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Academic Promotion policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy is effective from 26 February 2019.

(2) This Policy includes the following schedules:

  1. Schedule A: Composition of Academic Promotion Committees
  2. Schedule B: Deakin University Minimum Standards and Typical Duties for Academic Levels
  3. Schedule C: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Applicants in Academic Promotion.
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Section 2 - Purpose

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

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) 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
  2. the conferral of the title Alfred Deakin Professor.
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Section 4 - Policy

Principles

(5) 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; and
  4. recognises achievement in three academic fields:
    1. Learning and Teaching
    2. Research and Scholarship
    3. Service.

(6) 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.

(7) Level A Academics and Teaching Scholars will apply for promotion via their annual DeakinAchieve Plan using the Minimum Standards as a guide for the evidence required to demonstrate sustained performance at the level sought as outlined in the Academic Promotion procedure.

(8) Staff (other than Teaching Scholars) on probation may apply for promotion although success does not guarantee successful completion of probation. Under clause 18.10 of the Deakin University Enterprise Agreement 2017(EA), Teaching Scholars must have successfully completed their probation to apply for promotion.

(9) 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 Academic Promotion Committee can provide feedback to applicants concerning the decisions of the committee.

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

(11) Heads are encouraged to establish mechanisms to provide inclusive advice, assistance and support to potential applicants.

(12) Applicants who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander can seek additional support and cultural representation during the promotional round as outlined in Schedule C: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Applicants in Academic Promotion.

(13) Academic staff wishing to be promoted from Level A to Level B, and Teaching Scholars wishing to apply for Level B Teaching and Research, seek promotion through the annual DeakinAchieve process, and in direct discussion with the Head of the Organisational Unit. The Executive Dean of the Faculty determines the outcome of all Level A to B promotions.

(14) Clause 18.10 of the EA provides that, Teaching Scholars can apply for promotion following a successful completion of a probationary period. A Teaching Scholar who is at step 1-6 of a Teaching Scholar position, if promoted, will become a Level B, step 1 Teaching and Research Academic. A Teaching Scholar who is at step 7-9 of a Teaching Scholar position, can apply to become either a Level B (would commence at step 4) or Level C (would commence at step 1) Teaching and Research Academic. The Executive Dean will determine the outcome of all Teaching Scholar promotions based on a recommendation from the Head via the DeakinAchieve process.

Criteria for promotion

(15) 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.

(16) Applicants must have formal qualifications (or equivalent experience) appropriate to the level of promotion sought as specified in the Minimum Standards and Schedule C: Principles for Assessing Achievement Relative to Opportunity.  A doctoral qualification is required for promotion to Level C and above, except where approved by the Vice-Chancellor.

(17) Overall sustained high performance at the current level of the three fields is required, together with a demonstrated capability to perform at the standard required of the level applied for. Account will be taken of the proportional weightings for teaching, research and service in the applicant’s Workload Allocation Model. Applicants may propose their own weightings and advance reasons for the variation.  A holistic assessment of the application will be made, using the weightings as a guide.

Committees

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

  1. University Academic Promotion Committee (UAPC) considers applications for promotion to Level E and nominations for the conferral of the title Alfred Deakin Professor
  2. Faculty Academic Promotion Committee (FAPC) considers applications for promotion to Levels C to D.

(19) Committees are constituted in accordance with Schedule A: Composition of Academic Promotion Committees, and where appropriate, Schedule C: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Applicants in Academic Promotion.

(20) 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.

(21) In accordance with the Conflict of Interest Procedure, clause 10e. Members of committees cannot provide advice to applicants on preparing their applications.

(22) 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.

(23) Applicants for promotion in a particular round cannot be members of any promotions committee during that round.

Applicant Assessment Report

(24) Heads must complete a confidential Applicant Assessment Report on each Level C – E applicant from within their organisational unit.  The standard DeakinAchieve process will apply for Level A Academics and Teaching Scholars and an Applicant Assessment Report will not be required.

(25) 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 Workload Allocation Model (WAM) and/or alternative weightings provided by the applicant;
  3. a recommendation that the promotion is supported without reservation, supported with reservations, or not supported.  Where a promotion is not supported, the Head must make this clear to the applicant; and
  4. the nomination of referees.  Heads may at their discretion engage applicants in discussion about suitable referees.  Applicants may put forward the names of potential referees from which the head could draw.

Out-of-cycle promotion

(26) 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

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

(28) Council, on the recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor, confers the title Alfred Deakin Professor.

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

(30) Alfred Deakin Professors retain the title while a Professor at the University, unless otherwise determined by the Vice-Chancellor.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(31) The Academic Promotion procedure documents how to comply with this Policy.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(32) 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 for the level of promotion sought.
  4. Head: 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.
  5. Minimum Standards and Typical Duties for Academic Levels (also referred to as Minimum Standards): a baseline document outlining the nature and basic level of typical duties expected at each academic level. Refer to Schedule B: Deakin University Minimum Standards and Typical Duties for Academic Levels.
  6. 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).
  7. Procedural irregularity: where the administrative requirements of the Academic Promotion procedure are not met.
  8. Reconsideration Review Group: an independent group (outlined in Schedule A: Composition of Academic Promotion Committees) which receives and considers request for reconsideration resulting from an academic promotion round.