Appendix 1: Guidelines for Department Chairs and Other Recommending Officers

Department Chairs and Other Recommending Officers (Directors and Principal Investigators) share primary responsibility for the ultimate success of the established review process, for it is normally upon their initiative that the assessment of individual candidates is undertaken, that recommendations are framed and documented, and that appropriate intermediate reviews by faculty and/or administration are secured. Accordingly, the following guidelines are set forth in the hope that they may prove of assistance to this key group in the fulfillment of their critical functions within the system. The first two following paragraphs are quotes from "Instructions to Review and Appraisal Committees" - Academic Personnel Manual Section 210. See Appendix 5 for the full policy.

 

I. Procedures for Appointments, Promotions and Appraisals

A. General (APM 210-1-c(1)

"Recommendations concerning appointment, promotion, and appraisal normally originate with the Department Chairperson. The letter of recommendation should provide a comprehensive assessment of the candidate’s qualifications together with detailed evidence to support this evaluation. The letter should also present a report of the Department Chairperson’s consultation with the members of the department, including any dissenting opinions. In addition to the letter of recommendation, the Department Chairperson is expected to assemble and submit to the Chancellor an up-to-date biography and bibliography, together with copies of research publications or other scholarly or creative work."

B. Appointments (APM 210-1-c(2)

"The Department Chairperson should include in the documentation opinions from colleagues in other institutions where the nominee has served and from other qualified persons having first-hand knowledge of the nominee’s attainments. Extramural opinions are imperative in cases of proposed appointments to tenure status of persons from outside the University."

 

II. Review of Policy

Each Recommending Officer is urged to review all pertinent policies and procedures governing the various classes of academic appointment in order to be familiar with the appropriate standards for assessment of individual qualification and with the procedures for presenting departmental recommendations for Senate and administrative review.

Special attention must be paid to the requirements for personal involvement of the candidate in the review process which are made explicit in Appendix 2, "Synopsis of the Academic Personnel Manual Section 220."

 

III. Faculty Involvement in the Review Process for Departmental Personnel

While the Chair bears responsibility for presentation and documentation of each recommendation submitted on behalf of departmental personnel, the Chair is of course bound by University tradition and Senate policy to seek appropriate faculty consultation, to summarize the substance of the views of those participating in the review, and to report the faculty vote in those instances requiring a formal vote in accordance with the approved departmental procedures under Senate Bylaws. In addition, however, the Chair is expected to communicate his/her own views whenever these differ from the departmental recommendation.

 

IV. Demonstration of Qualification

Approval of personnel recommendations requiring Senate review is dependent upon demonstration of qualification. It is therefore the responsibility of the Recommending Officer to document the recommendations that the appointed Review Committee and/or other reviewing authorities may judge competently from the evidence at hand the individual’s qualifications for appointment, advancement, or retention. In framing such recommendations, therefore, critical evaluations of the candidate’s performance and contributions in each appropriate area of the criteria should be provided. Critical evaluation includes an analysis of negative as well as positive aspects of the candidate’s case. Departmental letters should not be viewed as advocacy documents, stressing only positive aspects of the case and ignoring negative considerations at the sacrifice of credibility. In addition the Chair’s letter should include an explanation of negative votes and abstentions.

An educational institution which seeks excellence must strive to recruit the leaders in each of its disciplines. The department should, where feasible, make appropriate comparisons of candidates for promotion or appointment with leading faculty members in the field and should request such comparisons in soliciting letters of evaluation.

The instructions to Review and Appraisal Committees:

  1. Appendix 5 - "Instructions to Review and Appraisal Committees";
  2. Appendix 7 - "Instructions to Review and Appraisal Committees for the
    Professor of Clinical (X) Series"; and
  3. Appendix 8 - "Instructions to Review and Appraisal Committees for the Health Sciences Clinical Professor Series"

represent the basic guide to proper documentation. Also see Appendix 3, "Guide to the Documentation of Effective Teaching" originally prepared by the Council on Academic Personnel, which has been reproduced in modified form as another guide to proper documentation. Special attention should be paid to Appendix 3 in supporting actions involving Lecturer personnel.

Departmental submissions should include reviews and readers’ reports of published or unpublished materials. In cases of joint authorship, the authors’ names as they appear on the publication are requested. Such submissions should also describe the contribution to a joint work made by the individual under review.

 

V. Report of Recruitment Search

In all cases involving initial appointment, the Department Chair should include in his/her recommendation statements concerning the scope of the search and others considered for the position.

 

VI. Inclusion of Letters of Evaluation from Outside Sources

Letters of evaluation from extramural sources have proven of special value to review committees, to the Council itself, and to the administration in judging the significance and originality of the candidate’s research or creative activity, professional standing, and in the case of initial appointment to instructional titles, teaching ability as well.

Letters of evaluation from extramural authorities are required for the following actions for personnel in the same series:

  • Appointment;
  • Promotion;
  • Advancement to Step VI;
  • Initial Advancements to Above-Scale status;
  • Actions which recommend against renewal; and
  • Eight-Year Limit Reviews.

Under normal circumstances, five to eight such letters are sufficient. All of the letters need not be current, provided they remain relevant to the action under review. Thus, in some circumstances current letters need not be solicited.

It is the responsibility of the Recommending Officer to make certain that an appropriate over-all selection of authorities is made in order to assure that an objective and representative sounding of opinion within the particular discipline is obtained. The candidate has the right to nominate authorities from whom letters may be solicited. The candidate may provide in writing names of persons (within and outside UCLA) who, in the view of the candidate, for reasons set forth might not objectively evaluate the candidate’s qualifications or performance. Persons so named are not, however, necessarily disqualified from being asked to provide an evaluation. A judgment will be made by the Recommending Officer as to whether it is appropriate to solicit letters from such persons. Any such statement provided by the candidate should be included in the personnel review file. The Chair should include in the total letters submitted a reasonable number both from persons nominated by the candidate and those selected by the Chair.

Letters of evaluation should be solicited by Recommending Officers (not by the candidate), should be framed to elicit critically useful information, and should be accompanied by a complete bibliography and where feasible by copies of the candidate’s latest publications. Suggested formats (see Summary of Procedures) for such letters of solicitation are provided to indicate the appropriate character of such communications; however, Chairs are not expected to limit themselves to these models but are to tailor their letters appropriately to the individual case. In every case, however, care should be taken to solicit evaluations and not recommendations. In compiling each dossier, the recommending officer should not merely quote suitable passages from letters received but should include in the dossier complete and clearly legible copies of all such evaluations received along with a sample of the letter of solicitation sent to all reviewers and brief evaluations of the comparative standing of each authority who responded. An example of a suitable identifying statement is provided below:

Jones, J: Former Chair of the Humanities Department at X University, now Professor of English; also Senior Research Associate at the Buckingham Library. Author of the definitive book on Victorian poetry, studied from an intellectual as well as artistic approach: Victorian Poetry. Has just published Dickens’ Novels and is one of the editors of the new, important edition of Dickens centered at Harvard.

It has been said from time to time that the solicitation of extramural letters concerning members or potential members of our academic staff may put the University in an embarrassing position, or may create unnecessary problems for the individual under consideration. Such need not be the case if the letter of inquiry is carefully worded to elicit a reply that speaks to the evidence of fact and furnishes the basis of judgment. It is only by such means that the University community can demonstrate the objectivity of its own judgments.

 

VII. Nomination of Departmental Representative to Review Committee

In each case involving appointment of a Review Committee, the Department Chair is requested to nominate three faculty members whom he/she considers particularly suitable for appointment as department representative on the ad hoc committee. Care should be exercised to avoid nominating faculty members from categories such as:

  1. Chair of candidate’s doctoral committee;
  2. a designated departmental advocate for the candidate;
  3. faculty who have authored a significant letter included in the file;
  4. faculty who have significant co-authorship with the candidate; or
  5. individuals subject to near relative policy.

Such nominations should be addressed to the Council on Academic Personnel on a single detached sheet and forwarded with the dossier.

It must be understood that the Council on Academic Personnel is not bound by these nominations and that this mechanism is not to lead to the overworking of particular individuals or to a breakdown in the traditional confidential character of the review system. It should also be understood that while the department representative on an ad hoc committee has responsibility for the presentation of the department’s case, the individual is free as a member to vote his/her own convictions based on the total evidence before the committee.

 

VIII. Prompt Submission of Recommendations

Finally, there are three caveats with respect to the timing of submission of recommendations:

  • Since approval of appointments is required before the appointee assumes his/her work responsibilities, Recommending Officers are asked to cooperate fully with their Deans in meeting schedules of transmission of recommendations to assure that the review process is completed prior to the effective date of the appointment.
  • Since a campus-wide deadline is established for submission of each type of advancement, it is anticipated that each candidate will be judged on the basis of the evidence available as of that date. Evidence which originated after the submission deadline will, in general, not be considered in support of advancements to be effective on July 1st following the deadline. Accordingly, recommending officers are urged not to hold recommendations past the deadline in an attempt to augment the evidence in support of advancement.
  • Recommendations, submitted subsequent to the established deadline will, if approved after July 1, be made effective the following July 1.

As such cases develop, Deans should advise the Academic Personnel Office in writing, of the individuals’ names and departments and the anticipated submission dates.

 

 


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Revised 05/22/09

Web page updated 05/27/09