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.

Promotion to Levels B, C and D

Establishment: Council, 25 October 1996
Last Amended: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), 8 December 2016
Nature of Amendment: Inclusion of Teaching Specialist role (clauses 1, 9.2, 10.1 and 14.2); effect of performance issues on promotion (clause 2.4); clarification of Committee memberships (clauses 5.1.2 and 5.2.2); nomenclature and minor editorial changes                                     
Date Last Reviewed: October 2016
Responsible Officer: Director, People and Culture

ENTERPRISE AGREEMENT 2014-2017 CLAUSE C13 ACADEMIC PROMOTION

C13.1  [Applications for promotion] will be determined objectively on the basis of academic merit. Evaluation of academic merit in this context involves the deliberative input of academic judgement as a significant element, the primary vehicle for which will be an appropriately constituted committee which is independent of the academic supervision of those applying for promotion. Further, evaluation of academic merit will take account of clause C12 and, in particular, the expectations specified in the Academic Profiles for the level to which promotion is sought, giving due consideration to achievements demonstrated within the areas covered by the Profiles.

C13.2  [Eligibility to apply for promotion] All academic staff, other than casual staff, are eligible to apply for promotion except that for staff employed on a fixed-term basis, the cumulative term of appointment must be at least three (3) years.

C13.3  [Appeals] A member of the academic staff whose application for promotion is unsuccessful has a right to appeal the decision on grounds limited to alleging that the decision substantially miscarried as a result either of serious defect in the decision-making process or evidence that the applicant was discriminated against (being discrimination as defined under the University’s Equal Opportunity policy).  Any appeal will be to an Appeal Committee constituted in accordance with clause A33.

C13.4  [Promotions committees] The composition of the promotions committees for applications to levels B to E and the composition of the Promotions and Academic Appointment Review Committee will provide for the President of the Flinders Branch of the NTEU (or nominee) to be a non-voting member.

C13.5  [All other matters] relating to the promotion of academic staff, will be as set out in the applicable University policies as they exist from time to time.  


1.  Scope

This policy provides for the promotion of academic staff to the levels of Lecturer (Level B), Senior Lecturer (Level C) and Associate Professor (Level D) and is designed to recognise and reward sustained excellence assessed on merit as demonstrated by service in the University.  This policy is inclusive of academic staff who are in Teaching and Research, Teaching Specialist, Education-Focused and Research-Only academic roles.  Promotion of academic status holders is managed separately in accordance with the Academic Status policy provisions.

 

2.  Eligibility

Academic staff at Levels A, B and C, employed on continuing, convertible or continuing contingent-funded appointments (fractional or full-time), may apply for promotion to Levels B, C and D respectively.

2.1  Fixed-term appointments  

With the exception of staff appointed to Sessional Fixed-Term roles, academic and grant funded staff at Levels A, B and C employed on fixed-term appointments (fractional or full-time) may apply for promotion to Levels B, C and D respectively provided that the cumulative term of the appointment is for at least three years.

2.1.1  For eligible staff on fixed-term appointments, it should be noted that although the length of service is not a criterion for determining eligibility for promotion, the University adheres to the principle that promotion is based on merit as demonstrated by service in the University.

2.1.2  Promotion to a higher level will not alter the original term of the staff member's fixed- term appointment.

2.2  Resignation or appointment to other position before application considered

Where a staff member who applies for promotion subsequently resigns their appointment prior to the date of the Promotion Committee meeting, the application submitted by that staff member will not be considered.  Equally, where a staff member who applies for promotion is subsequently appointed to another position within the University prior to the date of the Promotion Committee and where the new position is, in the view of the Director, People and Culture, distinctly different to that upon which the case for promotion is based, the application submitted by that staff member will not be considered. In either circumstance, the Director, People and Culture will advise the staff member in writing of this decision. 

2.3  Education-Focused Academic Staff

Where a staff member appointed/transferred to an Education-Focused academic role successfully seeks promotion, s/he will be required to serve a minimum period of three years, from the effective date of promotion, in the Education-Focused role.

2.4  Effect of performance issues on promotion applications

Where action is being taken to investigate any claim of inappropriate conduct or performance at the time of submission of a promotion application, such an application may be suspended, without prejudice to the applicant, until the outcome of any investigation is known.  Where the outcome of the investigation is in favour of the applicant, the application will proceed.

 

3.  Criteria for Promotion

3.1  Academic Profiles

The criteria for promotion will be in terms of:

  • the contributions made by the applicant in the areas of academic activity recognised in the Academic Profiles, in accordance with their Position Description as appropriate; and
  • the applicant’s evidence of sustained excellence in these areas, at the academic level to which promotion is being sought, while working at Flinders University.

3.2  Poor Performance in Teaching or Research

This may provide grounds for not recommending promotion, notwithstanding the strength of the case in other areas. 

3.3  Qualifications Criteria

In order for applicants to satisfy eligibility requirements that specify a completed higher degree (such as a PhD), the thesis must have been formally submitted for final examination prior to the closing date of applications for promotion.  If deemed worthy of promotion in all other respects, such applicants will be eligible for promotion upon production of satisfactory evidence from the awarding institution that the staff member has qualified for the award of the higher degree.  In these circumstances, promotion would take effect from the date that the staff member qualified for the award of the higher degree if it is after the common date on which the promotion of other successful applicants takes effect.

 

4.  Relevant Period

The relevant period for promotion to these levels is normally the period since appointment or promotion to the applicant's current position.  However, where an applicant has had a contiguous appointment at this University at the same level with the same or similar range of duties, evidence may also be provided for this period.  A contiguous appointment excludes prior casual service.

 

5.  Promotion Committees

Applications for promotion to Lecturer (Level B), Senior Lecturer (Level C) and Associate Professor (Level D) will be considered and determined, within the framework approved by the relevant approval authority from time to time, by the Promotion Committee for each level.  The membership and terms of reference of the Promotions and Academic Appointment Review Committee and the various Promotion Committees are as follows:

5.1  Promotions and Academic Appointment Review Committee

5.1.1  Role

The role of the Promotions and Academic Appointment Review Committee is:

  • to make recommendations on matters of policy relating to promotion, probationary appointment to continuing posts and continuing appointment (tenure); and
  • to develop and review policy relating to promotion, probationary appointment to continuing posts and continuing appointment (tenure) for referral to the relevant approval authority.

5.1.2  Composition

  • The Vice-Chancellor or nominee (Chairperson)
  • The Deputy Vice-Chancellors
  • Executive Dean of each Faculty
  • One member of the academic staff of each Faculty
  • Dean, Indigenous Strategy and Engagement
  • Director, People and Culture (or nominee) (non-voting)
  • Manager, Equal Opportunity and Diversity (non-voting)
  • The President of the Flinders Branch of the NTEU (or nominee) (non-voting)

5.2  Promotion Committees for Applications to Levels B, C and D

5.2.1  Role

The role of the respective (Level B, Level C and Level D) Promotion Committees is:

  • to determine, in accordance with relevant University policy, promotion from one Level to the next Level; and
  • to advise the Promotions and Academic Appointment Review Committee on policy and procedural matters in relation to promotion to that level.

5.2.2  Composition

  • Chairperson: The Vice-Chancellor or nominee (Level D Promotion Committee) or Chairperson of Promotions and Academic Appointment Review Committee or nominee (Levels C and B Promotion Committees)
  • The Deputy Vice-Chancellors
  • Two academic staff members from each Faculty who are not Deans of School and where possible one academic staff member from a non-Faculty area 
    • at levels D, D Plus and/or E (Level D Promotion Committee)
    • at levels C, D, D Plus and/or E (Level C Promotion Committee)
    • at levels B, C, D, D Plus and/or E (Level B Promotion Committee)
  • The President of the Flinders Branch of the NTEU (or nominee) (non-voting)

5.3  All Faculty/Portfolio members of the Committees will be appointed for a three year term.  These members will be nominated by their Executive Dean/Head of Portfolio and may be re-nominated.  It is preferable for each Faculty to be represented by one member in their first term of office and one member in the second or subsequent term of office, to provide continuity.

5.4  In selecting members for each of the above Committees, regard will be had to the Council policy on gender balance. If necessary, to achieve equity or gender balance, external members may be added.

5.5  Academic staff means a staff member defined under A3.1 of the University's Enterprise Agreement 2014-2017 who holds a University post for at least three years including the period during which they will be a member of the Committee.

5.6  All Committee members will be expected to maintain strict confidentiality in regard to the proceedings of the Promotion Committee, together with the content of the applications before it.

5.7  Any Committee member who believes that they have a real, potential or perceived conflict of interest, as defined in the University's Conflict of Interest policy, in respect of any applications being considered, should declare this to the Chair of the Committee at the outset and where necessary, absent themselves from any discussion on that particular application.

 

6.  Date of Effect

Approved promotions will normally take effect from 1 July of the year in which the decision to promote is made. 

 

7.  Promotion Out of Round

If the Vice-Chancellor considers it to be in the interests of the University, a staff member may be considered for promotion outside of the normal promotions rounds, in which case separate provisions will apply.  Except in exceptional circumstances as determined by the Vice-Chancellor, only academic staff at Level C or above are eligible to be considered for promotion out of round.

 

Procedures


8.  Call for applications

Normally in January/February of each year, the Director, People and Culture will call for submission of applications for promotion to take effect in July of that year. 

8.1  Closing dates

Information sessions will normally be held for staff considering applying for promotion and closing dates for the receipt of applications will be advised as part of that call.  Prospective applicants must ensure that their applications reach their respective Executive Dean/Head of Portfolio at least four weeks prior to the closing date set by People and Culture.

8.2  Format

Applications for promotion must be submitted in accordance with the format approved by the University and should be completed in conjunction with the relevant Guidelines available from the University’s website.

8.3  Level D

Applicants applying for promotion to Associate Professor (Level D) should ensure that they clearly outline their leadership claims in their application.

 

9.  Academic Profiles/Position Descriptions

9.1  Academic Profiles, and where relevant Position Descriptions, will be used:

  • as the basis for applications for promotion;
  • as the basis for supervisors and the Promotion Committees to assess the staff member's performance in each area of academic activity; and
  • to achieve consistency in the expectations and evaluations of staff performance in different Schools across the University.

9.2  For staff in Teaching Specialist and Education-Focused academic roles the case for promotion will be assessed against the expectations articulated in the Position Description for their particular position and with reference to the Academic Profile for the Level concerned.  Applications from staff in Teaching Specialist and Education-Focused academic roles will also be assessed with reference to Appendix A in the Policy on Flexibility in Academic Work

 

10.  Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness

Applicants for promotion, other than research-only academics, must submit independent evidence of teaching effectiveness and this evidence should include student evaluation of teaching as well as peer evaluation of teaching and/or supervisor evaluation of teaching.  An application for promotion will not be considered in the absence of independent evidence of teaching effectiveness. In line with University policy on evaluation of teaching, the Student Evaluation of Teaching reports covering a number of years and for a number of topics, should normally be submitted.  This may be supplemented by other consolidated forms of student evaluation of teaching.

10.1  Teaching Specialist and Education-Focused Roles

Applications from staff in Teaching Specialist and Education-Focused roles must include evidence of external validation of their outstanding performance in teaching, as indicated in Appendix A of the Policy on Flexibility in Academic Work.

 

11.  Additional evidence

Applicants should substantiate claims made within the text of the application by providing additional information and facts as appropriate (e.g. in relation to research publications, number of pages contributed in all publications and as well as the number of pages contributed to jointly authored publications, claims of forthcoming publications should include details such as stage of publication; the status of particular publication outlets within the discipline; information on how the order of authors is determined in a particular field, etc, and comparable detail in relation to creative activity where this is relevant to the application).  This will assist the Committee in the evaluation of research activity and in the interpretation of multiple author publications and research collaborations, and (where relevant) assist the Committee likewise to evaluate and interpret creative activity.

Applicants are expected to ensure that their claims as to both research inputs (e.g. grants) and outputs (publications) are consistent with information lodged with the University's Research Management Information System.

Applicants should also include a detailed Curriculum Vitae as part of the application.

 

12.  Referee/Assessor Reports and Further Information

12.1  Referee recommended by applicant

For promotion to Associate Professor (Level D), the applicant is required to recommend the name, address and email address of one referee from whom a report will be sought.  Preferably, this referee should be external to the University and be of high international reputation.  The applicant should disclose the nature of their association, if any, with the nominated referee.  The applicant may also list names of persons who should not be invited to be referees.

12.2  Assessor proposed by the University

In addition, for promotion to Associate Professor (Level D), an assessor will be nominated by the Executive Dean/Head of Portfolio, in consultation with the Dean of School and supervisor (where different from the Dean) and taking account of the applicant's objection to particular persons, if any, as per 12.1.  The assessor nominated by the Executive Dean/Head of Portfolio must be external to the University and of high international reputation and should ideally be a person with whom the applicant has not collaborated or published but, at the very least, should be a person with whom the applicant has not collaborated or published within the previous five years.

12.3  Substitute Referee/Assessor

Applicants to Level D should provide the name and address of a substitute referee in case their nominated referee is unavailable. The Executive Dean/Head of Portfolio should also provide the name and contact details of a substitute assessor.

12.4  Selection of Referees/Assessors

The Executive Dean/Head of Portfolio should ensure that all applicants have at least one referee or assessor who is external to the University and who is of high international reputation and should provide an explanation if this is not possible or appropriate.  The nature of any known association of the nominated referee or assessor with the applicant should be disclosed.  Care should also be taken in selecting the referees and assessor to ensure that the Promotion Committee will have before it adequate comment on the applicant's performance in all areas of academic endeavour.

12.5  Confidentiality 

Referee/assessor reports and the name of the assessor nominated by the Executive Dean/Head of Portfolio are strictly confidential and will only be made available to members of the Promotion Committee.

12.6  Further Information

The relevant Promotion Committee may request applicants to provide additional information and/or may contact third parties to provide further information.  In the latter case, the applicant will be advised that this information will be sought.

 

13.  Comments and recommendation for promotion by supervisor and Executive Dean/Head of Portfolio

The person to whom an applicant is responsible is required to comment on an application for promotion.  The supervisor is normally the Dean of the School to which the staff member belongs. Applications should be submitted to the Executive Dean/Head of Portfolio through the supervisor. The supervisor and Executive Dean/Head of Portfolio express the strength of their recommendations in relation to the case for promotion on a range of scores between 1 and 5. Comments by the supervisor and the Executive Dean/Head of Portfolio will be returned to the applicant for noting before submission to the relevant Promotion Committee.

13.1  Supervisors

The role of the supervisor is to assist applicants in preparing their cases in the most effective and appropriate way, including providing advice in relation to the allocation of weightings across the three areas of activity which best represents the performance of each individual staff member.  Comments by the supervisor should address the staff member's contribution in each of the specific areas of activity. Where appropriate, additional contextual information should be provided about the area in which the staff member is currently employed.  Applicants may submit applications for promotion irrespective of advice from the supervisor.

In cases where a supervisor and their direct report seek to apply for promotion to the same classification level in the same promotion round, the supervisor should first disclose this to their direct report, who then should be offered the option of identifying an alternative supervisor (for promotion purposes only), provided that this option does not disadvantage the staff member.

13.2  Executive Deans/Heads of Portfolio should ensure that:

  • adequate contextual information relating to the School and/or Faculty/Portolio is provided by supervisors or by applicants, where relevant;
  • supervisors and applicants are aware that applications must be complete at the time of submission, and if for good reasons they are not complete, a statement should be included indicating which items are outstanding and when they will be available;
  • applicants are provided with comprehensive assistance in preparing their applications, and;
  • supervisors' reports added some value to the process by providing specific and verifiable comments in their reports.

 

14.  Assessment of Applications

Each case for promotion will be assessed on its merits, in accordance with the following considerations, based on evidence and materials/documentation as submitted in the year in which the application is lodged.

14.1  Weighting scheme

A weighting scheme which will quantify the applicant's contribution in each of the areas of academic endeavour will be used in assessing applications for promotions. For each application, each member of the relevant Promotion Committee will assign a score for each criterion according to the following scale:

For an area of academic activity: 
 Score Case for promotion
Very weak  
Weak 
Marginal 
Strong 
5 Very Strong 

14.2  Standard range of weightings for applicants

Applicants should select the weighting factors within the appropriate ranges in accordance with the relevant Academic Profile and, where appropriate, the Position Description applicable to the appointment.  The weighting factors which will apply for the areas of academic activity for each category of academic role as defined by the Flexibility in Academic Work Policy will be within the following ranges:

Area of academic activity 

Weight

 

Teaching and Research 

Education- Focused 

Teaching Specialist

Research Only 

Teaching 

No less than 3,
no more than 5 

No less than 6,
no more than 7 

8

No more than 2*

Research and/or Creative Activity

No less than 3, no more than 5

No less than 1

0

 No less than 7, no more than 9

University, Professional and Community Service
 

No less than 2

No less than 2

2

No less than 1, no more than 2

TOTAL

 10

 10

 10

 10

   * In the case of research-only staff, teaching may be weighted at zero.

14.3  Equal Opportunity Principles

One of the broad principles of equal opportunity is 'equity' - taking action to redress disadvantage caused by unequal access to education and/or employment.  Equity does not mean treating everyone the same.  In assessing cases for promotion, some applicants may have to be assessed differently in order for them to achieve equal opportunity in promotion, for example, women who have had career interruptions for family or health reasons may need to have their research output measured in terms of equivalent full-time academic employment.  In assessing cases for promotion, the Promotion Committee's decision will be based on merit when:

  • assessment of contribution to teaching and of research output is related to the time available to the applicant;
  • publications in reputable journals which may not be peer reviewed, but are most appropriate for dissemination of information in some disciplines, are not undervalued;
  • the different profiles of applicants are taken into account and productivity is weighted in relation to opportunity rather than age, disability, race, gender, pregnancy, marital status, etc;
  • any special circumstances that have been identified by the applicant are taken into account; and
  • assessment is made on the basis of the application only, measured against the appropriate academic profile.

14.4  Scoring

Scores assigned by the whole Promotion Committee to each applicant for each criterion are averaged, e.g. where Applicant X is given a total of 36 for research by 10 members, the average = 3.60. For each applicant, mean scores for each criterion will be multiplied by the corresponding weighting factor for that criterion as specified by the applicant.  The weighted mean scores for each applicant for each criterion are added to give the final score.  This score is agreed to as the final score. Final scores of applicants will only be available to members of the relevant Promotion Committee.

14.5  Quota

Should a quota be applied, only those applicants who fill the quota will be deemed promotable.  In such a situation, the weighted mean score will be used to rank applicants. If a quota is to be applied, advance notice will be given.

 

15.  Advice to Applicants

The Director, People and Culture will notify all applicants of the outcome of their application for promotion.  Unsuccessful applicants will also be provided with information about the Appeals process and invited to obtain feedback from the Chair of the Promotion Committee.  This feedback will be offered verbally on an informal and advisory basis, and cannot be binding on any future Promotion Committee which, in accordance with Clause 14 of this policy, is required to consider the merits of each case in the year in which it is submitted.  As such the nature of any past feedback will not be made available to future Committees unless brought to the Committee's attention by the applicant in their application.

 

16.  Appeals

16.1  Lodging an Appeal

A member of the academic staff whose application for promotion is not successful may lodge with the Vice-Chancellor an intention to appeal or seek review within seven days of the notification of the decision of the Promotion Committee.  If the staff member wishes to proceed with an appeal, the appeal must be lodged with the Vice-Chancellor within four weeks of the notification of the original decision of the appropriate committee.  This deadline may be extended with the approval of the Vice- Chancellor if the request for extension is made within the four (4) week period noted above.

16.2  Grounds of Appeal

The grounds of appeal are limited to alleging that the decision substantially miscarried as a result either of serious defect in the decision-making process or evidence that the applicant was discriminated against (being discrimination as defined under the University’s Equal Opportunity policy). 

16.3  Appeal Process

16.3.1  Any appeal will be to an Appeal Committee constituted in accordance with clause A33 of the Flinders University Enterprise Agreement 2014-2017.

16.3.2  Having considered the appeal, the Appeal Committee may decide:

16.3.2.1  to refer the matter back to the Promotion Committee for further consideration; or

16.3.2.2  to affirm the recommendation of the Promotion Committee; or

16.3.2.3  tofind that an independent ad hoc committee be set up to consider the case afresh and make a final decision, and request that the Vice-Chancellor set up such a committee.

16.3.3  No Further Action

Where a staff member exercises her/his right of appeal then in relation to any issue or matter which was or was capable of being considered by the Committee under its terms of reference, no further action can be taken by the staff member under any other review, appeal or disputes available within the University.

16.3.4  Representation

A staff member may request assistance or representation in accordance with Clause A6 of the Flinders University Enterprise Agreement 2014-2017.