Early Review Files for Faculty Merit and Promotion

September 22, 2009

By David S. Kliger, Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor 
By Maureen Callanan, Chair, Committee on Academic Personal 

Dear Colleagues:

The campus and the University face many challenges in the years ahead due to the current fiscal crisis facing the state of California. Despite these difficulties, we remain committed to doing all we can to support the faculty and to preserve the faculty merit process, including maintaining our standards of excellence for faculty advancement.

As a result of the fiscal crisis, some faculty have expressed concern that future merit cycles may be curtailed and are considering requesting early consideration. Although we do not yet know what decisions may be made regarding future merit cycles, we do know that the Office of the President is planning to convene a joint Academic Senate/Administration group in September to consider to consider this topic. In the meantime, it is important that our campus maintain its standard academic personnel review practices, including our position on early review files.

Early review files(also referred to as accelerations in time) are those that are processed in advance of a faculty member serving the normative time either at rank and step or since last review (see attached examples). Faculty may request a review in advance of serving the normative time; however, campus practice has been that early files will only be approved if there is evidence of unusual achievement in all three areas of teaching, research, and service. Department Chairs are in a position to help advise faculty about whether or not such a review is warranted.

Given the upcoming implementation of the furlough plan, we must be diligent about how the campus utilizes its resources. Processing faculty review files is time-intensive, not only for the faculty member under review and for the departmental faculty and staff, but also for all subsequent reviewing bodies as well. We encourage you to work closely with faculty who request early consideration to discuss whether they meet the stringent criteria required for receiving a merit in advance of normative eligibility.


David S. Kliger
Campus Provost and
Executive Vice Chancellor

Maureen Callanan
Committee of Academic Personnel