412.000 - Career Equity Review (CER)



On rare occasions, a senate faculty member may be at a rank and/or step that the faculty member believes is seriously inconsistent with their accomplishments in their discipline. A Career Equity Review (CER) is an examination of a faculty member’s career, focusing on the period from UCSC senate appointment onward, in order to determine if the cumulative outcomes of personnel actions have resulted in the appropriate rank and/or step.

The purpose of the CER is not to reopen or appeal the decision of any previous case. It is also not a method of addressing salary scale compression, inversion, or other salary issues unrelated to academic accomplishments. Rather, the purpose of a CER is to determine during the course of a major action whether the candidate’s accomplishments, when considered over multiple review periods, may warrant additional advancement in rank and step. When the CER results in advancement in rank and/or step, the corresponding adjustment to the on-scale salary component will also be made.

The CER is not an alternative to the reconsideration process that applies to a particular review (see CAPM 418.000 - Reconsideration of Senate Faculty Personnel Reviews) nor is it an alternative to cases that should be brought before the Committee on Privilege and Tenure.

In accordance with best practices in fair hiring, the campus makes appointments at the rank advertised in an open search. A CER may not be based on an argument that a faculy member was overqualified for the rank at which they applied and were hired.

Faculty are encouraged to seek advice from a CER advisor appointed by the Academic Senate before requesting a CER. CER advisors should be faculty with tenure or security of employment who have served on the Committee on Academic Personnel.


Tenured ladder-rank faculty members or teaching professors with security of employment may request a CER only when either on the CALL for, or requesting to be reviewed for, one of the following three personnel actions: promotion to full rank, advancement to Step 6, or advancement to Above Scale. The decision to request a CER rests with the candidate.


Academic advancement is based on the record of accomplishments as presented in a review file. The criteria for normal merit advancement and promotion at all ranks and steps are not changed. The file must meet the criteria for the specific advancement under review, for the applicable title series, as established by APM 210 and campus practice, with the following exceptions:

  1. The review period is the candidate’s entire academic career, with emphasis on the time since appointment to a senate faculty position at UCSC. [i]
    1. If the candidate was appointed at UCSC directly from another UC campus, and thus subject to the appointment step restrictions of APM 510-18, the emphasis may be on the time since appointment to a senate faculty position at the previous UC campus.
  2. The case will not require additional demonstration of unusual achievement as a basis for accelerated advancement.
Because the emphasis is on the time since appointment at UCSC, it is generally not appropriate to request a CER at a candidate's first review at UCSC.
Typical justifications for a CER include:
  • The cumulative record warrants a recalibration even though each previous review decision was deemed appropriate at the time.
  • Certain work or contributions were undervalued or had a delayed impact.

The review is based on the record of accomplishments, and should not be justified via specific personal comparisons with respect to the performance and salaries of colleagues.


  1. CER Request. Eligible candidates who wish to request a CER must include a written request with their review file materials. (No special form is required.)

    The CER request is a summary statement of not more than two pages that is separate from the candidate’s personal statement and must include:

    1. Why the candidate believes that their current rank and/or step are inappropriate (possible justifications are that the cumulative career record warrants a recalibration even though each previous review decision was deemed appropriate at the time; and/or certain work and contributions were overlooked, undervalued, or had a delayed impact); and
    2. What rank and step the candidate believes is appropriate.

    A CER carries the same expectation of confidentiality as do other personnel reviews. While general references to others in the field may be helpful, candidates should refrain from making specific personal comparisons with respect to the performance of their colleagues.

    The candidate includes the separate CER request document titled “CER Request” in their review file, using the same process as for a personal statement. The document becomes part of the candidate’s review file.

  2. All reviewing bodies will consider and evaluate the candidate’s requested rank and step as part of the evaluation of the review file. Rank, step, and/or salary cannot be reduced as a result of a CER.
  3. External letters are required for these actions and will be solicited following the normal process. To assist in the determination of the appropriate step, it is recommended, although not required, that the department solicit and receive input from at least one UC colleague who is familiar with the UC ladder-rank system and who is asked to make a recommendation on rank and step taking into consideration the candidate’s requested rank and step based on the information in the file.
  4. A review file that contains a request for a CER follows the normal established processes for the action under consideration (promotion to full, advancement to Step 6, or advancement to Above Scale), including deadlines, review flow, ad hoc committees, effective date, and authority.

[i]  On the Santa Cruz campus, advancement to Step 6 or Above Scale rank may involve an overall career review; however, emphasis in a Step 6 review is given to work done since advancement to or appointment at the rank of full Professor/Teaching Professor, and emphasis in an Above Scale review is given to work done since advancement to or appointment at a step above Step 6. (CAPM 400.220)