Responsibilities in the Appointments and Promotions Process

It is important to emphasize that the entire process of consideration for appointment or promotion is to be kept confidential except for those who need to be involved in the decision. No one involved in any committee review or any evaluative process should communicate information about that process to the candidate or anyone else not directly involved in the decision.  

During the appointment or promotion process, once a dossier has been submitted, there are no updates about where a dossier is in the process. This is because all steps in the process between submission and decision are advisory and result in recommendations to the final decision maker, the Dean or Provost, as appropriate.


1. Candidate for Appointment or Promotion Responsibilities

  • First and foremost, the candidate must ensure that they meet the criteria for promotion through their academic activities.
  • The candidate should work with the Department Chair/Division Chief or Institute Director on an annual basis to maintain an appropriate and representative Profile of Activities that accurately reflects overall effort. The Office for Faculty Affairs Website has templates for the Profile of Activities.
  • The candidate must maintain their CV using the Keck School of Medicine format and ensure it represents the most up-to-date information about the candidate’s accomplishments.   Accuracy of the CV is of paramount importance and any errors in attribution of accomplishments are the responsibility of the candidate, even if administrative staff assist in formatting or maintaining the CV. Intentional misstating of activities, or substantial negligence in attending to the accuracy of this document may be a matter to be considered for disciplinary action.
  • The candidate is asked for names and contact information for 6-7 trainees from whom letters can be solicited.
  • The candidate writes a personal statement (see the Guidelines for Personal Statement below).
  • The candidate provides a list of 4-5 of their most important publications, with a brief statement of why the candidate considers them the most important. The list should contain hyperlinks to the journal article if possible.


2. Department Chair/Institute Director (and/or Division Chief)

  • The Department Chair and/or Institute Director (Chair/Director), or Division Chief as appropriate, should, as part of their regular duties, provide ongoing advising for junior faculty in terms of their career advancement. This role is encouraged to be distinct from that of a faculty member’s “Mentor” or “Mentoring Committee”, who more formally interact with the faculty member in a mentorship capacity, and can serve as the faculty member’s advocate. Every department should have a mentoring plan, and it is the Department Chair’s responsibility to ensure the mentoring plan is administered for the benefit of all.
  • The Department Chair/Institute Director (and/or Division Chief) should work with each faculty member on an annual basis to maintain an appropriate and representative Profile of Activities that accurately reflects overall effort. The Office for Faculty Affairs Website has templates for the Profile of Activities.
  • For Tenure Track candidates, the Chair/Director should write letters of evaluation for the mid-probationary review. If remedial actions are recommended, the Department Chair/Institute Director should ensure that the candidate understands what the issues are, and that any appropriate or necessary actions are taken by the Department/Institute.
  • For candidates who have a primary appointment in an academic department that is distinct from their membership in a research institute, the Institute is regarded as a secondary appointment and must complete all the steps necessary for a secondary appointment as described in these guidelines and the UCAPT Manual (including consideration of the dossier at the Institute level in addition to the department level).
  • A major responsibility of the Chair/Director and/or Division Chief is to select the individuals who will provide the reference letters. The department chair may consult with others who are expert in the field to provide names, with the proviso that confidentiality of the identities of the referees is maintained. In some cases, the true local experts in the candidate’s field are in the research institute and not the primary department. In these cases the Institute Director may assume the primary responsibility of soliciting the reference letters. The Chair and Institute Director should communicate about this, so that there is no duplication of effort.
  • The Chair/Director must work with staff to obtain the information to be provided within the cohort analysis (for Tenure Track and Tenured dossiers only) about recently promoted peers in the field in the Quantitative Data section of the Dossier.
  • The Chair/Director will review the dossier after it is completed and before any committee evaluation to be sure that it is an accurate record of the candidate’s accomplishments and career progress.
  • The Department Chair and the Institute Director must write letters indicating their degree of support (or lack thereof) for the promotion or appointment. They may collaborate on this letter and both co-sign, or if there is substantial difference of opinion, they may write separate letters.   These letters should justify the expressed opinions by specifically presenting positive and/or negative aspects of the career of the candidate. The Chair/Director should emphasize and explain the candidate’s impact in the field. The Chair/Director should also describe the importance of that candidate in the context of the Department/Institute and School research or teaching programs. Any negative comments made by the referees should be specifically addressed as well in the Chair/Institute Director’s letter.
  • The Chair/ Director or the representative of the department who serves on the FAPTC panel will present the candidate to the panel and answer questions to clarify information presented within the dossier. Candidates reviewed by the CAPC panel will not be presented by chairs or representatives, but instead will be reviewed only on the basis of their dossier. In this latter case, if questions arise, the Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs will communicate with the Department Chair.
  • In the case of a negative decision, the Chair/ Director will meet with the candidate and the Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs to discuss the decision and options.


3. Department or Institute APT Staff

  • The staff of the candidate’s Department or Institute (depending upon where there are sufficient resources) will be responsible for assembly of the dossier. This is usually done by the Appointments, Promotions, and Tenure (APT) Coordinator.
  • The staff will assemble all the required forms and documents in support of the candidate’s promotion according to the Dossier Checklist for each promotion series. The most current forms and an updated Dossier Checklist for each promotion series should be used, and may be obtained by downloading from the Keck Faculty Affairs Website (URL).
  • The staff will ensure that all required forms have been appropriately signed.
  • The staff will ensure the CV is in Keck School of Medicine format. The current template for the Keck CV may be obtained by download from the Keck Faculty Affairs Website.
  • For Tenure Track, Tenured, Clinical Scholar and Research appointments and promotions, the staff will perform the quantitative analyses (number of publications, citations, journal impact factor, author order).
  • The staff will prepare the summaries of teaching evaluations.
  • Solicited Referee Letters: The staff will prepare the biographical sketches for referees to be submitted within the body of the dossier. The staff will prepare a chart of referees, showing for each referee: 1) who suggested the referee; 2) whether the referee is “arm’s length” or “working” according to the descriptions in Section VI.E. in these Guidelines, and 3) whether the referee answers all the required questions in the submitted solicitation letter in a substantive manner. The chart should include all referees from whom letters have been solicited, including those who decline for lack of time or any reason. If letters have been submitted that do not answer certain important questions (depending upon the promotion series), a supplemental request should be made by mail or email, explaining the committees find answers to all questions extremely useful. All such communication with the referee should be fully documented in the dossier. If there are questions about which questions need to be answered for each promotion series, or whether a referee is “arm’s length” or “working”, please consult with the Keck Office for Faculty Affairs
  • The staff will ensure that all referee letters are current (not older than one year). If there are questions about this requirement, the staff member should consult with the Keck Office for Faculty Affairs.
  • The staff will make corrections in the dossier as indicated by the Keck Office for Faculty Affairs.


4. Keck Office for Faculty Affairs Staff and Deans, Keck School Dean

  • The staff in the Keck Office for Faculty Affairs (KOFA) and the KOFA deans (Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs, Associate Dean for Appointments and Promotions, and/or Assistant Dean for Faculty Development) will provide workshops on career development and mentoring for all the promotion series. In addition, the FA staff and deans will provide workshops for APT coordinators to keep them up to date about changes in processes and guidance in producing acceptable dossiers.
  • The KOFA staff will provide notifications of mid-probationary reviews and mandatory submission dates for Tenure Track faculty.
  • The KOFA staff will accept completed dossiers, review dossiers for corrections and work with the department APT coordinators to ensure the dossier meets standards.
  • For dossiers destined for CAPC, the KOFA staff will create and administer the surveys for evaluation of clinical performance, and provide that information back to the APT coordinator for inclusion in the dossier prior to Department APT committee review.
  • Once any dossier has been administratively reviewed and accepted, the KOFA staff will schedule the review of the dossier at the FAPTC or CAPC meetings.
  • The KOFA staff will ensure the on-time submission of dossiers to the Provost’s Office when necessary (appointments and promotions on the Tenure Track, with tenure, or with the Clinical Scholar designation).
  • The KOFA staff will add new information to dossiers as that information is received from the candidate or department, up until the point when a decision is made. Despite this, there is no guarantee that new information will be reviewed by the relevant panel once the dossier has been submitted and accepted by the Keck Office for Faculty Affairs.
  • The KOFA staff will staff FAPTC and CAPC meetings, and keep a record of all votes and decisions.
  • The KOFA deans will attend all FAPTC and CAPC meetings and provide counsel and resources for those bodies.
  • The Dean of the Keck School of Medicine will review recommendations of the FAPTC and CAPC committee and make decisions to 1) support or not support Tenure Track, Tenured, and Clinical Scholar appointments and promotions, or 2) grant appointment or promotion to candidates in all other series.
  • The Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs will notify candidates of their successful appointment or promotion, as well as the Department Chair/Institute Director and APT coordinator.