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 D Plus and E

Establishment: Council, 25 October 1996
Last Amended: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), 8 December 2016
Nature of Amendment: Inclusion of Teaching Specialist role (clauses 1, 3, 8.1.2, 8.2.2, 8.2.3 and 8.3.2), effect of performance issues on promotion (clause 4.6); clarification of Committee membership (clause 7.2); 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 Professor, Level D Plus and Level E, and is designed to recognise and reward sustained excellence assessed on merit as demonstrated by service to the University. The policy is inclusive of academic staff appointed to 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.  Title of Professor

The title of Professor will be conferred on staff promoted to both Levels D Plus and E.

 

3.  Promotion to Professor

Promotion to professor is reserved for academic staff who, during their service with the University have demonstrated outstanding leadership ability and outstanding scholarly achievement as reflected in the areas of Teaching; Research and/or Creative Activity; and University, Professional and Community Service with reference to the expectations of the position held by the applicant.

 

4.  Eligibility

4.1  Academic staff at Level D employed on a full-time or fractional-time basis in continuing, convertible or continuing contingent-funded appointments may apply for promotion to Professor, either Level D Plus or Level E.  

4.2  Academic staff at Level D Plus employed on a full-time or fractional-time basis in continuing, convertible or continuing contingent-funded appointments may apply for promotion to Professor (Level E).

4.3  Fixed-Term Appointments

Eligible staff in full-time or fractional-time fixed-term appointments may apply for promotion provided that the cumulative term of their appointment is for at least three years.  Promotion to a higher level will not alter the original term of the staff member's fixed-term or convertible appointment (should the latter category of appointment not be converted). 

4.4  Resignation or appointment to another 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.

4.5  Education-Focused Academic Staff

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

4.6  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 application, the applicaton will proceed.

5.  Promotion rounds for Level D Plus and Level E

Promotion Rounds for Levels D Plus and E will be held on an annual basis. 

 

6.  Promotion outside round

If the Vice-Chancellor considers it to be in the interests of the University, a Level D or D Plus staff member may be considered for promotion outside of the normal promotions rounds, in which case separate provisions to those below will apply.

 

7.  Levels D Plus and E Promotions Committee

Applications for promotion to Levels D Plus and E will be considered and determined by a Levels D Plus and E Promotions Committee.

7.1  Role

The role of the Levels D Plus and E Promotions Committee is:

  • to consider and determine promotion to Professor from:
    • Level D applicants, either to Level D Plus or E, and
    • Level D Plus applicants to Level E; and
  • to advise the Promotions and Academic Appointment Review Committee on policy and procedural matters in relation to these levels.

 7.2  Composition

  • The Vice-Chancellor or nominee (Chairperson)
  • The Deputy Vice-Chancellors
  • Two members of the academic staff from each Faculty, and where possible one academic staff member from a non-Faculty area at Level E, to be appointed by the Vice-Chancellor on the advice of the Executive Dean/Head of Portfolio
  • President of the Flinders branch of the NTEU (or nominee) (non-voting)

7.2.1  Up to two senior members of the academic staff may be appointed to the Committee by the Vice-Chancellor if considered necessary to address issues of gender balance or academic equity. 

7.2.2  Academic staff means a staff member defined under A3.1 of the prevailing Flinders University Enterprise Agreement who holds a University post for at least three years including the period during which they will be a member of the Committee.

7.2.3  An external member with expertise in the relevant discipline area may be appointed to the Committee by the Vice-Chancellor on an ad hoc basis if considered necessary.

7.2.4  All Faculty/Portfolio members of the Committee will be appointed for a three year term.  These members will be nominated by their Executive Dean/Head of Portfolio and may be renominated.  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.

7.2.5  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.

7.2.6  Any Committee member who believes that they have an actual, 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.

 

8.  Criteria for Promotion

8.1  Academic Profiles/Position Descriptions

For promotion purposes, Academic Profiles and, where relevant, Position Descriptions, will be used:

  • as the basis for applications for promotion;
  • as the basis for supervisors and the Promotions Committee 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.

8.1.1  All applications for promotion to Professor (Level D Plus or Level E) will be prepared and assessed against the Academic Profile for Level E and, where relevant, the specific expectations of the position as described in the Position Description pertaining to the particular position.

8.1.2 The applications from staff in Teaching Specialist or Education-Focused Academic roles will also be assessed with reference to Appendix A in the Policy on Flexibility in Academic Work.

8.1.3  In assessing an application against the Level E Academic Profile and, where appropriate, the Position Description, the Levels D Plus and E Promotions Committee will consider the applicant's claims against the expectations within each of the criteria. 

In the case of Level D applicants who elect to apply for Professorial level (D Plus or E), where promotion is warranted, the Committee will determine whether the criteria for promotion have been met for either Level D Plus or Level E, in accordance with the criteria below.  Alternatively, where applicants elect to be considered for promotion to Level D Plus only, the Committee will only have discretion to approve promotion at that level in such circumstances.

8.1.4  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.

8.2  For Promotion to Level D Plus: 

8.2.1  Academic Staff in "Balanced" (Teaching and Research) Roles

Level D academic staff members in a Teaching and Research role will be required to:

  • demonstrate sustained levels of outstanding leadership and outstanding performance in two areas, one of which should be Teaching, or Research/Creative Activity; and
  • demonstrate sustained levels of performance, at least at Level D, in the remaining area of academic activity.

Promotion to Level D Plus is appropriate for Level D staff who have made a contribution in their discipline which is greater than that required for a Level D academic, but does not meet the full requirements for promotion to Level E.

8.2.2  Academic Staff in Teaching Specialist Roles

Level D academic staff members in a Teaching Specialist role will be required to:

  • demonstrate sustained levels of outstanding leadership and outstanding performance in teaching that is innovative and that enhances the student experience; and
  • demonstrate sustained levels of performance, at least at Level D, in the remaining area of academic activity

Promotion to Level D Plus is appropriate for Teaching Specialist academic staff members at Level D who have made a contribution in teaching which is substantially greater than that required of a Level D academic, but does not meet the full requirements for promotion to Level E.

 

8.2.3  Academic Staff in Education-Focused Roles

Level D academic staff members in an Education-Focused role will be required to:

  • demonstrate sustained levels of outstanding leadership and outstanding performance in teaching and
  • demonstrate sustained levels of performance, at least at Level D, in the remaining two areas of academic activity.

Promotion to Level D Plus is appropriate for Education-Focused academic staff members at Level D who have made a contribution in teaching which is substantially greater than that required of a Level D Education-Focused academic, but does not meet the full requirements for promotion to Level E.

8.2.4  Academic Staff in Research Only Roles

Level D Research-Only academic staff will be required to demonstrate sustained levels of outstanding leadership and outstanding performance in research, and would be expected to be able to demonstrate sustained levels of performance, at least at Level D, in the remaining areas of academic activity.

8.3  For Promotion to Level E:

8.3.1  Academic Staff in “Balanced" (Teaching and Research) Roles

Level D or D Plus academic staff members in a Teaching and Research role will be required to demonstrate sustained levels of outstanding leadership and outstanding achievement, including success in fostering excellence, in all of the three areas of academic activity consistent with the expectations laid down in the Level E Academic Profile.

Promotion to Level E is reserved for those staff who have made an exceptional contribution in their discipline and have achieved an international standing in their field.  (If the field is essentially Australian-oriented, the applicant's national reputation will be taken into consideration.)

8.3.2  Academic Staff in Teaching Specialist Roles

Level D or D Plus academic staff members in Teaching Specialist roles will be required to:

  • demonstrate sustained levels of outstanding leadership and achievement in teaching that is innovative and that enhances the student experience and
  • demonstrate success in fostering excellence in both the teaching and service areas of academic activity but with a particular emphasis on teaching.

Promotion to Level E for staff in Teaching Specialist roles is reserved for those who have made an exceptional contribution in University teaching and who have achieved a high international standing in their area of focus in their field.

8.3.3  Academic Staff in Education-Focused Roles

Level D or D Plus academic staff members in Education–Focused roles will be required to demonstrate sustained levels of outstanding leadership and outstanding achievement, including success in fostering excellence, in all areas of their academic activity but with a particular emphasis on teaching. 

Promotion to Level E for Education-Focused staff is reserved for those who have made an exceptional contribution in teaching and who have achieved international standing in teaching in their field.  (Where the field is essentially Australian-based/oriented, the applicant’s national recognition will be taken into consideration.)

8.3.4  Academic Staff in Research Only Roles

Level D or D Plus Research-Only academic staff members seeking promotion to Level E will be required to demonstrate sustained exceptional leadership and outstanding achievement in research, including success in fostering excellence in research, and in all other areas of academic activity undertaken by the staff member.

8.4  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.  Equal opportunity does not mean treating everyone the same.  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 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.

 

9.  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 Chairperson of the 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 12.1 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.

 

10.  Remuneration

Remuneration for staff at Levels D Plus and E will be as follows:

Level   Salary per annum 
Level D Plus  Salary prescribed for Level D + (50% x (Level E - Level D))
Level E  Salary prescribed for Level E 

 

11.  Call for applications

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

11.1  Closing dates

Information sessions for staff considering applying for promotion will be held 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.

11.2  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.  These documents are available from the University’s website.
 

12.  Assessment

The Levels D Plus and E Promotion Committee will consider all the material provided by the applicant and consult the referees proposed by the applicant.  In addition the committee will seek written assessment of the applicant's work from assessors nominated under clause 15.2.

12.1  Performance criteria

Members of the Committee will assess the applications against the performance criteria referred to in clause 8.  In forming a view about the suitability for promotion of each applicant, Committee members will consider the strength of the case for promotion in respect of each criterion and in accordance with the Level E Academic Profile and, where appropriate the Position Description, and then form an overall view as to the applicant's suitability for promotion to either Level D Plus or E, as appropriate.  Each case for promotion will be assessed on its merits, based on evidence and materials/documentation as submitted in the year in which the application is lodged.

12.2  Statement of relative importance of academic areas

Weighting factors will not be applied in the case of promotion to Levels D Plus and E.  Applicants may however include in their case for promotion a statement indicating the relative importance of each of the three areas of activity and their strength in each area in their case for promotion. 

 

13.  Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness

Applicants for promotion to Levels D Plus and E, other than “Research Only” academic staff, must submit independent evidence of teaching effectiveness.  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 this information.  In line with University policy of evaluation of teaching, the OLPD 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.

 

14.  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 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.

 

15.  Referee/Assessor Reports and Further Information

15.1  Referees recommended by applicant

The applicant is required to recommend the names, addresses and email addresses of two referees from whom reports will be sought.  At least one referee, and preferably both, 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 referees.  In addition, the applicant may list names of persons who should not be invited to be referees. 

15.2  Assessors proposed by the University

The Executive Dean/Head of Portfolio, in conjunction with the Dean of School and supervisor (if different from the Dean of School), and taking into account the applicant's objection to particular persons, if any, as per 15.1, will provide the names, addresses and email addresses of two assessors, who must be external to the University, of high international standing and who are experts in the appropriate disciplinary area, from whom independent assessment of the applicant's work will be sought.  The nature of any known association of the nominated assessors with the applicant should be disclosed.  Ideally the nominated assessors should be persons with whom the applicant has not collaborated or published but, at the very least, should be persons with whom the applicant has not collaborated or published within the previous five years.

15.3  Substitute Referees/Assessors

Applicants should provide the names and addresses of two substitute referees in case their nominated referees are unavailable.  The Executive Dean/Head of Portfolio should also provide the names and contact details of two substitute assessors.

15.4  Selection of Referees/Assessors

In selecting referees/assessors, care should be taken to ensure that the Levels D Plus and E Promotion committee will have before it adequate comment on the applicant's performance in all areas of academic endeavour.

15.5  Confidentiality

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

15.6  Additional Information

The 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.

 

16.  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.

For Level D applicants, supervisors and Executive Deans/Heads of Portfolio may provide an indication as to whether, in their view, applicants are suitable for promotion to either Level D Plus or Level E.

Comments by the supervisor and the Executive Dean/Head of Portfolio will be returned to the applicant for noting before submission to the Committee. 

16.1  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 contributions across the three areas of activity which best represent 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.

16.2  Executive Deans/Heads of Portfolio should ensure that:

  • adequate contextual information relating to the School and/or Faculty 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.

 

17.  Appeal

17.1  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.

17.2  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).

17.3  Appeal Process

17.3.1  Committee

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

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

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

17.3.2.2  to affirm the recommendation of the Promotion Committee; or

17.3.2.3  to find 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.

17.4  No Further Action

Where a staff member exercises their 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.

17.5  Representation

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