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Academic Reviews

Schedule Of Reviews

All persons holding ladder-rank appointments at the University of California occupy positions that are reserved permanently. Those appointed without tenure are reviewed periodically to assess their progress. Those appointed with tenure, and those promoted to tenure rank, are reviewed periodically to determine their continued scholarly progress and their other achievements, and are advanced accordingly.

Every faculty member undergoes an academic review every two, three, or four years, depending upon the individual appointee's rank and step. The normal periods of service at each rank and step of the professional series are listed in section 230-28 VII.A.1 of the UCSD Policy and Procedure Manual (PPM). A simplified version of that information is presented here, but questions about a specific case should be addressed to the Chair or the MSO.

Asst. Prof., Step I-IV - 2 years
Asst. Prof., Step V or Assoc. Prof., Step 1 - 2 years
Asst. Prof., Step VI or Assoc. Prof., Step 2 - 2 years
Assoc. Prof., Step III - 2 years
Assoc. Prof., Step IV or Prof., Step 1 - 3 years
Assoc. Prof., Step V of Prof., Step 2 - 3 years
Prof., Step III and IV - 3 years
Prof., Step V - 3 years or indefinite
Prof., Step VI - 3 years or indefinite
Prof., Step VII - 3 years or indefinite
Prof., Step VIII - 3 years or indefinite
Prof., Step IX - 4 years or indefinite
Prof., Above-Scale - Indefinite

Reviews for Assistant Professors

Assistant professors are generally appointed for a two-year term. Beginning in the fall of the second year of appointment, an academic review file is assembled. Assistant professors are then normally under consideration for reappointment and a merit increase; an appraisal is required in the fourth and sixth years. (A reappointment is a continuation of employment for a new term, usually two years, although the continuation may be for one year only; a merit increase is considered advancement to a higher step within the same rank; an appraisal is an analysis of progress toward tenure.)

Appraisal Categories for Assistant Professors

The Executive Vice Chancellor and the Committee on Academic Personnel, in consultation with Deans and Department Chairs, have developed the following definitions of appraisal categories to assist departments and candidates in better understanding the interpretation of these terms:

  • Favorable: indicates promotion is likely, contingent on maintaining the current trajectory of excellence and on appropriate external validation.
  • Favorable with reservations: indicates promotion is likely, if identified weaknesses or imbalances in the record are corrected.
  • Problematic: indicates promotion is possible, if substantial deficiencies in the present record are remedied.
  • Unfavorable: indicates that substantial deficiencies are present; promotion is unlikely.

Readiness Assessment

A readiness assessment is a department-level evaluation of an appointee’s career achievements and readiness for promotion. If it has not already occurred, a readiness assessment must take place at the time of an appointee’s final merit/reappointment review. The eligible department faculty must vote on whether an appointee should be recommended for promotion, whether the promotion review should be postponed, or whether the appointee should be terminated.

Detailed information on the appraisal and readiness assessment process is available at:

Family Accommodation Policy

Assistant professors are limited to a total of eight years of service at this rank. Periods of leave, with or without salary, are included in this total unless (1) the Chancellor grants an exception; or (2) leave is granted for childbearing or child rearing (the period of time involved must be equal to or greater than one quarter and not greater than one year). Under these circumstances, the leave is automatically calculated to extend the probationary period, with the exception that the extension cannot occur in the eighth year. Detailed information on the impact of childbearing and parental leave on the assistant professor probationary period is available at: