AP Promotional Process Page

This page provides guidance and support for the process of the promotion of Academic Professional (AP) staff within the University Library.


About the AP Promotion Program

This program aims to provide a path for career advancement for Academic Professionals in all permanent positions in the Library. The principles that guide this framework include:

  • Create a well-defined promotional path for Academic Professionals to improve talent development, succession planning, and employee retention at the Library
  • Recognize the incremental development of academic professional skills and experience as part of a cohesive framework for professional advancement in the organization
  • Provide promotional opportunities that can be recognized by other campus units and institutions
  • Demonstrate an organizational commitment to the ongoing stewardship of the professional advancement processes for academic professionals.

The program is run annually and the AP promotional process begins with the individual APs themselves – it is a self-nominating promotional process and APs may choose if and when to seek promotion.

For more details, see the AP Promotion Program Description (2021).  Please note that, as a new program, it is still under development.  For questions, contact the Assistant Dean for Business and Human Resources, Susan Breakenridge (susanb3@illinois.edu). 

Promotion Eligibility & Criteria


To be eligible for promotion under this program, one must be

  • An Academic Professional in a permanent (non-visiting) role. Visiting Academic Professionals are not eligible for promotion; however, their time in the Library counts toward professional experience if the visiting position becomes permanent.
  • Have a minimum of two consecutive full years of annual performance reviews with an overall rating of “solid performer” or “outstanding” [Note: The 2020-2021 annual performance evaluation period is expected to open soon.]
  • Have an initial rank established (as of January, 2019, all existing Library APs have had their initial rank established and new AP hires have their rank established soon after their start date).
  • Not be currently serving on the AP Peer Review Promotion Advisory Committee, which reviews promotion applications

It is expected that the standard timeline for promotion requests would be a minimum of three years between promotions from assistant to associate and associate to senior associate.  A minimum of five years is anticipated for promotion from senior associate to senior.  However, all promotion candidates are reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine promotion readiness.  Note that promotions must follow the promotional rank pathway and may not skip a level.

Promotion Criteria

This program is intended to recognize sustained excellent performance and accomplishments in an Academic Professional’s area of expertise and professional assignment over the course of their career.  As such, in addition to the eligibility requirement of two consecutive full years of annual performance reviews with an overall rating of “solid performer” or “outstanding”, the promotion review comprises four criteria:

  • Overall Experience
  • Professional Service
  • Professional Knowledge
  • Institutional Leadership or Contribution

The breadth and depth of each of these four criteria increases with rank.

For a full description of each rank’s corresponding criteria, see the AP Promotion Criteria Table.

Review Committee

The Academic Professional Peer Review Promotion Advisory Committee comprises three elected Library APs (preferably in Senior or Senior Associate ranks) and two AULs  or Directors.  The committee reviews applications submitted by Academic Professionals annually and provides their recommendations to the University Librarian.

All committee members will follow practices that ensure notes, evaluations, correspondence, and conversations are kept confidential.  Committee members will strive at all times to be fair, professional, and unbiased in assessments.

To see the current Review Committee membership, visit the Academic Professional Peer Review Promotion Advisory Committee page.

Promotional Process Calendar

This is the general, anticipated timeline.  Exact dates will be communicated via LibNews.
Note: This timeline may be adjusted in future years based on feedback and review of the 2-year pilot.
Annual DateProcedural PhasePersons/Groups Involved
Mid MayCall for interested APs to consider submission of materials for current annual promotion review cycleAP Promotional Review Committee
Early JulySelf-nominations and optional letters of support dueAPs
Late SeptemberCommittee completes review & submits recommendationsAP Promotional Review Committee
Early OctoberDean reviews & makes promotion decisionsUniversity Librarian and Dean of Libraries
Late OctoberCandidate notifications and appeal windowAPs, Library BHRSC
Early DecemberLibrary submits promotions for campus-level reviewSupervisors, Library BHRSC, Illinois HR, Office for Access & Equity, Office of the Provost
Mid FebruaryPromotions effective & announced to the LibraryLibrary BHRSC

AP Promotion Process & Documents

The self-nomination process will ask that the interested Academic Professionals submit a current resume or curriculum vitae (CV) as well as a promotional statement in support of their requested consideration for promotion. Submitted promotional statements and resume/CV will be used as the basis for the review.

This year, the call for self-nominations was sent to LibNews on May 17, 2021.  Academic Professionals who are interested in seeking promotion under the AP Promotion Program should submit their self-nominations by 5PM Monday, July 12, at https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/207788334

Supervisors may upload optional letters of support at: https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/9679402. Letters should be submitted before the candidate self-nomination periods ends at 5PM Monday, July 12.


Office Hours

Members of the Academic Professional Peer Review Promotion Advisory Committee and the Business & Human Resources Service Center will hold office hours:

  • Mon, May 24 1PM-2PM
  • Wed, June 9 11AM-12PM
  • Mon, June 28  3PM-4PM

Office hours will be announced on LibNews with Zoom link as we get closer to the dates.


Resources for Professional Development Support

  • Library Investigation Time Policy Investigation Time is the continued development of skills and knowledge of Academic Professional (AP) employees in a fashion that recognizes their specialized backgrounds. Full-time APs regardless of their official title should be investigating areas of interest to them, even if those investigations are not directly in support of an immediate programmatic need. A few examples of the things APs might pursue are taking online courses, tutorials, webinars, on a relevant topic; analyzing information in different ways; learning a (new) programming language, or more advanced techniques; learning about or practicing different research methods; creating a new software application; finding a career mentor (within the library or elsewhere on campus); learning about project management or other aspects of management; and writing a paper intended for publication.  https://www.library.illinois.edu/staff/humanresources/human/resources/guidelines-for-investigation-time/
  • Library Research and Publications Committee  The Library Research and Publication Committee is a standing committee of the Library Faculty and Academic Professionals established to encourage research and publication among Library Professionals by providing monetary support; bringing alternate sources of funding to the attention of Library Professionals; stimulating interest in and discussion of research ideas and methodologies; providing practical criticism of and support for research projects; and advancing Library research and publications within the University community. The Committee reviews and approves or disapproves funding requests for student wages, graduate hourlies, travel to other research collections, photocopying, manuscript preparation, data analysis, the creation of illustrations, editing for non-native English speakers, etc. The Committee sponsors occasional brown-bag series that focus on library research.  https://www.library.illinois.edu/staff/committee/research-and-publication-committee/
  • Library Council of Academic Professionals (L-CAP)  The L-CAP is charged with liaising with library administration, faculty, and staff to ensure the representation and inclusion of the AP voice in decisions and projects that impact the University Library. L-CAP members, or representatives, are appointed as liaisons to update and voice AP matters with EC, AC, LSSC, CAP (Council of Academic Professionals) and with other relevant task-forces or committees as deemed necessary; supporting APs through representation, regular communication about library affairs, and advocacy for professional development opportunities; advising administration on current and future promotional considerations for APs, including performance metrics and reviews; and ensuring that Library APs are nominated and represented in campus-wide activities. https://www.library.illinois.edu/staff/committee/library-committee-of-academic-professionals-l-cap/
  • University Council of Academic Professionals (CAP)  CAP is an elected assembly serving the interests of full-time, part-time, and retired academic professionals at Illinois. It provides direct and concerted communication between academic professional staff and administrative officers of the University. http://cap.illinois.edu/
  • Academic Professional Development Fund The Academic Professional Development Fund (APDF) provides a source of funds for academic professional staff members (permanent/non-visiting) with at least 50% appointments, to take advantage of professional development opportunities. The Office of the Provost provides up to $50,000 per year in APDF awards. https://specialprograms.research.illinois.edu/Default.aspx

Resume and Statement Support


This list will be expanded with additional frequently asked questions as we receive them.

QuestionIf there is a 3 to 5 year minimum time frame for promotion, does that mean I’m ineligible if I more recently received my initial rank?

Answer:  No, this time frame applies to the time between promotions, not the time between having your initial rank established and a promotion.  As part of entering into the program, all Academic Professionals need to have an initial rank established that reflects where they are currently in their career.  Sometimes an Academic Professional is close to the next promotion rank when their initial rank is established and should be able to apply for promotion at the next, appropriate opportunity. For questions about your eligibility, please attend office hours.

Question: Will I be reclassified to a Civil Service position if I get promoted?

A small number of Library APs (essentially those in IT, HR, and Business) could be reclassified if they obtain promotion under the new campus-level review process. However, these employees would be reclassified at some point through the functional audits that are being conducted. Illinois Human Resources will notify us if an individual will be reclassified as part of receiving the promotion, and they would have an opportunity to decline the promotion. However, if the individual’s position is audited and reclassified in the future, then that reclassification would happen without the promotion and salary increase.

Question:  How can I find out about changes the 2021 program?

Answers: For important information presented on Dec 4, 2020, about updates taking effect with the 2021 program, please see the AP Promotion Program Updates for 2021 slides. You can also reach out the program coordinator, Jake MacGregor (jdmac@illinois.edu).

Question:  Will there be office hours where I can ask about the AP Promotion Program?

Answer: Yes, office hours will be held on these dates and times:

  • Mon, May 24, 2021    1PM-2PM
  • Wed, June 9, 2021     11AM-12PM
  • Mon, June 28, 2021   3PM-4PM

Each office hour will be announced via LibNews and will include the Zoom link.

Question: Are candidates required to have a letter of support from their supervisor?

Answer: No, a letter of support is not required.  However, if you are able to provide one, it would help strengthen your case.

Question: How do I submit a letter of support from my supervisor?

Answer: Supervisors can upload letters of support at https://go.library.illinois.edu/APletters before the end of the candidate self-nomination period.

Question: I perform work for more than one unit or individual.  Which person would be considered my supervisor?

Answer: For the purposes of clarity, the AP Peer Review Promotion Advisory Committee defines the supervisor as the person who writes the AP’s annual performance evaluation.  If the AP has had a recent change in supervisor, they should reach out to one or both AULs on the AP Peer Review Promotion Advisory Committee for guidance on how to handle the optional but recommended letter of support from the supervisor or similar concerns.

Questions: Who can I contact for questions about this program?

Answer: Please contact the Assistant Dean for Business and Human Resources, Susan Breakenridge (susanb3@illinois.edu) or the program coordinator, Jake MacGregor (jdmac@illinois.edu).