UC Berkeley Librarian Academic Review FAQ


A. What do I put in the review?

Your letter of recommendation evaluates the candidate's performance with specific examples and identifies goals and objectives for future growth. Guidelines for the Review Initiator's evaluation may be found at the LHRD web site: https://las.lib.berkeley.edu/lhrd/academic/librarian-review-cycle/review-initiators-evaluation.

B. What is a reasonable number of letters of support?

The number of letters depends upon the file and the key achievements that need to be supported and evaluated. Three or four letters will probably be sufficient to support a career status or promotion case. A few letters may also be helpful in the case of a merit review for greater than standard increase or off-cycle review. Typically, three letters are used for career status and promotion cases; one or two may suffice to detail the outstanding achievement(s) on which an off-cycle or greater than standard merit review is based; it all depends upon the needs of each case for support of key achievements. Normally, letters are not necessary for a regular merit increase.

C. From whom can I solicit letters?

Review Initiators can solicit letters from anyone qualified to evaluate the candidate, including a reasonable number from the list provided by the candidate. Letters should be solicited from people who can evaluate significant achievements of the candidate's work. Such people may include professional UCB or external colleagues who can evaluate the candidate's contribution to a professional association, committee, program or research/creative project; chairs of committees, work groups or task forces on which the candidate has served; and employees the candidate has supervised. It may include faculty with whom the candidate has worked.

CAPA has no hierarchical list of people who are considered more important than others for inclusion in the review dossier. Candidates new to UCB may naturally have more letters from non-UCB people as more of the candidate's significant achievements may have occurred in previous positions.

All letters used by the Review Initiator will become part of the candidate's file. APM360-80.e.f.; Berkeley Procedures, VI.D.6. 

D. How do I solicit letters?

The Review Initiator, using language regarding confidentiality of such letters, writes to the qualified evaluator requesting a letter of reference. The Review Initiator should also reply to unsolicited letters with the confidentiality statement. MOU Article 5.G.2.

Sample Reference Request letters may be found on the LHRD web site.

Ask that the letter be sent to you, the Review Initiator.

Provide a target due date that will ensure sufficient time for further steps. Upon receipt, a copy of any evaluative letter to be used in the review should be provided to the candidate, in redacted form, so that the candidate has an opportunity (at least seven days) to respond to or clarify any matters in the letter. Berkeley Procedures, VI.D.9.; APM360-80.g.

E. What should I do if I believe the candidate should not receive the requested advancement?

You need to state that in your letter of recommendation and provide detailed evidence and documentation to support your recommendation. The Review Initiator must give the candidate a copy of this letter of recommendation and allow the candidate to inspect the file, including redacted copies of any confidential evaluative letters. The candidate may write a written response to material in the file before it is forwarded to LHRD or APO. Berkeley Procedures, VI.D.9.; APM360-80.g.

F. How can I manage multiple candidates in a single year?

If you are the Review Initiator for more than one candidate, it will be especially important for you to use the calendars to help you start early and keep on track. Make appointments with each candidate and make a plan for each of you to follow. Monitor your progress regularly.

G. What do I do if the candidate does not turn in a self-evaluation?

Complete your own review and forward the review dossier without the self-evaluation on time. Berkeley Procedures, VI.B.1.b.,  .c.

H. What do I do if I have to be late in turning in the file?

A request for an extension must be in writing with an explanation of the unforeseen circumstance that requires an extension of the timetable. The extension request should be submitted to the next person in the review process (e.g., the candidate submits an extension request to the Review Initiator; the Review Initiator submits the request to the Department Head, AUL, UL, Dean, or Vice Provost for the Faculty, as appropriate; etc.). The maximum extension past the final deadline is thirty days.

Authorization for the extension must be secured no later than three weeks before the deadline. The individual granting the extension must notify LHRD or APO promptly. LHRD or APO will inform CAPA of the status of files upon request. Berkeley Procedures, VI.B.1.c.

I. Where do I get more help?

Attend the annual peer review workshops every year, but especially in the year in which you are writing a review. These workshops are useful for Review Initiators as well as candidates. Often the University Librarian and the outgoing Chair of CAPA present a portion of the workshop.

The outgoing Chair of CAPA, hosted by the UL, also usually presents an informal annual workshop specifically for RIs. All Ris are encouraged to attend, whether or not they have candidates undergoing review in the immediate cycle.The LHRD and APO web pages have helpful links to additional information and forms some of which are referred to in other parts of this FAQ. The LHRD pages, although not entirely applicable to Affiliated librarians, have much useful information for all librarians.

Past members of CAPA can answer questions. The Historical Roster of CAPA Members is posted on the web.