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Academic Promotion procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure is effective from 3 May 2023.

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Section 2 - Purpose

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

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Section 3 - Scope

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

(4) This Procedure is pursuant to the Academic Promotion Policy.

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Section 5 - Procedure

Level A Academics and Teaching Scholars applying for promotion

(5) Level A Academics and Teaching Scholars will initiate a promotion request by including promotion as an objective at the start of their current DeakinAchieve plan.

(6) The Minimum Standards document will be used as a guide for the applicant to identify areas of evidence required and outlined the sustained contribution made at the level sought.

(7) The Head will meet to discuss the promotion request as part of the regular DeakinAchieve conversations and make a recommendation prior to the completion of the applicant’s Mid-Year Review to the Executive Dean who will make a final determination of the promotion outcome.

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

Preparing and lodging the application (Level B – D Academics)

(9) People and Culture will initiate the annual round of promotions.

(10) Applicants assess whether they are eligible for promotion and merit promotion with reference to the Minimum Standards and Schedule A: Principles for Applying and Assessing Achievement Relative to Opportunity of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy.

(11) In accordance with the Declaration of Interest procedure, applicants and panel members must declare any conflict of interest that may impact the individual’s application to the Chair before meeting with the Promotions Committee. The Chair will make adjustments to ensure the conflict does not impact the application.

(12) Before they apply for promotion, applicants must consult their Head to seek advice on the timing and pitch of the application. Heads should give an indication of their level of support at this point.

(13) Applicants who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander are eligible for additional support and cultural representation as outlined in Schedule C: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Applicants in Academic Promotion.

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

  1. a completed online application form via DeakinPeople;
  2. a synopsis of career to date; 
  3. a statement of achievement since the last promotion or since appointment to the current academic level at the University, whichever is more recent;
  4. a statement addressing Achievement Relative to Opportunity (where applicable).

(15) Applicants must base their application on evidence since their last promotion at Deakin, or since appointment to their current academic level at Deakin, whichever is more recent.

(16) 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.

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

(18) Unsuccessful applicants should wait two calendar years before submitting a further application unless otherwise advised and approved by the Chair.

Applicant Assessment Report

(19) After reviewing a promotion application, the Head will submit a confidential Applicant Assessment Report into the DeakinPeople online form by the published due date. The report must not be shared with applicants at any point. The form will be sent to the Promotion Committee to assist in its deliberations.

Assessor Reports

(20) Within the Applicant Assessment Report, the Head must nominate assessors who can provide a judgement on whether the applicant meets the minimum standards in at least either Research and Scholarship or Teaching and Learning. Nomination of assessors can be discussed with the applicant.

(21) Applications for promotion to:

  1. Levels C and D must be accompanied by two assessor reports
  2. Level E must seek to obtain three assessor reports.

(22) Heads make initial contact with nominated assessors and Executive Officers request and collate completed referee reports using templates provided by People and Culture.

(23) Nominated assessors will be informed about equal opportunity and diversity principles and will receive a copy of the applicants’ statement addressing Achievement Relative to Opportunity (where applicable) for the purpose of assessing the merit of an application.

(24) For applications seeking promotion to Level D or E, reports must be obtained from assessors who are:

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

(25) For applications seeking promotion to Level C, reports must be obtained from two assessors, one of whom is of higher academic standing than the applicant and not the direct supervisor of the applicant.

Meeting with the Promotions Committee

(26) Committees are established in accordance with the Academic Promotion Policy and Schedule A: Composition of Academic Promotion Committees.

(27) Applicants who do not belong to a Faculty should seek advice from People and Culture about their most relevant Promotion Committee.

(28) The Committee will consider applications for promotion to Level C on the papers supplied. The applicant will not be invited to attend a meeting with the Promotions Committee.

(29) Applicants for promotion to Level D or E and their Head are invited to a meeting with the Committee. Following the meeting the Head will speak confidentially with the Committee. The Head will not be present when the decision on whether to recommend promotion is made.

(30) Applicants may submit online a one-page summary of additional achievements since their application was lodged. No other material will be considered by the Committee.

Approval process of applications

(31) The Committee will consider:

  1. the application, applicant assessment, assessor reports and a one-page summary of additional achievement since the application was lodged; and
  2. may seek additional information about applicants.

(32) The Committee must make a unanimous recommendation. The Chair will have the final ruling if the panel cannot reach a unanimous decision.

(33) The Chair of each Faculty Academic Promotions Committee (FAPC) will provide a list of recommendations to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation (or their nominees) for their review and endorsement.

(34) The Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation will then provide their endorsed recommendations from the FAPCs, and the UAPC to the Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) for consideration.

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

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

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

(38) Applicants successful in promotion to Levels C-E will be remunerated in accordance with clause 12 of the Remuneration Procedure.


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

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

(41) 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.

(42) 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.

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

(44) Where the Vice-Chancellor determines that a procedural irregularity has occurred, the original Committee will reconvene and reconsider the application and provide a subsequent recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor.

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

Alternative to Head

(46) Where an applicant can demonstrate, with evidence, grounds that an Applicant Assessment Report or attendance at the Committee meeting by their Head 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

(47) A Head can request to People and Culture that an out of cycle promotion application be considered on the basis of retention, unless otherwise specified by the Vice-Chancellor.

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

(49) As part of the application, the Head 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.

(50) People and Culture will establish the Executive Group of the Committee and provide members with the prepared materials.

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

(52) 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

(53) People and Culture calls every second year for nominations for the conferral of the title of Alfred Deakin Professor as outlined in the Academic Promotion Policy.

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

(55) 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.

(56) A member of the Deakin Professoriate may be nominated by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation or Faculty Executive Dean on the basis of demonstrated capacity to provide a significant and sustained contribution to the University, as evidenced by:

  1. distinguished national or international academic reputation; and
  2. exceptional teaching and/or research skills; or exceptional scholarly, creative and artistic achievements; and
  3. distinguished record of service to professional and/or public life.

(57) The Vice-Chancellor may also recommend additional candidates for consideration by the University Council. 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 demonstrated capacity and anticipated contribution to the success of the University as evidenced by the same criteria in clause 56 above.

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

(59) 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

(60) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. Achievement Relative to Opportunity: as defined in the Academic Promotion Policy.
  2. Chair: as defined in the Academic Promotion Policy
  3. Committee: as defined in the Academic Promotion Policy
  4. Executive Group: comprises the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, the Chair, Academic Board and a rotating Executive Dean (nominated in each instance by HRD) who may make decisions on behalf of the Committee, including consideration of out-of-cycle academic promotion applications.
  5. Head: as defined in the Academic Promotion Policy
  6. Minimum Standards and Typical Duties for Academic Levels (also referred to as Minimum Standards): as defined in the Academic Promotion Policy
  7. Procedural irregularity: where the administrative requirements of this procedure are not met.
  8. Reconsideration Review Group: as defined in the Academic Promotion Policy
  9. Sustained contribution: at least two years of consistent or increasing output in the context of the discipline area and in relation to the applicant’s Workload Allocation Model (WAM) with consideration given to the achievement relative to the applicant's opportunity.