Faculty Promotions and Your Academic File

Department of History Promotion Guidelines

Over the past five years or so, UCSD’s Department of History has conducted a comprehensive review of its promotion guidelines. We began the process by conducting an informal survey of promotion review standards and practices in other University of California History programs and also contacted a number of peer institutions outside of the UC system. After compiling the data, we engaged in an extensive round of faculty consultations and over a matter of some months, we developed the guidelines below.


In a normal merit review the History Department expects a continuing record of successful teaching and service as well as evidence of ongoing scholarly productivity in the form of articles, papers, edited collections and/or book chapters.  We would normally expect 1-2 significant pieces of work for a two year review period and 2-3 significant items for a 3 year review period, which could include: research articles in “A”, submitted research articles in “C”, and drafts of unpublished book chapters.  The proportion of “A” and “C” items will shift over time, but the overarching expectation between major career reviews is ongoing publication of articles with evidence of continued progress on a book project. With the elimination of the “cross-over” steps, all merits will be “normal”.  However, because we are in a book discipline, CAP has acknowledged that our published output will not necessarily be even over several review periods between books.  For pre-tenure colleagues, we expect solid teaching of both lower- and upper-division courses but try to shield junior faculty from onerous service commitment both within the Department and the broader campus. For tenured faculty, the publication expectations remain the same but we also expect a solid record of teaching and service at the departmental, campus, and/or professional levels. We also take seriously candidates’ record in promoting principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the departmental, campus, and University levels. 


In the History Department, we closely mentor pre-tenure faculty members before each review cycle and take special care to inform them about the importance of the fourth-year review and appraisal. The bulk of a fourth-year review and appraisal focuses on the progress and quality of research of what is usually the candidate’s first book-length manuscript. Departmental reviewers base their appraisal on the quality and state of the manuscript, its development since the dissertation, and whether it is reasonable to expect that the book will be completed and accepted by a publisher within the next two years.  In addition, we usually expect a published article or two in Section A, a solid record of teaching, and at least some service at the departmental level.


For promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor with tenure, the Department of History requires the completion of a monograph, which is normally a substantially revised version of the candidate’s dissertation. Specifically, promotion to tenure is predicated upon a book manuscript being accepted by a reputable press, as documented either by the publisher’s letter informing the author that no further revisions are necessary to proceed with publication, or by a final manuscript in production. In addition to the book, the Department would normally expect a few published articles and/or book chapters and other signs of professional visibility (fellowships, book reviews in major journals, scholarly conference papers, invited lectures, etc.) Finally, given the book oriented focus of the discipline, we also require evidence of work toward realization of a second major project, which may include some combination of a prospectus, grant proposal, conference papers, and/or articles. For teaching and service, the Department expects the tenure candidate to have developed a variety of well-received course offerings (lower division and upper division lecture classes and graduate and/or undergraduate colloquia or seminars), and to have participated in two to three years of departmental- and/or campus service commitments. However, service expectations are kept to a minimum and assistant professors are not required to accept graduate students.


For promotion to Full Professor, the History Department requires a substantial original research contribution that usually takes the form of a second monograph. In book disciplines like history, the monograph represents the culmination of many years of research and writing, during which time the faculty member usually continues to publish shorter pieces that develop or parallel the argument of the book. It has been the practice of the UCSD History Department to wait for completion of a book-length manuscript to recommend promotion because the book provides outside reviewers with a coherent and significant research contribution to evaluate.  Because promotion to full professor is a career review, the Department also considers the overall scholarly trajectory of the candidate, and to help us in this assessment, we usually solicit at least six external reviews.  In addition to the scholarship, the Department also requires ongoing engagement and excellence in teaching and a reasonable level of service, which should include some combination of department committees, Academic Senate or other university-wide committees, UC system-wide service, and/or service to the historical profession.  


The requirements for promotion to Professor, Step VI include excellence in teaching, a substantial record of service, and a continuing record of engaged scholarship and publication, which traditionally in the History Department has meant the publication of a third monograph or rough equivalent in other scholarly research and publication. The PPM (230-28) guidelines for such advancement suggest that advancement to this level should require “evidence of excellence and high merit in original scholarship or creative achievement, teaching, and service; and in addition, great distinction, recognized nationally or internationally, in scholarly or creative achievement or in teaching.” The Department of History follows these criteria conscientiously and although it is no longer required by campus reviewers, we generally follow the practice of soliciting external reviews for all promotions to the rank of Professor, Step VI.


Promotion to Above Scale requires another major research publication, again, usually a book, as described above.  What makes above scale different is that the candidate must show excellence in all three areas, not just research and must demonstrate an international reputation, including a significant number of international referees and/or other evidence of status.  University guidelines are quite specific and the Department of History follows the stated criteria very carefully when considering such promotions. According to the PPM (230-28, p. 25):

Advancement to the rank of Professor, Above-Scale is reserved for scholars and teachers of the highest distinction whose work has been internationally recognized and acclaimed and whose teaching performance and service are excellent. (The honorary title of Distinguished Professor will be conferred on those who advance to Above-Scale in the Professor [Ladder Rank] Series. Except in rare and compelling cases, advancement will not occur after less than four years at Step IX. Moreover, mere length of service and continuing good performance at Step IX are not a justification for further salary advancement. There must be demonstration of additional review and distinction beyond the performance on which advancement to Step IX was based. The academic review file must reflect a critical career review.

Since advancement to the rank of Professor, Above-Scale is considered a career review, the Department of History usually solicits at least six external reviews in all such cases.


Accelerations across two merit steps normally require double the amount of publications required for a single step, PLUS strong service and teaching.  

Above Scale Merits

In formal terms, there are no “merits” for above scale files, but at the four year review cycle, we can request a 50% step, a 100% step, a 150% step or a 200% step.  According to CAP, these should NOT be considered the same as a “normal” half step, full step, etc.  CAP described the 100% step as a “super step”, requiring as much productivity as it took to get from Step IX to Above Scale.  Accelerations at this level occur in “rare and compelling” cases and require not only extraordinary research productivity but excellent service and teaching.

History Department Teaching Load Policy (2011)

The teaching load policy aims to achieve a balance between several goals: to provide excellent teaching for our graduate and undergraduate students, to maintain reasonable enrollment figures for the department and to equitably distribute the teaching among all the faculty members.

A) Regular Teaching Load

1) 4 courses a year

2) normal distribution is three lecture courses and one colloquium, except when a faculty member is teaching a 2 quarter graduate seminar.

3) Of the 3 lecture courses, the Department strongly encourages each faculty member to teach a lower division course, every year or every other year, as a service to the department. Lower division courses provide high enrollment numbers, they help recruit students into upper division courses and the major, they showcase our faculty, and they provide an important service to students by offering them broad surveys and skills development.

4) Individual instruction for undergraduate and graduate students will normally be additions to the standard course load. However, faculty may keep track of all the individual instruction (199s, Honor’s Theses, 298s, 299s), which can accumulate as points towards occasional course relief, no more than one course every 3 years. Faculty members can apply for a course relief after accumulating 16 points of individual instruction, and must submit documentation to the undergraduate committee when the following year’s matrix is being planned. Documentation will consist of: name of student/s, subject/syllabus, form of evaluation, quarter in which it was taught.

Points may be claimed based on the following system:

PhD Dissertation director or co-director (post-orals) 1 point (3 quarters)

Honors Thesis 1 point (2 quarters)

Independent Studies 1 point (1 quarter)

An independent study is a course given to one or more students on a single topic: several students doing the same reading/attending the same meeting counts as one independent study.

5. Zero teaching quarters will be considered normal practice for professors teaching lower division courses inside the department, as a partial compensation for the extra work involved. However, zero teaching quarters will also be available on a case-by-case basis for the rest of the faculty, based on field group and overall matrix needs. Faculty on zero quarters must fulfill all other departmental and university responsibilities, including committee service, individual instruction and attending department meetings.

6. Based on past enrollment figures in history courses, the Department has set an aspirational target of at least 250 students per faculty member per year in order to maintain current levels of university funding. However, taking into account the varied audience for different subjects, this number is meant to serve as a voluntary guideline, not a mandatory or punitive expectation.

7. For faculty who expect to reach the threshold of 250 students in one or two of their lecture classes (based on past enrollments), they will have greater flexibility in the remainder of their course offerings: 1) they will have the option of offering two small courses, either graduate or undergraduate, instead of one, or 2) they could choose to team teach a course with another faculty member, or 3) they could choose to cap the third upper division lecture course at 66 and utilize a TA.

8. For faculty teaching at least 250 students, and with large numbers of graduate students doing either independent study coursework or writing dissertation chapters, one of their small courses could be a “bundling” of a minimum of six graduate students into a colloquium or a dissertation writing seminar. If the 298s and/or 299s are expected and pre-planned, they could be turned into one of the four courses in the following year’s matrix. Pre-planning could be encouraged by surveying graduate student needs beforehand or by offering an extra graduate course on a specific topic. If the bundling occurs at the last minute, adding a fifth course to a faculty’s load, the faculty member can

have a course relief the following year.

B. Leaves

1. A faculty member on duty for two quarters will normally teach three courses, including two lecture courses.

2. A faculty member on duty for one quarter will normally teach two courses, including one lecture course.

C. Teaching Load Reductions for Service

a. Normally, reductions in the standard four-course load in consideration of departmental service assignments will be granted to the Chair of the department, who will teach two courses, the Vice-Chair, Academic Personnel, who will teach three courses, and the Chairs of the Graduate Committee and the Undergraduate Committee, who will teach seven courses over a two-year period of service.

b. Normally, reductions in the standard four-course load in consideration of extra-departmental service assignments will be granted to members of the divisional Committee on Academic Personnel, the Chair or Vice-Chair of the Academic Senate, and the campus coordinator of the Education Abroad program. Persons with such assignments will normally teach three courses, including at least two lecture courses.

c. Normally, anyone directing a Research and Instructional Unit administered by the Department with (i) major programs, (ii) language programs, (iii) lecturers, (iv) graduate students, and (v) community relations issues will receive a one-course reduction in the teaching assignment over a two-year period of service. Currently, these units include Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, and Judaic Studies.

d. The Chair may, when appropriate, approve a one-course reduction in the teaching assignment for new appointees, especially Assistant Professors, in their first year of duty.

e. All other course relief, such as that for directing special research or instructional units, must be negotiated with the Dean.

Departmental Assignments, 2017-8

Chair: Pamela Radcliff

Vice-Chair, Undergraduate: Dana Velasco-Murillo

EAP Adviser: Jessica Graham

Vice-Chair Academic Affairs: Uli Strasser

Director of Graduate Studies: Patrick Patterson

Newsletter: Jeremy Pretholdt (Spring)

Academic Senate Reps: Rebecca Plant and Bob Westman (Alternates: Hanna, Klein)

Diversity Officer:  Danny Widener
Will work with Graduate student diversity rep to develop programming and support for diversity related activities.  Two year term to be staggered with the graduate student diversity rep’s two year term.  

Graduate Liaison Committee

As faculty in this department, we want to provide a great environment for graduate students to pursue their research and to acquire the skills of the historical profession.  To that end, we have formed a  ‘Graduate Liaison Committee,’ comprised of two faculty members and a graduate student, as a channel for graduate students to voice any issues they might be having with their curriculum, training, collegial relationships or more informal departmental structures. We do not always know what is working and what is not, and sometimes we might seem too busy with all the other aspects of our jobs to have time to listen. But we very much want to understand how the department is functioning from the graduate student perspective, and we encourage you to contact us if something structural or curricular seems awry, or if anyone is experiencing discrimination, or if something that is working well seems threatened. We might not be able to change things right away, but we can sometimes explain why they are the way they are, or brainstorm ways to make things better, or help mediate conflicts. Any matters brought to the committee will be kept strictly confidential.


Graduate Committee

Is responsible for all graduate affairs affecting both current students and prospective student/applicants.  Manages graduate admissions, organizes fall orientation and the spring campus visit for prospective students.  Reviews and updates graduate student policies and makes sure the Graduate Handbook reflects current policies.  Reviews requests for travel and distributes travel grants.  Interfaces with Graduate Student Guild, which has a representative on the Graduate Committee. 

Patterson (Chair)
Demetriou (Medieval and Ancient)

TA training and Graduate Professional Development

Works with Master TA (and TLC) to organize a series of regular events throughout the year, including training sessions focused on professional development and TA and Reader training.


Undergraduate Committee

Is responsible for all undergraduate affairs. 

            Serves as a forum for field group representatives to discuss undergraduate issues.

Reviews undergraduate student policies, including the structure of the history major and the honors program and recommends changes to the department.

In consultation with the field groups, the committee puts together the teaching matrix for the following year, making sure that there are a reasonable distribution of courses across the quarters.

Coordinates with the graduate committee to assure that Associate-Ins are properly supervised.

Works with staff to organize educational and community-building events for history majors, including quarterly town meetings, and to update catalogue material. 

Awards Honors Thesis Rappaport Prize.

Will organize freshmen and transfer one unit seminars for entering declared history majors, and recruit faculty members from the department to lead weekly sessions.  May develop other events/training focused on transfer students who have declared as history majors. 

The committee members will also be responsible for attending one of the six college graduation ceremonies as the representative of the History Department or, alternatively, of recruiting a substitute. 

            In addition, the chair of the committee will appoint one member of the committee to organize the Temp FTE teaching matrix for the following year.  Field groups will submit proposals for temporary hires through their representative on the undergraduate committee, and the Temp FTE point person will work with the MSO to decide which courses most need to be taught to maintain a normal distribution of courses across fields, within the constraints of the available funds, including salary savings.

Velasco-Murillo (Chair)
Kayali (only for matrix build for ME)
Demetriou (F/W only for matrix build ancient)
Watts (S)

Planning Committee

Is responsible for long-term planning for the department’s future.  Given the shift from expansion to contraction, the central issue is how to manage the expected shrinkage in FTE, how to frame the smaller number of FTE we can expect, and how to better coordinate and share resources across field groups, including developing research and teaching “clusters” to advertise our strengths.  Will also discuss how to develop fund-raising/development projects, in collaboration with the Dean’s development staff.

           (ad hoc if necessary)

Faculty Seminar Committee

Is responsible for organizing seminars for our own faculty to present their work, which may include faculty who are retiring, book presentations or workshops for work in progress.  The committee is also responsible for distributing money from the annual faculty lectures budget; faculty will submit formal proposals to fund or co-fund outside speakers.

Gallant (Chair)


Faculty Mentees/Mentors

Faculty Mentees: Mentors
Jessica Graham Luis Alvarez
Claire Edington Cathy Gere
Simeon Man Danny Widener
Wendy Matsamura Todd Henry
Matthew Vitz Michael Provence
Nir Shafir Hasan Kayali

Department Meetings for Personnel files

December 6:       Matt Vitz        (Dana Murillo, lead reviewer)

                             Wendy Matsamura  (Todd Henry, lead reviewer)

December 13th  Christine Hunefeldt  (Eric Van Young, lead reviewer)

                              Dana Murillo (Career Equity Review)

January 10th:      Sarah Schneewind  (Nancy Caciola, lead reviewer)

                             Rachel Klein  (Rebecca Plant, lead reviewer)

Modern Search Committee

  • Karl Gerth, chair

  • Sarah Schneewind

  • Todd Henry

  • Hasan Kayali

  • Victor Shih (GPS)

Ancient Jewish History Search Committee

  • Denise Demetriou, chair
  • Ed Watts
  • Deborah Hertz
  • Nancy Caciola
  • Tom Levy (Anthro)

Early Modern Mediterranean

  • Tom Gallant, chair

  • Dana Murillo

  • Pamela Radcliff

  • Nina Zhiri (Lit)