Academic Review Info

The academic review process is a lengthy process that includes many levels of departmental, dean, and campus reviews. All review actions and outcomes will be effective on July 1st of the corresponding year.  In order to account for the multiple levels of review and meet deadlines set forth by the campus and deans office, the Department will notify faculty of their upcoming review over a year in advance. **It is important for faculty to meet departmental deadlines for submitting their materials.

May: Call for materials is sent out to faculty scheduled for review effective July 1 of the following year.

May – July: Candidates under review prepare their documents to submit to the department's AP team in July.

July – August: The department performs an initial review of the documents and works with the faculty to make changes/updates.

External referee letters are solicited (when required).

September – October: Ad Hoc Committees submit their recommendations and the Department Faculty votes on the required files

November – February: Files are due to the School of Physical Sciences (SPS) Dean's Office between November and February (due dates are based on the review action)

November and forward: Files are reviewed by the SPS Dean's Office and the Campus Committee on Academic Personnel (CAP). Once the files are reviewed, the department receives a final action letter that is shared with the candidate. The department may also receive a request for more information and will work with the faculty member to respond. Final actions are not tied to when your file was submitted, and CAP does not share their agenda with the departments. 

July 1 of the following year: Final action takes effect, changes to rank, step, and salary will take effect on this day regardless of when the final outcome is received. 

Types of Review Actions

Tenured faculty are eligible to request a one-year deferral of their academic review. Allowable reasons for deferral are; research that will come to fruition in the next year which will impact the review or circumstances beyond their control has impacted productivity (e.g. medical/family leaves). 

A no change review still involves a review of the faculty member's academic file, but results in the faculty member remaining at the same rank and step for the next review period (between 2-4 years depending on rank and step). A no change action can occur when the faculty member does not submit their materials to the department on time or one or more area is below departmental and university standard for the review period. Faculty files with consecutive no change actions will undergo CAP review after the second proposed no change to ensure continued engagement.

A merit advancement is a step advancement within the same rank, such as from Associate Professor, Step 1 to Associate Professor, Step 2. Merit advancements are the most common review actions and occur multiple times in the same rank. Faculty must meet departmental and university standards to achieve merit advancement. 

The 4th year appraisal occurs once in the faculty career and happens during the 4th year of employment as an Assistant Professor (the call for materials will happen at year 3). This review is intended to be a promotion readiness assessment for on-time advancement to the Associate rank and is typically in tandem with a merit advancement. 

Promotion to Associate Professor typically occurs after 6 years at the Assistant rank, and must be achieved before the end of the 8th year as an Assistant Professor. This review is also referred to a tenure review, because tenure is conferred once a faculty member reaches the Associate rank. This action is a career review.

An accelerated merit advancement is an early advancement to a higher step and/or rank, such as from Professor, Step 3 to Professor, Step 5. To qualify for an accelerated merit advancement, faculty are typically expected to achieve double the research output in a given review period. Faculty must also fully meet their obligations in Teaching and Service. Accelerated merits can be denied due to deficiencies in Teaching and Service.

Promotion from Associate to Full professor typically occurs after 6 years at the Associate rank.  At this career milestone, faculty should demonstrate a strong record in the three areas of review as well as national/international reputation in their field. This career review will focus primarily on achievements since promotion to the Associate Rank.

Full professors undergo a career review when advancing to Step 6 to ensure continued excellence in all areas of review. This review is unique to the UC System and is intended to ensure continued excellence and engagement among our senior faculty. 

After Professor, Step 9, faculty are eligible for promotion to Professor Above Scale, also known as Distinguished Professor. Advancement to an above-scale rank involves an overall career review and is reserved only for the most highly distinguished faculty (1) whose work of sustained and continuing excellence has attained national and international recognition and broad acclaim reflective of its significant impact; (2) whose University teaching performance is excellent; and (3) whose service is highly meritorious. Except in rare and compelling cases, advancement will not occur after less than four years at Step 9.

Faculty promoted to Distinguished Professor are still eligible for merit advancements after promoting past the end of the scale. A normal merit advancement for Above Scale faculty is called a Further Above Scale Merit Advancement. Since there are no steps at this level, a normal merit results in a increase in salary based on 50% of the difference between Steps 8 & 9. Accelerations can be requested at 50% increments, for example a 100% acceleration would result in a salary increase equivalent to 100% of the difference between steps 8 & 9.


Ladder Ranks and Steps Progession