May, 27, 2021
We are sending you a revised email below with a minor correction. The anticipated date for the change should be AY 22-23 (not AY 21-22). Please disregard the earlier email and use this as guidance. Thank you for your attention.
Dear deans and department chairs,
As many of you know, in the UC system, Step VI requires a major overall career review and is granted based on “evidence of sustained and continuing excellence in each of the following three categories: (1) scholarship or creative achievement, (2) University teaching, and (3) service.” In addition, Step VI expects “great academic distinction, recognized nationally [in] scholarly or creative achievement or teaching.” The review also typically follows no less than three years at Step V. See APM 220-18-b.4, below.
Given the significance of this career advancement, it made some sense to obtain external letters. This was actually the norm across the system until very recently. As of this year, most UC campuses no longer require these letters. Right now, UC Merced is one of three campuses that continues this practice (along with UC Riverside and UC San Francisco). See MAPP 2014 “Preparation of the Case Review File – E. Extramural Letters”, below.
After early informal consultation with other UC campuses as well as our own CAP Chair and CAP Vice Chair, we (APO) will begin taking the steps to change our current local policy on obtaining external letters for Step VI Professor cases. We hope to stop requiring soliciting external letters for Step VI for the AY 22-23 review cycle. This will entail research on current systemwide trends, further consultation with CAP, consultation with other Senate committees, discussion with the EVC/Provost as well as with school staff, department chairs, and deans, and finally, implementation of relevant revisions to the MAPP.
For all Step VI cases reviewed in AY 21-22, external letters should continue to be solicited per our current policy and procedures.
Teenie Matlock, Vice Provost - Academic Personnel
APM 220-18-b.4. The normal period of service at step is three years in each of the first four steps. Service at Step V may be of indefinite duration. Advancement to Step VI usually will not occur after less than three years of service at Step V. This involves an overall career review and will be granted on evidence of sustained and continuing excellence in each of the following three categories: (1) scholarship or creative achievement, (2) University teaching, and (3) service. Above and beyond that, great academic distinction, recognized nationally, will be required in scholarly or creative achievement or teaching. Service at Professor, Step VI or higher may be of indefinite duration. Advancement from Professor, Step VI to Step VII, from Step VII to Step VIII, and from Step VIII to Step IX usually will not occur after less than three years of service at the lower step, and will only be granted on evidence of continuing achievement at the level required for advancement to Step VI.
MAPP 2014 “Preparation of the Case Review File – E. Extramural Letters.” Letters of reference are required for all appointments and promotions, and for advancement to Professor, Step VI and Professor, Above Scale… For promotions to the highest levels, such as Professor Step VI and Above Scale, as well as for accelerations, it is helpful to have some letters from within the UC system that speak directly to the issue of the appropriateness of the step.