Guidance on New Modifications to Academic Personnel Evaluation Procedures

  • January 08, 2021

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel

To: Deans, Chairs and Faculty

Dear Colleagues:

This memo from the UCLA Academic Personnel Office provides additional guidance regarding matters affected by the changes in procedures for evaluation of academic personnel, in the near and intermediate term, as a consequence of the campus response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. As we continue remote teaching and service during the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 quarters, there remains a need to continue to adjust current procedures in this fluid situation.

At the outset, permit me to reassure everyone that we understand that COVID-19 is likely to have effects on faculty members’ performance during this year. Our intention is to treat the consequences of this crisis compassionately and in our tradition, we want to see our faculty continue to succeed.

The following list is the primary COVID-19-related modifications in evaluation and advancement already in effect:

  • Automatic extra year off the 8-year clock. The 8-year clock is now 9 years;
  • One year deferral of the 4th Year Appraisal if requested;
  • Deadlines for submission have been extended for AY 2020-21;
  • Unique burdens to individual groups of faculty are considered during the advancement process;
  • Inclusion of student teaching evaluations for Winter and Spring 2020 terms in academic advancement files is optional;
  • New administrative leave policies.

These modifications have been described in previous memos and may be viewed on the Academic Personnel Office’s webpage dedicated to COVID-19 Resources.

In this memo, we describe the three most recent modifications: extension of optional submission of student teaching evaluations in academic personnel files; the Pandemic Impact Statement; and the implementation of Interim COVID-Related Dependent Care Modified Duties (which has previously been described).

Student Teaching Evaluations for Fall 2020 Term Will Remain Optional

Teaching evaluations will occur as regularly planned. Previously we left it up to the individual faculty member whether or not they wished to have the teaching evaluations from the Winter and Spring terms of 2020 included in their future personnel actions. The Council on Academic Personnel and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel have agreed to extend this modification for the Fall quarter of 2020 term. This will be the final term that the inclusion of student evaluations in the academic personnel files will be optional and at the discretion of the faculty member under review.

We believe that after two entire terms of primarily remote teaching that both faculty and students should be acclimated to the changes that occurred. We encourage faculty to discuss their teaching experiences using remote platforms in their self-statements or in the new Pandemic Impact Statement described next, which can provide additional feedback to reviewing bodies.

Pandemic Impact Statement

Since the end of March 2020, faculty across the University have experienced significant disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, we have developed a provision to include a Pandemic Impact Statement within advancement files. This optional statement would describe the modifications in teaching, research or scholarship and service that have occurred, and the impact of the crisis. It also is a venue to include personal circumstances related to the University’s transition to working within a remote environment. As indicated, including such statement is optional but it will assist those examining dossiers to understand the specific impact on work.

It is also apparent that many faculty have already submitted their material for evaluation for AY 2020-21 and did not know that a Pandemic Impact Statement could be included. All faculty can submit such a statement to include in their file even if the file has already been prepared and even if it is in process and has been partially reviewed. Please submit such statements to the appropriate individual in the department and it will be included in the file for the reviewing agencies. Copies of the file can also be sent directly to APO as well as to the appropriate individual in the department. The Pandemic Impact Statement can be included as a stand-alone item or may also be integrated into the Self-Statement.

It is important to have a record of specific ways work was affected while they are still fresh. COVID-19 impacts include both disruptions to productivity and reduced productivity, as well as new responsibilities or contributions made in response to the pandemic. Below are suggestions for topics that can be addressed in a statement.

How you rose to the challenge

Research:

  • Did your research pivot in any way to address emergent questions/issues related to the pandemic?
  • Did you donate your time, equipment, PPE, or other resources to support a COVID-19 response?

Teaching/Advising:

  • In what ways, did you change or increase your support and engagement of students in your teaching?
  • Did you adapt and/or increase time in your approach to advising or mentoring students?

Service:

  • Did you do additional service important to sustaining the campus mission during the pandemic, such as helping other faculty with IT or remote learning, helping students navigate remote learning and relocation, pitching in to support coworkers in their tasks? These can be unrecognized and “invisible” activities, which is a reason to document them.

The challenges that you faced

Research:

  • Were conferences, invited talks, or performance venues for you to present your research/creative activity cancelled or delayed?
  • Were your research lab, studio, field site, or study populations inaccessible?
  • Did travel restrictions impact your ability to staff your lab, visit a field site, or conduct research or scholarly work?
  • What specific scholarly products (manuscripts, experiments, performances) were delayed or slowed down due to the pandemic?
  • Were you on release time or sabbatical during 2019-2020 academic year but unable to carry out research plans?

Teaching/Service:

  • Were there increased demands for service as a result of the pandemic that affected your productivity?
  • Did the increased workload for transitioning to remote learning restrict time for research or scholarship? In what ways?

The following topics that relate to your personal circumstances may be addressed at your discretion in your pandemic statement.

Personal Circumstances:

  • Was your time for research, teaching, or service restricted due to caregiving demands for family members or others?
  • Was your time restricted due to your own health issues?
  • Are you a parent responsible for homeschooling your child(ren)?
  • Did you experience a severe illness or death in your family that impacted your work?

Interim COVID-Related Dependent Care Modified Duties

The description of the Interim COVID-Related Dependent Care Modified Duties has been sent out previously but it will useful to repeat it here to make sure all faculty are aware of it.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an unimaginable toll on the UCLA community. The pandemic also has a hidden cost that is being absorbed disproportionately by women in the workforce. The closing of schools and childcare facilities has forced parents to stay at home with their dependents full time, while other forms of dependent care, such as elder care or care for family members with disabilities, have also demanded full-time attention. Early research published in both mainstream and scholarly venues suggests that working women with dependents are vulnerable to experiencing significant damage to their careers, sustaining impacts that will reduce their earning potential and leave them ineligible for promotion, salary increases, and other forms of advancement.

The Academic Personnel Office, the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, and the Academic Senate working with a Dependent Care Task Force led by faculty drawn from across the University, have developed a modification of existing policies in order to address the disparate impact of COVID-19 on faculty who have dependent care responsibilities, especially our early and mid-career female faculty. This modification initially will be effective for two academic years beginning with the 2020-2021 academic year, and may be adjusted after the first year. These policies will be in addition to and intended to coordinate with existing leave plans. As a temporary exception to policy, UC Provost and Executive Vice President Michael Brown has approved UCLA’s interim program to manage COVID-related issues in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.

All faculty who are under the purview of Academic Personnel Manual 760-28(a) and with dependent care responsibilities of 50% time or more will be eligible for up to two academic terms of Interim COVID-Related Dependent Care Modified Duties between academic years 2020-2022. Interim COVID-Related Dependent Care Modified Duties is based on local modifications of the Active Service-Modified Duties (ASMD), whose terms and conditions are outlined in the APM (APM 760-28). Unlike ASMD, the local modifications will cover dependents of all ages, including children of all ages, children with disabilities and dependent adults and elders.

Similar to ASMD, full-time faculty are eligible for Interim COVID-Related Dependent Care Modified Duties and will remain full-time employees of UCLA who continue to accumulate all their benefits as well as sabbatical credits while serving the University. We realize this modified ASMD interim program will be implemented across different schools, divisions, and departments in dissimilar ways because duties of faculty across the University are often unique to a discipline. Such differences will be taken into account as Interim COVID-Related Dependent Care Modified Duties are developed for participating faculty members. For faculty members providing clinical care in the health sciences, it is understood that while negotiating modified duties it is important to avoid disruptions in clinical care. Like ASMD, Interim COVID-Related Dependent Care Modified Duties must be negotiated between faculty members, deans and department chairs on an individual case-by-case basis to maximize helping the faculty member while at the same time not disrupting the activities of schools, divisions and departments.

Although decisions about if and when to request use of the modified duties rest primarily in the hands of the individual requesting modified duties, faculty members will need to request modifications from their deans and chairs with as much notice as possible. With the exception of the Fall 2020 term, such requests should be initiated at least an academic term in advance. It will be necessary for chairs and deans to accommodate requests on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the curriculum of the department, the need to offer required courses, availability of alternative instructors, and number of individuals requesting these modified duties in the same term. Whether or not a faculty member takes Interim COVID-Related Dependent Care Modified Duties will not be considered in advancement and personnel cases and will not affect how a candidate’s dossier is considered by the reviewing agencies in the department, the dean’s office and the Council on Academic Personnel (CAP).

Interim COVID-Related Dependent Care Modified Duties might include any of the measures, or a combination thereof, on the following list, which is not exhaustive:

  • Relief from service obligations and responsibilities for an academic term;
  • Flexibility in terms of requesting days of the week and timing of classes;
  • Flexibility in what courses are taught within a specific academic term;
  • Other support for teaching such as co-teaching with advanced graduate students;
  • Partial relief from teaching without the assignment of additional future teaching duties (full relief from teaching may also be available in exceptional circumstances).

We are aware that Interim COVID-Related Dependent Care Modified Duties will place burdens on departments already feeling the strain of university-wide hiring reductions. Nonetheless, it is in the long-term interest of the University to support its faculty, particularly its early and mid-career faculty, and to do what it can to prevent the exacerbation of preexisting inequities within academia, especially those affecting women. UCLA is a world leader in research and education, with a strong commitment to diversity and equity. These measures will ensure that the university remains competitive in a world full of new and unprecedented challenges. We will meet these challenges by continuing to provide the best for our faculty, our students, and the entire UCLA community.

We also acknowledge that the needs of faculty providing dependent care will not be one-size-fits-all. For that reason, we see the directives listed here as complementary to additional efforts on campus to reopen and keep open childcare facilities on campus, as well as to provide alternative fresh-air educational opportunities for elementary school children. The Dependent Care Task Force will continue to support these efforts and to help publicize caregiving resources for UCLA families as they become available.

Faculty members who wish to apply for Interim COVID-Related Dependent Care Modified Duties should fill out the Application Form (PDF) located on the Academic Personnel Office’s COVID-19 Resources webpage. Copies of the application will be sent automatically to the faculty member’s department chair, dean, and the Academic Personnel Office.

We appreciate your understanding during this time. If there are any questions, please contact the UCLA Academic Personnel Office.

Sincerely,

Michael S. Levine

Vice Chancellor for Academic personnel

 

cc:

Chancellor Gene D. Block
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Emily A. Carter