(1) For the purposes of this Policy:
(2) The Academic Promotions Policy sets down a framework and principles within which the University's academic promotions processes are to be implemented.
(3) This Policy aims to provide a promotion system for academic staff that is fair, equitable and transparent, and that recognises and rewards individual merit and achievement in line with the University's Strategic Plan.
(4) The policy applies to academic staff seeking promotion to Lecturer (Level B), Senior Lecturer (Level C), Associate Professor (Level D) and Professor (Level E).
(5) Normally there will be an annual promotions round, as determined by the Vice Chancellor. Fixed-term and continuing academic employees will normally be eligible to apply for promotion provided that:
(6) An unsuccessful applicant in one year is not eligible to apply again in the round of the year following their unsuccessful application, except with the permission of the Vice Chancellor.
(7) Employees wishing to apply for promotion must consult with their supervisor and their Head of School/Director prior to submission of an application, and evidence of this having been done is to be provided with the application.
(8) There are two bases for promotion: academic qualifications and performance. The criteria for promotion will be whether applicants have appropriate academic qualifications for the level sought, can demonstrate performance at a level of merit relative to their current level of appointment and meet the minimum standards for the academic level being sought. University Promotion Committees (Promotions Committee) are principally concerned with performance since appointment to the University, or since the last promotion. No University quotas for promotion apply and promotion is therefore based solely on merit.
(9) Achievement is measured relative to opportunity (with due consideration to career interruptions or other personal circumstances impacting on performance), and percentage of workload allocation to a particular category. In assessing applications, the Promotions Committee will consider the quality and quantity of the employee's activity and output in the context of their appointment i.e. Teaching and Research, Teaching Scholar or Research Scholar.
(10) The following academic qualifications are required:
(11) Prospective applicants for promotion who wish to present a case to demonstrate equivalent accreditation or standing are required to seek advice and a view on the matter from a panel comprising; the Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) (Chair), the Chair of the Academic Board, and the relevant Executive Member as early as possible and at least one month before applications close. The Panel will make a determination for or against equivalence on the basis of the evidence presented, and this will be conveyed to the applicant and to the Vice Chancellor. If the panel finds that equivalence has not been established then the application will not proceed further.
(12) Applications for equivalent accreditation will not be considered unless evidence can be provided that alternate qualifications being presented are accepted within the discipline as equivalent.
(13) Performance is indicated by levels of achievement in the following areas:
(14) The levels of achievement in these areas are 'satisfactory', 'commendable', 'meritorious' and 'distinguished'. These four levels apply to achievement across all academic levels of appointment i.e. a level should not be interpreted as applying simply within one appointment category such as Lecturer Level A or B. Therefore assessment of achievement as being 'satisfactory', 'commendable', 'meritorious' and 'distinguished' will be made on the criteria specified in Clauses (18) to (30), regardless of the current level of appointment.
(15) Achievements in postgraduate supervision may be included in either Scholarship of Teaching or one of the Research Scholarship categories, depending on the type of appointment held by the applicant.
(16) The minimum levels of achievement required for promotion are:
(17) In exceptional circumstances the panel may consider an application to Associate Professor (Level D), for a 'distinguished' level of achievement in Service and a 'meritorious' level of achievement in one area of Scholarship. If the applicant is applying as a Teaching and Research Scholar, then they must achieve a minimum of 'commendable' in the remaining area of Scholarship. This application will only be considered where:
(18) Teaching is a scholarly activity that engages students in learning. It is informed and revitalised by scholarship, research, consultancy and/or professional practice. In the SCU context teaching aims to ensure that students are provided with effective learning opportunities regardless of location. It encompasses a wide range of approaches including face to face teaching with large and small groups, technology mediated teaching, one-to-one consultations, postgraduate supervision, supervising students' experience in work-based settings, advising students, assessing students' work, providing feedback on students' progress, preparing teaching and course materials, and contributing to curriculum design and development.
(19) The Scholarship of Teaching is a process involving:
(20) Levels of achievement in Scholarship of Teaching will be indicated as follows:
(21) Scholarly activity in the area loosely described as Research can occur in gaining new knowledge, applying expertise to the solving of problems and synthesizing facts into an integrated work. Academics may confine their activities to one of these areas or they may work across one or more of the boundaries. All three areas are legitimate forms of Scholarship and valued by the University.
(22) In assessing an application the University will consider both impact and quantum of research. In an application for promotion, a candidate may cite evidence accumulated from one or more of the areas to support their case.
(23) The Scholarship of Discovery encompasses those scholarly activities which extend the stock of human knowledge through the discovery or collection of new information. Such scholarship exhibits a dedication to free enquiry, disciplined investigation, and the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake. It includes, but is not limited to, what is sometimes referred to as basic or original research. The Scholarship of Discovery takes the form of primary empirical research, historical research, theory development and testing, methodological studies, and philosophical inquiry and analysis.
(24) Levels of achievement in the Scholarship of Discovery will be indicated as follows:
(25) The Scholarship of Application is defined as the application of knowledge to consequential problems. It applies and contributes to human knowledge. The Scholarship of Application is helpful to individuals as well as institutions and can involve social problems defining the agenda for scholarly investigation. New intellectual understandings can arise from the act of application. The Scholarship of Application is not Service or Citizenship (i.e serving on committees.), but is rather tied directly to an individual's special field of knowledge. It requires the same level of intellectual rigour as the other forms of Scholarship. Research that involves industry or community partners, the advancement of clinical and other practice, commercialisation of research will likely be defined as Scholarship of Application. A rule of thumb may be to consider the demarcation between the ARC Discovery and ARC Linkage schemes.
(26) Levels of achievement in the Scholarship of Application will be indicated as follows:
(27) The Scholarship of Integration is concerned with giving meaning to isolated facts, putting them in perspective, making connections across disciplines, placing specialties in larger context, illuminating data in a revealing way and often educating the non-specialist. Scholarship of Integration may take the form of interdisciplinary work. It will involve critical analysis and interpretation. It may create new perspectives or make connections within and between disciplines, bringing fresh insights to bear on original research. It may provide a context for specialist knowledge, connecting knowledge and discovery into larger patterns and contexts and transcending disciplinary boundaries to give meaning to isolated facts. It may identify meanings that are not obvious to disciplinary researchers.
(28) Levels of achievement in the Scholarship of Integration will be indicated as follows:
(29) Service refers to the role of an employee as a citizen of the University, the community and relevant profession. Service utilises the expertise of the employee but does not require the rigour required for Scholarship. For Service to be recognised for promotion purposes, it must be relevant to the University's strategic objectives. Service may involve undertaking management or committee roles, organising conferences or seminars, editorial work for journals or publishers, or providing public comment. The University desires its employees not to just serve passively in such roles and so evidence of leading some activities is required for all categories above Satisfactory.
(30) Levels of achievement in Service are indicated as follows:
(31) The University values the varied roles of academic employees and recognises that not all academic employees work within the same teaching contexts or have the same research opportunities. Therefore, when forming an overall judgement on the extent and quality of performance, in addition to the above criteria and levels of performance, the Promotions Committee may consider any additional evidence provided relating to an applicant's performance outcomes that contribute to the achievement of specific objectives in the University's Strategic Plan.
(32) When making judgement on the level of performance, the Promotions Committee will take into account the proportion of the applicant's workload that is allocated to a particular category as listed in their Academic Staff Portfolio.
(33) Applicants for promotion who are found to have presented false or misleading information in support of an application will automatically be excluded from the promotion process for the following two years, and are subject to misconduct procedures.
(34) There are normally two Promotions Committees: the first will consider applications for promotion to Lecturer (Level B) and to Senior Lecturer (Level C), and the second will consider applications for promotion to Associate Professor (Level D) and to Professor (Level E).
(35) All members of a Promotions Committee will normally hold at least the level of appointment to which promotion is being considered by that Committee unless approved otherwise by the Vice Chancellor. In formulating composition of committees, the Vice Chancellor may allow for equity and/or discipline balance. The external members may be common to both committees.
(36) The Promotions Committee for Lecturer and Senior Lecturer (Level B and C) normally has the following membership:
(37) The Promotions Committee for Associate Professor (Level D) and for Professor (Level E) has the following membership:
(38) In all matters relating to the membership of Promotions Committees as specified above, the Vice Chancellor's interpretation and decision are final, including the appointment of alternate members when necessary.
(39) A supervisor who is required to provide a report on an application in that year will not be eligible for membership of the relevant Promotions Committee in that year.
(40) Employees who have applied unsuccessfully for promotion in the previous year are ineligible for membership of a Promotions Committee.
(41) Employees applying for promotion at any level in the current promotions round are ineligible for membership of a Promotions Committee.
(42) Members of a Promotion Committee are ineligible to serve as a referee for any application considered by that Promotion Committee.
(43) The final composition of a Promotions Committee is approved by the Vice Chancellor, or the Chair of the Committee acting on behalf of the Vice Chancellor.
(44) Committee members must comply with the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act (ICAC Act) and ensure that there is no actual or potential conflict of interest between their personal interests and their responsibilities as a committee member.
(45) Should committee members have either a personal relationship with an applicant, or consider that there is an actual or potential conflict of interest, they should draw this to the attention of the relevant Chair of the Committee, who will determine if alternative arrangements are necessary or what action is to be taken.
(46) For further information, refer to the University's Code of Conduct and/or to the Director, Human Resources.
(47) The role of each Promotions Committee is to decide which applications for promotion are deemed to have met the relevant criteria for promotion and to forward its recommendations for approval by the Vice Chancellor. The Vice Chancellor's decision is final.
(48) In reaching its recommendation, each Promotions Committee normally considers the original application, available referee reports, the report from the relevant supervisor (which will include reference to the most recent performance development and review reports), interview with the applicant, and may consider any other information it deems appropriate in relation to the criteria.
(49) Except for applications for promotion to Level B, the Committee will refer an application for confidential and independent expert comment and assessment, and this is done through the Chair of the Committee who will select the assessor(s) with advice from the Head of School/Director. The Committee may seek confidential and independent expert comment on applications for promotion to Level B where it deems necessary. As part of their application, employees may provide the name/s of any persons they do not wish the Chair of the Committee to approach for independent expert comment and assessment. The reasons for their request must be provided.
(50) Where a Promotions Committee considers an applicant's achievements warrant accelerated promotion, the Vice Chancellor may approve promotion to two levels higher than the applicant's current level of appointment. Accelerated promotion is considered on a case by case basis by the appropriate Promotions Committee (for example, promotion from Level B to Level D must be referred to the Level D & E Committee) and the Committee's recommendation referred to the Vice Chancellor for consideration.
(51) A quorum for meetings of each Promotions Committee will be five members, including two external members.
(52) An application for promotion will normally be recommended for promotion if it receives a majority plus one of the votes cast. The Chair of each Promotions Committee will have both a deliberative and, if required, a casting vote.
(53) All matters discussed by or presented to the Committee remain strictly confidential, and all Committee Members, any relevant support employees involved in the procedures, and the supervisor will be required to maintain confidentiality.
(54) All persons with responsibilities under this policy are required to act in accordance with equal opportunity principles and other University policies.
(55) An employee who is an unsuccessful applicant for academic promotion will have the right to request a procedural review of the promotion process.
(56) A request for review may only be lodged on the grounds of procedural irregularity, leading to a material disadvantage. A review will not, for instance, be based on matters considered as arguments of merit, a claimed prior precedent, or the fact that the timetable for the promotion round has not been adhered to.
(57) It is expected that unsuccessful candidates attend the feedback session prior to submitting a request for review.
(58) An application for a procedural review must be made in writing and be lodged with the Vice Chancellor within 15 working days of the date the employee is notified of the outcome of the academic promotion process. The Director, Human Resources and a nominee of the Vice Chancellor will conduct a review of the procedures as expeditiously as possible. A recommendation arising from the procedural review will be made to the Vice Chancellor.
(59) The Vice Chancellor will make a decision and that decision will be final.
(60) The Vice Chancellor will report annually to the Council on the outcomes and effectiveness of this policy, and may initiate a review of this policy at any time. The policy must be reviewed every five years.