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Academic Promotion procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

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

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Procedure outlines the processes that apply to academic promotions.

(3) This Procedure is pursuant to the Academic Promotion policy.

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This Procedure 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), and
  2. appointments to the title Alfred Deakin Professor.
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Section 4 - Policy

(5) Refer to the Academic Promotion policy.

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Section 5 - Procedure

Preparing and lodging the application

(6) The Human Resources Division will initiate the annual round of promotions.

(7) Applicants assess whether they are eligible for promotion and merit promotion with reference to the Minimum Standards and Schedule C: Principles for Assessing Achievement Relative to Opportunity in the Gender Equity in Research policy.

(8) Applicants should normally consult their Head of Organisational Area before preparing an application and seek advice on the timing and the proposed weighting of academic fields.

(9) Applicants must provide the following documents in accordance with the relevant guidelines:

  1. a completed online application form (including the weighting for the application)
  2. a synopsis of career to date
  3. a statement of achievement since the last promotion or appointment at the University, whichever is more recent.

(10) Applicants must base their application on evidence since their last promotion at Deakin, or since appointment at Deakin, whichever is more recent.

(11) Regardless of the weighting option chosen by the applicant (as outlined in the Policy), the committee may decide to promote the applicant for the other option if in their judgement there is sufficient evidence.

(12) Applicants must declare if they have a financial interest in any external company or venture referenced in their promotion application and provide clear evidence that their application for promotion is based on their contribution in their role at Deakin University.

(13) Late applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances with the approval of the Chair.

(14) Unsuccessful applicants should normally wait two years before submitting a further application unless otherwise advised by the Chair.

Applicant Assessment Report

(15) After reviewing a promotion application, the Head of the Organisational Areas will use a template provided by Human Resources to submit a confidential Applicant Assessment Report into the DeakinPeople online form adhering to the published timeline of that year. The report must not be shared with applicants at any point. The form will be sent to the promotion committee to assist in their deliberations.

Referee Reports

(16) Within the Applicant Assessment Report, Heads of Organisational Areas must nominate referees for each application who are able to comment on at least either the academic fields or Research and Scholarship or Teaching and Learning. Nomination of referees must not be discussed with the applicant.

(17) Heads of Organisational Areas make initial contact with nominated referees and Executive Officers request the reports using a template provided by Human Resources Division.

(18) For applications seeking promotion to Level D or E, reports must be obtained from three referees, each of whom is:

  1. external to the University and not a close current or former colleague or co-author of the applicant; and
  2. a recognised authority in the discipline and of higher academic standing than the applicant.

(19) For applications seeking promotion to Level B or C, a report must be obtained from at least one referee who is of higher academic standing than the applicant.

Committees

(20) Committees are established in accordance with the Academic Promotion policy and Schedule A: Academic Promotion Committee Memberships.

(21) A committee may seek additional information about applicants.

(22) Deputy or Associate Deans may only be members of the UAPC in exceptional circumstances, such as where the position of Faculty Executive Dean is vacant or unable to attend to ensure Faculty representation.

Meeting with the Promotions Committee

(23) Applicants who do not belong to a Faculty should seek advice from the Human Resources Division about their most relevant promotion committee.

(24) Applicants and their Head of Organisational Area are invited to a meeting with the committee. Following the meeting the Head of Organisational Area will speak confidentially with the committee. The Head of Organisational Area will not be present when the decision on whether to recommend promotion is made.

(25) Applicants are invited to submit a one-page summary of additional achievements since their application was lodged. No other material may be submitted to the committee.

Approval process of applications

(26) The Chair of each FAPC will provide a list of recommendations to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research (or their nominees) for their review and endorsement.

(27) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research will then provide their endorsed recommendations of the four FAPCs, the IAPC and the UAPC to the Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) for their final approval.

(28) The Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) will review and may approve the recommendations and will advise applicants in writing of the outcome of their application.

(29) Unsuccessful applicants may obtain feedback from the Chair in the first instance. Additional feedback may be sought from another member of the committee nominated by the Chair.

(30) Promotion for successful applicants is effective from 1 January of the following year.

Reconsideration

(31) Unsuccessful applicants may request reconsideration of their application only on the grounds that a procedural irregularity has occurred.

(32) Applicants requesting reconsideration must first discuss the matter with the Chair before proceeding.

(33) When requesting reconsideration applicants must provide a written statement to the Chair within 28 days from the date of the letter of outcome, detailing the procedural irregularity, supported by evidence.

(34) Requests for reconsideration will be considered by the Reconsideration Review Group who will advise the Vice-Chancellor whether a procedural irregularity has occurred and if the applications should be reconsidered by the original committees.

(35) Where a procedural irregularity was determined not to have affected the Vice-Chancellor's decision, the original decision will stand.

(36) Where a procedural irregularity was determined to have adversely affected the Vice-Chancellor's decision, the original committee will reconvene and reconsider the application and provide a new recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor.

(37) The Vice-Chancellor will inform the applicants in writing of the final outcome. The Vice-Chancellor's decision will be final.

Alternative to Head of Organisational Area

(38) Where an applicant can demonstrate grounds that an Applicant Assessment Report or attendance at the meeting with the committee by their Head of Organisational Area will negatively impact their case for promotion, the Chair may authorise that the identified duties be carried out by an alternative and appropriate person or that the identified duties not be completed for that application.

Out of cycle promotion

(39) A Head of Organisational Area can request to Human Resources Division's that an out of cycle promotion application be considered on the basis of retention; unless otherwise specified by the Vice-Chancellor.

(40) The Head of Organisational Area will provide the reasons and justification for the request, and indicate the degree of urgency.

(41) As part of the application, the Head of Organisational area will provide an Applicant Assessment Report; an up to date curriculum vitae that outlines the applicant's career to date and highlights achievements for the relevant period; and a recent list of the applicant's publications.

(42) The Human Resources Division will establish the Executive Group of the committee and provide the members the prepared materials.

(43) The Executive Group may seek additional information before sending their recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) for approval.

(44) The Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) will determine the outcome of the application and advise the applicant in writing.

Conferral of the title of Alfred Deakin Professor

(45) The Human Resources Division calls annually for nominations for the conferral of the title of Alfred Deakin Professor as outlined in the Academic Promotion policy.

(46) Nominations may be discussed with candidates and must include a rationale and a current curriculum vitae.

(47) All nominations are considered by the UAPC to provide a final recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor who will recommend candidates for consideration by University Council. The nomination processes are outlined below:

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

(48) The Vice-Chancellor may also recommend additional candidates for consideration by University Council's. An incoming or existing member of the Deakin 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 Deakin University.

(49) Nominations and recommendations may occur out-of-cycle at the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor (or nominee).

(50) The Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) will advise the successful recipients in writing who will assume the title as soon as practicable.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(51) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. Chair: unless specified, is the nominated person responsible for the relevant promotion committee to which the application will be considered.
  2. Committee: unless specified, is the relevant promotion committee to which the application will be considered.
  3. 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.
  4. FAPC: Faculty Academic Promotion Committee.
  5. Head of Organisational Area: 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.
  6. IAPC: Indigenous Academic Promotion Committee.
  7. 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).
  8. 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).
  9. Procedural irregularity: where the administrative requirements of this procedure are not met.
  10. Reconsideration Review Group: an independent group who receive and consider request for reconsideration resulting from an academic promotion round.
  11. Sustained contribution: at least two years of consistent or increasing output in the context of the discipline area and in relation to the weightings nominated by the applicant with consideration given to the achievement relative to the applicant's opportunity.
  12. UAPC: University Academic Promotion Committee.