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CAP Guidance

CAP periodically develops guidance documents addressing specific areas and aspects of the academic personnel process. CAP guidance is not intended to serve as the final word on a topic, but rather as the start of a dialogue with the campus around areas of shared concern. CAP welcomes feedback on current guidance documents as well as suggestions for topics requiring additional guidance.


The possibility of an acceleration, or as The CALL puts it, “[a]dvancement in step in advance of eligibility or to a higher step than normal,” usually occurs after the candidate has produced some extraordinary achievement, won some major award, received some outstanding recognition in their field, or been extraordinarily productive. It is CAP’s inclination to look favorably on accelerations that are well-substantiated, demonstrating above-and-beyond contributions to research, the campus, and/or the wider academic community.

The Arts

­­­­­­In a major research university, with its great variety of ever-evolving disciplines, all academic departments and research units should periodically revisit, update, and communicate their mandates, goals, and criteria for self-evaluation. The arts are an expansive and vital part of the academic mission at UCLA. In updating our guidance on the evaluation of contributions to the arts, CAP focuses attention on the contents of the dossier and how these materials can serve as the basis for a productive personnel review. Particular kinds of documentation that shed detailed light on a colleague’s achievement in the arts are essential for dossiers that undergo review by CAP.

Community-Engaged Scholarship

Community-engaged scholarship includes research or scholarship conducted in partnership with non-academic organizations and community scholars and practitioners. Such partnerships create opportunities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources that make a positive contribution to both our university and to the public good and align well with our university’s mission. This type of research is sometimes conducted outside the standard framework of peer-reviewed scholarship and can involve components that may not produce conventional interim milestones or traditional final products. The Council on Academic Personnel recognizes that community-engaged scholarship involves collaborations with many different bodies, including non-profit organizations as well business and community partners, ones that may encompass translational research, commercialization activities, and patents. 


Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values of the University of California and are integral to its achievement of excellence. Addressing these issues is an important aspect of dossier preparation and evaluation. The Academic Personnel Manual (APM 210-1-d) states that “Contributions in all areas of faculty achievement that promote equal opportunity and diversity should be given due recognition in the academic personnel process, and they should be evaluated and credited in the same way as other faculty achievements.”

Fourth-Year Appraisal

Each UCLA Assistant Professor in the regular and in residence series is reviewed a few years before he or she is expected to be evaluated for tenure to determine the likelihood of success in being promoted to Associate Professor. CAP provides assessments of "favorable" (on track to receive tenure when the case is reviewed for promotion) or "with reservations" (some areas of improvement are needed in order to receive a positive tenure decision) or "unfavorable" (unlikely the candidate will qualify for promotion to Associate Professor).


Independence is not specifically stated or defined in the APM or CALL, and is often misunderstood to mean that faculty must work alone. On the contrary, collaborative efforts are strongly encouraged and are becoming essential for the multidisciplinary, high technology research that characterizes modern biomedical science, for instance, and also are commonplace among many other fields of academic pursuit, including the humanities.

Letters of Evaluation

All parts of a candidate’s dossier are important and are used to document the candidate’s accomplishments in the areas of scholarship/ creative activity, teaching, and service.


One of the most urgently needed, yet inconsistently observed responsibilities of all UCLA departments is the supportive mentoring of junior faculty. From their first days on campus these new arrivals require and deserve all the help they can get in adjusting to this city, learning the ropes of our campus and their department’s academic schedule.

Self Statements

Candidates for advancement at every level are encouraged to provide a statement explaining their goals and describing them within the context of their field of interest and the priorities of their Department. Such a statement can help the Chair, the Dean, a campus Review Committee, the Council on Academic Personnel, and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel to better understand a candidate’s career plans and goals for attaining them.

Service Imbalances

Service is, of course, one of the three legs considered for advancement in Academic Personnel cases. In some respects, however, service is the most difficult to evaluate objectively – CAP receives no outside evaluations from external reviewers as is true in “hurdle” steps for scholarship, nor do faculty review committees typically weigh in on the quality of service.


Like a support for the proverbial three-legged stool, along with Research and Service, Teaching is considered essential in the evaluation of academic performance. Importantly, increased tuition and fees as well as new emphasis on teaching excellence from our new UC President, are placing renewed priority on effective teaching. 

Team Science, Collaborative Research, Innovation Transfer and Entrepreneurship

We are witnessing an increasing degree of interdisciplinarity and collaboration in research publications in many areas of academic pursuits. These arise both in what are often separately called “team science” and “collaborative research.” We are also witnessing an increasing degree of innovation transfer and entrepreneurship activities in many fields of academic pursuits.