Academic Personnel – Academic Advancement Process

Academic Personnel – Academic Advancement Process

What are the goals of the module?
The mechanism of advancement at the University of California through the merit and promotion system is perhaps unique among higher education institutions in the world.  Through its extensive use of peer review, it is a consummately fair method of evaluation.  In order for faculty to advance, it is essential for them to understand this mechanism, which affords them choices that can affect their salary, career, and retirement

Who is the audience for the module?

  • All Academic Senate faculty
  • All individuals hired into non-Senate academic positions, as enumerated in the APM

Why is the topic important?
All members of the academic community are expected to advance during their careers, but depending on their title series may have different options.  It is important that each individual understand these options; among them are merit actions, tenure, promotions, security of employment, steps, increments, ranks, stopping the tenure clock, postponements, barrier steps, and advancing above scale. In addition, each university may have different policies, such as the use of fractional steps and accelerations in time.

Another topic is the use of review bodies, which may include the department, College or School Faculty Personnel Committee, Dean (or delegated individual), Committee on Academic Personnel (or equivalent), Vice Provost, Provost (who approves tenure and emeritus status), and Chancellor (who denies tenure), and explaining that not all actions have the same levels of review.

Suggested options for module delivery
Subject matter may be presented as part of an on-line module, coupled with an in-person session to more deeply explain complicated subjects and have a question and answer session.

Scenarios for discussion

Resources for developing the module
The main resources for this module will be sections of the University of California Academic Personnel Manual (APM).  For example, Academic Senate faculty will be particularly interested in APM 220 – Appointment and Promotion (  Other series can be found at: In addition, each University campus may have its own implementation guidelines for the APM.

Recommended prerequisites


Primary Category