Part 6 – Information for Senior Lateral Appointments (UCAPT)

6.1 Timing and the UCAPT Process

Senior lateral appointments use the same basic dossier format and UCAPT process as promotions, but some abbreviation and modifications of the process are permissible, as detailed below.

All appointment offers require approval by the Provost through the UCAPT process if they are at the associate professor or professor rank, with or without tenure. The Provost’s approval must be obtained before a firm offer letter is issued. (However, visiting, RTPC, and assistant professor appointments are made by the dean, as detailed in Faculty Handbook section 4-A.)

The department should notify the office of the Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs as soon as the appointment is in the pipeline, and the dossier should reach UCAPT by March 15, to ensure a decision by the end of the academic year.

If expedited UCAPT consideration is requested, the dean must personally explain to the Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs the reason for the urgency, the date by which a decision is requested, why the dossier could not be submitted earlier, and why the Provost should make an exception to the usual UCAPT processes.

Preferably, the school should submit the dossier to UCAPT before extending any letter of offer to the candidate. If time does not permit going through UCAPT first, a conditional offer may be made to the candidate. Such a letter must state that its terms are conditional on approval by the Provost, using the University’s template language for such situations. Any conditional offer must be immediately followed by submission of a dossier to UCAPT. The conditional offer does not in itself authorize employment by USC.

In some cases, the Provost will have been consulted early about an appointment or its funding. However, even in such cases, the Provost’s decision on tenure is not made until the UCAPT process has been completed.

6.2 Contents of the Dossier

See section 8 of this Manual for a detailed description of dossier contents. For senior lateral appointments only, certain sections of the dossier may be modified as follows:

  • Administrative Assessments: Department and school custom may allow the use of different committees for appointment than for promotion. Lateral appointments require documentation of the position posting or the pre-hire posting waiver from the Provost’s Office. Assessments should describe the measures taken to ensure that there was proactive outreach and that searches were conducted in a manner consistent with USC policy.
  • Personal Statement: This may or may not be available.
  • Teaching Record: If the normal information is not available, an official or colleague at the candidate’s current institution may be asked for an assessment of the individual as teacher and mentor.
  • Service: Sufficient information may be available in the CV or from the public record.
  • External Reviewers: If there is good reason to do so, and with the approval of the Vice Provost of Academic and Faculty Affairs, emails may be used for evaluation rather than letters. For scholars of great eminence, a somewhat smaller number of reviewers may suffice, and the evaluation may be more limited in focus. If the dean would like to include a smaller number of reviewers or deviate from the template, he or she should obtain approval from the Vice Provost in advance.

6.3 Internal Lateral Appointments

Under our longstanding practice, an abbreviated process is used when a faculty member currently holding a tenured appointment in one USC department or school is proposed for a tenured appointment in a different USC department or school.

In this case, the timing need not conform to the usual schedule. The contents of the dossier are abridged upon consultation with the Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs. Generally, a current CV will be sufficient. External letters are not requested. Recommendations from the new department or school’s faculty and dean are required, as is the approval of the Provost. Generally, no consultation with UCAPT is necessary before the Provost makes a decision about the new appointment. The changed status will then be updated in the school’s contract system.

When an individual formerly held a tenured appointment at USC but does not currently, the regular process for considering an external appointment is followed. However, the dossier can be abbreviated if approval in advance is obtained from the Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs.

A tenured offer to someone who is currently a visiting faculty member is considered an external appointment. There must be an open, posted search either before the visiting appointment or at the time of the proposed regular appointment.