Promotion to Levels C, D and E for Academic Employees Procedure

Procedure overview

1 Purpose

To outline the process for promotion to Levels C, D and E through the University's annual academic promotion round.

2 Scope

This Procedure applies to all full-time or fractional Employees in academic positions who hold a continuing or fixed-term appointment (of more than 12 months duration) and who are applying for promotion to Levels C, D or E.

The process for Academic Employees applying for promotion to Level B is contained within the Promotion to Level B for Academic Employees Procedure.

This Procedure should be read in conjunction with the University Code of Conduct Policy, USQ Academic Employee Expectation Framework, and the Guide for Applicants - Levels C to E.

3 Procedure Overview

This Procedure outlines the process for academic promotion and addresses the topics of confidentiality, eligibility, applying for promotion, criteria for promotion, application assessment, outcomes and feedback, and Appeals.

Any departure from this Procedure and/or subordinate Schedules may only be made with the approval of the Vice-Chancellor.

4 Procedures

4.1 Confidentiality

Other than material required for feedback to an applicant or required for consideration of Appeals, all materials and deliberations relating to promotion applications will be treated in the strictest confidence by all participants in, and observers of, the promotion process. Members of the University Promotion Committee and observers will not discuss applications, recommendations or deliberations outside of committee meetings. This section does not apply to applicants.

4.2 Eligibility

Academic Employees are eligible to apply for promotion when they have completed a minimum of 12 months service at the University in a full-time or fractional academic appointment as at the closing date for applications.

An unsuccessful applicant in one year is not eligible to apply again the following year, except where:

  • the application in the previous year was a first application for promotion to that level; or
  • in exceptional circumstances, as approved in writing by the Vice-Chancellor (for applications to Level E) or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) (for applications to Level C or D). In such instances, it is the responsibility of the Academic Employee to obtain written approval to apply from the Vice-Chancellor or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), and include the written approval in their application.

Where an applicant for promotion tenders their resignation from the University prior to the promotion being decided, their application will be regarded as withdrawn.

4.3 Applying for promotion

It is strongly recommended that prior to submitting an application for promotion, Academic Employees seek advice from Supervisors, mentors, discipline experts, and/or heads of organisational unit on whether they are ready.

Applications for promotion will normally be called in the first half of the year and at least eight weeks before the closing date.

Applicants are required to submit their application to the Executive Officer in the prescribed format by the specified closing time and date. Applications received after the closing date will not be accepted.

Applications must contain the following:

  • confirmation of the applicant's qualifications or evidence of Equivalent Standing;
  • a case for promotion with supporting evidence that addresses the promotion criteria (with a focus on achievements in the period since last promotion or appointment to the University);
  • an academic portfolio in the prescribed format; and
  • a head of organisational unit statement.

When relevant, applications must also include:

  • evidence of Equivalent Standing (for Academic Employees that do not possess the required academic qualification for the level being sought);
  • written approval from the Vice-Chancellor to apply (for Academic Employees who were unsuccessful for promotion in the previous year and/or applying over more than one level).

Up until five working days prior to the communicated meeting of the committee, applicants may provide additional Information relevant to their application. The additional Information should summarise achievements that have resulted since their application was submitted, must be provided in the prescribed format, and must not exceed one page.

4.3.1 Applications over more than one level

An Academic Employee may apply for promotion over more than one level in exceptional circumstances, as approved in writing by the Vice-Chancellor. In such instances, it is the responsibility of the Academic Employee to obtain written approval from the Vice-Chancellor, prior to submitting the promotion application, and include the written approval in their application.

4.3.2 Head of organisational unit statement

The role of an applicant's head of organisational unit (typically a Head of School or Centre Director) is to assist applicants in determining readiness for promotion by providing ongoing feedback about achievement across the three core areas of academic work, relative to opportunity.

As part of the promotion process, the head of organisational unit will be responsible for providing a written statement to be submitted with the application. The statement should contain a description of the applicant's achievements against each of the core areas of academic work, relative to opportunity, with a specific focus on verifying the stated achievements of the applicant. The head of organisational unit may consult with other Employees whose judgements they believe may be helpful in completing this statement.

The head of organisational unit statement is not confidential and will be viewed by both the applicant and the committee as part of the promotion process.

4.3.3 Achievement relative to opportunity

Applicants may outline their achievement relative to opportunity, taking into account factors such as career breaks, gender, family or other factors which may have resulted in an alternative profile in one or more of the criteria, or limited their career progression. Applicants should refer to the Application of the Principle of Achievement Relative to Opportunity to Academic Promotion - Guidelines for further information/guidance.

4.4 Criteria for promotion

4.4.1 Academic qualification or Equivalent Standing

For promotion to Levels C, D and E, applicants must have a doctoral qualification in the relevant discipline area, or provide evidence that Equivalent Standing has been obtained. Obtaining Equivalent Standing is a separate process that must be completed by the applicant prior to academic promotion. The process to apply for Equivalent Standing is outlined in the Determining Equivalent Standing for Academic Promotion Schedule.

4.4.2 Achievement in core areas of academic work

Applicants will be assessed on their performance, achievement, and impact across the following core areas of academic work: Teaching; Research; and Service. Each core area of academic work is defined as:

  • Teaching (includes Teaching and the Scholarship of Learning and Teaching)

    Teaching is a creative activity designed to foster Student's learning, their ability and desire to undertake scholarly work, and their personal development and creativity. Teaching draws upon the professional and disciplinary expertise of Employees and is continually revitalised by research, scholarship, consultancy or professional practice. Teaching includes the design, implementation and evaluation of curriculum materials for all modes of delivery.

    Scholarship of Learning and Teaching refers to scholarly inquiry into Student learning which advances the practice of teaching by making research findings public.

    Teaching and the Scholarship of Learning and Teaching includes face-to-face classroom teaching; the various modes of distance education teaching (including online mode, the preparation of print, voice, visual or electronic materials and contact with Students directly or by telephone, computer link, or video link); the teaching or groups other than Award Students (including fellow Employees); postgraduate supervision; curriculum, Course and instructional design; education leadership and scholarship associated with learning and teaching.

  • Research (includes Research and Original Achievement)

    Research refers to activities that result in the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes.

    Research and original achievement encompasses all forms of original intellectual or cultural achievement including: research, exhibitions, performance, unique consultancy and the leadership, scholarship, publication, commercialisation and Information/technology transfer associated with these activities.

  • Service (includes to the University, Community and Profession, including Engagement)

    Service relates to the need for Academic Employees to contribute in an appropriate and sustained way to the corporate life of the University, the community good and the development of their profession in domains such as; contribution to the formulation and implementation of academic Policy; the initiation (or active maintenance) of linkages between the University and the community, employers of graduates and professional institutions.

Applicants, in consultation with their Supervisor, will nominate the percentage weight they wish to be given in each core area of academic work for consideration by the University Promotion Committee in assessing their application. Applicants should focus their application on their achievements over the last five years, or since their last promotion or appointment to the University (if occurred within the last five years).

Weightings assigned by an applicant must have a minimum of 10% in each core area of academic work (unless an applicant applies for promotion as 'research-focused' or 'teaching-focused'), and must total 100%. In determining the weightings, applicants must take into consideration areas of strength and achievements in each category. The ranges for each are:

Core Area of Academic Work

Teaching and Research

Research-focused

Teaching-focused

Teaching

10-80%

0-80%

10-90%

Research

10-80%

10-90%

0-80%

Service

10-40%*

10-40%**

10-40%**

* = Academic Employees employed in leadership positions (Executive Dean, Dean, Associate Dean, Head of School/College, Deputy Head of School/College, Associate Head, Institute Executive Director, Centre Director) at the time of submitting their application may weight service up to 80%.

** = Academic Employees employed in leadership positions (Executive Dean, Dean, Associate Dean, Head of School/College, Deputy Head of School/College, Associate Head, Institute Executive Director, Centre Director) at the time of submitting their application may weight service up to 90%.

4.5 Application Assessment

4.5.1 University Promotion Committee

A University Promotion Committee will be formed as per the applicable Terms of Reference to assess all applications for promotion. The committee will consider all applications before recommendations for promotion are made to the Vice-Chancellor.

4.5.2 Guidelines for assessment

The committee will review each application to determine whether the academic qualification or Equivalent Standing requirements have been met for the level of promotion sought, as per the criteria outlined in 4.4.1.

The committee will also assess each application and rate each core area of academic work based on the evidence provided in the application and any supporting documentation against the criteria outlined in 4.4.2. While the committee will consider the applicant's achievements over their entire career, the emphasis will be on achievements over the last five years, or since their last promotion or appointment to the University .

Each core area of academic work will be rated according to the following performance descriptors.

Description

Definition

Exceptional

Outstanding performance by national or international standards, placing the applicant in the top echelon of their national professional peer group.

Superior

High level of performance denoting the applicant clearly as a leader among their peers.

Commendable

Performance at a level markedly above that necessary for routine performance of professional activity at the applicant's present level or equivalent to that necessary for performance at the level sought.

Less than Commendable

Commendable performance at a level necessary for the performance of professional activity at the applicant's present level, but lacks demonstrated potential to perform at the level sought.

Adequate

Adequate performance at a level necessary for the performance of professional activity at the applicant's present level.

Marginal

Performance at a level giving cause for concern within the peer group.

Poor

Unsatisfactory and/or inadequate.

Each applicant will be given a numerical equivalent score out of 10 according to the following:

Performance Descriptor

Numerical Equivalent

Teaching (weighting%)

Research (weighting%)

Service (weighting%)

Exceptional

10

Superior +

9

Superior -

8

Commendable +

7

Commendable -

6

Adequate +

5

Adequate -

4

Marginal +

3

Marginal -

2

Poor

1

No output

0

Total (WPA)*

*WPA here means Weighted Performance Average, being the weighted aggregate of performance across the core areas of academic work. Each numerical equivalent score will be multiplied by the percentage weighting given by the applicant to each core area of academic work to form a Weighted Performance Average. Applicants must be awarded a WPA of 7 (and meet the academic qualification or Equivalent Standing requirements) in order to be promotable.

For the purposes of this Procedure the peer group of an applicant is defined as those Academic Employees of Australian universities in the same discipline and at the present level of the applicant.

The academic performance and achievements of each applicant, as presented in the application, are to be evaluated in relation to the norms that prevail in the applicant's particular discipline or field, and relative to opportunity.

This means that in terms of expectations for activity and output, consideration will be given to the fraction at which an applicant is employed, periods of absence, and/or personal circumstances. Where Information about an applicant's personal circumstances is provided, that Information will remain confidential to the assessing committee.

During the assessment, the committee will assess the application having regard to:

  • actual performance and achievement at the applicant's current level relative to opportunity;
  • performance and achievement at the level being sought AND demonstrated potential to perform at the level being sought;
  • position classification standards for their current level of appointment and the level of appointment sought; and
  • the USQ Academic Employee Expectation Framework.

Inherent in this approach is the expectation that, as the level of promotion being sought increases, the nature of the performance, impact and achievement shifts from the conduct of an activity to the leadership, supervision and management of the activity.

Further consideration should be given to the relativity of teaching and research achievements in situations where employees have been substantively employed in roles that are heavily focused on service, for example, Heads of School, Centre Director.

Following the completion of the assessment, the University Promotion Committee will review the applicant outcomes, formulate an overall ranking, and forward their recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor for a Decision.

The committee may recommend that an applicant be promoted over more than one level. In such cases, additional Information including external referee reports may be sought.

The Vice-Chancellor's Decision is final.

4.5.3 Interviews

The purpose of interviewing promotion applicants is to gather more Information in support of their application for promotion; interviews may provide an additional source of Information in the Decision-making process.

4.5.3.1 Promotion to Level C

Interviews will be at the Committee's discretion. Applicants may be interviewed when further clarification is required on selected matters within the application. The chair of the committee will make the final Decision as to whether an applicant is required to attend an interview.

4.5.3.2 Promotion to Levels D and E

Applicants for promotion to levels D and E may be interviewed at the discretion of the panel.

Initial Weighted Performance Average

Interview

Below 6.5

No interview

6.5 to less than 7

Interview

7 and above

No interview

The initial Weighted Performance Average will be calculated via a desktop assessment of the application by all members of the University Promotion Committee. All applications will be assessed according to section 4.5 of this Procedure.

Regardless of the initial Weighted Performance Average of an application, the committee may interview any applicant to clarify any aspect of their application.

For those applicants invited to attend an interview, interviews will be conducted, as far as is practicable, during the time period outlined in the assessment schedule. Interview dates and times will be conveyed to applicants as early as possible to ensure availability. All Level D and Level E applicants must be available for face-to-face interviews unless there are unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances.

The Chair of the committee may allow a phone or video interview in exceptional circumstances only.

4.5.4 Outcomes and notification

Promotion Decisions will be made by the Vice-Chancellor, on behalf of Council, with due regard to recommendations of the University Promotion Committee. Applicants will be informed of the Decision in writing.

All applicants may request a meeting with the Chair of the University Promotion Committee to discuss feedback. An applicant's Supervisor may also be present at the feedback meeting.

It is strongly recommended that applicants share their feedback with their Supervisor in order to develop a plan to address the topics raised in the feedback for progress towards future promotion applications.

Successful applicants will be appointed at Step 1 of the salary classification to which they are promoted. Successful promotions take effect on 1 January of the following year. However, a successful applicant may begin using their new title as of the date of the formal written advice informing them that their application has been successful.

4.6 Appeals

An applicant may Appeal only on the grounds of process. The Appeal process is subject to the same expectations of confidentiality as the promotion round itself.

The Appeal must be in writing and forwarded to the Chief People Officer within four weeks of notification of the outcome of the application for promotion.

The Chief People Officer will refer the Appeal to the University Promotion Appeals Committee as defined in the Terms of Reference.

The recommendations of the University Promotion Appeals Committee will go to the Vice-Chancellor for Decision.

In the event that the Vice-Chancellor's Decision is to promote the appellant, that promotion will take effect from the date at which it would have occurred if the University Promotion Committee had decided to recommend promotion.

The Vice-Chancellor or nominee's Decision is final and there will be no right of Appeal on the Appeal Outcome.

5 References

Nil.

6 Delegated Responsibilities

Approver

Level of Delegation

Vice-Chancellor

Approval of promotion outcomes.

7 Schedules

This procedure must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

8 Procedure Information

Accountable Officer

Chief People Officer

Responsible Officer

Chief People Officer

Policy Type

University Procedure

Policy Suite

Performance, Development and Recognition Policy

Subordinate Schedules

Determining Equivalent Standing for Academic Promotion Schedule

Approved Date

23/4/2021

Effective Date

23/4/2021

Review Date

1/4/2023

Relevant Legislation

USQ Enterprise Agreement

Related Policies

Related Procedures

Performance Planning and Review Procedure

Position Descriptions and Position Classification Standards Procedure

Promotion to Level B for Academic Employees Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Enrich performance management program

Guide for Applicants - Level A to B

Guide for Applicants - Levels C to E

People Portfolio Website

Terms of Reference - University Promotion Committee

Terms of Reference - University Promotion Appeals Committee

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Appeal

A formal, written request made by a Student or Employee to a higher authority to have a Decision overturned....moreA formal, written request made by a Student or Employee to a higher authority to have a Decision overturned.

Award

The qualification conferred upon a Student following the successful completion of an Academic Program. The categories of Award are listed in the Program Nomenclature Schedule....moreThe qualification conferred upon a Student following the successful completion of an Academic Program. The categories of Award are listed in the Program Nomenclature Schedule.

Course

The basic unit of study and assessment for which a Student may be awarded a grade, and may accumulate credit units towards completion of a Program....moreThe basic unit of study and assessment for which a Student may be awarded a grade, and may accumulate credit units towards completion of a Program.

Decision

A determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University....moreA determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University.

Employee

A person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University....moreA person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University.

Information

Any collection of data that is processed, analysed, interpreted, organised, classified or communicated in order to serve a useful purpose, present facts or represent knowledge in any medium or form. This includes presentation in electronic (digital), print, audio, video, image, graphical, cartographic, physical sample, textual or numerical form....moreAny collection of data that is processed, analysed, interpreted, organised, classified or communicated in order to serve a useful purpose, present facts or represent knowledge in any medium or form. This includes presentation in electronic (digital), print, audio, video, image, graphical, cartographic, physical sample, textual or numerical form.

Policy

A high level strategic directive that establishes a principle based approach on a subject. Policy is operationalised through Procedures that give instructions and set out processes to implement a Policy....moreA high level strategic directive that establishes a principle based approach on a subject. Policy is operationalised through Procedures that give instructions and set out processes to implement a Policy.

Procedure

An operational instruction that sets out the process to operationalise a Policy....moreAn operational instruction that sets out the process to operationalise a Policy.

Research Activities

Refers to activities that result in the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes....moreRefers to activities that result in the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes.

Scholarship of Learning and Teaching

Scholarly inquiry into Student learning which advances the practice of teaching by making research findings public....moreScholarly inquiry into Student learning which advances the practice of teaching by making research findings public.

Student

A person who is admitted to an Award Program or Non-Award Program offered by the University and is: currently enrolled in one or more Courses or study units; or not currently enrolled but is on an approved Leave of Absence or whose admission has not been cancelled....moreA person who is admitted to an Award Program or Non-Award Program offered by the University and is: currently enrolled in one or more Courses or study units; or not currently enrolled but is on an approved Leave of Absence or whose admission has not been cancelled.

University

The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....moreThe term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland.

Definitions that relate to this procedure only

Academic Employee

Academic Employee means a person employed by the University of Southern Queensland to undertake academic work, and who is classified by the position classification standards in accordance with Clause 4.2.3 of the USQ Enterprise Agreement.

Supervisor

Any person responsible for leading the activities of others. In the context of this Procedure, a Supervisor includes Employees at any classification level or title who have responsibilities for leading, managing or supervising work teams and/or individual Employees.

Keywords

Promotion, Appeals

Record No

15/38PL

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