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Appendix 12: Five-Year Reviews

Important Changes Effective 7/1/2014


-- Frequently Asked Questions (October 2013)

-- Vice Chancellor Goldberg's Five-Year Review PowerPoint (October 2013)


Appendix 12: Five-Year Reviews

-- Effective July 1, 2014 --


I. Policy


Academic Personnel Manual section 200-0 mandates that "Every faculty member shall be reviewed at least every five years."  Implementing that mandate, this policy applies to appointees who have not had a formal review for advancement in the last five years and describes the mandatory procedure for conducting the Five-Year Review.

A Five-Year Review can serve varied purposes.  It may draw attention to the accomplishments of an appointee who deserves advancement but has not sought or been recommended for a merit increase during the previous five-year period.  It may identify impediments to advancement and develop strategies for improvement that warrant attention and effort by the appointee and support, mentoring, and intervention by the University. In addition, a Five-Year Review should assess the likelihood that the appointee will earn an advancement within the "normal" period of service for the next advancement in step or rank (e.g., Associate Professor, two years; Full Professor below Step IX, three years, Full Professor Step IX and Above Scale, every four years).


II. Titles to Which the Five-Year Review Applies


This policy applies to the following appointees, unless they are without both salary and step:

  • Associate Professor
  • Professor
  • Associate Professor-in-Residence
  • Professor-in-Residence
  • Associate Professor of Clinical (X)
  • Professor of Clinical (X)
  • Adjunct Associate Professor
  • Adjunct Professor
  • Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor
  • Health Sciences Clinical Professor
  • Lecturer SOE
  • Senior Lecturer SOE
  • Assistant Researcher
  • Associate Researcher
  • Researcher


III. Timing of the Five-Year Review


The Five-Year Review should be conducted: (1) in the spring of the academic year that ends a period of five years in which the appointee has not received a completed review, or (2) at the time of the appointee’s second successive negative review: 

  • a final decision (by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Personnel or Dean) in a review approving or disapproving an advancement in step or rank;  
  • a final decision by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Personnel in a Five-Year Review.


In calculating the five-year period:

  • Other than medical and family leave of more than one quarter, time on leave is counted, unless the Vice Chancellor of Academic Personnel grants a request to exclude such leave time (other than Sabbatical Leave) when appropriate.
  • A salary adjustment within step does not constitute a final decision that restarts the five-year period.
  • If an appointee has entered into a Pathways to Retirement agreement, the Vice Chancellor of Academic Personnel may defer the Five-Year Review.
  • Time served in administrative positions covered by APM 240 and 246 is not counted.

Example 1

Professor A's advancement from Professor I to II was approved by the Dean, effective July 1, 2007.  Professor A was not reviewed for advancement effective July 1, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and has not been proposed for July 1, 2012. The five year period began on July 1, 2007 and ends on June 30, 2012 and the Five-Year Review occurs in Spring 2012. The review would assess Professor A's performance in the past five years, and the likelihood of advancement to Step III effective on or before July 1, 2015.  Professor A could advance (without an acceleration) to Step III in the next two years (2013 or 2014) and need not wait until 2015, depending upon performance.


Example 2

Associate Professor B was reviewed for promotion from Associate Professor Step III to Professor I in academic year 2011-12 and disapproved effective July 1, 2012. The five-year period began on July 1, 2012.  Assuming there were no additional reviews (with a final decision) in the interim, there would be a Five-Year Review in Spring 2017 (2016-2017 academic year being Professor B’s 5th year). The review would assess Professor B's performance in the past five years, and the likelihood of promotion in two years.


IV.  Procedures for Conducting the Five-Year Review


Because the procedure is flexible, the nature of the review will vary for differently placed appointees. Five-Year Reviews may be most constructive for mid-career appointees between Associate Professor/Associate Researcher I and Professor/Researcher V; they would therefore typically require more detailed reviews. Flexibility also characterizes the nature and detail of the Chair's letter, and the departmental consultation process.


In consultation with such faculty committees (e.g., Executive or Personnel Committees) as are designated by departmental policy, the Chair shall initiate the Five-Year Review, develop a Departmental Recommendation, and convey the Recommendation in a Chair’s letter.  In making a Recommendation, the general policy on reviews in some departments may require a vote of the faculty or a formally designated departmental committee, unless modified by a specific by-law concerning the Five-Year Review.


The criteria for evaluation in the Five-Year Review are established according to the appropriate series, rank, step, and next step (or rank) of the appointee being reviewed.


A Five-Year Review shall be based on a dossier. At least 6 months before the dossier is due, the Chair should notify the appointee of the need to submit, for the Five-Year Review, a standard dossier typical for review at the next rank or step. If an appointee does not submit materials by the departmental due date, the dossier shall consist of materials then available in the department.  As in all reviews, the appointee shall be afforded the opportunity to review the dossier and augment it, and to respond in writing to the Chair’s letter.


The Chair shall convey the Departmental Recommendation in a letter addressed to the Vice Chancellor of Academic Personnel, and forwarded via the office of the Dean(s) who shall provide a recommendation as well. The letter shall include the following elements:


  • A chronological overview of the appointee’s personnel history since the last review.
  • An assessment of the appointee’s achievements and specific weaknesses in each of the areas of evaluation: research or other creative work, teaching, professional activity, and service.
  • The proposed Outcome of the Five-Year Review, which Outcome shall include an Action Plan to address deficiencies when required. See Section V.


The Vice Chancellor of Academic Personnel makes the final decision in the Five-Year Review and shall inform the Chair, Dean, and appointee of that decision. The Vice Chancellor may determine that the Chair's letter constitutes the Five-Year Review or alter the Outcome.  Before making a final decision the Vice Chancellor may require from the Chair additional information, material, and plans and may consult with the Council on Academic Personnel (CAP).  Alternatively, the ending of an appointment, through expiration without renewal or otherwise, terminates the Five-Year Review.


If a health problem or disability may be affecting performance, the Chair shall engage in an interactive dialogue with the appointee, pursuant to APM 711.  Accommodations shall be identified that may assist in performance of the essential functions of the appointment; and reasonable accommodations, if any, shall be provided. It is advisable to consult with APO and UCLA’s Department of Insurance and Risk Management before engaging in the interactive dialogue.


V. The Outcome of the Five-Year Review


The Departmental Recommendation must adopt one of the following three Outcomes of a Five-Year Review. 

1. Advancement.  When performance warrants advancement, the Five-Year Review shall be terminated and a merit or promotion dossier shall be prepared and acted on in accordance with applicable policies and procedures. If the advancement is denied, the Chair shall prepare a letter identifying the additional accomplishments that are needed for advancement, specifying a plan for completing the accomplishments within five years, and assessing the likelihood of advancement in step or rank within the normal period of review.

2. No advancement, performance satisfactory. When performance continues to meet the criteria of the current step but does not yet warrant advancement, the Chair’s letter may contain a simple acknowledgement of satisfactory performance, and/or may identify what additional accomplishments are needed for advancement, specify a plan for completing the accomplishments within five years, and assess the likelihood of advancement in step or rank within the normal period of review. A recommendation of an off-scale salary adjustment may also be made when warranted by recent achievement (and if permitted under the appointee’s Compensation Plan). This Outcome is typically appropriate for appointees who are at barrier steps, have taken on additional teaching or service where scholarship has lagged, or are engaged in a large scholarly project that has yet to yield sufficient outcomes. Therefore, the Chair may choose to meet with the appointee at specific intervals to assess progress.

3. No advancement, performance unsatisfactory. When some aspect of the performance does not satisfy the criteria that apply to the appointee’s current step, the Chair’s letter shall so indicate and provide an Action Plan specifying performance expectations that address all unsatisfactory areas and a timetable for improvement to satisfactory performance or advancement.  If only certain areas are unsatisfactory, it is expected that satisfactory performance will be maintained in all other areas.  An Action Plan may include:

a. Actions to improve teaching. These include requiring the faculty member to make extended use of the services of UCLA’s Office of Instructional Development, and to consult with faculty or emeriti who will regularly visit the faculty member’s classes and provide pedagogical evaluation and advice.

b. Revision of the faculty member’s division of responsibilities. This includes additional course and other teaching assignments and special administrative and committee assignments, which the faculty member should discharge satisfactorily.

c. Exploring the potential for new lines of research and/or funding sources, including possible University sources; mentoring by faculty or emeriti; and interdisciplinary opportunities outside the department.

d. A change in series. If during the review or subsequent period of improvement, it is determined that the appointee’s performance would satisfactorily meet the criteria at the current rank/step in a different series, the Chair may initiate a change in series (following discussion with the appointee and subject to governing policies such as faculty vote and academic search) and submit a Change-in-Series dossier for academic review.


The Action Plan shall be reviewed and approved by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Personnel, who may modify the plan. 

The appointee shall submit an annual progress report to the Chair identifying compliance with the Action Plan and accomplishments in each area of scholarship, teaching, and service.  In consultation with the appropriate departmental committee, the Chair shall provide a written annual evaluation of the appointee’s compliance with the Action Plan and achievement of its objectives which shall become part of the appointee’s personnel file. If there is no substantial progress toward satisfactory performance or advancement, the Chair shall submit the Annual Evaluation via the Dean to the Vice Chancellor of Academic Personnel for assessment; and the advice of CAP may be requested.  If the assessment by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Personnel is that performance remains unsatisfactory, the Chair shall recommend further steps that are consistent with the Academic Personnel Manual (e.g., APM 015 The Faculty Code of Conduct, APM 137 Non-Senate Academic Appointees/Term Appointment, APM 025 Conflict of Commitment and Outside Activities of Faculty Members, APM 075 Termination for Incompetent Performance, and APM 080 Medical Separation).

If no advancement has occurred by the end of the five-year period, a new Five-Year Review will occur and the preceding annual evaluations shall become part of the dossier.

If an appointee’s performance is deemed unsatisfactory for an extended period of time (e.g., two consecutive Five-Year Reviews), the Chair’s letter shall provide an Action Plan (as above), and shall, in consultation with the Dean and the Vice Chancellor of Academic Personnel, recommend further action that is consistent with the Academic Personnel Manual.

Revised 07/30/2015


Web page updated 07/30/2015