Guidance for Faculty on Preparing Files

Updated by VPAP/CAP July 2021

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I. Research and Creative Activity

COVID-19  Impact on Submission of Promotion and Advancement Files

The Council on Academic Personnel (CAP)/ Vice Provost for Academic Personnel (VPAP) offer the following guidance for faculty going up for promotion to tenure/SOE, promotion to full professor, advancements to Step 6, and to Above Scale this year (effective date July 1, 2022) and in subsequent review periods that include the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • CAP/VPAP will use a holistic approach in evaluating such cases, taking into account accomplishments across all interrelated aspects of faculty responsibilities, including research and scholarly activity, teaching and service.
    • Promotions and advancements will require high levels of achievement in all areas, with increasing expectations as one moves up the professorial ladder.
  • Going forward, CAP/VPAP’s evaluation will also include consideration of the impact of the pandemic on performance based on how it is documented in the file (see guidance from CAP/VPAP for examples of the type of items to include), changes in the record of the candidate in the years prior to and during the pandemic, and efforts made to offset the impact on those most disadvantaged by COVID. CAP/VPAP recognize that one’s cumulative accomplishments (i.e., papers, external research awards, invited presentations, etc.) might be affected by the pandemic, and this will be carefully factored into the review.
  • Candidates must still demonstrate substantial scholarly contributions and sufficient leadership in said scholarly/creative work. There also must be evidence of effective teaching and mentoring, as well as appropriate contributions to service.

Those unsure of whether or not to submit their file should consult with the leadership of their unit, and if desired can take advantage of the Stop the Clock (STC)/COVID-STC option for pre-tenure/SOE files or deferral for post-tenure/SOE files.

COVID-19 Impact on Submission of Merit Files

Faculty are encouraged to submit their file on time for the 2021-22 review cycle if:

  • They have made strong contributions to teaching and service during the review period; and
  • Their contributions to research/creative activity are consistent with achievement relative to opportunities, even if productivity/impact is less than expected pre-COVID-19.
    Achievement Relative to Opportunities principles encourage “evaluation of candidates fairly based on their individual review-period professional accomplishments by taking into account unexpected or disruptive circumstances during that period that may have curtailed the candidate’s normal ability to achieve expected outcomes.” (From UC Academic Senate Recommendations to President Drake on Mitigating COVID-19 Impacts on Faculty, 1/26/21)

If otherwise, stop the clock for pre-tenure/PSOE faculty and deferrals for post-tenure/SOE faculty are available.

Self-statements can be very helpful in contextualizing accomplishments. See VPAP/CAP guidance on documenting COVID-19 impacts.

Accelerations will require similar activity and impact prior to COVID-19.

Expectations for Professors and Professors of Teaching

A campus conversation about the Professor of Teaching series has prompted the following description of how CAP and VPAP have been reviewing these files since 2015-16.  Appointment, merit, promotion and advancement for faculty in the Professors series and Professor of Teaching series at UCI requires contributions in all three review areas: 1) research/creative activity, 2) teaching, and 3) service.

A broad range of activities that meet all of the following criteria for a, b, and c below can be credited as research/creative activity:

  1. Represent new knowledge, innovation, and/or analysis in the discipline/pedagogy, as judged by peer or other external review;
  2. Publication/dissemination and public accessibility of the work beyond the university;
  3. Impact on the field, the academy, communities outside the academy and/or the wider community.

The majority of faculty effort is expected in research/creative activity for faculty in the Professor series, while the majority of faculty effort is expected in teaching for faculty in the Professors of Teaching series. Each unit (school/department) determines and communicates how the remaining effort is distributed between the other two areas, subject to approval by VPAP/CAP. Regardless of the suggested level of effort in a given area, performance in that area cannot be subpar for promotions and advancements.

Given differences in research/creative activity between schools and across departments and programs within a school/department, we have found that a written document with unit-specific guidance regarding activities that count toward research/creative activity, and the type of evidence used to document the criteria above (a, b, c), can be helpful to the faculty when hired and when coming up for review. It has also been useful when these guidance documents have been shared with CAP/AP.

Guidance on Research and Creative Activity Self-Statement

APM 210 states: “Publications in research and other creative accomplishment should be evaluated, not merely enumerated. There should be evidence that the candidate is continuously and effectively engaged in creative activity of high quality and significance. “

A candidate’s statement should briefly describe the candidate’s research and creative activities during the review period. Statement length may vary, but the description should be succinct and broadly accessible. It is often helpful to write separate sections for each major strand of research/creative activity and to list the relevant publications (or other forms of output) in the relevant sections using the numbering system of the CV and review profile (UC-AP-10).

When the research/creative activities were performed as part of a collaborative team, it is important to clearly indicate the candidate’s specific contributions to the collaborations. This can be done in the research statement and in the review profile (UC-AP-10), where the candidate’s contributions can be described in a sentence or two after each listed publication (or other form of output). For publications, it is generally useful to indicate whether the candidate is corresponding author and which of the co-authors may be the candidate’s mentees.

The nature of collaborative grants or other funding sources should be described, including the candidate’s role in proposal preparation, grant administration (e.g., the proportion of funds coming to the candidate’s unit), research contributions, and so forth.

For promotion to tenure, in fields where publishing with advisors is the norm, candidates should indicate how their research/creative contributions have become independent of their previous mentors. That said, candidates need not shy away from collaborations with other faculty. The campus, including CAP, embraces team science and other types of collaborative work, and it recognizes that such collaborations can be very productive or even essential in some fields.

For all reviews, candidates should consult the APM and CAP FAQ pages, which detail the rules and procedures used by CAP to evaluate all aspects of personnel files, including research and creative activities.

Resources to guide description of collaborative contributions to research:

II. Teaching

Second Piece of Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness

APM 210 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. More than one kind of evidence shall accompany each review file.”

All review files are required to have two forms of evidence. Based on review of the evidence submitted as well as discussions with CAP and the Provost Leadership Academy participants, the Vice Provost of Academic Personnel collaborated with the Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation and developed the following guidelines tohelp faculty in preparing materials that will be useful in the review process:

  1. Reflective teaching statement
    Different from a description of teaching philosophy, reflective statements focus on specific examples of teaching approaches, and describe how you assess and revise your practices over time. Learn more.
  2. Peer evaluation from a colleague
    Constructive peer evaluations provide evaluative and actionable feedback on teaching. Learn more.
  3. Other evidence
    Other evidence will be accepted including but not limited to evidence of student learning gains, or awards that demonstrate deep and/or broad impact of instructional activities.

Faculty might also want to consider submitting a completed Teaching Practice Inventory (TPI), a tool to evaluate your classroom activities developed by Nobel prize winning physicist and leader in higher education evidence-based teaching practices, Carl Weiman and colleagues (read more here).

In most cases a syllabus without an accompanying reflective statement is not very helpful in evaluating teaching effectiveness.

III. Service

Statement on University, Professional and Public Service Activities

APM 210 states that review committees shall judge the candidate’s performance in professional activity and University and public service.

“The faculty plays an important role in the administration of the University and in the formulation of its policies. Recognition should therefore be given to scholars who participate effectively and imaginatively in faculty government and the formulation of departmental, college, and University policies. Service by members of the faculty to the community, State, and the nation, both in their special capacities as scholars and in areas beyond those special capacities when the work done is at a sufficiently high level and of sufficiently high quality, should likewise be recognized in [merit and promotion reviews].”

It is recommended that a candidate briefly describe their service activities during the review period (be as succinct as possible). The statement should not list service assignments and membership on committees (which should be included on AP-10). Rather, in the service statement, the candidate should lay out in concrete detail their efforts and contributions to service and leadership, length of involvement, concrete outcomes from committees/initiatives and the candidate’s own specific contributions to achieving those outcomes.

For instance, if a candidate has served on an editorial board, they should indicate the size of the board, their specific role, such as how many papers they handled per year, and how time consuming this was. If a candidate served on a conference organizing committee or technical program committee, it is useful to know how big the conference was and what specifically the candidate’s duties were. If a candidate served on a department committee, it is helpful to specify the faculty member’s role and contributions.

IV. Inclusive Excellence

Contributions to Inclusive Excellence in Research, Teaching and/or Service

According to APM 210, “[c]ontributions in all areas of faculty achievement that promote equal opportunity and diversity should be given due recognition in the academic personnel process, and they should be evaluated and credited in the same way as other faculty achievements.”

The Use of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Statements for Academic Positions at the University of California produced by UCAADE and EO/AA, states that “DEI [diversity, equity, and inclusion] contributions should be assessed at all levels of the review process as aspects of research, teaching, and/or service.”

The Vice Provost for Academic Personnel, the 2017-18 and 2018-19 Provost’s Leadership Academy participants, and the Council on Academic Personnel considered the question of how faculty should submit evidence of contributions to inclusive excellence (see UCI’s Commitment to Inclusive Excellence) as part of their review file and suggest the following options:

  1. Completion of AP-10 diversity sections. Completion of AP-10 diversity sections. Faculty may continue to submit information related to diversity activities by completing one or more of the diversity sections on the UC-AP-10 document.
  2. Inclusive Excellence Activities Statement. You are encouraged to also describe your contributions to inclusive excellence in narrative form and upload the statement to AP Review.  Click here to see guidance on preparing a statement.

Additional supporting materials to the above may include, but are not limited to:

  1. A letter from another faculty member, administrator or community leader that describes your contributions to inclusive excellence;
  2. Description of an award received for contributions to inclusive excellence.


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