Frequently Asked Questions: Adjunct Professor Titles

Preparation of the Dossier

  • As an Adjunct Professor, 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 merit and promotion 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 webpage. Adjunct Professors should review the specific criteria for advancement outlined in APM 280 and UCD 280.
  • What is the normal time between merit and promotion reviews, i.e., how often will I be reviewed?
  • The normal period between merit reviews is two years at Assistant rank and Associate rank Steps I-III, and three years at Associate Steps IV-V and full Adjunct Professor rank. Promotion to the Associate rank entails a career review of the period since terminal degree, with particular emphasis on accomplishments since appointment to Assistant rank in the series. Promotion to full title (i.e., to Adjunct Professor) entails a review of the entire period spent at Associate rank. The specific salary range and years at rank/step are listed on the University-wide Academic Salary Scales, Table 1 for Professorial rank, Academic Year, linked from the Vice Provost-Academic Affairs webpage.
  • When will I be notified that I am up for a merit or promotion 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 and promotion during the next academic year. The chair (or his/her delegate) then notifies each eligible individual. Due dates for dossiers span the period November to April, and the specific dates for file submission to the office of the Vice Provost-Academic Affairs are listed in the Annual Call. For redelegated actions, due dates are set by the deans.
  • On what criteria will my work in the review period be evaluated?
  • As specified in APM 280-10, Adjunct Professors are evaluated on the following four criteria:
    - Teaching
    - Research/creative activity
    - Professional achievement and activity
    - University and public service
  • Specifically, what is in the dossier and who puts it together?
  • The dossier is a summary of the body of work during the period of review presented for review.  Departments often have a designated staff member who works with the chair and the candidate in assembling the dossier. The candidate’s performance in each of the designated categories in question #4 (teaching, research/creative activity, professional achievement, university and public service) will be described by the candidate, either in an informal letter to the Chair or in a formal Candidate's Statement (UCD 220-IV F. 2) that can be included in the dossier.  The dossier also includes: a list of all student evaluations submitted, teaching, advising and curricular development record, list of service activities, a list of grants, honors and awards, and a publication list.

    In the case of promotions, and merits to Adjunct Professor Step VI and to Above Scale, a list of extramural reviewers who have been contacted and their confidential letters in response are part of the dossier voted on by the department Voting Group and submitted with the dossier. The list of reviewers includes notation as to whether they were suggested by the candidate or the department, and whether they responded. This list is a confidential document and is therefore not reviewed by the candidate.
  • How is the performance record documented for evaluation?
  • The performance record is assessed according to the criteria for review listed above (question #4). Documentation (supplied by the candidate or the department) is needed to support performance descriptions in each category, and it can consist of the following:

    - Teaching assignment record (course numbers/titles/credits, class sizes)
    - Description of any teaching or training grants
    - Number of undergraduate and graduate students advised
    - List of postdoctoral fellows trained in research (and where they are now)
    - Syllabi and any substantive pedagogical material developed
    - Teaching recognition/awards
    - Teaching evaluation summaries for every course, and original evaluations for two of them

    Research/Creative Activity:
    List of publications in the standardized format; letters of acceptance of articles that are in press; copies of all of these publications
    - Brief description of each publication which details candidate's specific role in each article (if multi-authored), and the roles of the other authors
    - List/description of research/creative activity presentations (i.e., talks/posters at meetings, exhibitions, etc.)
    - List of any reviews of the publications or presentations
    - List/description of any grants supporting the research (i.e., name of Principal Investigator and all co-investigators, title of grant, amount of funding, inclusive dates, and a brief description of the purpose of the grant and the role of the candidate).

    Professional Achievement and Activity:
    Participation in activities specifically related to one's discipline/expertise, such as:
    - Chairing a session at a research meeting
    - Serving as officer, or on a committee, of a professional (discipline) society/public health organization (e.g., American - Physiological Society, American Cancer Society, etc.)
    - Giving a keynote address
    - Serving as an editor or editorial board member of a scholarly journal
    - Writing an invited review article
    - Organizing a research meeting/symposium, etc.

    University and public service:

    University Service: Participation in the governance of the university, maintenance of its facilities, provision of services to its faculty and students, such as:
    - Committee assignments (departmental, college, graduate group, campus, systemwide): list with inclusive dates and with role
    - Chairing a committee
    - Overseeing department/college facilities
    - Managing a department website
    - Mentoring students or junior faculty, etc.

    Public Service: Participation in local/state/federal programs, review panels and committees where the candidate's expertise is needed or in public organizations related to the candidate's discipline. For example:
    - Government committees (review panels, study sections, advisory committees, etc.)
    - Briefing legislative staff
    - Testifying at bill hearings, etc.
  • Are awards, prizes, and commendations considered in the merit or promotion review?
  • Yes. They should be fully described in the department letter and the Candidate’s Statement. A list of honors, awards and prizes is also included as part of the dossier. Letters of thanks/appreciation for service to the University, the government, a research society, etc., while not included in the dossier, can be discussed in the departmental letter as indicators of the impact of the candidate’s service. Prizes, commendations, honors for research, as well as awards given to students/fellows working with the candidate, should be described under the Research category. Awards for teaching should be described under the Teaching category.
  • 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 #5, 6, and 7 to the Chair with/without further commentary; or he/she may send a Candidate’s Statement (UCD 220-IV F.2) that would be used by the Chair in writing the Department Letter. The Candidate's Statement would also be considered by the Voting Group and may optionally be included in the dossier that goes forward for review outside the department. The following examples describe the kinds of information which may be included in the Candidate’s Statement 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 in their own words not only important contributions to UC Davis and significant career accomplishments during the review period, but also their philosophy of teaching and service. They also have the opportunity to describe any unusual circumstances, both good and bad, that have affected performance in the various areas of responsibility. For example:

    - Teaching: Description of any problems that may have occurred and any successful solutions the candidate has developed; description of any newly developed lectures or courses; description of any invited lectures which the candidate has given in his/her own department, in another department, or even outside the university;

    - Research: Description of the significance of the research, any unusual problems which had to be overcome, or any breakthroughs which pushed the research forward; description of any new grants which have been obtained and whether they support the previous projects, or whether they are starting a new area of research;

    - Explanation of the significance of any awards or honors received during the review period; description of any awards given to the candidate's students;

    - Description of any difficult or time-consuming new assignments where new strategies had to be developed in order to accomplish the goals; or describe any particularly noteworthy committee assignments that could be considered a significant career asset.

    Department Letter: The letter is written by the chair (or a designated senior faculty member) and is based on the information submitted by the candidate, including supporting documents. It reflects the department’s evaluation 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 performance in the required areas (teaching, research/creative activity, professional competence, and university and public service), the letter may include the views of departmental members reviewing the dossier, as well as the official vote (i.e., that of the approved Voting Group). The vote includes the number of yes, no, and abstention votes and any reasons expressed for the no or abstention votes. There are Sample Departmental Letters in the APM.
  • When are extramural (non-UC Davis) letters needed
  • For promotions, for merit advancement to Adjunct Professor, Step VI and for merit advancement to Above Scale, evaluation of the quality of the work or service is sought from extramural individuals who would have the expertise/knowledge to provide an objective evaluation of the candidate’s accomplishments during the period of review. Such external reviewers could include directors of government programs or agencies with whom the candidate has interacted, faculty at other research institutions or other experts in the field, etc. The candidate provides the chair with a list of extramural reviewers and their qualifications to serve as reviewers. The chair, sometimes after consultation with senior members of the department, generates another list that is not revealed to the candidate. The chair then selects names from each list and solicits the letters. The combined list of reviewers who were contacted is included in the dossier, with notation as to whether the names were suggested by the candidate or the department and a notation for "decline to write".

    Letters can be requested from faculty on other UC campuses, particularly from people holding comparable positions who are familiar with the candidate's work. The confidential letters in response to the solicitation are added to the file by the chair as soon as they are received. They are confidential documents so the candidate will be shown redacted copies of these letters.
  • How many extramural letters are needed? What is meant by "arm's length" reviewers?
  • A minimum of five letters are expected to be included in the review dossier. Departments will always solicit letters from more than five individuals to ensure they are able to receive five responses. "Arm's length" means reviewers who are qualified to evaluate the work, but have no personal connection with the candidate -- e.g., they are not a recent (i.e., not in the last five years) mentor, collaborator, or advisor. This assures that reviewers do not have a conflict of interest. Campus reviewers will look to see if the extramural referees:

    - Are well known/respected in their field;
    - Are at least at a rank comparable to the position being sought if they are university employees;
    - Discuss the impact of the candidate’s research or service;
    - Consider the candidate’s career to be on an upward trajectory;
    - Discuss the context in which they have known the candidate (below their signature line).
  • What supportive documentation is appended to the dossier?
  • The following types of documents in support of teaching or research efforts are to be submitted in a separate envelope or box along with the dossier:

    - Copies of all research publications in the review period, including articles, books, art work (descriptions/pictures of it, CDs, DVDs, etc.), or other creative activity related to the candidate's position description;
    - Summaries of teaching evaluations from all courses and original copies of teaching evaluations from two different courses;
    - Teaching materials, such as syllabi, textbooks, course guides, etc. written by the candidate.
  • 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 Departmental Letter, which contains the vote is also provided to the candidate before the file goes forward to the dean’s office for review. This gives the candidate an opportunity to alert the chair to any factual errors.
  • What can the candidate do if he/she doesn’t agree with the department letter?
  • Although the content of the letter is not negotiable, the candidate should alert the chair to factual errors. After these errors are corrected, the candidate can write a rebuttal if he/she still disagrees with the department’s recommendation or wants to clarify statements made in the letter. Any rebuttal letter must be submitted within 10 calendar days from the candidate’s receipt of the departmental letter and his/her signature on the disclosure form (indicating that she/he has read the file and certifies that it is complete and factually correct). A rebuttal may be sent directly to the dean or Vice Provost-Academic Affairs if the candidate does not want to submit it via the departmental chair.
  • What is the Candidate’s Disclosure Certificate?
  • This is a standard form which the candidate reviews and signs, verifying that he/she has seen the non-confidential content of the file and that it is complete and free of factual errors, and also that a summary or redacted copy of confidential materials has been provided.
  • In summary, what documents are in the dossier, or appended to it, when it leaves the department?
  • The Adjunct Professor candidate can use the Checklist for Merits and Promotions form on the Vice Provost-Academic Affairs’ website, to determine whether they have included all the necessary information in the dossier.

    Dossier Inclusions:
    - Department Letter (including the vote and peer evaluation of teaching for promotion actions)Candidate’s Disclosure Certificate
    - List of Invited Extramural Reviewers (for promotion actions)
    - Extramural Reviewers Letters (for promotion actions, professor steps VI and above scale)
    - Candidate’s Statement (optional)
    - List of student evaluations submitted
    - Teaching, Advising, and Curricular Development Record
    - List of service activity
    - Publication list
    - List of contributions to jointly authored works
    - List of grants, honors and awards

    Appended Materials (To be returned to the candidate):
    Student Evaluations (summaries from all courses and original evaluations from two courses)
    Publications/Evidence of creative activity
    Educational Materials written by the candidate

    The use of the MyInfoVault (MIV) program for all merits or promotions is highly encouraged.  Please contact your department MSO for further information.


Review of the dossier

  • What is the dean’s letter?
  • After the dossier leaves the department, it goes to the dean’s office. For actions that are redelegated to the dean for final action, the dean's office sends the dossier to the FPC which evaluates the dossier and appended materials and makes a recommendation on the action. This recommendation then goes to the dean for final decision. In general, the dean writes comments only if he/she disagrees with the recommendation of the FPC.

    However, if the action is non-redelegated, the dean (or Associate Dean for Personnel) reviews the whole file and writes a letter of support or non-support for the action. The dean’s letter becomes part of the file that then goes forward for further review by the CAP and then to the Vice Provost-Academic Affairs for final decision.
  • What is the process by which dossiers are reviewed, how long does it take, and who does it?
  • The process is summarized in the Delegation of Authority.

    Department: Once the dossier has been assembled, it is reviewed by the chair who will provide evaluative comments to the voting members of the department (i.e., the Voting Group). The latter will review the entire dossier and vote on the action. Academic Federation votes and Academic Senate votes are tallied separately and reported in two separate department letters for those AF members who have teaching responsibilities. (However, only one letter needs to include a detailed evaluation/discussion about the Candidate's performance unless the views of the AS and the AF voters differ). The complete dossier is then forwarded to the dean.
    Dean/Associate Dean for Personnel: When advancement is a redelegated action, the dean's office sends all of the materials to Faculty Personnel Committee (FPC) for review and recommendation. The dean makes the final decision after reviewing all of the information, including the recommendations of the FPC. In the case of non-redelegated actions, the dean reviews the materials after receipt from the department, evaluates the record, and makes a written recommendation (with justification) that is added to the materials sent forward to the office of the Vice Provost—Academic Personnel.
    Vice Provost-Academic Affairs: For non-redelegated actions, all materials are sent to CAP, the members of which evaluate the materials and add their written recommendation to the file. All of these materials are then reviewed by the Vice Provost, who makes the final decision based on all the information in the file.
    Process/Time Frame: The length of time necessary for the whole process varies with the complexity of the review. Staff check the file at all stages (Department, Dean’s Office, and Vice Provost’s Office) 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. While redelegated merit actions may need only a few months to reach the Dean for a final decision, non-redelegated actions which have to also be reviewed by a personnel committee and the Vice Provost may take several months longer. Most final decisions are made by the end of the academic year (June), but any that are not completed and had met the deadline leaving the department, will be completed during the summer or early fall and are made effective retroactive to July 1st.
  • What personnel committee has responsibility for reviewing Adjunct Professors?
  • Because Adjunct Professors teach, their dossiers are reviewed in the same way as AS faculty -- i.e., by the FPC at the dean's level and by the AS Committee on Academic Personnel (CAP). Appeals of all actions are handled by CAPAC--the Senate Appeals Committee.


Reviewer's Concerns

The following topics are typical of the concerns of the various reviewers (Peer Group, Department Chair, Voting Group, Dean, Personnel Committee, and Vice Provost-Academic Affairs) who will evaluate the file. 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 (See: APM 280 and UCD 280).


  • What teaching documentation is needed for the teaching review?
  • The file should contain a complete record of all teaching during the review period: lectures, labs, discussion sessions, one-on-one teaching, etc. The department should already have student evaluations for all courses as well as the official DESII list of courses (titles/hours/credits) taught by each departmental member each year. The candidate should check the list of teaching evaluations and the Teaching, Advising, and Curricular Development Record form and make sure his/hers are accurate. For example, he/she may need to provide additional information on teaching done outside the department -- i.e., in graduate group courses or as a guest lecturer in other departments. Additionally, he/she may need to request evaluations for these other courses from the Instructors of Record. For all promotions, peer evaluation of teaching is required. If there is no departmental teaching committee that routinely reviews teaching for the department, the chair may ask specific faculty member(s) to personally evaluate the lectures, labs and teaching materials, etc. of the candidate and report back to the voting members of the department.
  • What are reviewers' particular concerns when evaluating the teaching record?
  • It is important that the candidate understand what is considered an average teaching load and distribution, as well as what is considered acceptable student evaluation scores, in his/her own department and college/school.

    For example, if the department faculty scores on teaching evaluations average 3.0 (out of a total of 5) and the candidate’s score for effectiveness of teaching is 3.2, departments may describe the teaching quality in different ways: one might say the teaching was good, i.e., better than average; another might say the teaching was average and didn’t meet the goal of “very good to excellent”.

    In evaluating the teaching record, reviewers consider the following questions (where appropriate for the candidate’s title series):
    - Is the candidate carrying his/her share of the teaching load as specified in the position description/percent time?
    - What is the nature of the courses taught (i.e., lower division, upper division, graduate, professional, lecture, discussion, laboratory, seminar, etc.)?
    - Has the candidate developed/used appropriate pedagogical materials for the courses?
    - Are the courses taught with the appropriate rigor?
    - Does the candidate demonstrate excellence in teaching?
    - Do student and peer evaluations indicate excellence?
    - Is there evidence the candidate improved in areas where student or peer comments had provided constructive criticism?
    - When there has been a serious problem with a class, has the candidate sought help from the department chair, the Teaching Resources Center, or a departmental mentor?
    - Is the department satisfied with the level of learning in fundamental undergraduate courses; i.e., are the students well prepared for subsequent advanced courses?
    - Are there graduate students working with the candidate and are they making good progress toward finishing degree requirements?
    - Are graduate students getting good jobs or postdoctoral positions?
  • With regard to quality, what documents are usually submitted to indicate quality of teaching?
  • Confidential student evaluations should be sought for all courses. The department usually arranges to have courses evaluated, numerical results tallied, and comments recorded. Sometimes the department uses a standard form, which doesn't specifically include guest lecturers, so the Instructor of Record should do that separately. Student evaluations are required for all merit actions, while student and peer evaluations are required for all promotion actions. Faculty who evaluate those courses for the department usually include an assessment of the effectiveness of teaching materials, such as syllabi, slides, PowerPoint presentations, overheads, exams, textbook assignments, as well as the lecture or lab presentations/discussions themselves. If original teaching materials such as a textbook, videotape, CD, or website have been developed by the candidate during the period of review, copies should be submitted with the packet as part of the supporting documentation for the teaching record.
  • What kinds of teaching assignments are included, outside of lecture, lab, and conference/discussion sessions? Is off-campus teaching included?
  • All teaching should be reported (even if there is no course number), including one-on-one teaching, demonstrations, teaching of other faculty, discussion sessions in the dormitories, etc. Off-campus teaching (e.g., courses or lectures for the government, community groups, hospital groups, research societies, other colleges and universities, etc.) should also be reported although the weight they are given will depend on how well they fit the candidate’s job criteria.


Research/Creative Activity

  • What is meant by 'research or creative activity'?
  • In the APM, 'research' usually refers to scholarly investigative endeavors, while creative activity usually describes activities in areas of the humanities and the arts, such as music composition/performance, theater and dance, creative writing, etc. Evidence submitted to document achievements in the ‘research’ category is usually publication of the results in articles or books; documentation of ‘creative activity’ may include publications, as well as recordings, works of art, videos, etc.
  • Does the publication list have to be arranged in any particular format?
  • Yes. See UCD 220 Exhibit C: Guidelines for Preparation of Publication and Other Creative Efforts Lists. The categories of the bibliography are prescribed in the APM, and include separate lists of references to published and in-press works. Abstracts, reviews, and reports having limited distribution are listed separately. It also prescribes the format of the bibliographic entries. Faculty who co-author publications are required to describe their role in each publication (idea, development, bench-work, data analysis, writing, etc.) as well as give a description of co-authors -- i.e., are they undergraduate, or graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, staff, faculty colleagues. The list of publications must also indicate which articles were peer-reviewed. Although work that is submitted or in preparation may be listed, only work that is published or in-press by December 31st is considered, unless the action is a “promotion in the last year of service” from Assistant to Associate Adjunct Professor.
  • How do reviewers evaluate your contribution to a project when there are multiple authors on the papers?
  • The department letter should evaluate the candidate’s research with respect to its quality, its impact on the field, who participated in it, and the candidate's specific role. As stated above, the candidate should include a statement with the publication list, explaining his/her role in each study, significance of the work, who the co-authors are, and who the primary (or corresponding) author is on each paper, if it is not the first author. 
  • How do reviewers evaluate the research/creativity category? Are both quality and quantity (i.e., productivity) evaluated?
  • All reviewers consider both quality and quantity to be important. Quantity during the review period, i.e., productivity, is evaluated, but the minimum level of productivity expected will vary by department and discipline, and the department letter should discuss if productivity meets the departmental norm. Quality is judged by the importance and the impact of the work. Some of the factors used to judge impact are: 
    - Venue where work is published; i.e., high quality, peer-reviewed journals, and highly respected presses for books;
    - Citations; i.e., where and how many. Whereas citations in journal articles are important indicators of the timeliness and impact of a work, citations in reviews, monographs and textbooks are important indicators of a candidate's national or international reputation and they often put the research into perspective with regard to a whole field;
    - Critiques of the work;
    - Exhibitions or performances of artistic works in highly respected galleries, museums, concert halls, etc.
  • How do reviewers evaluate independence?
  • Independence in research/creative activity is an important criterion for merit and promotion of Adjunct Professors. A candidate must show that he/she has established a productive research program at UC Davis, as opposed to simply a continuation of research associations with previous mentors/colleagues. The candidate must also show that he/she has a cohesive program of research, rather than a mere collection of unrelated papers. Although collaboration with colleagues is encouraged, reviewers will look to see if:
    - The candidate's contribution to the body of work is distinct and is clearly associated with his/her name by other scientists;
    - The candidate is sole, first, or corresponding author on a significant number of the papers;
    - The candidate is the Principal Investigator (PI) on funding of a significant number of the projects in his/her program.
  • What are the specific research criteria used by reviewers to evaluate the work of those in the Adjunct Professor series?
  • The Adjunct Professor series is used for appointees who teach and engage in independent research equivalent to that required for the Professorial series. Thus, the standard used by reviewers for Adjunct Professor appointees is the same as that used for evaluating the research of Professorial appointees (APM 220), including the necessity for “great distinction and recognition nationally or internationally for scholarly or creative achievement” at the level equivalent to full professor. Appointees are expected to be PIs and to have major responsibility and leadership for their research programs.
  • How do reviewers evaluate the quality of the journals in which you publish? Are online publications acceptable?
  • Journal quality is important, and it is definitely considered by reviewers. In some departments, the department letter lists the most important journals in the candidate’s field ('top tier') or discusses the relative qualities of the most common journals in the candidate’s field. There are also rating services which assign “impact factors” to journals, which some reviewers use. (However, impact factors refer to the journals, not specific articles, and hence have limited value). Publications like Citation Index determine the frequency of reference to the candidate's work. 

    In a number of fields, online publication is as important as print journal publication, and some research societies have established competitive online journals. Whether or not it is peer-reviewed, however, is the important factor for both print and online publication.
  • Do reviewers evaluate the quality of venues for creative activity used by artists?
  • For certain fields, particularly those in the arts (e.g. studio art, theatre, dance, music, etc.) the main venues for creative expression are exhibitions or presentations, rather than, or in addition to, publication. Reviewers look at the quality of these venues and take into consideration the location (i.e., local, regional, national, international) and the prestige of the various galleries, museums, concert halls, and theatres, etc. where the work is presented. Reviewers will also consider newspaper and magazine critiques of exhibitions and presentations as an aid in determining how influential the works may be in the candidate’s field.
  • Does it matter if you have national funding (e.g., NIH, DOD, NASA, NSF, NEA, AHA, etc.) as opposed to campus or local funding? Can you be promoted if you have no grant funding? Do you have to be PI (i.e., Principal Investigator) on a grant to get promoted?
  • The first priority is to have the funding you need to support the studies you propose to carry out, regardless of whether it comes from campus, regional, or national sources. Funding, regardless of source, buys the goods and services you need to do the experiments, gather the data, or create the artwork. With regard to national vs. local funding, reviewers look on national funding as not only providing the money to do the studies, but also providing some assurance that a national standard of review has been met; i.e., when a federal grant application undergoes review it is usually by a national panel of experts. The same can be said about being PI. Although you may have more than enough money as a co-investigator on grants, being PI implies that reviewers have confidence in your ability to oversee the whole project and its quality and to achieve the grant’s objectives -- i.e., you have leadership skills and have established an independent research program. 

    If you need grant money to carry out the studies and you have none, you are not likely to be promoted. If you don't need money to carry out your program of research/creative activity (i.e., you can be productive without grants), then grantsmanship should not be an issue in the promotion review. Many departments, however, view grant/fellowship money not only as support for the research and validation that the candidate has a national audience, but also as support for graduate students. Some departments look on the lack of grants as a serious failing - - i.e., a lack of concern for the department and its ability to attract and support graduate students. Since this opinion about grant funding varies across the campus, new AF members with research responsibilities should be sure they understand the expectations of their own department and school/college with regard to grant funds by discussing this with the department chair or a senior faculty member. 


Service: University and Public

  • What are the typical types of university service expectations for Adjunct Professors?
  • University service includes participation in the activities of the Academic Federation, department, college, graduate group, campus, and systemwide committees. In addition to committees, other service activities include: advising students, mentoring students or junior Academic Federation members, overseeing/sponsoring student activities, overseeing departmental equipment or facilities, using one's expertise to solve a problem for the department or college/school, etc.
  • Are some activities more important than others; i.e., do reviewers give more weight to 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, editing a journal, representing the university, organizing a scientific congress, giving invited lectures or keynote addresses, advising federal, state, or foreign governments, advising other colleges, universities, or foundations, etc.

Special Review Considerations

The review processes that apply are summarized in the Delegation of Authority. For specific procedures see UCD 220AF and UCD 220. In addition to normal merit and promotion actions, Adjunct Professors are eligible to be considered for the following.

Acceleration: Acceleration is an action that occurs prior to eligibility for normal advancement; i.e., the candidate can be considered for review if the record of performance has been exceptionally strong in at least one major aspect of the candidate’s position description since the last advancement and there was at least normal progress (i.e., very good to excellent) in all other categories. Accelerations are not granted if any component of the record is below expectation. All AF series are eligible to be considered for accelerations for promotion actions only while under the Step Plus System. See Delegation of Authority.

Deferral (UCD 220, II.A): A deferral must be requested for Adjunct Professors when the candidate is eligible, but is not going to be considered for normal advancement -- i.e., the candidate is not prepared to go forward for merit or promotion in the normative time. This requirement applies until Adjunct Professor, Step V is reached.

Appraisal (UCD 220, IV.B): All Assistant Adjunct Professors are expected to undergo an appraisal. An appraisal is a detailed analysis and evaluation of an Assistant Adjunct Professor’s achievements and normally occurs in the fourth year at the assistant rank (APM 133). The appraisal is intended to provide a candid assessment of the appointee’s performance and collegial recommendations for further career development.

Five-year review (UCD 220, II.B): Adjunct Professors (like all faculty) must be reviewed at least once every five years. This review occurs during the fifth academic year since the last review. This policy ensures that the performance of every faculty member is evaluated at a regular interval.

Eight-year Limit: (APM 133): Generally, appointees at the assistant rank may serve at that rank no more than a total of eight years. For example, an Assistant Adjunct Professor who has completed eight years of service in that title, or in that title in combination with other titles as established by the President (APM 280-16-c) shall not be continued after the eighth year unless promoted to Associate Adjunct Professor. This rule applies to Adjunct Professors at 50% time or more. An academic appointee subject to the eight-year rule is eligible to “stop/extend the clock” for child bearing, according to the terms of APM 760-30.

Off-Scale Salaries: A salary for an Adjunct Professor appointee at a certain rank and step is designated as off-scale if it is above that associated with the given rank and step in the University-wide published salary scale for the Adjunct Professor series (i.e., same as the Professorial scale).

Appeal: An Adjunct Professor has the right to appeal his/her denied personnel 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). Redelegated actions are sent by the Dean to the Appeals subcommittee of CAP (i.e., CAPAC) for review and recommendation and back to the Dean for final decision. If the action is non-redelegated, the Dean evaluates the appeal, writes a recommendation, and forwards all of the material to the office of the Vice Provost-Academic Affairs. These materials are then referred to CAPAC for review and recommendation. The Vice Provost-Academic Affairs makes the final decision after reviewing all materials including the recommendation from CAPAC.

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 280-20. The University has the discretion to appoint and reappoint non-tenured academic appointees with term appointments; reappointment is not automatic. All appointees in the Adjunct Professor series have term appointments.