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Academic Promotion Policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy was approved by the Vice-Chancellor on 27 April 2012, effective from 2 May 2012 and incorporates all amendments to 10 March 2015.

(2) This Policy includes the following schedules:

  1. Schedule A: The Indigenous Academic Promotion Committee (IAPC)
  2. Schedule B: The Faculty Academic Promotion Committee (FAPC)
  3. Schedule C: The University Academic Promotion Committee (UAPC)
  4. Schedule D: The Reconsideration Review Group
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Section 2 - Purpose

(3) To recognise and reward 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. nominations for the title Alfred Deakin Professor.
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Section 4 - Policy

(6) The Policy allows:

  1. academic staff to evaluate their own performance to determine whether they wish to apply for promotion
  2. for consideration of achievements relative to opportunity
  3. the University to consider applications and determine whether applicants merit promotion.

(7) The process is fair and objective, with decisions based on merit.

(8) Academic promotion recognises achievement in three academic fields:

  1. Learning and Teaching
  2. Research and Scholarship
  3. Service

(9) Promotion committees have a balance of expertise across the three academic fields.

(10) Promotion recognises and rewards a sustained contribution relative to opportunity, and is informed by the quality and impact of the achievements.

(11) The diversity of disciplines represented in the University is recognised as well as the variety of conventions in these disciplines and the contributions and ways in which applicants' talents are utilised.

(12) Applicants are responsible for determining whether to proceed with their application.

(13) Applications are strictly confidential.

(14) Salary costs arising from promotion will be borne by the Faculty or other organisational area in which the staff member is located.

Criteria for promotion

(15) Promotion is sought on the basis of sustained achievement relative to opportunity in terms of the demonstrated quality and impact of outcomes in the following academic fields:

  1. Learning and Teaching
  2. Research and Scholarship
  3. Service

(16) While applicants are expected to show evidence of achievements in all three academic fields, they must weight their case for promotion using either of the following two options:

  1. Option A: Sustained contribution at the level of promotion sought in two of the academic fields; or
  2. Option B: Sustained contribution that is exceptional for the level of promotion sought in one academic field (either Learning and Teaching or Research and Scholarship).

(17) The Minimum Standards and Typical Duties for Academic Levels are located on the Academic Promotion website.

Eligibility for promotion

(18) Applicants require formal qualifications appropriate to the level of promotion sought. Where applicants have neither a doctoral nor master level degree nor equivalent, applicants are expected to make a case for equivalent standing with reference to norms in their discipline.

(19) If an applicant's contract expires in the year of application, he or she is eligible to apply for promotion on the understanding that a successful application does not imply further employment within the University.

(20) Applicants who are not at the top of the salary scale must demonstrate sustained achievements equivalent to those of applicants at the top of the salary scale.

(21) Staff on probation are eligible to apply for promotion.

(22) Staff on probation are required to achieve their probation goals (which may be updated), to be confirmed in a continuing appointment.

(23) Applicants must base their application on their proven performance since their last promotion at the University, or since appointment at the University, whichever is more recent.

(24) Unsuccessful applicants for promotions should normally wait two years before submitting a further application unless otherwise advised by the Chair of the relevant promotions committee.

Committees

(25) The IAPC considers applications from staff specialising in Indigenous Education.

(26) The FAPC considers all other applications for promotion from Level B to Level D.

(27) Applicants who are not based in a Faculty, such as staff in Institutes, may apply for promotion by nominating which FAPC will consider their application. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, or nominee may join the FAPC to consider these applications.

(28) The UAPC considers applications for promotion to Level E (Professor) and nominations for the title Alfred Deakin Professor.

(29) Members of promotion committees cannot provide advice to applicants on an application. This is to prevent prejudicing their evaluation of the application.

(30) The Chair of each committee will attempt to ensure reasonable gender balance on the committee.

(31) The Chair of each committee will ensure the membership reflects expertise across Learning and Teaching, Research and Scholarship and Service.

(32) All matters discussed and documentation presented to the promotion committees are confidential. Members of the committee, other than the Chair or nominee, cannot provide individual feedback or advice to applicants concerning the decisions of the committee.

(33) Members of a promotion committee must not be applicants for promotion being considered by the committee of which they are a member for that particular round of promotion.

(34) A promotion committee may seek additional information on applicants.

(35) At least two members of every promotion committee will be trained on equal opportunity and diversity principles.

(36) Where difficulty is encountered in establishing membership of the committee in respect of the categories of members required, the Vice-Chancellor or nominee will, in consultation with the Chair of the committee, determine an alternate composition.

(37) The relevant promotion committee makes a recommendation based on all of the information collected as part of the application.

Applicant assessment report

(38) All applications require a report on the applicant by the Head of School or equivalent.

(39) For applicants specialising in Indigenous Education the report is provided by the Director, Institute for Koorie Education (IKE).

(40) Applicants employed outside a Faculty are required to identify an academic supervisor, approved by the Chair of the relevant promotions committee, to provide a report consistent with a Head of School report.

(41) The Applicant Assessment report will contain:

  1. a detailed assessment in relation to the promotion criteria, in particular, an assessment of the applicant's performance with respect to peers in the School/Institute or the Research Unit, and the applicant's achievements relative to the opportunities available within the School/Institute or the Research Unit
  2. a comment on the appropriateness of the applicant's weightings
  3. a recommendation as to whether the promotion is supported.

(42) Where both the applicant and the Head of School are applying for promotion to the same level, the Chair of the UAPC will give the applicant an opportunity to nominate an alternative person, approved by the Chair, to provide a report.

(43) Where a Head of School is applying for promotion, the Chair of the UAPC will give the Head of School an opportunity to nominate a person, approved by the Chair, to provide a report.

Interview

(44) Applicants will be invited to attend an interview with the relevant promotions committee where the applicant's Head of School (or equivalent) will attend for the duration of the interview and afterwards if clarification is needed by the committee.

(45) Applicants are able to make a request, to the Chair of the relevant Promotions Committee, that their Head of School (or equivalent) not attend their interview. The applicant must demonstrate grounds for believing that the presence of their Head of School (or equivalent) will impede on their ability to present their case for promotion.

Out-of-cycle promotion

(46) The Vice-Chancellor may, in exceptional circumstances, approve a nomination from a Pro Vice-Chancellor of a Faculty for promotion out-of-cycle for an academic staff member (see Schedule A: The Academic Promotion Out-of-Cycle Procedure of the Academic Promotion Procedure).

Reconsideration

(47) An unsuccessful applicant may seek feedback from the Chair (or nominee) of the promotion committee. The applicant may only seek re-consideration after the discussion with the Chair, where it can be established that a procedural irregularity has occurred as defined in the Academic Promotion Procedure. An unsuccessful applicant may not appeal against the merit of the decision of the promotion committee.

Alfred Deakin professorial appointments

(48) The title 'Alfred Deakin Professor' is awarded to existing members of the University Professoriate by invitation only. No application is required or will be considered. Alfred Deakin Professors are appointed by the University Council, on the recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor. The two nomination processes for existing staff are outlined below:

  1. A member of the University Professoriate may be nominated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research or Pro Vice-Chancellor of the relevant Faculty on the basis of outstanding and sustained contribution to furthering the University's research and scholarship aims.
  2. A member of the University Professoriate may be nominated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education or Pro Vice-Chancellor of the relevant Faculty on the basis of outstanding and sustained contribution to furthering the University's learning and teaching aims.

(49) The title 'Alfred Deakin Professor' is conferred upon an incoming or newly appointed member of the University Professoriate by invitation only. Alfred Deakin Professors are appointed by the University Council, on the recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor. For incoming or newly appointed members of the University Professoriate, no application or nomination is required or will be considered.

(50) An incoming or newly appointed member of the University Professoriate may be recommended by the Vice-Chancellor where they have been recruited by the University from an equivalent distinguished professorship position at another institution or in recognition of their excellence and anticipated contribution to the success of the University.

(51) A recipient will retain the title 'Alfred Deakin Professor' as long as he or she holds a Professorial position at the University.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(52) Refer to the Academic Promotion Procedure.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(53) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. A sustained contribution: evidence of the quality of the applicant's achievements over a number of years in all academic fields.
  2. Achievements are assessed in the context of the discipline area, in relation to the weightings nominated by the applicant, and in the context of opportunities available in the discipline, School, Faculty, Institute, Centre or Unit.
  3. Achievement relative to opportunity: guides the promotion 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.