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Distinguished Professor Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) This Policy establishes the principles and standards for the award of the title Distinguished Professor.


(2) This Policy applies to the award of all Southern Cross University Distinguished Professor titles.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(3) A Southern Cross University Distinguished Professor is a highly prestigious and honorary title accorded to eminent professors or industry figures of distinction who have made exceptional and sustained contribution to their field, discipline or industry and who may demonstrably contribute to building the reputation of Southern Cross University in Australia and internationally.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) Southern Cross University values excellence in teaching, research and engagement and recognises the contribution of individual academics to achieving the University's goals and strategic initiatives.

(5) The appointment of Distinguished Professors enables the University to enhance its academic profile, either by inviting eminent persons external to Southern Cross University to accept appointment, or to recognise and honour both eminence and sustained academic excellence within the University.

(6) Appointments are considered a high honour and are not routinely bestowed. They are offered by invitation only at the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor.

(7) A financial or in-kind benefit may be offered to Distinguished Professors together with a medal of recognition.

(8) Distinguished Professor titles are awarded on merit, assessed against set criteria and approved by the Vice-Chancellor.

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Section 4 - Selection Criteria

(9) A Distinguished Professor must demonstrate outstanding leadership and an exceptional and sustained contribution in their field well beyond that normally expected of a professor. Nominations are assessed against some or all of the following criteria:

  1. An international reputation for exceptional research and/or teaching scholarship, as exemplified by a demonstration of sustained high-level achievement of scholarly publications, performances, creative works, citations, invitations to give keynote addresses, success in obtaining research grants, teaching outcomes or pedagogical innovation, election to learned academies, honorary degrees, awards and prizes.
  2. Involvement in, and contribution to, activities extending beyond the University,particularly those relating to the nominee's profession or discipline, which build the reputation of the University; an ability to liaise and communicate effectively with members of the community, and where appropriate, professional and industry bodies in relation to research and to promote the University more generally.
  3. Conformance with the professional standards and conduct that could be reasonably expected of a person at their current level of appointment.

(10) A Distinguished Industry Professor nominee must demonstrate an exceptional and sustained contribution made in their field or discipline, including with references to:

  1. past eminence and track record;
  2. the potential for ongoing excellence; and
  3. potential contribution(s) to Southern Cross University strategy.
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Section 5 - Appointment Duration, Reappointment and Revocation

(11) The title of Distinguished Professor is awarded by the Vice-Chancellor for a period not exceeding five years.

(12) To protect the integrity of the award and the reputation of the University, the title of Distinguished Professor may be revoked at the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor, if it were considered that the recipient's continued association with the University would bring the University into disrepute.

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Section 6 -  Procedures

Internal Appointment Process: Distinguished Professor and Distinguished Industry Professor

(13) The Deputy Vice Chancellors, Pro Vice Chancellors and Executive Deans may raise nominations for consideration by the Vice-Chancellor.

(14) A nomination should include an appropriate justification addressing the nominee's performance against the selection criteria.

(15) The Vice-Chancellor approves appointments, taking into account the justification provided and the views and recommendations of the Vice Chancellor's Group.