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Honorary Appointments Policy

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) The University may award honorary appointments to individuals not currently employed by the University of Newcastle, who are collaborators through research, teaching, or professional activities which may be mutually beneficial. The University offers two types of honorary appointments:

  1. conjoint appointments may be individuals who hold specialist expertise and knowledge.
  2. visiting appointments may be made to individuals who physically spend time at the University contributing to the University's teaching, research and/or professional activities.

(2) The University makes honorary appointments to utilise the the academic and professional talent in the broader community to enrich the student experience and advance the University's research, teaching and learning objectives.

(3) Provision of honorary appointments acknowledge the extensive contribution to teaching, research, academic programs, and professional leadership that individuals who are not employed by the University make to its every day operation. The University confers an honorary academic title on appointees to recognise the existence of a collaborative relationship.

(4) This document should be read in conjunction with:

  1. Appointment of Conjoints Procedure; and
  2. Visiting Appointment Guidelines.
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Section 2 - Policy Intent

(5) This policy provides the principles for making an Honorary Appointment.

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Section 3 - Policy Principles

(6) Honorary appointments:

  1. must be considered in accordance with the Interim International Sanctions Compliance Policy;
  2. do not constitute an employer/employee or independent contractor relationship between the appointee and the University; and
  3. will not be made where the person is a current employee of the University, nor where the person is an enrolled student of the University.

(7) Honorary appointees:

  1. may make contributions across the University;
  2. must use the word “Conjoint or Visiting” before their academic title in any correspondence or documents during the term of the appointment; and
  3. are to abide by all relevant University laws, rules, policies and procedures (“University policies”) while undertaking activities relating to their appointment.

(8) A conjoint appointment will be paused when the individual accepts an offer of fixed term employment with the University and may be reinstated following the cessation of the fixed term appointment, for the remaining period of the conjoint appointment.

(9) A conjoint appointee may be offered a casual appointment with the University without the need of the honorary appointment being paused for the duration of the casual appointment.

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Section 4 - Honorary appointment titles

(10) The title of “Conjoint” or “Visiting” must proceed one of the following titles:

  1. Professor;
  2. Professor of Practice;
  3. Associate Professor;
  4. Senior Lecturer;
  5. Lecturer;
  6. Fellow; or
  7. another title approved by the Vice-Chancellor subject to clause 22 of the Professor Emeritus and Other Courtesy Titles Policy.

(11) Professionals without academic credentials or who have held senior positions in industry, business, government, community organisations or similar, and where the level of their national and/or international contribution is at the same level as that expected of conjoint academic appointees at Associate Professor or Professor level can use the title Conjoint Professor of Practice.

(12) For a visiting appointment, the academic title will be at the same level as the individual holds at their employer institution or organisation. Where the academic title differs, the Head of School, or equivalent, will have the discretion to determine the most appropriate honorary title, subject to the University's policies and procedures.

(13) The use of any honorary academic title is contingent upon the individual contributing to the University's activities, as outlined in the letter of offer.

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Section 5 - Conjoint Appointments


(14) The University will assess nominated conjoint candidates (for Conjoint Fellow, Conjoint Lecturer, Conjoint Senior Lecturer, Conjoint Associate Professor and Conjoint Professor) on the basis of:

  1. the extent to which they will contribute to the achievement of the University's strategic goals;
  2. their academic standing which includes their extended contribution or proven history of contribution in any two (2) of the following criteria: teaching and learning, research and innovation, service and engagement;
  3. their eligibility in terms of academic qualifications and demonstrated skills and experience in accordance with the Appointment of Conjoints Procedure.

(15) The University will assess nominated conjoint Professor of Practice candidates on the:

  1. extent to which they will contribute to the achievement of the University's strategic goals;
  2. their contribution or proven history of contribution against the criteria of service and engagement;
  3. their eligibility in terms of demonstrated skills and experience in accordance with the Appointment of Conjoints Procedure.


(16) The approval of conjoint appointments must be made in accordance with the University's current Delegation of Authority.

(17) Academic staff of the University of Newcastle may be appointed by the Vice-Chancellor (for Professor) or a Pro Vice-Chancellor (for Associate Professor, Senior Lecturer, Lecturer or Fellow) to the same academic level and Faculty as the candidate held at the time of cessation of employment from the University. Such appointments can be made without the need for assessment (as per clause 14).

Term of Appointment

(18) Conjoint appointments will be effective from the appointment approval date until the date of the next triennial review.

(19) The Pro Vice-Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor may approve an end date earlier than the triennial review period.

Role and Responsibilities

(20) The University will clearly communicate the expected contributions of each level of conjoint appointee.

(21) Alterations to the roles and responsibilities of a conjoint appointment may be as follows:

  1. for Conjoint Fellow, Conjoint Lecturer and Conjoint Senior Lecturer, the roles may be altered by the Head of School or equivalent, in consultation with the Conjoint appointee;
  2. for Conjoint Associate Professor, Conjoint Professor and Conjoint Professor of Practice, the roles may be altered by the Pro Vice-Chancellor, in consultation with the Conjoint appointee.

(22) The Conjoint Appointee will:

  1. undertake activities as outlined in their letter of offer, liaising with the Head of School, or equivalent, where appropriate;
  2. advise the Head of School, or equivalent, to which they are appointed if there are any changes in their circumstances or professional status that may impact on their ability to undertake the activities outlined in the letter of offer;
  3. identify their affiliation with the University and/or Faculty by indicating their academic or professional status appropriate to their appointment (Fellow, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor, Professor or Professor of Practice).

Review and Reappointment

(23) Reviews of conjoint appointments will take place when the current conjoint appointment expires or in the triennial review, whichever is the sooner.

(24) A Pro Vice-Chancellor may initiate a review of a conjoint appointment at any time should an appropriate need arise.

(25) Reappointment will be determined based on an assessment of the appointees contribution to the criteria at the relevant level.

(26) Following a review, reappointment of a conjoint to the same level may be approved by the Pro Vice-Chancellor.

(27) Reappointment of a conjoint to a higher level will require a new application, accordance with Appointment of Conjoints Procedure.

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Section 6 - Visiting Appointments

(28) A proposal for a visiting appointment will be considered for approval in line with the University’s Delegations of Authority.

(29) Visiting appointments are approved in line with the Visiting Appointment Guidelines.

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Section 7 - Support for Honorary Appointment

(30) The University will, at the time of offer, identify specific resources and/or facilities that it will make available to support the contribution by the honorary appointee. Additional resources may be discussed and agreed on with, and determined, by the Head of School or equivalent or Pro Vice-Chancellor.

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Section 8 - Termination of Honorary Appointment

(31) The honorary appointee can terminate their association with the University at any time.

(32) The Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of School, Chief People and Culture Officer or any role senior to these positions, can review and/or terminate one or more privileges and/or terminate the honorary appointment on the following grounds:

  1. failure to comply with the terms in their letter of offer;
  2. any breach or suspected breach of University of Newcastle policies or any conduct which, in the opinion of the University, is likely to bring the University or any of its related entities into disrepute, may result in withdrawal of the honorary title and/or relationship;
  3. failure to meet statutory or University requirements regarding the performance of the roles and responsibilities of their appointment; or
  4. failure to maintain University academic standards.