Skip to content

Non-Senate Faculty (NSF) Excellence/Merit Review Guidelines


The following guidelines have been established as outlined in Artice 7b, "Process for Initial Continuing Appointments" and Article 22 of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the University of California (UC) and the AFT (American Federation of Teachers), which makes provisions for Excellence Reviews and merit increases based upon academic attainment, experience, and performance.  The following guidelines are intended to provide direction for all levels of review, in addition to that provided in the MOU, MAPP and APM.  Departments and faculty are encouraged to provide any additional information that might be relevant to the assessment of the candidate for the review period.

General Guidelines

  1. Candidates are strongly encouraged to submit a Bio-Bibliography, which will include a listing of all scheduled teaching as uploaded by the Academic Personnel Office on Faculty Success.  The Bio-bib is a standardized campus document used in the academic personnel review process and will, therefore, be familiar to and easily recognized by the campus reviewers.
  2. In addition to a Bio-Bibliography and current curriculum vitae, all candidates should provide a Self-Statement.  Such a Statement should describe the candidate's goals and objectives for delivery or creation of curriculum and pedagogy and his or her accomplishments during the review period.  If the candidate's normal course assignments include diverse offerings, any difference in approach to teaching should be described.  A Self-Statement should serve to supplement, explicate, and amplify, rather than merely reiterate the information and data contained in the Case File.  The Case File as assembled by the candidate should contain all relevant backup evidence, such as teaching evaluations, peer reviews, course materials (syllabi or assignments, for example), etc.  The candidate should also refer to the guidelines for the Case Analysis below (2.a.c) in preparing the Self-Statement.
  3. The Case Analysis prepared by the review committee should include a detailed description of the candidate's accomplishments in the discipline/field and contributions to teaching excellence during the review period.
    • Detailed information reflecting the candidate's performance, expertise in the field, and contributions to the instructional mission during the review period should be provided.  Such information may include but is not limited to: student evaluation information, i.e., summaries of teaching scores and student comments; assessments of colleagues and experts in the Unit and/or the field; and evidence of the development of new and effective techniques for instruction and instruction materials, innovation in pedagogical approach, curriculum development, and attention to student learning outcomes.  In addition to classroom activity, contributions may include efforts to support and administer the department's instructional mission such as coordination of courses.
    • Information about academic attainment may include but is not limited to: teaching awards, invitations to conferences, recognition for innovation in the teaching field from the scholarly community and other relevant honors.
    • Due attention should be paid to the variety of demands placed on instructors by the types of teaching contributions called for at various levels.  The Case Analysis should contain information that is reflective of the candidate's overall teaching responsibilities, and the overall performance of the NSF (Non-Senate Faculty) should be judged with proper reference to those responsibilities.  The quantities measured in student evaluations cannot be the only source of evaluative information provided.
    • The Case Analysis may also contain information reflecting the comparison of the candidate's accomplishments to the norms and expectations of the Unit as represented in data collected by the Unit documenting average teaching scores, test scores, and other such quantitative measurements, if available.
  4. Excellence Reviews are to be conducted during the academic year in which the 12th semester of service falls.  If the 12th semester should occur in the Fall semester (typically due to an initial hire date in mid-year), the NSF will be reappointed to a 13th semester (Spring) while the review is completed.  A positive action will be made retroactive to the beginning of the 13th semester, while a negative review will result in the end of employment at the conclusion of the 13th semester.
  5. An Excellence Review should be a review of the candidate's full career (i.e., six years) at UC Merced. While an improvement over time is to be expected and highlighted, materials such as assessments and evaluations from the full six years should be included and discussed. However, Merit Reviews must be conducted at least every three (3) years, and should assess performance during the review period only; that is, the period of time since the last review.  A merit review may be deferred for up to one year at the request of the candidate.  Such requests should be submitted to the Dean's office on or before the date on which materials are due to the School (usually July 15).
  6. If an eligible candidate chooses not to submit materials to his or her School for an Excellence Review on or before the deadline date, that eligibility will be considered to be forfeited.  If a candidate for a Merit Review does not submit materials in a timely fashion, however, and does not request a deferral, the School shall assemble a Case File based on the materials available in the School as of the due date.
  7. While Merit Reviews must be conducted at the prescribed intervals, granting of a merit increase as a result of a review is not automatic.  An outcome of "No Merit" is possible if the standards for a merit have not been met.  An assessment of meritorious performance, however, will result in a merit increase of at least 6%.

If additional guidelines for merit reviews for NSF are issued/developed, the UC-AFT shall be notified of such guidelines as they are developed.  Upon request, the UC-AFT shall have the opportunity to meet and discuss the effect of such guidelines.