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Honorary Appointments procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure is effective from 1 August 2023.

(2) This Procedure is made under the Vice-Chancellor Regulations.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(3) This Procedure documents the steps required to make an Honorary Appointment.

(4) The processes outlined in clauses 20-24 will also apply to the appointment of Clinical Professors, Industry Professors and Professors of Practice in accordance with the Recruitment of Staff Procedure.

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Section 3 - Scope

(5) This Procedure applies across the University.

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Section 4 - Policy

(6) This Procedure is pursuant to the Employment of Staff policy.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(7) The Vice-Chancellor, may make the following honorary appointments in accordance with the requirements of this Procedure:

  1. Honorary Professors
  2. Honorary Associate Professors
  3. Adjunct Professors
  4. Adjunct Associate Professors
  5. Honorary Fellows
  6. Vice-Chancellor's Distinguished Fellow.

(8) An honorary appointee:

  1. is not eligible to be a member of the University Council, the Academic Board or a Faculty Board;
  2. is not eligible to vote in the election of members of the University Council, the Academic Board or a Faculty Board;
  3. is not precluded from holding office as a Director in a company; and
  4. may undertake activities in a paid capacity for the University or its wholly owned entities only with the prior approval of the Vice-Chancellor for work unrelated to the appointment.

The Vice-Chancellor's Distinguished Fellows Program

(9) On the recommendation of the Chief Advancement Officer the Vice-Chancellor may appoint individuals as Distinguished Fellows to recognise and engage with distinguished members of the community who have made a special contribution to their profession or to the community in their chosen field or walk of life.

(10) The following criteria may be included in consideration of the appointment of a Distinguished Fellow:

  1. the capacity to lead strategically and to advise the Vice-Chancellor, and senior constituents in their field of distinction
  2. the capacity to engage with alumni, community or industry leaders in areas that are important to the University's growth and reputation; and
  3. the capacity to assume an ambassadorial role on behalf of the University to industry or the community.

(11) The Vice-Chancellor will report the appointment of Distinguished Fellows to University Council.

(12) Distinguished Fellows will meet regularly with members of the University and other Distinguished Fellows as required by the Vice-Chancellor.

Nominations for other Honorary Appointments

(13) Nominations for other honorary appointments and renewals (other than the Vice-Chancellor's Distinguished Fellows) may be made throughout the year using the Honorary Appointment Nomination Form which includes:

  1. the rationale for the appointment, outlining; the specific nature of the contribution the candidate will make to the University's strategic aims
  2. the proposed term of the appointment (normally three years)
  3. details of the candidate's current position, curriculum vitae, academic and other formal qualifications and area(s) of relevant expertise.

(14) Nominating Authorities may recommend new appointments and renewals to the Vice-Chancellor in a monthly report following consideration of the nomination in accordance with the steps below depending on the level of the appointment.

Level D or equivalent

(15) Candidates for nomination up to Level D or equivalent are proposed and sent to the relevant Nominating Authority by:

  1. a Head of School or equivalent or an Institute Director to an Executive Dean; or
  2. a member of the Senior Leadership Team or Institute Director to a Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

(16) The Nominating Authority may recommend the nomination to the Vice-Chancellor.

(17) The Vice-Chancellor advises the Nominating Authority whether or not the nomination is approved.

(18) The Nominating Authority will provide approved nominations to the People Services Recruitment Team for processing.

(19) The People Services Recruitment Team sends a letter of offer to approved nominees.

Level E or equivalent

(20) Candidates for nomination for Level E or equivalent are proposed to the Honorary Appointments Committee by:

  1. Executive Deans
  2. Deputy Vice-Chancellors.

(21) The Honorary Appointments Committee will comprise:

  1. Vice-Chancellor (Chair) or nominee
  2. Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation or nominee
  3. Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic or nominee
  4. Chair of the Academic Board or a Professor.

(22) The People Services Recruitment Team arranges for the consideration of candidates by the Honorary Appointments Committee (via circulation), unless a committee member requests a meeting to decide a recommendation.

(23) The Honorary Appointments Committee may recommend nominations to the Vice-Chancellor.

(24) The Vice-Chancellor's approval or non-approval is communicated to the Executive Dean or Deputy Vice-Chancellor who made the nomination.

(25) The People Services Recruitment Team sends a letter of offer to approved nominees.


(26) Requests for the renewal of existing Honorary Appointees, including existing Level E or equivalent appointments can be made by:

  1. a Head of School or equivalent or an Institute Director to a Faculty Executive Dean
  2. member of the Senior Leadership Team or an Institute Director to a Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

(27) Subject to approval by the Vice-Chancellor, the Executive Dean or Deputy Vice-Chancellor forwards nominations to the People Services Recruitment Team for processing.

(28) The People Services Recruitment Team sends a letter of offer to approved nominees.

Terms and Conditions of Honorary Appointments

(29) Honorary Appointees are not University employees. Honorary Appointees must not:

  1. commit or authorise expenditure of University funds (variations to this item require authorisation of the relevant Executive Dean or Deputy Vice-Chancellor)
  2. be directed to undertake an activity on a regular or recurring basis.

Privileges, Rights and Obligations of Honorary Appointees

(30) On a day to day basis Honorary Appointees are responsible to the relevant Head of School, Executive Dean, Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Director of the Institute or other area.

(31) Honorary Appointees may obtain a staff card and have access to the University's information facilities, including email and library.

(32) Honorary Appointees must comply with University statutes, regulations and policies, in particular:

  1. Intellectual Property policy
  2. Information and Communications Technology Acceptable Use Policy
  3. Code of Conduct
  4. State and Federal equal opportunity laws applying to Deakin University and any related University policies
  5. State and Federal occupational health and safety laws applying to Deakin University and any related University policies;
  6. Those elements of any University academic or student related statutes, regulations and policies which are relevant to the activities of the Honorary Appointee.
For further information and to access the above documents refer to the Policy Library.

Honorific Titles

(33) Honorary Appointees may use their honorific title during the term of their appointment when carrying out any activity which forms part of their contribution to Deakin University.

(34) Honorary Appointees are entitled to use the honorific title, shown below, for the duration of their appointment. In formal usage (for example, written documentation, business cards, etc.) it is expected that the full nomenclature will be used.

Full nomenclature Honorific title
Adjunct Professor Professor
Adjunct Associate Professor Associate Professor
Honorary Professor     Professor
Honorary Associate Professor Associate Professor
Honorary Fellow Honorary Fellow

 Payments to Honorary appointees

(35) Honorary appointees may be eligible for reimbursement of reasonable payments which cover the expenses associated with the provision of their contribution to Deakin University. All costs must be approved by prior arrangement with the relevant Head of School or Executive Dean or Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

(36) Honorary appointees are not eligible to receive remuneration. When the University wishes to provide payment in excess of reasonable expenses, these payments should be effected through an employment or independent contractor relationship.

University Obligations

(37) The University will ensure that its insurance provisions provide Honorary appointees with the same level of cover as academic staff when they are undertaking activities directly related to their appointment. However, as coverage for workers compensation may not be extended under the applicable legislation, Honorary Appointees are encouraged to arrange separate insurance coverage for sickness and personal accident.

(38) The University must ensure a safe work environment free of unlawful discrimination while the Honorary Appointee is undertaking activities on behalf of the University.

Periods and Termination of Appointment

(39) Honorary appointments are effective while the appointee continues to have an ongoing association with Deakin University, as determined by the Executive Dean or Deputy Vice-Chancellor. The term of the appointment is denoted in the Honorary Appointment Letter of Offer.

(40) Honorary appointments may be terminated at any time by the Executive Dean or Deputy Vice-Chancellor or the Vice-Chancellor and the appointee will be advised that they no longer have honorary status.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(41) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. Adjunct Professors and Adjunct Associate Professors: persons who do not hold an academic appointment and whose outstanding achievement in their field of expertise may be equated to the level of achievement required for appointment to a chair or as an Associate Professor.
  2. Honorary appointments: Honorary appointees are persons whom the University wishes to recognise because of their considerable standing and achievement in their field of expertise. Honorary appointments strengthen the University's teaching, research and professional activities consistent with Deakin's strategic objectives and foster co-operative arrangements between the University and other members of national and international academic, business, professional and cultural communities. An honorary appointee contributes voluntarily to the teaching and/or research activities to the general betterment of the University. A person holding an Honorary Appointment is not a salaried member of staff.
  3. Nominating Authority: a position/body which is able to nominate persons to the Vice-Chancellor for Honorary appointment. Nominating Authorities reflect organisational arrangements and optimise the capacity of the University to make appointments that strengthen Deakin's teaching, research and professional activities. Nominating Authorities comprise:
    1. Executive Deans
    2. Deputy Vice-Chancellors
    3. Honorary Appointments Committee (Level E or equivalent only).
  4. Up to Level D or equivalent: an Honorary Fellow, Adjunct Associate Professor and Honorary Associate Professor.
  5. Level E or equivalent: an Honorary Professor or Adjunct Professor.