Frequently Asked Questions: Health Sciences Clinical Professor Titles

Preparation of the Dossier

  • As a Health Sciences Clinical Professor (School of Medicine or School of Veterinary Medicine), where do I find information on the personnel review process for my series?
  • Academic Affairs procedures are outlined in the Academic Personnel Manual (APM 220UCD 220 and UCD 220AF). The review process is summarized in the Delegation of Authority. For all academic titles, the Vice Provost-Academic Personnel 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. Since these actions must pass through the deans’ offices, 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. Health Sciences Clinical Professors should review the specific criteria for advancement outlined in APM 278 and the "Instructions to Review Committees Which Advise on Actions Concerning the Health Sciences Clinical Professor Series in APM 210-6".
  • 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 Steps I-III, and three years at Associate Step IV-V and at full 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 Health Sciences Clinical Professor rank entails a review of the whole period spent at the Associate rank. The specific salary range and years at rank/step are listed on the Academic Salary Scales, Table 5 for School of Medicine, and Table 7 for Veterinary Medicine, located on the Vice Provost-Academic Affairs web page.
  • 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 October to April. All Health Sciences Clinical Professor reviews are 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 278-10, Health Sciences Clinical Professors are evaluated on the following criteria:

    - Professional competence and activity
    - Teaching: Clinical Educator
    - University and public service are desirable and encouraged
    - Research and creative work are not required; however, both the School of Medicine and the School of Veterinary Medicine have issued specific guidelines regarding creative work.

    School of Medicine Guidelines from ‘Definitions of Academic Series in the UC Davis School of Medicine’ (complete document is available from the SOM Office of Academic Affairs). The School of Medicine has developed the following criteria for creative work for the Clinical Professor title series: In support of the department’s investigative/creative mission, the candidate’s efforts may include enrolling patients or collaborating in clinical trials, enhancing clinical efficiency; developing new clinical or teaching programs or materials, or assuming a large clinical load to free up research time for other faculty.

    School of Veterinary Medicine Guidelines from ‘Academic Personnel Review Criteria For Faculty Heavily Involved in Veterinary Healthcare. Health Sciences Clinical Professor Series’ (complete document is available from the Vet Med Dean’s Office): The HS Clinical Professor series is designed for individuals whose sole concern, expertise, and commitment is in clinical service and instruction. Individuals may contribute to scholarly and/or creative activities; however, these activities are not required for this series and will not be used as a component of the evaluative process. An appointee in this series will carry a heavier instructional load and/or clinical effort assignment than other faculty.
  • 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 (professional competence and activity, teaching, and university and public service) will be described by the candidate, either in a Candidate's Statement (UCD 220-IV F. 2) to be optionally included in the dossier, or in a separate document that is not included in the dossier, but does go to the chair and the approved voting group. The candidate’s Annual Report of Professional Activities can be very helpful in assembling professional achievement and public service information for 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 honors and awards, and a publication list, if applicable.

    From information on the candidate’s performance in the various categories as supplied by the candidate, the chair, and supporting documents (e.g. teaching evaluations, publications, etc.), the approved Voting Group (for the Health Sciences Clinical Professor series the approved Voting Group may vary by department) in the department votes. The chair writes the department letter that summarizes the departmental evaluation of the candidate’s record, the results of the vote and a recommendation for or against the advancement. In the case of promotion and merit advancement to first step 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 as part of the dossier going forward. Also included is a list of all of the external reviewers solicited, with notation as to whether they were suggested by the candidate or the department, whether they responded, and any reason they gave for not responding. This list is a confidential document and is therefore not reviewed by the candidate.
  • How is the performance record documented and prepared for evaluation?
  • The performance record is assessed according to the review criteria listed above in question #4, APM-278 and APM-210-6, instructions to review committees. Documentation, supplied by the candidate or the department, is needed to support performance descriptions in each category, and it can consist of the following:

    Professional Competence and Activity:
    Examples of some important activities for evaluation (they will vary by department/specialty, and some may overlap with Public Service) that can be described by the candidate:

    - Performance of their clinical duties
    - Integration of new techniques and developments into their clinical practice
    - Consultant to other hospitals, medical/health groups, or research groups,
    - Consultant to government agencies, legislature
    - Participation in medical groups that donate medical services to medically-underserved populations or countries

    - Describe/list the teaching record for clinical and/or basic sciences courses: (course numbers/titles/credits) and numbers of professional students, residents, fellows taught and/or advised;
    - Describe participation in other university courses/training/graduate groups: undergraduate/graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, junior faculty, if applicable;
    - Describe any teaching for: a clinical society, the AMA, a hospital, or other medical groups, etc.;
    - Describe any substantive pedagogical materials (books, articles, manuals, etc.) written by the candidate (provide copies to be appended).

    Research/Creative Activity (Not required):
    Since Research/Creative Activity is not required for this series, there are no examples; however, if there are any publications:

    - List them in the standardized format (UCD 220 Exhibit C); include letters of acceptance of articles that are in press and copies of all of these publications;
    - Briefly describe each publication, detailing candidate’s specific role in each article (if multi-authored), and roles of the other authors.
    - List/describe research/creative activity presentations (i.e. talks/posters at meetings, etc.)

    University and public service are desirable and encouraged. According to the:
    - Vet. Med. Guidelines for the HS Clinical Professor Series, expectations are for HS Clinical Professor faculty to provide university and public service similar to faculty in the Professor and Professor of Clinical (_) titles; they are expected to be good hospital, departmental, school and university citizens.
    - The School of Medicine Guidelines for the HS Clinical Professor series just state that service is required by definition.

    University Service: Participation in the governance of the University, i.e. maintenance of its facilities, provision of services to its faculty and students, such as:
    - List committee assignments (departmental, school, hospital, campus, systemwide) with inclusive dates;
    - List committees you have chaired;
    - List/describe departmental/school/hospital facilities/web sites/equipment you have been asked to oversee;
    - Describe any mentoring programs (students, junior faculty, etc.) you have been asked to participate in, etc.

    Public Service: Service to government agencies, consumer/health groups in areas related to the candidate’s expertise, such as:
    List/describe your role:
    - In a government committee
    - In a consumer/health group committee (example: American Cancer Society committee);
    - Consultant to California Department of Public Health;
    - Activities for a medical association.
  • 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 department letter as indicators of the impact of the candidate’s service. 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 above 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. It may also be included in the dossier that goes forward for review outside the department. The department will include the student/resident evaluations for courses taught by the candidate.

    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: the significance of their accomplishments during the review period; philosophy of teaching and service; any unusual circumstances, both good and bad, that have affected performance in the various areas. For example:
    - Problems with teaching or clinical assignments and any successful solutions the candidate has developed;
    - If the candidate has included any creative activity as one of their accomplishments, they may explain it here
    - Explanation of the significance of any awards or honors received during the review period;
    - Description of any difficult, time-consuming, or particularly noteworthy committee assignments.

    Department Letter: The letter reflects the department’s views (not merely the chair’s views) on 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 professional competence, teaching, and university/public service, it includes the vote (yes, no, abstentions), and separates the AF and AS votes; it gives the reasons expressed for the no or abstention votes. There are Sample Departmental Letters in the APM.
  • When are extramural letters needed?
  • For promotions, and merit advancement to first 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 review of the candidate’s accomplishments during the period of review. Such external reviewers could include administrators of government programs or agencies with whom the candidate has interacted, scientists, researchers, clinicians or other experts in their field, etc. The candidate provides the chair with a list of extramural reviewers and their qualifications to serve as referees. 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 a “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 six letters are expected in the review dossier. The chair may solicit more than six in order to be sure that at least six responses will be available for the file. “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 5 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 of 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?
  • - Though not required, if any research publications have resulted from clinical trials or other creative activity in the review period related to the candidate’s areas of responsibility, they may be appended;
    - 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 Department 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 rejoinder if he/she still disagrees with the department’s recommendation or wants to clarify statements made in the letter. Any rejoinder 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 he/she has read the file and certifies that it is complete and factually correct). A rejoinder may be sent directly to the dean or Vice Provost-Academic Affairs if the candidate does not want to submit it via the department 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, if applicable.
  • In summary, what documents are in the dossier, or appended to it, when it leaves the department?
  • The Health Sciences Clinical Professor candidate can use either the AS Checklist for Merit Increases or the AS Checklist for Promotion forms, both of which are on the Vice Provost-Academic Personnel web site under Forms and Checklists to determine whether they have included all the necessary information in the file.

    Dossier Inclusions:
    Department Letter (including: the vote; peer teaching evaluations for promotion actions )
    Candidate’s Disclosure Certificate
    Extramural Reviewer’s Letters (for promotion actions, Clinical Professor, Above Scale)
    List of Invited Extramural Reviewers (for promotion actions, Clinical Professor, Above Scale)
    Candidate’s Statement (optional)
    List of student evaluations submitted
    Teaching, Advising, and Curricular Development Record
    List of service activity
    Publication list and list of contributions to jointly authored works (not required but included if publications are submitted)
    List of honors and awards

    Appended Materials (To be returned to candidate):
    Student Evaluations (summaries from all courses and 2 complete sets of evaluations)
    Publications/Evidence of Creative Activity (if there are any)
    Educational Materials (i.e. course outlines) written by the candidate (if there are any)

    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. All personnel actions for Health Sciences Clinical Professors are redelegated to the dean for final decision. For merits and promotions the file goes first to the School Personnel Committee for review and recommendation. The FPC writes comments regarding their evaluation of the candidate’s performance and makes a recommendation to the dean regarding the advancement. The Dean (or Associate Dean for Academic Affairs/Personnel) makes the 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 within the department by the faculty, i.e., the Voting Group. Because members of this series have teaching responsibilities, AF votes and AS votes are tallied separately and reported in two separate departmental letters. (However, only one letter needs to include a detailed evaluation /discussion about the candidate’s performance unless the views of the AS and AF voters differ.) In addition, the chair may include comments from the faculty. The complete dossier is then forwarded to the dean.

    Dean/Associate Dean for Personnel: All personnel actions in the Health Sciences Clinical Professor series are redelegated to the dean for final decision. The file is first sent to the FPC for review and recommendation. It is then sent back to the Dean/Associate Dean for final decision.

    Process/Time Frame: Process/Time-Frame: The length of time the process takes varies with the complexity of the review. Staff check the file at all stages (Department, Dean’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. Redelegated merit actions may need only a few months to reach the dean’s office for final decision, Most actions are completed by the end of the academic year (June 30th). Any that are not, but met the deadline leaving the department, will be completed in the summer or early fall; actions will be effective retroactive to July 1st.
  • What personnel committee has responsibility for reviewing Health Sciences Clinical Professors?
  • The Faculty Personnel Committee (FPC) in the School of Medicine and in the School of Veterinary Medicine assist the deans by reviewing and evaluating personnel files, and making recommendations for approval, or disapproval.


Reviewer's Concerns

The following topics are typical of the concerns of the various reviewers (i.e. Peer Group, Department Chair, Voting Group, Dean, Personnel Committee, 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 278). 


Professional Competence and Activities

  • What kinds of professional competence and activities are usually expected of Health Sciences Clinical Professors?
  • Essentially, the candidate’s professional competence is the measure of how well he/she carries out the clinical duties: making the proper diagnoses/assessments, performing the necessary procedures skillfully and expeditiously, interacting well with the patient/family/other clinicians/staff; writing up the records in a timely manner, keeping up with the literature in their field, etc. The candidate's professional activities should be scrutinized for evidence of achievement and leadership in their clinical field and of demonstrated progressiveness in the development or utilization of new approaches and techniques for the solution of professional problems. Examples of other types of professional activities that are common include reviewing articles and books; membership on editorial boards and on professional society committees; organizing symposia; and other such activities that give them opportunities to use their leadership skills.
  • What are the expectations with regard to professional activities for Health Sciences Clinical Professors at the assistant level?
  • For all medical faculty members at the Assistant level, ad hoc reviewing for journals, book publishers, or granting agencies, or participation in a professional society committee or a public service/consumer health organization (e.g., American Heart Association) are generally considered sufficient for professional activities. Greater involvement is expected as the candidate advances in rank and step. An individual’s role in the organization of training programs for health professionals and the supervision of health care facilities and operations may provide evidence of exemplary professional activity. In decisions bearing on academic advancement, these activities should be recognized as important contributions to the mission of the University (APM: 210-6.b.(1)b.)



  • What teaching documentation is needed for the teaching review?
  • The dossier 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 a list of courses (titles/hours/credits) taught by all departmental members each year. The Teaching, Advising, and Curricular Development Record form should also be included in the dossier. The candidate should check this list and teaching record form and make sure they are accurate. For example, he/she may need to provide additional information on teaching done outside the department -- i.e., 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 also required. If there is no departmental teaching committee that routinely reviews teaching for the department, the chair may designate a certain faculty member(s) to personally evaluate the lectures, labs and teaching materials. Candidates should consult with the chair for the department’s specific procedures for peer review. 
  • What are reviewers' particular concerns when evaluating the teaching record?
  • Each department will determine what the appropriate teaching workload will be. This will be reflected in the individual’s assignments. The emphasis is on clinical teaching of students and house-staff; it may include classroom or lab teaching of medical students. It is important that the candidate understand what the department’s expectations are, i.e. what is considered an average load and distribution, as well as what is considered acceptable student evaluation scores. For example, if the departmental 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 will 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 at appointment?
    - What is the nature of the courses taught (i.e., one-on-one, lecture, discussion, laboratory, seminar, etc.), and for whom: medical students, residents?
    - 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 or a departmental mentor?
    - Is the department satisfied with the level of learning in fundamental courses i.e., are the students acquiring the proper clinical knowledge and skills?
  • 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 promotions. 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, textbook assignments, exams, 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, etc. Off-campus teaching, (e.g., courses or lectures for the government, community groups, hospital groups, professional societies, other universities or medical schools, etc.) should also be reported although the weight they are given will depend on how well they fit the candidate’s position.


Special Review Considerations

The review considerations that apply are summarized in the Academic Personnel Attribute Chart. For specific procedures see UCD 220AF Academic Federation Review and Advancement. In addition to normal merit and promotion actions, Academic Administrators are eligible to be considered for the following:

Acceleration: Acceleration is a merit or promotion 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. See Delegation of Authority.

Appeal: A Health Sciences Clinical 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). Since 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 the ASPC for review and recommendation. The Vice Provost-Academic Affairs makes the final decision after reviewing all materials including the recommendation from ASPC.

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 137-32. The University has the discretion to appoint and reappoint non-Senate academic appointees with term appointments; reappointment is not automatic. All appointees in the Health Sciences Clinical Professor series have term appointments.