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Academic Promotions

Academic Promotion for Level B Only (Higher Education) Procedure

Policy Code: HR957

Purpose

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

Academic promotion is aligned to the strategic goals and priorities of the University. It also supports the University’s Living Values Charter which staff are expected to demonstrate. The five values are comprised of Inclusion, Innovation, Excellence, Empowerment and Collaboration. 

Scope

This Procedure applies to applicants seeking promotion to Level B and is distinct from the Procedure for 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, but are encouraged to discuss the timing of their next application with the Dean in their relevant School/Directorate/Centre.

For example if a staff member had applied for promotion in January 2019 and had been unsuccessful they are ineligible to apply until January 2021 or if a staff member had applied for promotion in July 2019 and had been unsuccessful, they are ineligible to apply until July 2021.

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.

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 prescribed 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:

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 Level B (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
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 qualifications required for an applicant vary depending on the function undertaken and must hold any of the following:

  • A conferred PhD and have made substantial progression to achieving the Level B research performance criteria; or
  • For staff members who hold a Masters by Research, they must also have the following;
    • Completion of Nature Publishing Group modules (Effective Scientific Writing and Effective Collaboration in Research);
    • Enrolled in the Vitae Researcher Development Framework and produce an expertise and capabilities plan; and
    • Enrolled in the Level A Academic Mentoring program;or
  • For applicants that hold a Masters by coursework, they must have made substantial progress in their Masters by Research and the following:
    • completion of Nature Publishing Group modules (Effective Scientific Writing and Effective Collaboration in Research).
    • enrolled in the Vitae Researcher Development Framework and produce an expertise and capabilities plan.
    • enrolled in the Level A Academic Mentoring program.
    Articulation can be discussed with your supervisor and, if required, the candidature panel.
    • For applicants from creative disciplines, that hold a Thesis by exegesis, they will be enrolled in modules similar to Nature Publishing Group, Vitae Researcher Development Framework and produce an expertise and capabilities plan and enrol in the Level A Academic Mentoring program. Contact the Executive Officer for further detail.
Minimum Standards for Academic Levels (MSALs): The Minimum Standards for Academic Levels are a generic listing of standards and/or expectations of an academic at each level.  For further information refer to the University Enterprise Agreement.
Performance Review and Development Program:

The University's performance management process whereby:

  • the strategic priorities and objectives of the University and relevant Portfolio/School/Directorate/Section 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.
Procedural Observer: The Procedural Observer (or nominee) for the promotions panel will be internal 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 Level B (Higher Education) procedure. The Procedural Observer has no voting rights on the promotion committee.
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.

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

Referee:

For academic promotion purposes there are two types of referee:

  • internal referee - a person employed within the University;
  • 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; or an international referee who is an internationally recognised authority in a relevant discipline, field or profession and resides outside Australia.

    A testimonial document does not represent a reference in the context of the Policy and Procedures.

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 and Timeline

1.  The University will call for applications for promotion twice per year. The call out will specify the electronic format and mode of submission and normally according to the following timeline:

January Call July Call
The University calls for applications by to the end of January. The University calls for applications by the end of July.
Applications close on 30 March. Applications close on 30 September.
Confidential referees are normally sought during the month of April. Confidential referees are normally sought during the month of October.
Committee meetings are held during the month of May/June. Committee meetings are held during the month of November/December.
Promotions take effect 1 July. Promotions take effect 1 January of the following year.

2.   Late applications will not be accepted.

3.  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 within four weeks of the closing promotion submission date.

4.  The Executive Officer will coordinate the proceedings of the University promotion committees and forward all recommendations to the Director, Human Resources and Vice-Chancellor.

5.  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 June and December respectively for the two calls in any given year.

6.  Promotions will take effect from 1 July for the January call and 1 January for the July call.

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 B will have successfully completed at least a Master’s degree and willing to translate to a pathway of obtaining a PhD or Doctorate.
  4. All applications must be prepared in line with the prescribed application template.
  5. Information on the application form 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 Discipline Leader/Deputy Dean must complete Section 6. All sections must be completed prior to submission date.
  2. 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.
  3. The applicant can provide case-specific evidence via OneDrive 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. Summary statement of ‘living’ University values. Discipline context summary

Section 3 – Curriculum Vitae

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 the Teaching 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 B will nominate two referees 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 referees should confirm the applicant’s claims across the three Areas of Achievement (for 'Research only' and ‘Scholarly Teaching’ appointments claims for two Areas of Achievement). 

2.    A referee must be consulted by applicants prior to listing their details within the application template. 

3.    Referees will be requested to complete the referee report template as part of the promotion application process. Referees will be provided with a three week turn-around-time within the promotion timeline process. 

4.    Two referees are required to be submitted by the applicant. At least one referee must be external. See further description of referee types:

  • internal referee - a person employed within the University; and/or
  • 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; or an international referee who is an internationally recognised authority in a relevant discipline, field or profession and resides outside Australia.

The applicant is responsible for supplying a copy of their application to their referees at the time of submission.

5.    Confidential references will be sought by the Executive Officer on behalf of the promotion committee.

6.    Referees will be asked whether their reference report is to remain confidential to the promotion committee or to be also made available to the applicant.

Section 6 – Discipline Leader /Deputy Dean’s Report

This section contains:

1.    Applicants must provide a copy of their completed prescribed application template (Section 1-5) to the Discipline Leader/Deputy Dean four weeks prior to the submission date. The Discipline Leader/Deputy Dean is required to evaluate the complete application and complete Section 6. 

2.    The Discipline Leader/Deputy Dean will provide a transparent appraisal to the applicant regarding the information presented in the application relevant to the Areas of Achievement and the Criteria Framework. 

3.    The Discipline Leader/Deputy Dean will provide a recommendation for the case of promotion with supporting reasons. 

Once the Discipline Leader/Deputy Dean has completed their report, the applicant has an opportunity to respond (optional). This response may form part of the final application template.

Response Format
  1. The following is the preferred University format and should be adhered to when preparing applications using the prescribed application template:
    • Arial typeface;
    • headings emboldened;
    • 11 point font minimum;
    • double-sided A4 pages with minimum margins of 2cm; and
    • 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 should be submitted online (unless otherwise specified). 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 promotion committee or Dean may call for elaboration on or proof of any of the summarised material as required.
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 using OneDrive 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.  

For ‘Scholarly Teaching Fellow’ appointments, applicants are not required to rank the ‘Research and Creativity’ Area of Achievement.

Basis for 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.
School Promotion Committee

When an applicant is from a School, the Dean is responsible for convening the following promotion committee:

  • Dean (or nominee of at least Academic Level C or above)
  • Associate Dean (Research) (or nominee of Academic Level D or above) from the nominated School
  • Associate Dean (Teaching Quality) (or nominee of Academic Level C or above) from the nominated School
  • An Associate Professor (Level D) from the University but external to the applicants School
  • Executive Officer
  • Procedural Observer
Limitations on Composition of School Promotion Committees

The composition of the 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 representation, and will ensure a membership that has no less than 30% of either gender. The membership of a committee may 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 Executive Officer of the relevant committee and may be accessed by Director, Human Resources on request for monitoring purposes.
  6. 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.
  7. Promotion training for the Chair, panel members or potential applicants will include (but not limited to) Unconscious Bias Training.
  8. 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 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 committees will be open and transparent, and recommendations will be informed by the:
    • case presented by the applicant;
    • the Areas of Achievement and Criteria Framework;
    • any case presented outlining achievement relative to opportunity;
    • Discipline Leader/Deputy Dean’s Report; and
    • Referees’ Reports.
  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 promotion committee has responsibility to seek clarification on any point in an application from the applicant or Discipline Leader/Deputy Dean (or nominee) or from the nominated referees. Such questions of clarification will be tabled with the chair prior to the committee meeting. The chair will determine how that further clarification will be sought. 

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 Director, Human Resources (or nominee) will coordinate and forward all recommendations for promotion to Academic Level B to the Vice-Chancellor.
Recommendations to Promote
  1. The relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor may seek advice and/or clarification on any recommendation to promote from the chair of a promotion committee.
  2. The relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor then forwards the minutes and recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor.
  3. The Vice-Chancellor can approve or not approve any recommendation for promotion. Should the Vice-Chancellor decide not to promote, they will provide a written statement setting out the reasons to the chair of the relevant promotion committee.
  4. Successful applicants are promoted to Academic Level B and will commence at the first incremental level.
  5. Successful applicants’ promotion take effect from either 1 July of the same year or 1 January of the following year (refer to Timeline).
  6. All costs resulting from academics being promoted to Academic Level B will be borne by the School.

Feedback to Applicants

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

Appeals

Grounds for Appeal

The appeals process provides two grounds for appeal:

  • failure by the School committee to observe the procedures set out in the Policy and Procedure. This provision ensures that any deviation from the enactment of the Policy and Procedures, which can be demonstrated to have impacted adversely on a case, may be appealed; or
  • principles of natural justice have not been applied. This provision reflects University Policy, ensuring that the 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. The Director, Human Resources, will provide the intending appellant with an extract of minutes specific only to the assessment of their case, 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 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 School promotion committee in respect of the appellant’s application. The appeals committee will meet with the chair of the relevant 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 School 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 promotions 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 of 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. 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.
  3. The Dean or Director of Academic Organisational Unit and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Portfolio has specific responsibility for ensuring that appropriate procedures and other systems are in place for compliance with the Academic Promotion for Level B (Higher Education) Procedure.
  4. The Director, Human Resources has specific responsibilities for the maintenance of this Procedure.

Supporting Documents

Forms

Records Management

Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period
Application documents School/Portfolio Executive Officer,
University Promotion Committees
To the end of the promotion period for that year
Referee documents School/Portfolio Executive Officer,
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 Level B (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 Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Executive Officer
  4. Information sessions conducted by Executive Officer biannually to prospective applicants.
  5. Information Sessions conducted by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and/or Executive Officer to Deans