May 29, 2020


SUBJECT:    Academic File Reviews

Dear Colleagues,

It is commendable that UC San Diego faculty have continued to vigorously
pursue research, creative activity, professional practice, teaching, and
service despite the profound impacts of the pandemic on every aspect of
our professional life. As we move forward, it will be important to
remember what those impacts have been – and to acknowledge that the
effects of COVID-19 are likely to extend past the immediate public
health crisis.

The administration and Academic Senate are in full concert regarding the
need for faculty to document and reviewers to be mindful of the
challenges that individuals have faced in their academic endeavors due
to COVID-19.

One way to start addressing this is for candidates to routinely include
a brief, reflective self-evaluation statement in future academic review
files. While some departments currently do not require faculty to
include such a statement in their academic review files, it seems
prudent for departments to consider making this a requirement going
forward from this unprecedented time. Doing so enables faculty to
express, in their own words, how the pandemic affected their academic
activities and performance.

We would also encourage department chairs to detail discipline-specific
challenges posed by the health crisis in the letters by which they
solicit candidates’ academic reviews. Departments may also wish to
consider re-evaluating standards for this period, particularly in light
of the modern landscape of online publishing and large collaborative

These recommendations are complementary to other measures that have
previously been announced. Campus is providing an automatic one year
extension to the probationary period for assistant-level academic
appointees who are subject to an eight year clock, as outlined in the
campus notice of 3/24/20. These colleagues can opt out and request a
file review for advancement if they do not need the additional year.
Senior faculty and academics whose scholarly work has been affected by
the COVID-19 crisis may choose to defer their academic review for one
year. This deferral will not impact established departmental
expectations for achievement during a normal two-, three-, or four-year
review cycle. Academic review following a deferral will not be
considered off-cycle.

We recognize that any policies and guidelines that are implemented will
likely need to be revisited and revised over time, in light of the
uncertainty that we face in this constantly evolving and changing
situation. As CAP and reviewing committee memberships change each year,
we need to instill an institutional memory so that these general
principles can be applied fairly and consistently in the years to come.

Marisa Abrajano
Chair, Committee on Academic Personnel

Maripat Corr
Chair, San Diego Divisional Academic Senate

Steven Constable
Vice Chair, San Diego Divisional Academic Senate

Pradeep K. Khosla

Elizabeth H. Simmons
Executive Vice Chancellor