UCLA’s faculty members possess a range of perspectives and deeply held beliefs about social issues, political matters and international events — including the current conflict in the Middle East. But our university’s commitment to academic excellence requires that we do not let our own personal views or the views of others influence academic reviews of our peers. We write today to remind the campus community of UCLA’s standards for fair evaluation of faculty and to reinforce our commitment to a bias-free academic review process.
The Academic Personnel Manual, section 210 (PDF) and the UCLA Call, Appendix 5 set forth the instructions, guidelines and criteria for the appointment, promotion, appraisal and advancement of academic appointees (primarily in the professorial series).
Under these policies, candidates are evaluated through a review of bodies of their research and/or creative scholarship, teaching and service. These reviews are intended to assess superior intellectual attainment and curiosity; dedication to life-long learning; and whether candidates’ portfolios are both “sound and productive” as well as appropriate to the proposed series, rank and step.
In reviewing faculty members, our university advocates for principles of scholarly research including acknowledgement of the role and importance of open intellectual dialogue in the general advancement of knowledge, as well as the recognition that faculty members’ research topics may be highly relevant to current issues in the world and thus generate strong reactions.
Assessments are expected to be made without bias or prejudice and to be conducted absent personal factors such as political opinions. This is consistent with the Standing Orders of the UC Regents, which state that “No political test shall ever be considered in the appointment and promotion of any faculty member or employee.”
If a faculty member feels that their personal perspectives or beliefs were inappropriately considered during their academic review, we encourage them to contact Erika Chau, assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs and personnel, at EChau@conet.ucla.edu to confidentially discuss their concerns and possible next steps. Additionally, faculty members can report any incidents of discrimination or discriminatory harassment to the Discrimination Prevention Office.
We deeply appreciate your support of an academic review process that allows us to uphold fair and equitable advancement, promotion and tenure decisions.
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Michael S. Levine
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Personnel
Interim Vice Provost for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion