Advancement to Above-Scale and Further Above-Scale
Advancement to the rank of Professor, Above-Scale is a singular honor for UCLA faculty members, and carries with it the right to use the title Distinguished Professor. However, advancement is not at all automatic, and requires evidence of the very highest distinction in all of the areas of research, teaching, and service that CAP evaluates. As outlined in The UCLA CALL, such a proposed promotion should be forwarded by a Department only after a candidate has served a minimum of four years at Professor Step IX, except in usual cases (referred to as “rare and compelling” in The CALL).
Advancement to Professor, Above-Scale involves a career review, with the requirement of national and international recognition of the candidate’s scholarship. Such distinction must be explicit, and should be addressed in the dossier by internal and external reviewers, and in the Departmental letters. The Department is encouraged to carefully choose external referees, because these letter writers can provide an analytical assessment of the candidate’s career. Since CAP rarely assigns ad hoc Review Committees for these actions, external letters have a special value to the Council in judging the significance and originality of the research/creative activity and the stature of the individual. As always, CAP looks for letters that are from individuals independent of the candidate who can act as unbiased external referees. Recently, the number of independent external letters in dossiers has been decreasing. Appendix 1, Section VI of The CALL states that, “Under normal circumstances, five to eight such letters [external] are sufficient.”
In the preparation of the dossier, a self-statement from the candidate (typically, 3 pages or so) outlining and analyzing major career achievements can be very helpful. Candidates are encouraged to address collaborative work and explain individual contributions that may not be readily apparent.
In addition to being a career review, however, The CALL specifically states that advancement to Above-Scale is granted only when there is sustained and continuous evidence of excellence in all categories (research, teaching, professional activity and service) since advancement to Step VI. Evidence of such ongoing engagement in research would be the usual markers used by CAP; examples include publication of scholarly books and/or research articles in refereed journals, creation or performance of artistic works, or other outlets demonstrating creative scholarly contributions. The successful candidate will provide evidence of excellence in recent teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as appropriate. Since advancement to Professor, Above- Scale is reserved for exceptional individuals that continue to be active in all aspects, it is expected that the candidate will have continuing meritorious service at the departmental, university, and professional levels.
A professor at the Above-Scale level can be considered for a merit increase to the rank of Further Above-Scale after four years at Above-Scale. Further merits generally may be proposed at intervals of no less than four years. Again, these are not automatic, but require preparation of a dossier by the Department. They are treated more like a usual merit increase in that external reviewers are not necessary, but new evidence of continuing excellence in research/creative activity, teaching and service is still required. Advancement within the Above-Scale rank will, according to The CALL, be considered at intervals of less than four years “only in the most superior cases where there is strong and compelling evidence…”
Senior faculty of distinction play a critical role at UCLA, and the Above-Scale merits provide a mechanism to reward those faculty who remain active as professors and scholars.