Upgrade Requests


Overview (PDF)

Upgrade Request Form (PDF)  Word

A request to recruit for a ladder rank faculty member above the Assistant level requires the approval of the Associate Vice Provost, Academic Affairs. When making the request the form at the link below can be used. In addition, an overview of how to fill out the form is included. Exemplars of the various types of requests can also be found below.

  • If the form is not used the various requirements on the form still need to be addressed
  • In lieu of submitting a signed form, the form can be emailed to Academic Affairs as long as the approval of the Department Chair and Dean is clearly indicated.

Overview (PDF)

Upgrade Request Form (PDF)   Word


June 2014

In recognition of the many faculty recruitments anticipated in the forthcoming academic year, we would like to provide you with guidance about how Academic Affairs can help you obtain expeditious approval for searches when departments aspire to hire ladder faculty above the Assistant Professor rank. Experience proves that competition for top faculty candidates is fierce, and acting purposefully and swiftly to advertise, interview, and make offers is integral to recruitment success.

Although applicant pools for Assistant Professorships tend to be more diverse than those at other ranks, we recognize this is not uniformly the case. Moreover, we appreciate that there are sometimes compelling justifications for expanding the applicant pool beyond Assistant Professors, always maintaining the same requisite rigorous standards of excellence, yet without compromising our ability to choose from the widest possible pool of applicants. We are receptive to and welcome such well-reasoned requests to justify upgrades.

For upgrades at the high Assistant/Associate rank, we will act favorably when departments can provide an overview of workforce demography and assurance that the diversity of the applicant pool will not be negatively impacted. Such upgrade requests require the department to provide 8 or more names of potential applicants to be contacted individually. Moreover, the inclusion of names of women and people of color already contacted by the department, and who have expressed strong interest in applying, will considerably strengthen the upgrade request.

Upgrade requests for full Professors require commensurately greater justification due to the often-formidable challenges of attracting a diverse applicant pool at this rank. In addition to the justifications expected for Associate Professors, examples of strong validations for hiring at this rank include recruitment of an Endowed Chair, replacement of a disciplinary/department leader, and a paucity of Professors to effectively mentor, guide and potentially collaborate with departmental faculty in lower ranks.

We also encourage departments with multi-year hiring plans to consider broad searches that will lead to larger and more diverse applicant pools, and that may also facilitate making more than one hire. Such searches are highly advantageous and efficient because of their greater likelihood of discovering unexpectedly superior candidates, and can lead to earlier-than-anticipated hires.

Recent Policy Changes - January 2013

Building diversity in our faculty is a high priority for UC Davis, and national data consistently indicate that recruitment pools are more diverse at early-career ranks than senior ranks. Accordingly, extra effort is needed to build diversity of the applicant pool when recruiting faculty above the Assistant level. To support an upgrade request, departments must include a list of at least eight women and/or members of under-represented groups who would be attractive recruitment targets for their faculty position. Moreover, each person on that list must be contacted personally, and strongly encouraged to apply, by the department chair, search committee chair or another search committee member. This requirement applies to all upgrade requests except those involving a narrow clinical recruitment where only a few applicants are anticipated. Even in these latter cases, upgrade requests will be viewed more favorably if the search plan identifies at least some women and other under-represented groups as targets for direct recruitment.