Frequently Asked Questions: Academic Coordinator Titles

Preparation of the Dossier

  • As a member of the Academic Coordinator series, where do I find information on the personnel review process for my series?
  • Academic Affairs procedures are outlined in the Academic Personnel Manual (UCD 220 and UCD 220AF). The review process is summarized in the Delegation of Authority. For all academic titles, the Vice Provost-Academic Affairs sends an Annual Call to the deans which is updated and issued after the end of each academic year. It outlines information on changes in the APM and a timeline for submitting documentation for dossiers to the Office of the Vice Provost. Each dean provides his/her deadlines for specific types of actions. The Annual Call, APM, and Delegation of Authority Chart are available on the Vice Provost-Academic Affairs web page. Academic Coordinators should review the specific criteria for advancement outlined in APM 375 and UCD 220AF.
  • What is the normal time between merit reviews, i.e., how often will I be reviewed?
  • The normal period between merit reviews is two years at Academic Coordinator I and II, and three years for Academic Coordinator III. Movement between the levels is not expected, unless there are significant changes in the scope and complexity of the program being coordinated. The specific salary range and years at rank/step are listed on the Academic Salary Scales, Tables 35, 36, 36N linked from the Vice Provost--Academic Affairs webpage. 
  • When will I be notified that I am up for a merit review and that I am expected to prepare a dossier?
  • In the spring/early summer each dean's office sends to department/program chairs a list of individuals who are eligible to be reviewed for merit during the next academic year. The chair (or his/her delegate) then notifies each eligible individual. Due dates for dossiers are set by the Deans.
  • On what criteria will my work in the review period be evaluated?
  • Each AF title series has its own criteria for merit review based on the specific responsibilities delineated in the position description. For Academic Coordinators these include the following:
    - Coordination of academic programs
    - Professional competence
    - University and public service

    These criteria on which merits are evaluated are specified in the APM 375-11.
  • When a candidate has two appointments under separate titles, how is the dossier prepared?
  • A candidate with two separate appointments may need to prepare two dossiers, following the guidelines for each title series. The dossiers will be reviewed following the procedures for each title series, so it is necessary to assure that each dossier addresses the criteria for evaluation specific to that title series.

    For Academic Coordinators with a split appointment as a Unit 18 Lecturer, covered by the MOU, the Unit 18 Lecturer position will be reviewed at the department level according to College or School guidelines whereas the Academic Coordinator title will be reviewed by the AF Administrative Series Personnel Committee according to the guidelines in APM 375 and UCD 220AF.
  • How is the performance record documented for evaluation?
  • The performance record is assessed according to the candidate’s position description and the criteria for review listed in APM 375. Documentation (supplied by the candidate and/or the department) is needed to support performance descriptions in each category, and may consist of the following:

    Coordination of academic programs (describe the following):
    - Academic program planning and development
    - Assessment of program and constituency needs
    - Evaluation of academic program effectiveness
    - Development of proposals for extramural funding of campus programs
    - Liaison representation with other agencies and institutions in the public and private sectors
    - Supervision of other academic appointees or staff

    Professional Competence:
    Academic Coordinators will provide intellectual leadership and scholarship to their programs; describe how this has been accomplished. Additionally, Academic Coordinators will demonstrate continued growth and development in their profession or discipline.

    University and public service:
    - List/describe evidence of participation in the governance activities or administration of the department or unit and the University;
    - List/describe evidence of participation in public service 
  • Are awards, prizes, and commendations considered in the merit or promotion review?
  • Yes. A list of honors and awards is included as part of the dossier. They should be fully described in the department letter and the Candidate’s Statement. Letters of thanks or appreciation for service to the University, the government, a professional society, or other organization, while not included in the dossier, can be discussed in the department letter and the Candidate's Statement as indicators of the impact of the candidate’s service or success in their position.
  • Once the candidate, or the department, assembles all of the above information, how is it presented in the dossier?
  • The candidate may send the information described in questions 6, 7, and 8 to the Chair with/without further commentary; or he/she may send a Candidate’s Statement (UCD 220-IV F.2) which would be used by the Chair in writing the department letter. The Candidate’s Statement would also be considered by the Peer Group and the Voting Group. It may also be included in the dossier that goes forward for review outside the department. The following examples describe the kinds of information that may be included in the Candidate’s Statement, the Peer Group Report, and the Department Letter.

    Candidate’s Statement (UCD 220-IV F.2): Each candidate may include a personal statement in the file (up to 5 pages), describing their perspective on any or all aspects of their performance during the period of review. Although optional, it is an opportunity for the candidate to describe: significant accomplishments during the review period; philosophy of service; and any unusual circumstances, both good and bad, that have affected performance in the various areas. For example:
    - Description of the significance of the program;
    - Problems which have occurred with an aspect of the program, and any successful solutions the candidate has developed;
    - Explanation of the significance of any recognition awards or honors received during the review period;
    - Description of any particularly noteworthy achievement relating to a particular aim of the program.

    Peer Group Report (Optional inclusion in dossier): The Peer Group which was specifically selected according to the department plan, evaluates the candidate’s performance, reviews the written materials and advises the department on the merits of the personnel action.

    Department Letter: The letter is written by the chair (or a designated senior member of the department) and reflects the department’s evaluation (not merely the chair’s) of the adequacy of performance of the candidate -- i.e., whether he/she meets departmental expectations and goals in the various areas of responsibility. In addition to the analysis of work performance in the required areas (program management, professional competence, university and public service), the letter includes the views of the peer group reviewing the dossier, as well as the official vote (i.e., that of the approved Voting Group) including the number of yes, no, and abstention votes and any reasons expressed for the no or abstention votes. 
  • Does the candidate see the department letter?
  • The candidate must be provided an opportunity to review the materials before they are reviewed by the Voting Group. The Department letter, which contains the vote is also provided to the candidate before the file goes forward for review. This gives the candidate an opportunity to alert the chair to any factual errors.
  • What if the candidate does not agree with the department letter?
  • Although the content of the letter is not negotiable, the candidate should alert the chair to factual errors. Once these errors are corrected, the candidate can write a rebuttal if there is disagreement with the department’s recommendation or to clarify statements made in the letter. Any rebuttal letter must be submitted within 10 calendar days from the candidate’s receipt of the department letter for review.
  • What is the Candidate’s Disclosure Certificate?
  • The Candidate’s Disclosure Certificate is an electronic signature that must be signed before a dossier can be reviewed. A candidate will receive an email request to log into MIV, review the complete dossier which includes the Department Letter, redacted extramural letters (if applicable), and Recommended Action Form (RAF). Selecting the "Sign My Candidate's Disclosure Certificate" button constitutes an electronic signature. No one but the Candidate can sign a Candidate's Disclosure Certificate.
  • In summary, what documents are in the dossier, or provided as supporting documents, when the dossier leaves the department?
  • Dossier Inclusions:
    Department Letter (including the vote)
    Peer Group Report (optional, depending on the Peer and Voting Group Plan for the unit)
    Candidate’s Disclosure Certificate
    Candidate’s Statement (optional)
    Position Description
    Organizational Chart
    List of Honors and Awards (if applicable)
    List of Grants (if applicable)   

    Supporting Materials (To be returned to the candidate):
    This will vary according to the position description, but it might include a brief example of a proposal developed by the candidate, or evaluations of a training session conducted by the candidate.

Review of the Dossier

  • What is the process by which dossiers are reviewed, how long does it take, and who does it?
  • Department: Once the dossier has been assembled, it is reviewed within the department by a Peer Group that will provide evaluative comments to the voting members of the department (i.e., the Voting Group). The latter will review the entire dossier, including the Peer Group comments and vote on the action. Each department has an approved Peer and Voting Group plan that details the steps taken in the department. The opinions of the approved Peer Group and the opinions and vote of the approved Voting Group at the department or unit level should be described separately within a single department letter. The chair may include comments from the Peer Group review. The complete dossier is then forwarded for review.

    Dean/Associate Dean for Academic Affairs/Personnel: Dossiers are sent to the Administrative Series Personnel Committee (ASPC), the members of which evaluate the materials and add their written recommendation to the file. All of these materials are then reviewed by the Dean, who makes the final decision.

    Process/Time Frame: The length of time necessary for the review process varies with the complexity of the review. Staff members check the file at all stages to ensure that all necessary documents are included and that the correct processes have been followed; every effort is made to expedite the file through the process. Review by a personnel committee may take some months. Most final decisions are made by the end of the academic year (June 30).

Reviewer's Concerns

The following areas are the focus of the reviewers (Peer Group, Voting Group, Dean, Personnel Committee, and Vice Provost-Academic Affairs) who evaluate the dossier (see: APM 375). A candidate’s performance will be judged on the quality of the specific areas of responsibility as identified in the position description and criteria for the position (APM 375).

Coordination of Academic Programs

  • What is meant by “coordination of programs”?
  • Academic Coordinators have the responsibility for coordinating one or more academic programs. These activities may include one or more of these areas:
    - Academic program planning and development;
    - Curriculum development;
    - Assessment of an academic program and constituency needs;
    - Evaluation of academic program effectiveness and success;
    - Development of proposals for extramural funding of campus programs and identification of support services;
    - Liaison representation with other agencies and institutions in the public and private sectors;
    - Supervision and leadership of other academic appointees and staff.

Professional Competence

  • What is meant by “professional competence”?
  • The candidate's professional activities should be evaluated for:
    - Evidence of achievement and leadership in the area of responsibility;
    - Evidence of professional development or utilization of new approaches and techniques may be considered. 

University and Public Service

  • What type of University service is expected of Academic Coordinators?
  • University service includes:
    - Participation in the activities of the Academic Federation and/or department, college, campus, and, systemwide committees;
    - Other service activities may include advising students associated with the programs being administered, attending campus functions associated           with the programs being administered, etc.
  • Are some activities more important than others; i.e., do reviewers give more credit for some activities?
  • Yes. Reviewers recognize that there are hierarchies of activities and that the most important assignments are those requiring lots of time, effort, and/or expertise. Specific credit is given for extraordinary activities like chairing committees/panels/societies/public service organizations, acting as an expert witness, representing the University, organizing a large meeting, giving invited lectures or keynote speeches, etc.

Special Review Considerations

Appeal: An Academic Coordinator has the right to appeal a denied advancement action within 30 calendar days of notification of denial by submitting an appeal letter via the chair, to the dean, addressing each of the specific criticisms which led to the denial recommendation by the reviewer(s).

Term Appointment: A term appointment is an appointment for a specific period that ends on a specified date. An appointment with an established ending date is self-terminating subject to the notice requirements of APM 137. The University has the discretion to appoint and reappoint non-Senate academic appointees with term appointments; reappointment is not automatic. All appointees in the Academic Coordinator series have term appointments.