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Academic Promotion policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

The Deakin University Enterprise Agreement 2017 came into effect on 6 July 2017. This Policy is  currently under review and will be updated as soon as possible to reflect any new changes.

(1) This Policy was approved by the Vice-Chancellor on 21 April 2016 and incorporates all amendments to 12 June 2017.

(2) This Policy includes the following schedules:

  1. Schedule A: Academic Promotion Committee Memberships
  2. Schedule B: Deakin University Minimum Standards and Typical Duties for Academic Levels.
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Section 2 - Purpose

(3) This Policy recognises and rewards the achievements of academic staff by providing promotion pathways.

(4) The Academic Promotion procedure outlines the steps required to comply with this policy.

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Section 3 - Scope

(5) This Policy applies to:

  1. full-time, part-time, continuing or fixed-term academic staff applying for promotion to Level B, Level C, Level D or Level E (Professor)
  2. the conferral of the title Alfred Deakin Professor.
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Section 4 - Policy

Principles

(6) The University maintains a process for academic staff promotions that:

  1. provides for a single annual promotions cycle with the flexibility of out-of-cycle promotions when required
  2. takes into consideration achievements relative to opportunity
  3. is fair and objective, with decisions based on evidence of merit with reference to Minimum Standards
  4. recognises achievement in three academic fields:
    1. Learning and Teaching
    2. Research and Scholarship
    3. Service.

(7) Staff on a fixed term contract may apply for promotion although success does not guarantee further employment within the University beyond the expiry of their current contract.

(8) Staff on probation may apply for promotion although success does not guarantee successful completion of probation.

(9) Applicants are responsible for evaluating their own performance and determining whether to apply for promotion with reference to the Minimum Standards and Schedule C: Principles for Assessing Achievement Relative to Opportunity of the  Gender Equity in Research policy.

(10) Those involved in the promotion process, including external referees, must treat all information received as part of the process as confidential. Only the Chair of the relevant committee can provide feedback to applicants concerning the decisions of the committee.

(11) Salary costs arising from promotion will be borne by the organisational unit in which the staff member is located.

(12) Heads of Organisational Units are encouraged to establish mechanisms to provide inclusive advice, assistance and support to potential applicants.

Criteria for promotion

(13) Promotion recognises and rewards a sustained contribution (normally at least two years) relative to opportunity, and is informed by demonstrated evidence of quality and impact of the achievements in the three academic fields with reference to the Minimum Standards and Schedule C: Principles for Assessing Achievement Relative to Opportunity of the Gender Equity in Research policy.

(14) Applicants must have formal qualifications (or equivalent experience) appropriate to the level of promotion sought as specified in the Minimum Standards.

(15) Sustained achievement in all three academic fields must be demonstrated as well as weighting a case for promotion using either of the following two options:

  1. Option A: Sustained contribution one level above the current appointment in two of the academic fields, or
  2. Option B: Sustained contribution that is two levels above the current appointment in either Learning and Teaching or Research and Scholarship. For those currently at level D, this means exceeding the Minimum Standards for Level E.

Committees

(16) The following committees are established by the Vice-Chancellor to consider applications for promotion:

  1. University Academic Promotion Committee: to consider applications for promotion to Level E and nominations for the conferral of the title Alfred Deakin Professor
  2. Faculty Academic Promotions Committee: to consider applications for promotion to Levels B to D
  3. Indigenous Academic Promotions Committee: to consider all applications for promotion by staff specialising in Indigenous education.

(17) Committees are constituted in accordance with Schedule A: Academic Promotion Committee Memberships.

(18) The Chair will ensure that there is reasonable gender balance and that members include experts across the three academic fields who recognise the variety of conventions in the range of disciplines. Where difficulty is encountered in establishing a balanced membership, the Vice-Chancellor or nominee will, in consultation with the Chair, determine an alternative composition.

(19) Members of committees cannot provide advice to applicants on preparing their applications.

(20) The Chair will ensure that committee members are properly informed about equal opportunity and diversity principles, and where appropriate, apply the Principles for Assessing Achievement Relative to Opportunity.

(21) Applicants for promotion in a particular round must not be included as members of a committee during that round.

Applicant Assessment Report

(22) Heads of Organisational Units complete a confidential Applicant Assessment Report on each applicant for promotion within their organisational unit to assist the committee using a template provided by Human Resources Division.

(23) The Applicant Assessment Report will contain:

  1. an assessment of the applicant's performance relative to opportunity with respect to the Minimum Standards, and the Principles for Assessing Achievement Relative to Opportunity
  2. a comment on the appropriateness of the applicant's weightings
  3. a recommendation as to whether the promotion is supported or not
  4. the nomination of referees which have not been discussed with the applicant.

Out-of-cycle promotion

(24) The Vice-Chancellor may, in exceptional circumstances, approve a nomination from an organisational unit for an out-of-cycle promotion in accordance with the Academic Promotion procedure).

Reconsideration

(25) An application may be reconsidered by a Reconsideration Review Group where a procedural irregularity has occurred.

Conferral of the title Alfred Deakin Professor

(26) The title 'Alfred Deakin Professor' is conferred upon incoming or appointed members of the Deakin Professoriate by invitation only.

(27) Alfred Deakin Professors are appointed by the University Council, on the recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor.

(28) The nomination processes are outlined in the Academic Promotion procedure. Nominations can be based on outstanding and sustained contribution to Deakin's research and scholarship or learning and teaching aims, or based on anticipated contribution to the success of the University.

(29) Recipients will retain the title 'Alfred Deakin Professor' as long as they hold a Professorial position at the University unless otherwise determined by the Vice-Chancellor.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(30) Refer to the Academic Promotion procedure.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(31) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Achievement Relative to Opportunity: guides the committee to consider the quality of work, while considering the applicant's record in the context of the specific factors that may have adversely impacted output in the period relevant to the application. These might include family or carer responsibilities, illness or disability, part-time appointments, unusual teaching commitments, and planned or unplanned absences.
  2. Chair: unless specified, is the nominated person responsible for the relevant promotion committee to which the application will be considered.
  3. Committee: unless specified, is the relevant promotion committee to which the application will be considered.
  4. Executive Group: a representative of the Committee (consisting of the Chair and two other members nominated by the Chair) who may make decisions on behalf of the Committee, including consideration of out-of-cycle academic promotion applications.
  5. FAPC: Faculty Academic Promotions Committee.
  6. Head of Organisational Unit: refers to either a Head of School, Head of Department, Head of an Institute, Head of a Centre or another position where that person has primary line management responsibility for the applicant.
  7. IAPC: Indigenous Academic Promotion Committee.
  8. Minimum Standards and Typical Duties for Academic Levels (also referred to as Minimum Standards): a baseline document outlining the nature and basic level of duties expected at each academic level. Refer to Schedule B: Deakin University Minimum Standards and Typical Duties for Academic Levels.
  9. Principles for Assessing Achievement Relative to Opportunity: provides a method for making merit based assessments while taking into account how circumstances can affect the productivity and the opportunities available (Schedule C: Principles for Assessing Achievement Relative to Opportunity in the Gender Equity in Research policy).
  10. Procedural irregularity: where the administrative requirements of the Academic Promotion procedure are not met.
  11. Reconsideration Review Group: an independent group who receive and consider request for reconsideration resulting from an academic promotion round.
  12. UAPC: University Academic Promotion Committee.