APP 3-20: Appointment File Documentation

The documentation required to support a recommendation for appointment to an Academic Senate title includes recruitment data, the base file, external letters of reference, the department letter, and the independent recommendations of the chair (if provided) and the dean.

Appointment files should be documented as carefully as promotion files, addressing all the relevant criteria and providing reviewers with appropriate evidence of excellence in all categories of review.

Open All | Close All


The Council on Academic Personnel (CAP) evaluates candidates for faculty positions primarily upon their background and promise in scholarly research. It is important to remember, however, that a significant factor in faculty advancement is effective teaching. It would, therefore, be very useful to CAP for the unit to include a brief statement concerning a potential candidate’s projected teaching role in the program into which she or he is hired. Moreover, this would assure that all incoming faculty had a clear sense of the teaching obligations on which they would later be judged in the review process. CAP understands that such statements concerning teaching are not a formal requirement in the preparation of an appointment dossier and, therefore, inclusion of this very helpful information is entirely voluntary.

CAP wants to acknowledge that many units already do this, and notes that such statements are very valuable in making recommendations to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. For those units that have not included such information in the past, the following guidelines may be useful:

Main Campus
For beginning faculty (primarily at the Assistant Professor level) this statement of projected teaching responsibilities might be part of the candidate’s self-statement, or it could be included as a short paragraph in the sponsoring unit’s cover letter. This could include the role the candidate’s teaching will fill in comparison with the other teaching programs of the sponsoring unit.

For candidates to be hired at higher levels, the statement would be most useful if it included a description of the candidate’s teaching experience at her or his present institution.Copies of teaching evaluations and syllabi are helpful to reviewers.

Medical (In Residence and other series in which teaching is a significant responsibility)
While members of CAP are well equipped, because of their own experiences, to evaluate the performance of candidates who teach in formal courses, evaluation of clinically oriented teaching is much more difficult. To assess fully the proportion of time spent by a faculty member in clinical teaching pursuits, CAP requests that the department’s or unit’s letter, in an appointment dossier, include a careful description of the clinical teaching responsibilities. This description should include an accurate estimate of the amount of actual contact hours to be spent by the candidate in carrying out such clinical teaching.

A. Recruitment Data

Detailed recruiting and equal opportunity and diversity procedures are described in APP 2-10.

  1. Search Activities Statement.
  2. Advertisements.
  3. Sample correspondence to institutions, including lists of those contacted (if applicable).
NOTE: CAP finds it useful when the department includes in the department letter a statement about the scope of the search and of the applicant pool.
B. Base File

The base file consists of the information provided by the candidate.

  1. Academic — Personal Data Sheet (UCI-AP-9)
    The candidate should submit appropriate biographical information on a signed and dated Academic Personal Data Sheet. It is important that all items on the form be completed.This page will not be released to the public, and will not be included in subsequent academic personnel review dossiers.
    If the department prepares the Personal Data Sheet on behalf of the candidate from a submitted curriculum vitae (which is usually the case), the form must be reviewed and signed by the candidate. If the candidate is not available to sign the UCI-AP-9 before the dossier is forwarded, the department should mail the original to the candidate and include a copy of the unsigned form in the dossier. On the copy, the department should indicate that the original was sent for signature.
  2. Publications
    Publications can be listed on either the Curriculum Vitae or the Academic — Career History and Publication Record (Form UCI-AP-99) and should be numbered in sequence. Copies of publications, reviews, and/or exhibits, including work in press, should be included whenever possible. For easy reference, each publication should be numbered as it is numbered on the Career History and Publication Record or the Curriculum Vitae.
  3. Student Evaluations
    Copies of individual student evaluations of teaching should be included, (if possible), as requested on the appropriate checklist for each action.
C. External Letters

External letters are normally required for all appointments.

Preparation of Reviewer Lists

To minimize the “strategizing” that is often viewed as necessary to create a candidate list that does not contain all the obvious/best reviewers:

  1. Candidate List: Prepared by Candidate.
  2. Department List: Prepared by Department without consulting candidate list.
  3. Overlapping names on both lists are designated “Department list”.

Definition of Non-Conflicted External Writers

Non-Conflicted indicates that the letter writer does not have a conflict-of-interest with the candidate. Conflicts include:

  1. Advisor/Mentor at any level (lifelong conflict).
  2. Substantive collaboration in the last 4 years:
    1. Substantive collaboration includes past or pending grant collaboration, co-authorship.
    2. Team Science co-authorship, grant funding, or editorial work on candidate publications are not necessarily conflicted as long as the department explains the incidental or minor nature of the relationship.
  3. Close personal or familial relationship.
  4. Current faculty/staff at UCI.
  5. Direct financial relationship.

A non-conflicted letter still requires explanation of the writer’s relationship to the candidate. This information helps the Council on Academic Personnel/Academic Personnel weigh the evaluator’s perspective. For example, being close graduate school friends or previous department colleagues is not a conflict, but is important contextual information. Other examples of non-conflicted relationships might include serving together on an editorial board, committee, or conference panel.


The following is required for appointment to Assistant Professor (including Assistant Professor of Teaching), Assistant Professor of Clinical X, Assistant Professor In Residence, or equivalent positions:

  1. Minimum number of letters required: 3 analytical/evaluative letters.
  2. Requested by: Chair from applicant list or directly by applicant.
  3. Letter writers: Can be conflicted. Generally are graduate advisors, postdoc advisors, collaborators.

The following is required for appointment to Associate or Full Professor (include Professor of Teaching series), Clinical X, In Residence, or equivalent positions:

  1. Minimum number of letters required:
    1. 4-5 analytical/evaluative letters.  At least three letters must be department-nominated and non-conflicted. Exceptions to this requirement will be virtually non-existent.
    2. Should include some letters from other UC Campuses when it is critical to evaluate a particular step within a given rank or for “Above Scale”.
  2. Requested by: Chair.

Letters in foreign languages should be translated into English.

Soliciting Extramural Letters

The chair should solicit evaluations from individuals who are experts in the candidate’s field and who are able to provide an objective appraisal of the candidate’s work.

Opinions from colleagues at other institutions where the nominee has served and from other qualified persons having first-hand knowledge of the nominee’s attainments should be included. For candidates just completing degree or postdoctoral work and being proposed for entry-level positions, letters from supervisors are appropriate. However, for appointments at higher levels, it is desirable to avoid excessive use of external referees whom reviewers may not regard as objective evaluators either because they are too close to the candidate professionally (e.g., collaborators, doctoral supervisors), or because they have a personal relationship with the candidate.

Letters soliciting such external evaluations should contain the following:

  1. An explanation of the proposed action (Appointment),
  2. A request for analytical review of the candidate’s performance under the applicable criteria and comparison with other scholars in the field at similar rank, and
  3. The following confidentiality statement:
    Although the contents of your letter may be passed on to the candidate at prescribed stages of the review process, your identity will be held in confidence. The material made available will lack the letterhead, the signature block, and material below the latter. Therefore, material that would identify you, particularly your relationship to the candidate, should be placed below the signature block. In any legal proceeding or other situation in which the source of the confidential information is sought, the University does its utmost to protect the identity of such sources.

It is important that the chair explain to external referees the nature of the position to be filled; e.g., probationary or tenured professorship. For appointments to the top steps of the series (VI, VII, VIII, IX and Above Scale), the chair should explain in the solicitation letter the significance of the level so that the referees can evaluate achievement in relation to UC criteria for appointment.

Referees should be urged to provide critical evaluation and analysis. The letter soliciting evaluations must not contain leading suggestions (e.g., “We need your help to persuade our reviewers that our candidate. . .”).

Include a sample of the letter sent soliciting outside evaluations. If the letters soliciting outside evaluations were substantially different, include copies of all such letters.

D. Department Letter

For appointments to Senate titles, the department letter (as well as the chair’s recommendation, if provided, and the dean’s recommendation) should be addressed to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost.

The department letter should set forth the proposed action and the departmental recommendation. This letter must have been inspected by the department or a committee acting on behalf of the department. The letter should provide an evaluation of the materials offered in support of the action. Other necessary information includes:

  1. Proposed title, step, salary, and effective date.
  2. Justification of the recommended title, step, and salary. If the proposed salary is based, in part, on countering competing offers, CAP finds it most helpful to have written documentation of the other offers. At a minimum, the chair may verify the new offer with the administration of the competing university.
    If the level of the proposed appointment is at a higher rank than the rank the candidate holds at her or his current institution, the dossier should address the issue of promotion.
  3. Report of faculty opinion and vote, as described in Section APP 1-14. When there are significant divisions of opinion, the reasons for the opposing positions should be summarized.
  4. A full evaluation of the candidate’s scholarly achievements and his or her professional reputation in the academic community.
    NOTE: Superior intellectual attainment, as evidenced both in teaching and in research or other creative achievement, is an indispensable qualification for appointment to tenured positions.
    The following criteria, as appropriate to the proposed appointment, should be addressed:

    1. Performance in teaching – In order for a candidate to be considered for tenure, it is necessary to provide clear documentation of ability and diligence in the teaching role. In those cases where no direct evidence may be available, the candidate’s potential as a teacher may be indicated in closely analogous activities.
    2. Research and creative activity.
    3. Professional competence and activity.
    4. University and public service.
  5. A brief discussion of the qualifications of the evaluators, including the national reputation of the department from which they come and their relationship to the candidate. This information may be provided on the form, “Identification and Qualifications of External Referees,” Form UCI-AP-11.
    NOTE: Initiators should always indicate which letter writers were suggested by the candidate and which by the department. In addition, if evaluators are unable to respond, the department should indicate which evaluators were unable to send letters.
E. Assembling the Dossier

For the exact documentation requirements for each type of appointment, refer to the appropriate checklists, which may be found on the Academic Personnel Website.

The checklist will specify the number of dossier copies needed. Normally, appointments at all levels require the original dossier and one copy. If necessary, additional copies will be requested from the department for use by ad hoc committee members.

F. Academic Personnel Appointment Summary (Form UCI-AP-20)

See AP Website listing of summary forms needed for each series.

The Appointment Summary form is a cover sheet affixed to each file on which the department provides a summary of its recommendation and of the background information on the candidate. The form assists in the orderly processing of the file through the various levels of review and provides space for the following information:

  1. Name, department(s), and percent(s) of time.
  2. Recommended annual salary, academic or fiscal-year basis, and off-scale indicator, if applicable.
  3. Proposed effective date.
  4. Years toward the eight-year limit, if appointee has had prior service in an eligible title on this campus or any other UC campus.
  5. Present employment information, including title, step, current salary, and tenure status.
  6. Highest degree, date received, and degree-granting institution.
G. Recommendations
  1. Chair’s Recommendation: The chair should include a recommendation which is independent of the departmental recommendation on the case. Normally, this recommendation will constitute the vote of the chair, who may have participated in the departmental discussion but not voted with the department.
  2. Dean’s Recommendation: The dean’s letter should be an independent assessment of the case. In addition, the dean should sign and date the Appointment Summary Form after summarizing his/her opinion as it relates to the department recommendation: Yes, No, or Modify.

Open All | Close All

Comments are closed.