Academic Promotion - Operational Policy | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Academic Promotion - Operational Policy

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Approval authority
Vice-Chancellor and President
Responsible Executive member
Vice-Chancellor and President
Designated officer
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
First approved
13 June 2000
Last amended
14 May 2024
Review date
14 May 2026
Related documents
Linked documents
Related legislation / standards
  • University of the Sunshine Coast Enterprise Agreement

1. Purpose

1.1 This policy demonstrates the University’s commitment to academic excellence by setting out the principles for recognising and rewarding sustained academic performance and achievement through promotion.

1.2 This policy must be read in conjunction with the linked Academic Promotion – Procedures.

2. Scope and application

2.1 This policy applies to full-time and fractional academic staff.

3. Definitions

3.1 Refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for definitions as they specifically relate to policy documents.

4. Policy Statement

4.1 Purposes of Academic Promotion

4.1.1 The University aims to be recognised, nationally and internationally, for excellence in teaching, research and engagement. To achieve such excellence, it is essential that the performance and achievements of the University’s academic staff are of high quality. To attract, develop, motivate and retain high quality staff, it is important to recognise and reward their academic performance and achievements. Promotion is a very significant way of recognising and rewarding sustained academic excellence.

4.1.2 Access to promotion also:

(a) provides a positive framework within which academic staff can systematically reflect on their careers and development and achieve their professional aspirations;

(b) ensures all academic staff are clear about what the University values in relation to academic work and the standards of performance expected at each classification level;

(c) encourages alignment between the work of individual academic staff and University and work area priorities; and

(d) ensures that performance and other achievements, developed in accordance with the Academic Performance Standards and through discussions with staff, and articulated through the Performance and Development Planning process, are recognised, rewarded and contribute to the achievement of the University’s strategic priorities.

5. Principles

5.1 Principles of Academic Promotion

5.1.1 The University commits to a fair and consistent academic promotion process based on the principles of equal opportunity, merit-based determinations and assessment of achievement relative to opportunity.

5.1.2 There is a call for applications for promotion each year.

5.1.3 Academic staff can be promoted from Levels A to B (Associate Lecturer to Lecturer), B to C (Lecturer to Senior Lecturer), C to D (Senior Lecturer to Associate Professor), and D to E (Associate Professor to Professor).

5.1.4 There are three areas of performance and achievement in academic work – teaching, research, and engagement, and each area is reviewed in light of the percentage agreed work allocation.

5.2 Merit

5.2.1 To be promoted, an applicant must demonstrate sustained academic performance and achievement at the University, commensurate with the level to which they are applying to be promoted as set out in the Academic Performance Standards. Promotion is recognition that a staff member is consistently performing and achieving at a higher level than that to which they are currently appointed in at least two of the work allocations where appropriate and at a satisfactory level for a third area.

5.2.2 For an application to Level E (Professor), the quality and impact of an applicant’s academic work throughout their career are considered, however, significant contributions to the development and standing of the University must also be evident.

5.3 Eligibility

5.3.1 To be eligible to apply for promotion, an academic staff member must have:

(a) a current academic appointment, including staff on fixed-term contracts and probation; and

(b) been employed by the University in an ongoing or fixed-term academic position continuously from March in the year prior to application.

5.3.2 An academic staff member who has applied unsuccessfully for promotion in the previous year, is not eligible to apply in the year following the unsuccessful application.

6. Authorities and responsibilities

6.1 The Vice-Chancellor and President makes this policy in accordance with the University of the Sunshine Coast Act 1998 (Qld).

6.2 The Vice-Chancellor and President is authorised to make procedures and guidelines for the operation of this Policy. The procedures and guidelines must be compatible with the provisions of this policy.

6.3 The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) is authorised to make associated documents to support the application of policy documents. These must be compatible with the provisions of the respective policy document.

6.5 This policy operates from the Last Amended date, will all previous policies related to academic promotions replaced and have no further operation from this date.

6.6 All records relating to academic promotion must be stored and managed in accordance with the Information Management – Governing Policy.

6.7 This policy must be maintained in accordance with the Policy Framework – Procedures and reviewed on the standard 5 year policy review cycle.

6.8 Any exception to this policy to enable a more appropriate result must be approved in accordance with the Policy Framework – Procedures prior to the deviation of the policy document.

6.9 Refer to Schedule C of the Delegations Manual for operational and administrative authorisations set out in this policy.

The following authorities are delegated under this policy and associated procedures:


University Officer

Call for applications for promotion.

Director, People and Culture

Make recommendations to promote to Levels B and C on behalf of the Academic Promotions Committee, to the Vice-Chancellor and President.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

Approve or not approve recommendations to promote to Levels B to E.

Vice-Chancellor and President