Academic Personnel Manual (APM) 158 sets forth the rights of academic appointees in relation to the academic personnel process and records.
APM 160 sets forth the University of California (UC) policy for the maintenance of, access to and amendment of academic personnel records, including confidential academic review records. This UC policy defines the types of records maintained by the University about academic appointees, in particular: (1) confidential academic review records; (2) non-confidential academic review records; (3) confidential information; (4) non-personal information; and (5) personal information. The policy provides detailed information about what records are (and are not) included in the right to access confidential information.
For represented academic personnel, see also the applicable personnel file articles. https://academicpersonnel.ucmerced.edu/policies/collective-bargaining
- Academic Researchers, RA Unit Article 20
- Academic Student Employee, BX Unit Article 10
- Lecturers, IX Unit Article 10
- Librarians, LX Unit Article 6
- Postdoctoral Scholars, PX Unit Article 18
APM policies permit the retention of confidential information that is not part of an academic review file, per APM 160-20-b (3). Note that APM 160 - Appendix A describes this practice, specifying that APM 160 “is also intended to include other types of documents pertaining to an individual which occasionally can, for good reason, be received by the University in confidence.” Appendix A states that an example would be an unsolicited letter, describing “allegedly inappropriate (though not necessarily unprofessional) conduct by a member of the faculty,” and confirms that the University “has a responsibility to receive such letters, and to take whatever investigatory and corrective steps may be wise.” These documents, if irrelevant to the academic personnel process, are not part of the academic personnel review file. However, the Appendix states that “the material may nevertheless responsibly be retained, to provide for the future, if needed, a record of the complaint and the inquiry made.”
Per APM 160, “an individual’s right to access confidential information about himself or herself referred to in APM - 160-20-b(3) shall be in accordance with the legal requirements of the Information Practices Act of 1977.” (APM 160-20-c (5)). Academic employees may gain access to confidential information about themselves as defined by APM 160-20-b (3) by making a request in email to the office that retains the records. (For example, requests for dean’s office records may be made to the appropriate dean.)
Requests for records retained in the Academic Personnel Office (APO) can be made in writing by completing the request form entitled: REQUEST BY ACADEMIC EMPLOYEE FOR ACCESS TO RECORDS. Please submit the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org. The requestor must present identification matching the name(s) on the form. Arrangements will be made to verify identification via video conferencing (e.g, Zoom).
Questions may be directed to email@example.com.
Note: Information about employment with the University of California may be retained in various locations (in addition to the personnel file in APO). An academic appointee may have the right to review other files stored as part of the employment history. Depending on the nature of the request, files about employment history could be found at the following offices/units:
- Home department
- School dean’s office
- Academic Senate Office
- Payroll Office
- Labor Relations
- Benefits Office/Human Resources
- Risk Management
- Retirement Administration Service Center (RASC – Oakland)
- Occupational Health and Safety
- Office of International Affairs
- Office of the Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination
Requests for Public Records must be submitted through the Office of Legal Affairs. See https://legalaffairs.ucmerced.edu/public-records.