduate levels of instruction.”

Thus, even if the individual under review has not taught at all levels, it is very important that the department letter provide an explanation of that individual’s teaching workload across all levels in the context of the department teaching policy.

Assessment of Learning Outcomes as Part of Teaching

As a reminder, assessment of student learning and of institution, program, or course learning outcomes is an integral part of teaching and program improvement. As such, faculty efforts toward assessment, if applicable, may be included as contributions in the evaluation of teaching. Such efforts could include development of a program learning outcomes assessment plan or participation in outcomes assessment. More information on this topic may be found in the April 24, 2013 letter from VPAA Lee.

Online Student Evaluations of Instructors

We are aware that the campus transition to online course/instructor evaluations may result in lower response rates than we have expected to see in the past. In addition, the survey tool experienced technical problems in the spring 2013 and fall 2013 evaluation cycles, which may further reduce response rates in those quarters. If response rates for a particular course or instructor are anomalous for other reasons, it should be addressed in the department letter. As always, the content of the evaluations is much more important than the response rate in assessing teaching performance. Both the Committee on Academic Personnel (CAP) and the administration agree that faculty will not be penalized for low response rates. In addition, we want to remind department chairs that student evaluations are only one measure of a faculty member’s teaching performance. Please refer to APM 210-1.d for additional ways to assess faculty teaching. Also, please note that this information applies to all instructor of record titles.

Accommodations for Childbearing and Childrearing

As a department chair, you may be the first point of contact for faculty questions about family friendly policies. APM 760 provides details on the types of leaves available for family accommodations. In addition, APM 760-28 provides information on Active Service Modified Duties (ASMD), which, while not a leave, allows a faculty member to remain in full time status while modifying their duties (generally a reduction in teaching). Please direct your faculty to the “Ladder-Rank Faculty Leave Application: Childbearing Leave; Parental Leave; ASMD (not a leave); and Extension of the Tenure Clock,” which is included in the campus academic personnel manual in section 900.700.I. Your Divisional Academic Personnel Coordinator and staff in the Academic Personnel Office can also assist you or your faculty.3 The University’s family friendly policies were established to assist faculty in balancing the demands of work and family. A faculty member who is granted a leave or ASMD, or who “stops their tenure clock” in accordance with policy must not be disadvantaged in the personnel review process. Reviews delayed for these reasons should be treated substantively and procedurally as if they occurred on time. Reviewers should focus on the quality and impact of the work, and should evaluate the totality of accomplishment, not the rate of accomplishment.

New Academic Personnel Policies Issued or Under Review

As a reminder, the campus revised its policies on Mandatory Reviews and Deferrals effective July 1, 2014. A summary of the significant changes was provided in the issuance memo, one of which is the requirement that for faculty members below Professor, Step 5, the mandatory review shall be a review for merit advancement (i.e., step increase) given that progression through the ranks/steps is expected at all levels other than at an indefinite step.

The new policy on Waivers for Open Recruitment for Senate Faculty was implemented in March, 2014. As you work on your ladder rank searches during 2014-15, please keep this policy in mind.

In addition, throughout the year, academic personnel policies come under review. Policies under review can be found on the Academic Personnel Office website. Currently, as a result of two proposals received from the Academic Senate, changes to four separate APM sections are under review that pertain to evaluating contributions to diversity and expanding the reasons for stopping the eight-year service limitation clock.

Reminders About Materials Included in Department Letters and Review Files

• Each year, CAP provides Department Chairs and Deans with a “top ten” list to help you in compiling and assessing faculty review files. This year’s top ten list can be found at In addition, CAP provides a similar list of helpful advice for faculty, which can be found at

• Mid-Career Appraisals: Starting with 2012-13 academic personnel reviews, external letters were no longer required for mid-career appraisals. At the time of that policy change, we communicated the importance of the department letter providing “assessment and guidance” appropriate to a mid-career review. Departments should include this essential feedback in their recommendations on these actions.

• External Letter Writers: Not all external letter writers are familiar with UC policies of advancement. For this reason, it is important to provide guidance to letter writers on the review taking place. For example, for faculty advancing to Professor Step 6 or to Professor Above Scale, it would be important to include the criteria for this advancement. Samples of solicitation letters can be found at

• Contributions to Diversity: Faculty contribute to diversity in a number of different ways through their teaching, research, and service. This includes enrollment in the campus Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program. These contributions should be assessed during the review process, thereby providing faculty with recognition for their efforts in this important area.

Lecturers with Security of Employment (LSOE)

As the campus endeavors to increase the number of LSOEs, please be mindful of the requirements for appointment to this series. The Academic Personnel Office will work with each recruiting department to clarify the expectations, so that the appropriate materials are available at time of review for appointment.

Upcoming Workshops

Fall Quarter Department Chair Conference: The annual meeting with the CAP Chair, the CP/EVC, and the department chairs will be held on Monday, September 22, 2014, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The agenda includes expectations of chairs as the academic leaders and administrative heads of academic units and discussions of key aspects of personnel actions and policies for academic employees while allowing time to network with other chairs. With the increasing number of exclusively represented titles and management requirements, attendees will be provided with important information for working in a growing union environment. Attending this conference is required for all department and program chairs. Department managers and deans are invited to attend as well. More information will be sent later in the summer.

Department Chair Workshops on the Personnel Review Process: These workshops provide a detailed walk-through of the policies and procedures for processing a review file for a ladder-rank faculty member's professorial advancement. Offerings of this workshop will be held starting in September. More information will be sent later in the summer.

Your role as a department chair or dean is critical to the effective functioning of the campus, and we appreciate all you do to insure that the personnel review process is conducted in a timely and accurate manner. We hope your summer goes well, and we look forward to working with you in the new academic year.


Ana Christina Ravelo, Chair

Committee on Academic Personnel

Alison Galloway

Campus Provost and 
Executive Vice Chancellor