The 2000-2001 UC Davis Committee on Academic Personnel (CAP) met 37 times and carried out 471 personnel actions, summarized in Table I. CAP considered 213 additional agenda items related to academic personnel issues (Appendix I).
CAP’s recommendations regarding faculty advancement were based on evaluations of teaching, research and other creative activity, and service. The evaluation criteria are set out in the Academic Personnel Manual (APM-210-1, http://www.ucop.edu/acadadv/acadpers/apm/sec2.pdf.html). CAP’s judgments were based on documents provided in the formal personnel evaluation process. These documents included each candidate’s dossier and accompanying evaluations by the Department Faculty and Chair, the Dean, and (when appropriate) external evaluators and a three-person ad hoc committee of faculty appointed by the Vice Provost--Academic Personnel on the basis of CAP’s recommendations.
CAP is a committee of nine faculty from a range of disciplines. CAP’s goal is to apply fair, objective, and uniform standards of evaluation across the disciplines, recognizing the variability of measures of accomplishment and success from one discipline to another.
Evaluation criteria used by CAP included impact, significance, originality, and external recognition of research and creative activity, teaching, and service. CAP’s judgments were guided by the wording of the APM, according to which the “indispensable qualification” for advancement at all levels is "superior intellectual attainment, as evidenced both in teaching and in research or other creative achievement.” CAP typically recommended advancement of a faculty member after the normal period at rank and step on the basis of a record of balanced accomplishment—appropriate for the rank and step—in the categories of research and creative activity, teaching, and service. Alternatively, CAP made such a recommendation when it judged the performance to be well above expectation in one category although it was below expectation in another, as appropriate to the rank and step. Time spent on an activity was not considered to be a substitute for accomplishment. CAP did not use time in service (except for deferrals) or health or personal issues as criteria for judging merit advancements.
CAP’s evaluation of research reported in peer-reviewed publications (and in other venues) and of creative work presented in many forms and venues was based principally on the impact of the work as judged by peers.
CAP’s primary criteria for the evaluation of teaching were the effectiveness and impact, as well as the candidate's command of his or her subject, scholarly growth, and presentation of material in ways that helped students to think critically, independently, and creatively. Student evaluations were given substantial weight in evaluations of teaching. In some instances, CAP was influenced by the amount, variety, and difficulty of teaching, as well as advising and mentoring.
In evaluating service, CAP did its best to judge the impact and outcomes of the activity.
Personnel recommendations were made on the basis of all the evidence provided at each preceding stage of the review process. Many files were well prepared, but CAP had to contend with the reality that the information provided to it was not always the most helpful. Some files provided little balanced analysis or evaluative or critical insight (e.g., failing to state the goals and/or significance of the candidate’s activity); sometimes the information was incomplete. Evaluations of the impact of service activity were frequently missing. Descriptions of administrative functions seldom came to CAP with sufficient documentation of effectiveness or impact to be useful. Some reviews were conflicting and required resolution by CAP.
The summaries presented in Tables I and II provide a comparison of CAP recommendations for 2000–2001 and the preceding two years. The number of personnel actions considered per year by CAP during this period remained almost unchanged.
Tables III and IV provide a comparison of CAP’s recommendations and the decisions of the Vice Provost--Academic Personnel. The proportion of positive evaluations made by CAP (and by the Vice Provost--Academic Personnel) regarding promotions and merits was higher than prior years.
Of the 99 Professors considered for high-level merits, about 80% received a positive decision (Table IV). Although accelerations of more than two years were only seldom recommended by CAP (or approved by the Vice Provost), in most instances, candidates who were denied a multiple-year acceleration received some positive acknowledgment for their achievements (Table VI). Moreover, with one exception, each of the candidates proposed for an accelerated action was awarded at least a normal merit advancement.
CAP and the Vice Provost were only seldom in disagreement. When there were disagreements, they usually involved candidates who held administrative positions or involved issues that went beyond strictly academic criteria. This was of concern for some CAP members. The tradition of not providing evidence of administrative effectiveness compromised CAP’s ability to make balanced judgments in such instances.
CAP recommended accelerated advancements on the basis of exceptional accomplishments. CAP typically depended on the candidate, the department, and the dean to make a clear case for the accelerated advancement. About 20 percent of the accelerated actions were initiated independently by CAP (see footnotes, Tables II-IV).
Professor In Residence and Professor of Clinical X Series
About 8% of the dossiers considered by CAP were for faculty in the In Residence or Professor of Clinical X series. The expectations for advancement for those in the In Residence Series are the same as those for other regular Senate faculty. In contrast, the Professor of Clinical X is designated for clinical scholars in full-time University service. Although greater weight was given to clinical and didactic teaching in considerations of dossiers of faculty in the Professor of Clinical X series, evidence of creative scholarly activities aimed at improving clinical practice--published in refereed venues--was expected. For appointment or promotion to Associate Professor in this series, a regional reputation within a clinical specialty was judged to be essential, and for promotion to Professor, evidence of a national reputation was expected.
In keeping with the APM, CAP recommended advancement into overlapping steps only seldom and with reluctance. The title of Associate Professor IV was reserved for faculty who entered the rank of Associate Professor at a relatively high level (step II or above) and who, therefore, needed additional time to establish a record appropriate for advancement to Professor. This step was considered only when there was clear evidence that the candidate was on track toward promotion.
Comments Regarding Special Committee on Personnel Processes Reform Recommendations (SCPPR)
A number of SCPPR resolutions were directed to CAP. Those which CAP judges can reasonably be considered in the next year are the following:
· Facilitating the re-delegation of selected merit and accelerated actions to the College, Division, and School Personnel Committees. As a first step in the process, Professor, Step VII, will be re-delegated in the year 2001–2002. All accelerated actions within a given step will also be re-delegated. If the acceleration would result in an advance to a subsequent step (usually an acceleration of three or more years) it will not be re-delegated this year. CAP is concerned that it is already difficult to fill these committees with Senate members representing a full range of professorial ranks. Furthermore, CAP has noted variations among the personnel committees in the degree of rigor pertaining to the criteria for advancement, and disparities in the inclination to recommend more rapid advancements than had been initially requested.
· Developing a system to address ad hoc committee deliberations. The recommendation to increase the membership of an ad hoc committee from three to five raises the issue of the need to recruit “non-peers” to provide sufficient willing participants and the issue of how to minimize delinquent reports, particularly when rapid or timely action is needed. About 150-200 ad hoc committees are needed each year, and so each senior faculty member would be obligated to serve at least once or twice, on average, during a given year. However, experience indicates that it would be difficult to persuade almost all the senior faculty to meet this proposed obligation, and so some faculty would be asked to serve more than once or twice. CAP recommends that further discussion precede any action to change the number of members of ad hoc committees.
· Working with the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel to reorganize, improve, and abbreviate the documentation needed for review. CAP encourages the faculty to discuss this issue and recognizes that much faculty time could be saved by streamlining the personnel process.
· Soliciting departments to provide a written summary to CAP and the local personnel committees regarding the nature of scholarship and criteria and standards for evaluation of faculty performance. As noted by SCPPR, the goal of this exercise is to articulate standards and practices of the departments so that both candidates and those evaluating them will have a clearer view of performance expectations. CAP has already received some such summaries and corresponded with departments about them. CAP will request such summaries from all departments this fall. The utility of such summaries remains a question, and some discussion seems likely to be needed in the interest of maintaining high standards across the campus while recognizing the individual characteristics of the disciplines and the growing importance of work that crosses disciplinary boundaries.
CAP judges that it will be essential, as noted by SCPPR, to monitor the effects of any changes to determine whether they provide more efficient, essential, and critical steps in the evaluative process while sustaining the fundamental goal of institutional excellence. It is noteworthy that, within the UC personnel system, the process at Davis already involves the greatest participation of Senate members (e.g., none of the other campuses relies extensively on divisional or college personnel committees). Some of the other campuses (e.g., Riverside), in contrast to Davis, have no formal appeal process. Some CAPs (e.g., Berkeley) do not record votes or write summary letters.
Pace of CAP's Activity
Most CAP agenda items were analyzed, discussed, and completed with a written analysis within three weeks of receipt of the file (Figure 1). The process usually involved the following:
· The dossiers were organized by the office of the Vice Provost--Academic Personnel and forwarded to CAP (approximately 20 cases per week were considered, on average).
· Upon receipt of the dossiers, CAP members were allowed seven days for review.
· Each case was then discussed at a regular CAP meeting.
· Summary reports were drafted and reviewed and edited by the entire committee at the next meeting (usually the following week).
· The final report was signed by the Chair of CAP and forwarded to the Vice Provost--Academic Personnel (usually within one or two days after editing).
Thus, when CAP met weekly, agenda items were usually completed within 15 or 16 days. During the summer, when CAP met less frequently, or when the normal schedule was interrupted, the turn-around time for agenda items was longer.
College, Divisional, and School Personnel Committees
College, School, and Division Personnel Committees (Appendix II) are nominated by CAP from names submitted by respective Executive Committees. They advise deans on personnel actions redelegated to the deans. In 2000–2001, these actions included appointment of Assistant Professors, Steps I, II, and III; most normal and one-year accelerated merit actions up to and including Professor, Step V; most normal merit actions for Lecturers and Senior Lecturers with Security of Employment; and Unit 18 actions (including appointments and reappointments of Lecturers and Senior Lecturers without Security of Employment).
In 2000–2001, these committees reviewed collectively 381 merit actions, appointments, and appraisals. A total of thirty-seven junior faculty appraisals were conveyed to CAP for further formal evaluation (Table V).
Off-Scale Faculty Salaries
The Vice Provost--Academic Personnel awards off-scale salary increments to faculty in response to recruitment and retention of outstanding faculty, who are identified by deans or department chairs. CAP is not consulted in these matters unless the off-scale increment corresponds to two or more steps in the salary scale. CAP was asked to provide advice on 14 such cases in the preceding year.
University Committee On Academic Personnel (UCAP)
Professor Robert Rucker, the Chair of CAP, represented UC Davis at five meetings of UCAP in 2000–2001. UCAP responded to issues raised by the Office of the President related to personnel issues. UCAP considered issues submitted by its members, by Senate committees, and by various officers of the Academic Senate. The Committee also facilitated the exchange of information among campuses.
Peer review is the basic strength of the academic personnel process, and CAP thanks the approximately 400 faculty members who served on the 147 ad hoc committees during the 2000–2001 year and gave generously of their time. Almost all the ad-hoc reports were of high quality and objective in their evaluations. CAP members are also grateful to the past and present Vice Provosts for Academic Personnel, Barry Klein and Barbara Horwitz, and their offices for assistance. CAP members especially thank Solomon Bekele, CAP Assistant, for his reliability, diligence, professionalism, and unfailing good humor.
Edward Feldman Bruce Gates
Robert Rucker, Chair