Academic Promotion - Managerial Policy

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Academic Promotion - Managerial Policy


Approval authority
Vice-Chancellor and President
Responsible officer
Vice-Chancellor and President
Designated officer
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
First approved
13 June 2000
Last amended
4 June 2018
Effective start date
11 December 2017
Review date
26 June 2019
Active - under review
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Academic Promotion to Level B - Procedures
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Anti-Discrimination and Freedom from Bullying and Harassment (Staff) - Governing Policy
Equity and Diversity - Governing Policy
Performance Management - Managerial Policy
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1. Purpose of policy

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

2. Scope and application

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

3. Definitions

Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures. Terms and definitions identified below are specific to these procedures and are critical to its effectiveness:

Academic Staff are appointed in accordance with the University’s Enterprise Agreement to positions which reflect the operational requirements and core areas of responsibility which include teaching research and engagement.

Engagement comprises two elements – external engagement and engagement within the University. External engagement is a scholarly practice through which academic staff apply their discipline knowledge and skills to problems in the world. Through external engagement, worthwhile social, civic and professional functions are performed. Engagement within the University enables academic staff to contribute to defining and achieving the University’s strategic priorities through activities other than teaching and research.

Merit refers to the relationship between a person’s qualities (knowledge, skills, abilities and experience) and those qualities required for the performance in a particular position.

Promotion is defined as advancement to the next higher classification level.

Research is defined as the creation of new knowledge and the use of existing knowledge in new and creative ways so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This can include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative research outcomes. An essential characteristic of research activity is that it leads to publicly verifiable outcomes that are open to peer appraisal. Research is also characterised by originality; it has investigation or creation as a primary objective; and has the potential to produce results that increase humanity’s stock of theoretical, creative or practical knowledge.

Teaching is defined as a transformational process that results in learning. To be effective, teaching requires mastery of both content and pedagogy; motivates and engages learners and develops their capacity to continue learning throughout their lives; and enables students to graduate with appropriate discipline knowledge, skills and attributes that allow for active and productive participation in contemporary society.

4. Policy Statement

4.1 Purposes of Academic Promotion

4.1.1 USC 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 achievement 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 Faculty priorities;

(d) ensures that performance and achievements, articulated through the Performance, Planning and Review (PPR) process, are recognised, rewarded and contribute to the achievement of the University’s strategic priorities.

4.2 Principles of Academic Promotion

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

4.2.2 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).

4.2.3 There are three areas of performance and achievement in academic work – teaching, research and engagement.

4.3 Merit

4.3.1 To be promoted, an applicant must demonstrate sustained academic performance and achievement commensurate with the level to which they are applying to be promoted. Promotion is recognition that a staff member is consistently performing and achieving at a higher level than that to which they are currently appointed.

4.3.2 For an application to Level E (Professor), the quality and impact of an applicant’s academic work throughout their career are also considered.

4.4 Eligibility

4.4.1 To be eligible to apply for promotion, an academic staff member has:

(a) a full-time or fractional appointment; and

(b) been employed by USC in an academic position continuously from March in the year prior to application.

4.4.2 An academic staff member who has applied unsuccessfully for promotion in two consecutive years is not eligible to apply in the year after their last unsuccessful application (i.e. in the third year).

4.5 Promotions Committees

4.5.1 The Academic Promotions Committee considers and evaluates applications from eligible staff for promotion to Level C.

4.5.2 The Professorial Promotions Committee considers and evaluates applications from eligible staff for promotion to Levels D and E.

4.5.3 Both Committees make recommendations via the Chair to the Vice-Chancellor and President.

4.6 Approval and Implementation

4.6.1 The Vice-Chancellor and President can approve or not approve any recommendation to promote.

4.6.2 The Vice-Chancellor and President’s decisions are final.

4.6.3 Promotions take effect from 1 January in the year following the call for applications.

5. Authorities/Responsibilities

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

Activity University Officer
Call for applications for promotion. Director, Human Resources
Make recommendations to promote to Level B. Executive Dean
Make recommendations to promote to Levels C-E on behalf of the Promotions Committees, to the Vice-Chancellor and President. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Approve or not approve recommendations to promote to Level B. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Approve or not approve recommendations to promote to Levels C-E. Vice-Chancellor and President  


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