Annual Memo from CP/EVC and CAP Chair on Academic Advancement-2019

October 04, 2019

By Lori Kletzer, Interim Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor 
By Marilyn Westerkamp, Chair, Senate Committee on Academic Personnel 


Re: Annual Memo On Academic Advancement - 2019

Dear Colleagues:

As the new academic year begins, we write to provide information about new policies, address frequently asked questions, and emphasize priorities and expectations related to the senate faculty merit and promotion process.


The campus practice of awarding standardized off-scale salary increments in outstanding merit and promotion cases will continue for the 2019-20 review year. The Special Salary Practice will also be available for merit and promotion cases in the Lecturer with Security of Employment (Teaching Professor) series for the first time this year.

  • Normal advancement: Files that demonstrate excellence in all three areas will be considered for advancement of one step with no additional off-scale salary component.
  • Greater-than-normal advancement: Files that meet and exceed the criteria for normal advancement, but do not reach the threshold for accelerated advancement, will be considered for a one-step advancement plus an additional off-scale salary component. Greater-than-normal actions are appropriate when performance is outstanding in two of the three areas or when performance is unusually outstanding in only one of the three areas.
    • G1: Greater-than-normal files that are closer to a normal action will be considered for an off-scale salary increase of one-third of a step.
    • G2: Greater-than-normal files that are closer to an accelerated action will be considered for an off-scale salary increase of two-thirds of a step.
  • Accelerated advancement: Files that demonstrate outstanding performance that is significantly beyond expectations in all three areas will be considered for a two-step advancement.
    • AC: A standard acceleration file will be considered for a two-step advancement with no additional off-scale salary component. Most accelerations are expected to be in this category.
    • A1: In rare and exceptional circumstances, acceleration files that exceed the standard for a two-step advancement will be considered for an off-scale salary increase of one-third of a step.


Faculty under review for merit and promotion are encouraged to include information in their personal statements addressing their contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion at UCSC through their research, teaching, and service. These contributions can sometimes be invisible unless they are explicitly called out. Such contributions should be recognized, in accordance with policy on criteria for advancement (see policy excerpts at Evaluating Contributions to Diversity for Faculty Appointment and Promotion).

In February 2018, the Committee on Affirmative Action and Diversity published revised Contributions to Diversity Statement Guidelines. Though aimed at recruitment applicants, it is useful information for all faculty who participate in assessing colleagues’ contributions.


Advancement is not at all based on the alignment of a faculty member’s research area with the current academic priority areas of the campus Strategic Academic Plan. However, time spent working on SAP-related committees should be included and assessed as university service.


It is a UC policy requirement that merit and promotion files include more than one form of evidence of excellence in teaching. The CITL Guide to Providing Evidence of Excellence in Teaching is a helpful resource.

Departments and faculty should be sure to evaluate not only classroom teaching but also the quality and extent of mentoring outside the classroom (of undergraduates and especially graduate students). Highlight student achievements and post-graduation trajectories. Provide context for teaching and mentoring, how it compares to standard workload in the department, and explain if the candidate’s contributions are outside the norm. If a candidate has not taught at all levels of the curriculum, the department letter should provide some explanation or analysis.


Please refer to the August 29, 2019 memo regarding expectations for outside letters and letter-writers for major actions. 


Normal advancement through the ranks at UC includes four major reviews: tenure, promotion to full, merit to step 6, and merit to above-scale. These reviews look at an expanded review period (since the last major review) and require solicited letters in order to demonstrate that criteria for the next rank or status has been met. In order to maintain the integrity of these major milestones, campus policy CAPM 803.620.C. limits the amount of salary increase an individual can receive when they reach the normative time for a major action but do not advance. A Professor at step 5 or step 9 with an excellent record who chooses not to proceed with a major review, but requests review for a salary increase, may be considered for a modest off-scale increase, such as a quarter or a half step in recognition of the faculty member's overall performance during the review period.

Associate Professors are eligible for promotion to full Professor after two years of service at step 3. If a candidate chooses to undergo review for a merit increase to the overlapping step 4 in lieu of promotion, the maximum amount of additional off-scale salary that can be awarded under the Special Salary Practice is two-thirds of a step (G2). Promotion review is expected after three years of service at Associate Professor, step 4.

It is important to understand that when faculty are hired at Assistant Professor, steps 4 or 5, and/or receive accelerations in step for outstanding performance, they will come up for the full professor review and associated salary limits more quickly than those who advance normally. 


Please do not disclose personal, private, or confidential information about the candidate under review or any other individual, including students, in any document in a merit or promotion case. Do not discuss medical conditions. When discussing contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion, it is never necessary to give the gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability status of students or colleagues by name. 


Personal statements and department letters should be written for an audience of reviewers (deans, CAP members, ad hoc committee members, CP/EVC, and/or chancellor) who might not be familiar with the field. Use layperson’s language and be concise. Place the research contributions in context, explaining how they compare to standards in the candidate’s sub-field. Describe the selectivity or impact of the publication or performance venue. Describe the candidate’s contributions to jointly authored work, and the conventions for author order in your field. Do not assume that reviewers understand the nature and prestige of awards, prizes, fellowships, or grants in your field. 

All documents should be in .PDF format. For assistance including other forms of media in review files, please contact


Adoption of a new campus standard Student Experience of Teaching (SET) survey is anticipated this fall; it was not implemented last spring. Some faculty or departments may have piloted a version of the survey that did not include a question about the instructor’s overall effectiveness. In faculty review files, when preparing the teaching table summary of this question, please omit courses that did not ask this question, and make a note of which courses have been omitted from the table. 


The Academic Personnel Office provides ample web-based resources and in-person training opportunities for faculty candidates, department chairs, department managers, deans, and divisional academic personnel coordinators. In the 2018-19 review year, record numbers of cases were returned for corrections or additional information. Errors cause delays in the processing of all cases, and can have even more serious consequences. The academic personnel review procedures at UC are complex. Deans and chairs should ensure that individuals in their units with primary responsibility for faculty merits and promotions have adequate training. See the Workshops & Trainings homepage, DivData Review homepage or contact to request a customized training session.



Marilyn Westerkamp
Senate Committee on Academic Personnel


Lori Kletzer
Interim Campus Provost and
Executive Vice Chancellor


Academic Senate Office
Committee on Academic Personnel
Department Chairs
Department Managers
Divisional Academic Personnel Coordinators