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Sixth Year Excellence Review

In 2003, UC-AFT negotiated the end of UC's practice of hiring lecturers on three year contracts after six years of teaching.  The new contract language established the excellence review process and the continuing appointment upon successful completion of the review.  While the review is often referred to as the "Sixth year review", it is in fact the 18th quarter or 12th semester review.  For the review to be initiated, a lecturer must reach the year in which their 18th quarter or 12th semester occurs in a single department.   A continuing appointment is an indefinite contract at a set percentage time.  Your appointment can be terminated only with proper notice according to the Layoff article in the Unit 18 contract.  For more information on the excellence review, see the bullet points below.   This information may vary slightly from campus to campus, so please contact your local's field representative to schedule an excellence review workshop.

  • Article 7b of the Unit MOU lays out the evaluation criteria and process for the excellence review.
  • In the fifteenth quarter or tenth semester, your department must determine whether or not there is a continuing need for your appointment.  See Article 7b.B
  • If the department and Dean agree that there is a continuing need, your review will be completed during the academic year in which your eighteenth quarter or twelfth semester occurs.
  • In advance of the review, your department needs to notify you of the timing, criteria, and process to be followed.  Typically, two months advance notice is considered acceptable by the union.  If your department has it own written review procedures, get a copy now so you know what the expectations are.
  • Often, departments will only ask you to submit a C.V., a self-statement on your teaching, and a list of names from whom they can solicit letters.  You can and should submit any materials that support your case for excellence.  This may include letters from colleagues and students, professional work outside the university that informs your teaching,  services you provided to the department such as writing letters of recommendation, etc.
  • Teaching evaluations are the most important factor in most reviews.  Take your evaluations seriously.  When you have a problem course, document your reasons for low scores or negative comments, and your efforts to improve the course.  Trends of improvement can be important in these reviews.
  • Don't be shy about pointing out your strengths.  Often, it is entirely upon us to make the case that we are excellent teachers.
  • Attach cover letters to your materials to make it easy for reviewers to find the important information, e.g., your strengths and weaknesses, what you've done to improve weak courses or build on strong ones, what you've brought to the department in addition to teaching.

Please inquire with your local staff about the next scheduled sixth year review workshop on your campus.  You may also download and print the workshop slides and brochure for more information.  

Demystifying the Sixth Year Review Workshop (PDF) 

Finally, if you have questions or concerns about your review or your rights with respect to the review, please contact your local field representative right away.