Guidance for Senate Faculty Personnel Reviews in 2020-21

October 08, 2020

By Lori Kletzer, Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor 
By Junko Ito, Chair, Senate Committee on Academic Personnel 


Guidance for Senate Faculty Personnel Reviews in 2020-21

Dear Colleagues:

In acknowledgement of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting shelter-in-place, school closures, lab closures, and distancing restrictions, we write to remind you of existing options for reviews taking place this year, and to provide additional guidance.

Review Timing: As previously announced, assistant professors may request up to one year of time off the tenure clock for any COVID-19-related reason. Extensions to the tenure clock delay the date of the mandatory tenure review, but do not impact regular reviews for reappointment and merit. Assistant Professors must be reviewed for reappointment every two years, and so should be considered for merit or salary increase as well, but if the result is reappointment-only (no step or salary increase), then the work submitted for this review can be considered again at the next review. Faculty currently on the call for a review other than a mandatory review or reappointment review may choose to defer that review. A deferral extends the review period and any resulting advancement by one or two years, and will not negatively impact future reviews.  

Research Productivity: For personnel reviews in 2020-21, we recognize that during the portion of the review period from mid-March through June 2020, research productivity may have been significantly disrupted. There should be research productivity from the rest of the review period, but the total may be less than it would have been without the disruptions. As such, the research productivity expectations for a standard merit (i.e. one step) will be treated more flexibly in 2020-21. Productivity will be judged as if the review period were half a year shorter, i.e., reviews for two-year normative periods will be judged against productivity expectations for a year and half, and three-year normative periods will be judged against productivity expectations for two and a half years. Research productivity expectations for greater-than-normal and accelerated merits, as well as promotion, merit to step 6, and advancement to above-scale and further above-scale remain unchanged from previous years. 

For reviews that involve the solicitation of external letters, the letter solicitation templates have been updated to include "decreased productivity due to the pandemic should not be factored into this review."

Some faculty have put significant effort into biological, social, or technological aspects of the pandemic. We value this work, and where it is helping the campus or society move forward during this pandemic, we will recognize it as an important contribution to service. We also look forward to peer-reviewed research publications which will be recognized when they are complete.

Teaching: Review of teaching excellence in all types of reviews will take into account the disruptions of winter and spring 2020. Issues with remote instruction in winter and spring 2020 shall not be assessed negatively in this review. Awareness of the impact of the grade and teaching strike shall be brought to the review. Efforts to innovate in the context of remote instruction shall be recognized positively. The review of teaching may be based primarily on the period before winter 2020 if that is beneficial for the faculty member, and will recognize teaching excellence during remote instruction when warranted. In all cases, review of teaching must be based on at least two sources of evidence.

Service: Expectations for service are largely unchanged, although significant additional efforts in service related to remote operations shall be duly recognized.

As the pandemic continues into the 2020-21 academic year, we recognize that productivity may continue to be disrupted, and that these continued disruptions may have larger impacts on reviews in 2021-22 and beyond. Additional discussions during this year will lead to guidance for future years



Junko Ito
Senate Committee on Academic Personnel


Lori Kletzer
Campus Provost and
Executive Vice Chancellor


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