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Hints for the Review Initiator
Peer review is a process in which a librarian's performance is evaluated by a Review Initiator (RI), the candidate documents his/her professional activities and contributions, and then a committee of the librarian's peers reviews the entire file. The committee advises the University Librarian (UL) on the merits of the peer review action, academic merit increases, promotions, career status and other actions. The process requires specific documentation which, standing alone, should tell the story of the librarian's performance during the review period. The RI is responsible for the recommendation/evaluation and for adhering to the calendar.
This information sheet offers helpful hints for RIs, and is not intended to replace specific instructions found in the CALL.
The peer review process is more than just a performance evaluation. The RI is a guide for the candidate and for the peer review process. The RI works together with the candidate to set goals for the upcoming review period, and meet with the candidate to evaluate progress regularly throughout the review period. This lets the candidate know the RI's expectations before the formal written appraisal process begins.
Periodic discussions of performance expectations enable the RI to:
The RI also works with the candidate to develop an accurate Statement of Responsibilities. If significant changes in responsibilities occur during the review period, both old and new duties and length of time spent in each should be noted.
Preparing the Evaluation
The primary goal of the evaluation is to describe how well the candidate met performance expectations in her/his primary area(s) of responsibility (Criteria I). As a reminder, in addition to Criteria I, candidates may participate in any or all of Criteria II - IV. Therefore, the evaluation should also discuss how the candidate's efforts in the other Criteria have impacted their Criteria I responsibilities and achievements. In addition, the RI should discuss how the candidate has contributed to the profession through Criteria I and any other Criteria in which the candidate has participated.
The evaluation should cover the entire period specified for the recommended merit or promotion, and should not be limited simply to recent months. It is helpful to have drafts of the candidate's Data Summary and Statement of Professional Achievements before writing the evaluation.
The essential elements to place in the evaluation are:
The evaluation should include specific examples and a realistic picture of activities accomplished first in Criteria I and then in other Criteria. Include descriptions of extenuating circumstances or unusual events that may have influenced the candidate's ability to meet expectations. Discuss how the candidate's professional development activities in all Criteria contribute to furthering the goals of the UCLA Library and the profession.
Additional Documentation - Promotion & Acceleration
Promotion documentation must include a Data Summary and Statement of Professional Achievements for the entire period of UCLA employment, as well as a resume covering the candidate's career prior to employment within the UCLA Library system. Promotion and acceleration recommendations also require additional documentation, such as letters of recommendation. Sources of letters may include the candidate's colleagues if appropriate (e.g., for a group project or committee) or others, especially if the Statement of Responsibilities or Statement of Professional Achievements indicates that these remarks will be important to determine whether the candidate met performance expectations. Because promotion and acceleration require letters from outside the unit and outside the UCLA Library, both the RI and the candidate may need more time to coordinate and plan than would be necessary otherwise.
Redaction: The candidate may request, and must then receive, redacted copies of all letters of recommendation. See Appendix F of the CALL for a copy of the wording to be used when requesting reference letters. When letters of recommendation are redacted, both the original and the redacted letters are included in the candidate's review packet, although the candidate receives copies of only the redacted versions.
Length of Documentation: Resulting from a motion at the Fall 1995 membership meeting, RIs should be aware that it is the candidate, regardless of rank or step, who determines the length of her/his documentation; that candidates who are up for review only (no merit or promotion action), may prepare either full or succinct documentation without prejudice to their case. Librarians at the penultimate or plateau steps may remain at these steps without prejudice.
Successful Management of the Peer Review Process
Adhere to the calendar of deadlines for the peer review process. The final responsibility for a successful peer review process and documentation is shared between review initiator and candidate; however, it is the review initiator's responsibility to get the process started on time and to allow plenty of advance time for the preparation of documentation.
Hold a meeting with the candidate to share drafts of all peer review documents and provide feedback before the final peer review packet is prepared. Be aware of the candidate's right to prepare a rejoinder if the two of you cannot come to agreement on terminology, tone or recommended action.
For more specific information or assistance during the peer review process, please consult:
Hints for the Review Initiator; rev. 20
Updated: November 18, 2009
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