Academic Promotions

Academic Promotion for Levels C, D and E (Higher Education) Procedure

Policy Code: HR1471

Purpose

The procedure exists to ensure that the University’s Academic Promotions for Levels C, D and E (Higher Education) Policy is implemented in a consistent, equitable and effective manner.  The procedure clearly describes the procedural components of Academic Promotions for Levels C, D and E (Higher Education) Policy.

Scope

Eligible academic staff seeking promotion to Academic Levels C, D and E.  To be eligible, staff must have completed at least one year’s service at the University at the date of call for applications and who have successfully completed their probationary period.

Applicants must have participated in the University's Performance Review and Development Program (or probationary period) during the 12 months prior to the closing date of applications and demonstrated at least satisfactory performance and professional development.

Academic staff who have applied unsuccessfully for promotion are ineligible to apply the year following an unsuccessful application.  Applicants are highly encouraged to discuss timing of promotion plans with their associated Dean/Director. In exceptional circumstances, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) may approve an application from a staff member, supported by the relevant Dean, the year following an unsuccessful application.

Casual and sessional academic staff are not eligible to apply for promotion.

Definitions

Term Definition
Academic Organisational Unit (AOU) Academic staff of the University may be employed in variously named academic organisational units such as a school, portfolio and research centre, and directorates/sections that undertake teaching and research functions as a primary objective.
Academic Promotion Advancement to a higher academic level based on evidence that the applicant is performing satisfactorily at the higher academic level to which promotion is sought and that the applicant meets the levels of achievement required for promotion to the higher level.
Achievement Relative to Opportunity

The University is committed to ensuring that the principles of equal opportunity are applied in relation to the promotion process through providing the opportunity for evaluation of an applicant's achievements relative to the opportunities available.

The promotion process takes account of work arrangements that have not been consistently full-time by enabling staff to outline relevant personal circumstances and working arrangements, and their impact on career progression and performance.  The consideration of ‘achievement relative to opportunity’ ensures that merit standards are being maintained and positively acknowledges what has been achieved given the actual opportunities available.  Relevant personal circumstances or arrangements that might have resulted in limitations to opportunity can include:

  • ill-health and/or disability, whether temporary or permanent;
  • carer responsibilities;
  • part-time or flexible work arrangements, planned or unplanned, including absence on parental leave; and
  • other relevant circumstances.

Applicants need to make explicit the relationship between these relevant personal circumstances or arrangements and the relative impact on the opportunities available to them and their career progression and performance.

Promotion committees will consider whether overall, and on balance, applicants holding, or having held, fractional appointments demonstrate an appropriate level of contribution and of the requisite quality, relative to the opportunities available to them.  This aims to reduce the possibility of applicants being assessed against the norm of an uninterrupted full-time fraction where it does not apply.

Application Template The Application template  is a standard document that enables an applicant to provide a critical, concise and reflective description of achievements aligned to the three Areas of Achievement and the Criteria Framework.
Areas of Achievement

There are three areas of achievement relevant to academic promotion. These areas reflect the academic focus aligned with the University’s Strategic Plan.  The three areas include:

  • Learning and Teaching;
  • Research and Creativity; and
  • Leadership, Engagement and Academic Citizenship.

These are clearly outlined in Appendix 1 of the Criteria Framework.

Case for Promotion The application template requires the presentation of evidence of achievement in the three areas of achievement and provision of critically reflective comment on both the scope, quality and impact of activity and achievement.

Criteria Framework

 

The Criteria Framework describes indicators of achievement across the three Areas of Achievement.  This framework provides supporting information to applicants to enable them to self-rank their level of achievement.
Dean The Academic Promotion for Levels C, D and E (Higher Education) Policy and Procedure refers generically to the Dean, the school being the main employer of academic staff who may seek promotion.  This may also be taken to refer to Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Director of other academic organisational units (AOU) such as a portfolio, a research centre and directorates/sections that undertake teaching and research functions as a primary objective and who employ academic staff who may seek promotion.

Dean Report

 

The Dean’s Report is completed as part of the application template (Section 6) and includes commentary of the applicant’s progress in each of the Areas of Achievement and aligned with the indicators within the Criteria Framework.
Executive Officer The Executive Officer of the Promotion Panel Committee is a senior member of Human Resources who supports the process.  The aim of this role is to oversee and monitor adherence to the policy and procedure.  The Executive Officer has no voting rights on the promotion committee.
Formal Qualifications The Academic Promotion Procedure stipulates a requirement of a PhD or a doctorate.
Independent Assessor An external expert who has not been employed by the University in the three years prior to the application in a nominated discipline, who offers a balanced and independent assessment of the applicant’s standing in the nominated discipline and of the merits of the application based on pre-determined criteria.
Independent Assessor Template A template used to collect expert feedback from the Independent Assessor on an applicant’s application template.
Independent Observer The Independent Observer (or nominee) for the panel will be external to the University and possess equity and diversity expertise.  The role of the observer is to provide feedback to the promotion committee on the adherence to the Academic Promotion for Levels C, D and E (Higher Education) Procedure.  The Independent Observer has no voting rights on the promotion committee.
Indicators of Achievement Each area of achievement is underpinned by indicators/criteria.  See Criteria Framework.
Minimum Standards for Academic Levels (MSALs): The MSALs are a generic listing of standards and/or expectations of an academic at each level.  For further information refer to the Union Collective Agreement.
Performance Review and Development Program (PRDP)

The University's performance management process whereby:

  • the strategic priorities and objectives of the University and relevant portfolio/school/directorate are aligned to the performance and professional development of employees;
  • PRDP supervisors clarify duties, responsibilities and expectations for employees;
  • PRDP supervisors and employees meet to plan, monitor and review performance and professional development; and
  • satisfactory performance and development are linked to salary incremental advancement for eligible employees.
Promotion Interview Guidelines Guidelines that provide clear direction for applicants seeking promotion to Academic Levels D and E and are required to attend a formal interview.
Ranking Areas of Achievement

An applicant must self-nominate the ranking profile for their application based on the three Areas of Achievement.

Ranking should be based on the order in which an applicant would like their application to be assessed.  For example, the first ranked is the area in which the applicant would like the primary focus to be given in the assessment by the Promotion Panel, etc.

For ‘Research only’ appointments, applicants are not required to rank the 'Learning and Teaching' Area of Achievement.

Referee A person willing to testify in writing in regard to the character or ability of the applicant applying for promotion to Academic. Level C.
Referee Report Template This template provides the applicant a self-nominated referee with an opportunity to provide character and skill ability commentary relevant to their particular experiences and expertise.
Teaching Expectations for Academic Staff The Teaching Expectations for Academic Staff (Part B) provides academic level teaching expectations and related examples of evidence to support applicants responding to the Learning and Teaching Areas of Achievement.

Actions

Call for Applications for Promotion and Timeline

  1. The University will call for applications for promotion in June/July.  The call out will specify the electronic format and mode of submission.
  2. Applications on the prescribed application template, must be submitted by 30 September 2019 by 5:00pm and 31 August (2020-2023) by 5:00pm.
  3. Late applications will not be accepted.
  4. The Director, Human Resources (or nominee) will forward applications to the Executive Officer of the University promotion committee who will seek, collect and appropriately distribute confidential completed Referee Reports and Independent Assessor reports within four weeks of the closing promotion submission date.
  5. The deliberations of the University promotion committees will normally take place from October to December.  All panel members will have a minimum 10 working days to assess completed applications.
  6. The Executive Officer will coordinate the proceedings of the University promotion committees and forward all recommendations to the Director, Human Resources and Vice-Chancellor.
  7. The Director, Human Resources (or nominee) will advise the relevant Dean whether or not the applicants from their school have been successful and will advise the applicants of the outcome of their promotion application in writing by the end of December in any given year.
  8. Promotions take effect from 1 January the following year.

Applications

  1. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide adequate commentary and associated evidence demonstrating significant achievements relative to the desired promotion level.  All commentary and evidence must align with University Areas of Achievement, the Criteria Framework and other requirements as specified in the application template.
  2. Applicants are strongly recommended to consult with the relevant Dean prior to commencing the application process.
  3. Applicants applying for promotion to Academic Level C and above will have successfully completed a PhD qualification or doctorate.
  4. All applications must be prepared in line with the prescribed application template.
  5. Information on the application form It is confidential and used only for:
    • the purpose of assessing an application for academic promotion;
    • communicating with the applicant;
    • attending to administrative matters;
    • de-identified statistical analysis; and
    • disclosure to the University promotion committees.

Content of Applications

  1. Applicants must complete Section 1–5 of the application template.  The Dean must complete Section 6.  All sections must be completed prior to submission date.
  2. The Executive Officer will contact the relevant Dean to complete the Independent Assessor details within the application template during the administrative process.
  3. Original documents and records relating to case evidence are maintained by the applicant and may be called upon by the relevant promotion committee or the Dean as part of the promotion process.
  4. The applicant can provide case-specific evidence via USB to Human Resources upon submission of their application.
Application Template
Section 1 - Application Form

This section contains:

  1. Applicant details
  2. Equity information
  3. Appointment details
  4. Self-nominated ranking level of achievement
  5. Academic workload record
  6. Case for achievement relevant to opportunity
Section 2 - Summary of case for Promotion

This section contains:

  1. Summary statement of key achievements
  2. Discipline context summary
Section 3 - Curriculum Vitae

This section contains:

  1. Academic qualifications
  2. Employment history
  3. Academic/Professional awards and distinctions
  4. Academic/Professional association memberships/roles
Section 4 - Case for promotion
This section contains:
  1. Applicant responses to all three Areas of Achievement aligned with the Criteria Framework.  Also refer to theTeaching Expectations for Academic Staff (Part B).

  2. Respond to specific requirements relevant to each Areas of Achievement as specified in the application template
Section 5 - Referee Reports
  1. Applicants seeking promotion to Academic Level C will nominate one referee as part of the promotion application process.  A referee should be an individual of standing in relevant academic and professional fields whose judgement will be relied upon by the University promotion committee.  The referee should confirm the applicant’s claims across the three Areas of Achievement (for 'Research only' appointments claims for two Areas of Achievement).
  2. Applicants seeking promotion to Academic Levels D and E are not required to submit any referee details within the promotion process.
  3. A referee must be consulted by applicants prior to listing their details within the application template.
  4. Referees will be requested to complete the referee report template as part of the promotion application process.  Referees will be provided with three week turn-around-time within the promotion timeline process.
  5. Referees may be external and/or international.
    • External referee – a person not employed within the University and who has not been employed at the University during the three years preceding the application; and
    • International referee –an external referee as defined above who is an internationally recognised authority in a relevant discipline, field or profession and resides outside Australia.
  6. The applicant is responsible for supplying a copy of their application to their referee at the time of submission.
Section 6 - Dean's Report

This section contains:

  1. Applicants must provide a copy of their completed prescribed application template (Section 1-5) to the Dean/Director/DVC four weeks prior to the submission date.  The Dean/Director/DVC is required to evaluate the complete application and complete Section 6.  
  2. The Dean will provide a transparent appraisal to the applicant regarding the information presented in the application relevant to the Areas of Achievementand the Criteria Framework.
  3. The Dean will provide a recommendation for the case of promotion with supporting reasons.
  4. Once the Dean has completed their Dean’s report, the applicant has an opportunity to respond (optional).  This response may form part of the final application template.
Section 7 - Independent Assessors Report

This section contains:

  1. Independent Assessors are nominated by the Dean in alignment with the applicants' discipline context.
  2. The Dean must nominate one Independent Assessor for Academic Level C applications.
  3. The Dean must nominate two Independent Assessors for Academic Level D and E applications.
  4. The Executive Officer is responsible for contacting the Independent Assessor and ensuring a completed report is included with the application.
Response format
  1. The following is the prescribed University format and should be adhered to when preparing applications using the prescribed application template:
    • Arial typeface;
    • headings emboldened;
    • 11 point font minimum.
    • A4 pages with minimum margins of 2 cm;
    • no blank page separators.
  2. Each template provides specific information on maximum page numbers or maximum word length and limits, and where provided, must not be exceeded.
  3. Applications tendered in formats other than those specified will not be considered.
  4. Summarised information is encouraged where appropriate, and tables may be used to present information.  The relevant University promotion committee or Dean may call for elaboration on or proof of any of the summarised material as required.
Interviews for Academic Level D and Level E applicants
  1. Interviews will be undertaken for Academic Level D and Level E applicants.
  2. Applicants should refer to the Promotion Interview Guidelines in preparation for the interview.
  3. All panel members including panel Chairs, will successfully complete the Promotion Interview Assessment Training.  The training will provide guidelines to panel members regarding the formal assessment of interviews in the application process.  
Supporting Evidence

Original documents and artefacts must be submitted to Human Resources together with applications by the closing date.  Applicants are requested to submit these on a USB to Human Resources.

Ranking Areas of Achievement

The applicant is required to decide which Area of Achievement they consider their primary strength and demonstrate that they  have sufficiently met indicators at the nominated promotion level.  This primary Area of Achievement should be ranked number one.  Ranking an Area of Achievement number one, indicates to the Promotion Committee significant achievements at the nominated promotion level.

The applicant is required to decide which Area of Achievement they consider their second strength and demonstrate that they are working towards meeting indicators at the nominated promotion level.  The secondary Area of Achievement should be ranked number two.  Ranking an Area of Achievement number two, indicates to the Promotion Committee that an applicant is gradually working towards achievements at the nominated promotion level and has exceeded achievements at the current academic level.

The applicant needs to decide which Area of Achievement they consider their third strength and demonstrate that they have met indicators at their current academic level.  The third Area of Achievement should be ranked number three.  Ranking an Area of Achievement number three, indicates to the Promotion Committee that an applicant is meeting achievements at the current academic level.

All three Areas of Achievement must be ranked.

For ‘Research only’ appointments, applicants are not required to rank the ‘Learning and Teaching’ Area of Achievement.

Basis of Promotion

The Promotion Committee will examine all applications in line with University policy and procedure and in context with rankings as nominated by the applicant.  The Promotion Committee deliberation will be informed by:

  • Clear evidence demonstrating the applicant’s first-ranked Area of Achievement aligns with indicators specified at the nominated promotion level.
  • Clear evidence demonstrating the applicant’s second-ranked Area of Achievement aligns with working towards indicators specified for the nominated promotion level.
  • Clear evidence demonstrating the applicant’s third-ranked Area of Achievement aligns with having satisfactorily met indicators at their current academic level.

University Promotion Committees

Membership of University Promotion Committees

There are three separate and distinct panels.  To reach gender balance, co-option of additional staff members may occur and is at the recommendation of the panel chair.

The composition for each panel is as follows:

Academic Level C

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (or nominee) – Chair
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) (or nominee)
  • Two members of the University at the Associate Professor or Professor level - who are not Deans - nominated by the Chair
  • Two members external to the University at the Associate Professor or Professor level nominated by the Chair
  • Executive Officer
  • Independent Observer

Academic Level D

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (or nominee) – Chair
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) (or nominee)
  • Two members of the University's professoriate - who are not Deans - nominated by the Chair
  • Two senior academic members external to the University at the professorial level nominated by the Chair
  • Executive Officer
  • Independent Observer

Academic Level E

  • Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) – Chair
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or nominee
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) or nominee
  • Two members of the University at the professorial level - who are not Deans - nominated by the Chair
  • Two members external to the University at the professorial level nominated by the Chair
  • Executive Officer
  • Independent Observer

Limitations on Composition of University Promotion Committees

The composition of a University promotion committee is limited in the following ways:

  1. Any person who is an applicant shall not be a member of the committee to which they have applied.
  2. Any member of a committee shall not act as a referee for any applicant to the committee of which they are a member.
  3. In accordance with the University’s Conflict of Interest Policy, committee members shall declare the existence of any relationship with an applicant that may influence their evaluation of a promotion application.
  4. Committees will aim for gender balance and will ensure a membership that has no less than 30% of either gender.  The membership of a committee will be augmented through co-option to meet this requirement.
  5. Members of committees and observers shall maintain confidentiality.  The proceedings and all records of meetings of committees shall be confidential to the members, observers and the Executive Officer of the relevant committee and may be accessed by the Director, Human Resources on request for monitoring purposes.
  6. The membership of a committee will not include a Dean.
  7. All internal members of committees must successfully complete panel member training prior to the promotion assessment period.  The Executive Officer will coordinate training for the panel members and panel Chairs.
  8. Promotion training for the Chair, panel members or potential applicants will include (but not limited to) Unconscious Bias Training and Promotion Interview Assessment Training.
  9. If the applicant for promotion is from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, the committee membership will include a suitably qualified Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person.

Committee Evaluation

  1. In their deliberations, the University promotion committees will assess applications against the criteria for levels of achievement rigorously and fairly.
  2. Promotion panels must be provided with a review period of at least 10 working days to review complete applications and provide preliminary outcomes to the Executive Officer by the nominated deadline
  3. Decision-making processes within the University promotion committees will be open and transparent and recommendations will be informed by:
    • the case presented by an applicant;
    • the Areas of Achievement and Criteria Framework;
    • any case presented outlining achievement relative to opportunity;
    • the Dean's Report;
    • the Referee’s Report; and
    • the Independent Assessor Report(s).
  4. In the context of the above, the University promotion committees' assessments of applications will consider an applicant’s whole career and in particular their achievements either since appointment or date of their last promotion at the University.

Further Clarification Sought By The Committee

A University promotion committee may seek clarification on any point in an application from the applicant or Dean or from the nominated referees or independent assessor(s).  Such questions of clarification must be tabled with the Chair prior to the committee meeting.  The Chair will determine how that further clarification will be sought.  This may include the staff member or the Dean appearing before the committee while giving due consideration to an applicant’s career achievements.

Minutes

  1. The Executive Officer will take formal minutes of proceedings.  The minutes of meetings of the University promotion committees will be the only official record of the committee’s deliberations.
  2. The minutes will record the committee's assessment of the levels of achievement for each Area of Achievement.
  3. The minutes will also record general feedback and recommendations from the committee members (where relevant).
  4. The procedural observer will be required to comment on process and this will be minuted.
  5. The Director, Human Resources (or nominee) will coordinate and forward all recommendations for promotion to Academic Levels C, D and E to the Vice-Chancellor.

Recommendations to Promote

  1. The Vice-Chancellor may seek advice and/or clarification on any recommendation to promote from the Chair of a University promotion committee.
  2. The Vice-Chancellor can approve or not approve any recommendation for promotion.  Should the Vice-Chancellor decide not to promote, a written statement setting out the reasons will be provided to the Chair of the relevant University promotion committee and to the applicant.
  3. All costs resulting from academic staff being promoted to Academic Levels C, D and E will be borne by the school or directorate.

Feedback to Applicants

  1. The Director, Human Resources (or nominee) will advise all applicants in writing whether their application for promotion has been successful.  A copy of the advice will also be sent to the relevant Dean.
  2. Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be provided with an extract of the minutes specific only to the assessment of their case.
  3. All unsuccessful applicants for promotion will be encouraged to meet with their Dean and the Chair of the relevant University promotion committee to obtain feedback on their application in relation to the promotion criteria.  Advice to assist applicants with subsequent applications and/or their future development may also be requested.

Appeals

Grounds for Appeal

The Appeals process provides two grounds for appeal:

  • failure by the University promotion committee to observe the provisions set out in the policy and procedure.  This provision ensures that any deviation from the enactment of the policy and procedure, which can be demonstrated to have impacted adversely on a case, may be appealed; or
  • that the principles of natural justice have not been applied.  This provision reflects University policy, ensuring that a University promotion committee act fairly, in good faith and without bias or conflict of interest.  Any deviation from this principle, which can be demonstrated to have impacted adversely on a case, may be appealed.

Process for Lodging an Appeal

  1. An appellant will advise, in writing, the Director, Human Resources of their intention to appeal within seven working days of receiving advice of the outcome of their application.  The Director, Human Resources will provide the intending appellant with an extract of minutes specific only to the assessment of their case and the minuted record of the procedural observer’s assessment of procedure.
  2. The intending appellant may, on consideration of the extract of minutes, decide to cease any proceedings for appeal.
  3. If the intending appellant decides not to lodge an appeal then this should be advised in writing to the Director, Human Resources within 10 working days from advising of intent to appeal.
  4. If the intending appellant decides to lodge an appeal then this should be advised in writing to the Director, Human Resources, together with the ground(s) for the appeal and evidence of the failure by the University promotion committee to observe procedure or that the principles of natural justice were not applied, within 10 working days from advising of intent to appeal.
  5. On receipt of a formal written appeal, the Director, Human Resources will advise, in writing, the Chair of the relevant University promotion committee that an appeal has been lodged.
  6. The appeal will be dealt with in a timely manner.
  7. The appeals committee will be appointed by the Vice-Chancellor and comprise three senior members of academic staff who have not been involved in the assessment of the application on the original academic promotions panel.
  8. The appeals committee will be provided with a full copy of the minutes and review the process that was followed by the relevant University promotion committee in respect of the appellant’s application.  The appeals committee will also meet with the Chair of the relevant promotions committee.  The principles of natural justice will be applied to any such review.
  9. If the appeals committee concludes that there has been no breach of process and/or that natural justice was applied, then the appeals committee will advise the Chair of the relevant University promotion committee and the appellant accordingly in writing.  There will be no further right of appeal.
  10. If the appeals committee concludes that there has been a breach of process and/or that natural justice was not applied, then the appeals committee will provide the Chair of the relevant University promotion committee with both reasons for the decision and all relevant documentation with a determination that the application be reconsidered.  A new promotion committee will then be constituted in order to ensure that a fresh consideration of the application can occur and to reconsider the application according to any guidelines provided by the appeals committee.

Responsibilities

  1. The Dean has a responsibility to assist staff to maintain and improve their academic performance and meet the requirements for higher level promotions and to make career development suggestions in this regard.  This occurs within the Performance Review and Development Program (PRDP) of the University.
  2. It is the responsibility of academic staff to discuss their career plans and promotion aspirations with the Dean as part of the PRDP.  Where the Dean is not the PRDP supervisor, the PRDP supervisor should be included in the preparation for promotion.
  3. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and the Director, Human Resources are responsible for ensuring compliance with the policy and for ensuring that appropriate procedures and other systems are in place where relevant.
  4. The Director, Human Resources has specific responsibilities for the maintenance of this procedure.

Forms/Record Keeping

Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period
Application documents Human Resources Section Executive Officer to the University Promotion Committees   To the end of the promotion period for that year
Referee documents Human Resources Section Executive Officer to the University Promotion Committees To the end of the promotion period for that year
Minutes of Promotion Committees Human Resources Archive Director, Human Resources ongoing
Advising successful outcome of Promotion Human Resources personnel file of applicant Director, Human Resources ongoing

Implementation

The Academic Promotion for Levels C, D and E (Higher Education) Procedure is to be implemented throughout the University community and will take the form of:

  1. An Announcement Notice under 'FedNews' on the University's website and through the University Policy - ‘Recently Approved Documents’ webpage to alert the University-wide community of the approved Procedure;
  2. Inclusion on the University's online Policy Library;
  3. Information Sessions conducted by the Manager, HR to prospective applicants annually.
  4. Information Sessions conducted by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Human Resources.