Policy Redesign Project

All policies and procedures are being reviewed as part of this project. This document is pending review, but remains in effect until the review is carried out.

Flexibility in Academic Work

Establishment: Resources Committee, 28 July 2011
Last Amended: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), 16 May 2016 
Nature of Amendment: Establishment of new Teaching Specialist roles and consequential amendments
Date Last Reviewed: February - May 2016
Responsible Officer: Director, Human Resources

1.  Preamble

1.1  Every academic appointment:

  • is expected to make a significant contribution to the University’s achievement of its strategic objectives; and
  • represents an opportunity for a successful and stimulating academic career for the staff member.

1.2  Consistent with the University’s strategic goals as a research-intensive institution that is also at the forefront of contemporary university education, the University offers a number of parallel career paths for academic staff, via the following academic roles:

  • Teaching and Research
  • Teaching Specialist (two streams)
    • Teaching Specialist (Academic)
    • Teaching Specialist (Clinical/Practitioner)
  • Research Only
  • Education-focused (no new appointments permitted).

These roles are described in Appendix A .

1.3  While it is expected that the majority of academic staff appointments will be to teaching and research roles, with Teaching Specialist appointments comprising 15 – 20% of the total academic workforce, some variations in proportions may be appropriate in different Schools and discipline areas. 

1.4  All academic career paths – whether predominantly teaching, predominantly research or predominantly both teaching and research – are critical to the overall success of the University.

2.  Types of appointment – all roles

Appointments may be on a continuing, convertible, fixed-term, full-time or part-time basis and in accordance with the Appointment Policy.

3.  Academic Profiles, Areas of Academic Activity and Position Descriptions

3.1  The Academic Profiles are a key point of reference for expectations associated with the areas of academic activity, as relevant to the specific academic role.

3.2  All roles are described by a Position Description, which reflects the requirements of the Academic Profile relevant to the level of appointment and the particular requirements of the role.

3.3  The balance and mix of activities as appropriate to the academic role will be reflected in the expected contributions as determined: in the School’s workload allocation/ equalisation scheme; in the annual performance review; in the process for confirmation of appointment; and the ways in which promotions committees assess applications for promotion.

4.  Academic titles

The academic titles in the University’s Academic Nomenclature policy, for Levels A to Level E, apply to the Teaching and Research, Teaching Specialist and Education focused roles described in this Policy.

5.  Research Higher Degree supervision and supervision of the research components of degree programs

5.1  Staff in all academic roles, except Teaching Specialist roles, are normally expected to supervise research higher degree candidates as Principal Supervisors or Associate Supervisors, where they are qualified to do so in accordance with the University’s Research Higher Degrees Policy.

5.2  Staff in Teaching Specialist roles are not expected to supervise research higher degree students as either Principal or Associate Supervisor because the Higher Education Standards prescribe that staff undertaking these duties must be “research active”.  However, staff in Teaching Specialist roles may contribute to research higher degree supervision as Adjunct Supervisors.

5.3  Staff in academic roles with teaching responsibilities are expected to supervise:

  • the research component of a postgraduate coursework program as/if required, where they meet the qualification requirements and have the relevant knowledge and expertise; and
  • undergraduate research topics and Honours programs

as appropriate to their discipline area.

Appendix A:  Academic roles

A1: TEACHING AND RESEARCH

Overview of the role

Staff in Teaching and Research roles are expected to be active and productive predominantly in high-quality Teaching and high-quality Research and/or Creative Activity, as well as being active and productive in high-quality University, Professional and Community service.

Qualifications and skills base
  • Level A: as a minimum, satisfactory completion of 4 years’ tertiary study or equivalent qualifications and experience.
  • Level B and above:  completion of a PhD or EdD or equivalent qualification or other equivalent evidence of independent research or professional standing or other qualifications that are of demonstrated equivalence to the doctorate standard, in the context of the discipline area.
  • Further details are set out in the Academic Profiles, which also include information for Indigenous staff members whose duties involve cultural activity which prioritises Indigenous knowledges and practices requiring community cultural recognition.
Contributions – areas of academic activity

Teaching

Research and/or Creative Activity

University, Professional and Community Service

  • The predominant contributions are in Teaching and Research and/or Creative Activity.
  • Being active in and making contributions in the area of University, Professional and Community Service is also expected.
  • The Academic Profiles provide broad level information about the contributions expected for Levels A, B, C, D and E.
  • Appropriate workload allocations are made in respect of all three areas of academic activity. 
Academic Promotion
  • The criteria for promotion are set out in the relevant policy.
  • For promotion to Levels B to D, weightings for the areas of academic activity  are in the bands of:
    • 3 to 5 (out of 10) for Teaching;
    • 3 to 5 (out of 10) for Research and Creative Activity and
    • no less than 2 (out of 10) for University, Professional and Community Service.
  • Weightings are not used for promotion to levels D Plus and E.

A2:  TEACHING SPECIALIST (ACADEMIC)

Overview of the role
Provides a parallel academic career pathway to the Teaching and Research academic role – from Academic Level A to E – for staff whose responsibilities predominantly encompass teaching and teaching-related activities.  
  Qualifications and skills base
  • Level A: as a minimum, satisfactory completion of 4 years’ tertiary study or equivalent qualifications and experience as set out in the Academic Profiles
  • Level B and above:  Completion of a doctoral qualification such as PhD or EdD is required.
  • The Academic Profiles contain information for Indigenous staff members whose duties involve cultural activity which prioritises Indigenous knowledge and practices requiring community cultural recognition.
  Contributions – areas of academic activity
 Teaching

 University, Professional and Community Service

  • Predominantly teaching and teaching-related duties involving the creation, delivery and content of university-level education.  Includes (but is not limited to): direct teaching informed by approaches that enhance the student experience; educational leadership; curriculum design and review; delivery innovation; advancements in education technologies; involvement in the professional accreditation of courses. Contribution to teaching and teaching-related duties is proportionally greater than that required of staff in teaching and research roles.
  • Time not spent in teaching and teaching-related duties is to be spent being active and productive in high-quality University, Professional and Community Service.
  • The Academic Profiles provide broad level information about the contributions expected for Levels A, B, C, D and E.
  Academic Promotion
  •  The criteria for promotion are set out in the relevant policy.
  •  For promotion to Levels B to D, weightings for the areas of academic activity  are::
    • 8 (out of 10) for Teaching; and
    • 2 (out of 10) for University, Professional and Community Service
  • Weightings are not used for promotion to levels D Plus and E.

A3:  TEACHING SPECIALIST(CLINICAL/PRACTITIONER)

Overview of the role
  • Provides a parallel academic career pathway to the Teaching and Research and the Teaching Specialist (Academic) roles – for staff whose responsibilities predominantly encompass teaching and teaching-related activities – in areas including (but not limited to) health, allied health or other professional or creative arts programs.
  • Staff bring recent, ongoing (concurrent) or extensive experience and knowledge of contemporary clinical/professional practice to the role – as relevant to the discipline.
Qualifications and skills base
  • Level A: as a minimum, satisfactory completion of 4 years’ tertiary study or equivalent qualifications and experience as set out in the Academic Profiles.
  • Level B and above:  Doctorate or equivalent clinical/professional experience and standing
  • The Academic Profiles contain information for Indigenous staff members whose duties involve cultural activity which prioritises Indigenous knowledges and practices requiring community cultural recognition.  
Contributions – areas of academic activity
Teaching University, Professional and Community Service
  • Predominantly teaching and teaching-related duties involving the creation, delivery and content of university-level education.  Includes (but is not limited to): direct teaching informed by approaches that enhance the student experience; educational leadership; curriculum design and review; delivery innovation; advancements in education technologies; involvement in the professional accreditation of courses. Contribution to teaching and teaching-related duties is proportionally greater than that required of staff in teaching and research roles.
  • Time not spent in teaching and teaching-related duties is to be spent being active and productive in high-quality University, Professional and Community Service.
  • The Academic Profiles provide broad level information about the contributions expected for Levels A, B, C, D and E.
   Academic Promotion
  • The criteria for promotion are set out in the relevant policy.
  •  For promotion to Levels B to D, weightings for the areas of academic activity  are::
    • 8 (out of 10) for Teaching; and
    • 2 (out of 10) for University, Professional and Community Service
  • Weightings are not used for promotion to levels D Plus and E.

A4:  RESEARCH ONLY

Overview of the role
  • Staff in Research Only academic roles are expected to be predominantly active and productive in Research and/or Creative Activity.
Qualifications and skills base
  • Level A: as a minimum, satisfactory completion of 4 years’ tertiary study or equivalent qualifications and experience.
  • Level B and above:  completion of a PhD or EdD or equivalent qualification or other equivalent evidence of independent research or professional standing or other qualifications that are demonstrate equivalence to the doctorate standard, in the context of the discipline area
  • Further details are set out in the Academic Profiles, which also include information for Indigenous staff members whose duties involve cultural activity which prioritises Indigenous knowledges and practices requiring community cultural recognition.
Contributions – areas of academic activity
Teaching Research and/or Creative Activity University, Professional and Community Service
  • The predominant contributions are in Research and/or Creative Activity.
  • Being active in and making a contribution to University, Professional and Community Service is also relevant, in the context of promotions. In addition, research only staff may undertake some Teaching.
  • The Academic Profiles provide broad level information about the contributions expected for Levels A, B, C, D and E.
Academic Promotion
  • The criteria for promotion are set out in the relevant policy.
  • Promotions weightings for Levels B to D are in the bands of:
    • no more than 2 (out of 10) for Teaching (may be weighted at zero)
    • no less than 7 and no more than 9 (out of 10) for Research and/or Creative Activity;  and
    • no less than 1 and no more than 2 (out of 10)  for University, Professional and Community Service 
  • Weightings are not used for promotion to levels D Plus and E

A5:  EDUCATION FOCUSED - No New Appointments -

  • This role remains available for existing staff on continuing appointments in Education-focused roles (either on a continuing basis or in the role on a time-limited basis from a concurrent substantive Teaching and Research role).
  • In the case of time-limited appointments, incumbents who have concurrent substantive Teaching and Research continuing appointments may decide, in consultation with their supervisors, to either:
    • re-new their Education-focused role for a further period (of the same or similar duration as the current term); or
    • return to their Teaching and Research role.  In these circumstances, it is expected that: a reasonable period of time will be allowed to manage any changes in workload allocations in the School/area concerned; and a plan is developed concerning the staff member’s return to productive research activity.
  • Where the incumbent is on a fixed term appointment, at cessation the Education-focused role will cease to be available for any subsequent appointment.
  •  No new appointments are to be made to Education focused roles.
Overview of the role
Academic staff in education-focused roles are be expected to

  • be predominantly active in high quality teaching and scholarship of teaching in their discipline, by undertaking additional teaching responsibilities and having a greater concentration on teaching-related activities and on the scholarship of teaching, compared to Teaching and Research academic staff;
  • maintain a strong familiarity with the advancement of knowledge in her/his respective discipline and have some engagement in research, but to a reduced extent when compared to staff in Teaching and Research roles; and
  • be active and productive in high-quality University, Professional and Community Service.
Qualifications and skills base
  • Level A: as a minimum, satisfactory completion of 4 years’ tertiary study or equivalent qualifications and experience.
  • Level B and above:  completion of a PhD or EdD or equivalent qualification or other equivalent evidence of independent research or professional standing or other qualifications that are of demonstrated equivalence to the doctorate standard, in the context of the discipline area.
  • Further details are set out in the Academic Profiles, which also include information for Indigenous staff members whose duties involve cultural activity which prioritises Indigenous knowledge and practices requiring community cultural recognition.
Contributions – areas of academic activity
Teaching Research and/or Creative Activity University, Professional and Community Service
  • The predominant contributions are in Teaching.
  •  Being active in and making contributions in the areas of Research and/or Creative Activity and Professional and Community Service are also expected.
  • The Academic Profiles provide information about the broad level contributions expected and examples of relevant activities for Levels A, B, C, D and E.
Academic Promotion
  • The criteria for promotion are set out in the relevant policy.
  • Promotions weightings for Levels B to D are in the bands of:
    • no less than 6 and no more than 7(out of 10) for Teaching;
    • no less than 1 (out of 10) for Research and Creative Activity and
    • no less than 2 (out of 10) for University, Professional and Community Service,
  • Weightings are not used for promotion to levels D Plus and E.