Unit 18 Faculty — Procedures for Merit Review

These procedures are based on the Unit 18 Faculty Contract: Articles 7C – Process for Achieving Continuing Status, Excellence Review, and Continuing Appointments, 22 – Merit and Promotion Review Procedures for Continuing Appointees, and Article XX – Academic Review Criteria

I. Eligibility for Continuing Merit Review

Continuing Appointees shall receive a merit review and shall be considered for merit increase at least once every three years following commencement of their initial continuing appointment, absent acceleration or deferral. (Article 22).

Continuing Appointees may request up to a one-year deferral of the merit review process per merit review cycle. Such requests for deferrals shall be submitted in writing. The effective date of any increase that results from the review is also deferred by the same amount of time. If merit or promotion decisions are delayed, salary increases will be paid as soon as possible, with retroactive payment to the effective date of the merit or promotion. (Article 22).

II. Evaluation

Evaluation of the academic qualifications or performance of a Continuing Lecturer for the purposes of achieving merit shall be based on their assigned instructional duties. Achieving a merit will be based on demonstrated excellence. Academic responsibility and other assigned duties shall also be utilized in the review. (Article XX – Academic Review Criteria).

The University retains sole discretion in the evaluation of a Unit 18 faculty member’s performance. Merit increases are based on academic attainment, experience and performance, and are not automatic. (Article 22).

Due attention should be paid to the variety of demands placed on instructors by the types of teaching called for at various levels, and the total performance of the Continuing Lecturer should be judged with proper reference to assigned teaching responsibilities (Article XX – Academic Review Criteria).

Instructional performance shall be evaluated according to the following criteria, as demonstrated by the materials in the review file (Article XX – Academic Review Criteria):

  1. Dedication to and engagement with teaching;
  2. Command of the subject matter and continued growth in mastering new topics;
  3. Organizing and presenting course content effectively and with demonstrated learning outcomes;
  4. Setting pedagogical objectives appropriate to the course topic, level, and format;
  5. Responding to student work in ways that commensurate with student performance, course topic, level, and format;
  6. Awakening in students an awareness of the importance of the subject matter;
  7. Inspiring interest in beginning students and stimulating advanced students to do complex work;
  8. Developing pedagogically effective assignments, lecture slides, lesson plans, exams, and/or other course materials and/or prompts for student work.

Contributions in assigned areas of the Unit 18 faculty member’s achievements that promote equal opportunity and diversity should be given due recognition in the review process. These contributions to diversity and equal opportunity will be focused on teaching and learning and can take a variety of forms including teaching that is particularly inclusive of diverse populations. (Article XX – Academic Review Criteria).

III. Materials for Personnel Review File

Reference Article XX – Academic Review Criteria, Section C for detailed information.

Unit 18 faculty will work with their department to provide materials needed for the review by the date provided to the Unit 18 faculty in their notification letter. All relevant materials shall be given due consideration. These may include:

  1. A current curriculum vitae;
  2. Examples of syllabi, assignments, lecture slides, lesson plans, exams, and/or other applicable course materials including but not limited to prompts for and responses to student work;
  3. A self-reflection/self-statement/self-evaluation of the Unit 18 faculty member’s performance, teaching objectives, and teaching activities;
  4. A term-by-term enumeration of the number and types of courses taught by the Unit 18 faculty member;
  5. Explanations of deviations from the standard assigned workload;
  6. Identification of any new courses taught or of existing courses whose structure, approach, or content were substantially reorganized;
  7. Evidence of introduction of new teaching practices and techniques in the course(s) taught;
  8. Notice of any awards or formal mentions for distinguished teaching;
  9. Student evaluations, provided that the quantitative measure in the student evaluation is not the sole criterion for evaluating teaching;
  10. Letters of reference and assessments by departmental Unit 18 faculty, departmental Academic Senate Faculty, other academic appointees, students; and/or others external to the University of California;
  11. Written observations resulting from classroom visitations by colleagues and evaluators;
  12. Statement of contributions promoting equal opportunity and diversity in teaching and learning; and,
  13. Additional materials relevant to their assigned duties.
IV. Procedures for Continuing Merit Review
  1. A Continuing Lecturer will be provided written notice of the merit review, along with these procedures. Notice shall be provided no less than forty-five (45) calendar days prior to the date by which the Unit 18 faculty member’s review materials must be submitted, where practicable. If less than forty-five days’ notice is provided, the University shall not unreasonably deny an extension to the Unit 18 faculty member to submit their materials for the review file (Article XX – Academic Review Criteria, Section B.1).
  2. The notice must include the following (Article XX – Academic Review Criteria):
    1. A list of materials the Unit 18 faculty member is responsible for providing and how they should be submitted;
    2. The date by which the Unit 18 faculty member must submit all required materials;
    3. Links to the applicable collective bargaining agreement article(s);
    4. The date by which the merit increase will be effective; and,
    5. The right of the Unit 18 faculty member to inspect and respond to their academic review file, in accordance with Article 10 – Personnel and Review Files.
  3. A Unit 18 faculty member may request an extension of the review deadlines due to a leave of absence taken under Article 12 – Leaves of Absence and Active Service Modified Duties. Such requests shall not be unreasonably denied. (Article XX – Academic Review Criteria).
  4. A committee shall review and make recommendations on a Unit 18 faculty member’s performance pertaining to the Continuing Merit Review. The committee shall be at the departmental level, except where not practicable, in which case it will be as close to the departmental level as is practicable (e.g., school, division or college). Such committees will be comprised of academic appointees with sufficient knowledge of the Unit 18 faculty member’s field of expertise. The membership of the committee is not confidential.
    1. The University shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that a qualified Unit 18 faculty member will participate on such review committees although no individual shall be required to serve on the committee. Unless the Unit 18 faculty member on the committee is a standing appointment, the Unit 18 faculty member being reviewed shall be consulted about the Unit 18 faculty member’s appointment on the committee.
    2. Care shall be taken to ensure that the committee is composed of faculty who can offer a neutral assessment of the Unit 18 faculty member’s performance. The Unit 18 faculty member on the review committee shall be under the same obligation as any other member of the personnel committee with respect to the confidentiality of the review process.
  5. The Unit 18 faculty member being reviewed may provide a written list of suggested peers from whom input may be solicited and/or identify qualified persons from whom input may be solicited. The Unit 18 faculty member being reviewed shall be afforded an opportunity to raise concerns about possible bias on the part of individuals involved in their review. Any such statement provided by the Unit 18 faculty shall be included in the academic review file.
  6. The review committee will evaluate the Unit 18 faculty member’s performance in accordance with Section II. Evaluation of these procedures and make a recommendation. (Article 7C and Article XX – Academic Review Criteria). Performance-based decisions concerning the merit review will be based solely upon the material contained in the academic review file.
  7. The Unit 18 faculty member shall be provided with a copy of the review committee’s recommendation.
  8. The Unit 18 faculty member may submit a written response to the recommendation from the department, program or unit, which shall be included in their Merit Review file.
  9. Depending upon the department practice, the file may be considered by the voting members of the department. If so, the department will add additional comments, which may include a faculty vote.
  10. The file is then forwarded to the department chair (or equivalent) for their recommendation.
  11. The file is submitted to the dean (or designee).
    1. For files proposing a merit increase of two salary points on the salary scale, the Dean will make a final decision.
    2. For files proposing a merit increase greater than two salary points on the salary scale, or for late merit files (those not completed within 30 days of the effective date), the dean will provide a recommendation and forward the file to the Office of Academic Personnel. Academic Personnel will submit the file to the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel who will make a final decision.
    3. For files proposing no merit, the dean will provide a recommendation and forward the file to the Office of Academic Personnel. Academic Personnel will submit the file to the Unit 18 Review Committee for its recommendation to the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel who will make a final decision..
  12. If, upon review, the Continuing Appointee’s performance since the last merit review is deemed excellent, they shall advance two salary points on the salary scale in Table 17 of the Unit 18 Faculty Contract. The University is not precluded from granting merit increases of greater than two salary points on the salary scale in Table 17 of the Contract. (Article 22).
V. Notification of Continuing Merit Review Outcome
  1. The University shall notify the Unit 18 faculty member of the Merit Review outcome. (Article XX – Academic Review Criteria).
  2. If a Unit 18 faculty member is not awarded an increase following a merit review, the merit review determination notice will include an explanation for the decision (Article 22).

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