Recognition of Faculty Service in Promoting Equity and Career Advancement

  • July 07, 2021
UCLA

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel

Academic Senate

Faculty Development

To:  Adjunct Faculty, Administrative Officers, Deans, Directors, Department Chairs, Health Sciences Clinical Faculty, Senate Faculty, Vice Chancellors and Vice Provosts

Dear Colleagues:

Our purpose is to call attention to the importance of service in the conduct of the University’s business, and, in particular, the recognition of service in career advancement in order to begin to address existing disparities in service burden by gender, race and ethnicity. The University of California's fundamental missions are teaching, research and public service. The mandate that faculty provide service dates from the University of California’s founding as a public Land Grant institution.

Service and the Professoriate

The Academic Personnel Manual (APM) guides faculty members in their rights and responsibilities, and provides a roadmap to career development. APM 210 lists the criteria for appointment, promotion, and appraisal. These criteria include standards for University and public service as follows: “The University of California is committed to excellence and equity in every facet of its mission.” This includes service.

The section on Criteria for Appointment, Promotion, and Appraisal, APM 210d.4, explains: “Services by members of the faculty to the community, state, and nation, both in their special capacities as scholars and in areas beyond those special capacities when the work done is at a sufficiently high level and of sufficiently high quality, should likewise be recognized as evidence for promotion.” One example cites those who “participate effectively and imaginatively in faculty government and the formulation of departmental, college, and University policies.” Another example cites “service activities related to the improvement of elementary and secondary education.” Likewise, “contributions to student welfare” are recognized, as are “contributions furthering diversity and equal opportunity”. 

Nonetheless, the APM reminds us, “Superior intellectual attainment, as evidenced both in teaching and in research or other creative achievement, is an indispensable qualification for appointment or promotion to tenure positions.”

The UCLA CALL provides a local campus overlay and interpretation to the systemwide policies defined within the APM. The CALL’s Appendices summarize procedures for academic personnel actions. Appendix 41 of the CALL provides key guidance to academic units, appraisal and review committees, and to candidates for advancement, with an “aim to ensure that contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion are recognized as important elements in faculty development and achievement, and are not treated as ‘invisible labor’.” Such contributions may be made and recognized in the fields of service as well as teaching and research.

Recognizing Service

Service must be carefully distributed, reported and appraised, as guided by the APM and the UCLA CALL. This will help to ensure fairness, equity, and appropriate career advancement.

(a) Responsibilities of those requesting faculty service. Faculty members serve their departments, schools, campus, scholarly or professional associations, journals, communities, and the Academic Senate. Deans, directors and chairs must distribute service equitably among all faculty members, by considering a faculty member’s total service commitment. At UCLA, women faculty and faculty of color bear a disproportionate service burden. It is widely understood that untenured assistant professors at UCLA must not be unduly burdened. However, tenured UCLA associate professors have reported that service and administrative demands were among the most challenging aspects of their adaptation to tenure. Those requesting service must respect the total service load being provided by the faculty member and consider the impact of the service burden on career advancement and faculty welfare. Records of service should be maintained by departments and the Academic Senate, including measures of quantity and the nature of a faculty member’s contributions.

(b) Responsibilities of all participants in the advancement process. Service must receive due consideration and recognition in the advancement process. Deans, department chairs, voting faculty members, departmental review committees, departmental academic personnel committees, ad-hoc review committees, The Council of Academic Personnel (CAP), and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel must engage their responsibilities in following the criteria in the APM and the CALL when making their determinations. The APM advises “In evaluating the candidate’s qualifications… the review committee shall exercise reasonable flexibility, balancing when the case requires, heavier commitments and responsibilities in one area against lighter commitments and responsibilities in another.” The APM also reminds us that: “Consideration should be given to changes in emphasis and interest that may occur in an academic career.” Superior service must be rewarded through the mechanisms of career advancement to ensure fairness and equity. Likewise, poor service must be noted and due consequence applied.

(c) Responsibilities of the candidate. Candidates for advancement must do their part, carefully documenting the quantity and quality of all of their endeavors, including service. A carefully written self-statement speaking to attainment in the criteria described in the APM can only be helpful. A thorough reading of the description of and promotion criteria for one’s professorial series will ground the preparation of one’s CV, dossier, and self-statement in the values of the University and help to focus the lens of appraisal. For information on preparation of self-statements, please see the CAP Guidance on Self Statements.

Summary

Improving faculty service distribution, appraisal, and recognition will improve equity and campus climate, and ensure adherence to the APM and UCLA CALL.

Michael S. Levine

Vice Chancellor, Academic Personnel

Shane White

Chair, Academic Senate

Christine Dunkel Schetter

Associate Vice Chancellor, Faculty Development