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Academic Promotion Policy

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) This policy acknowledges the critical importance of career progression for the effective and efficient operation of the University and for the recognition of its academic staff. This policy recognises that academic staff may have different career stages and seeks to ensure that promotion recognises the priorities of research, teaching, engagement and  leadership.

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Section 2 - Policy Intent

(2) This policy provides the principles that will underpin a fair and equitable academic promotions process.

(3) This policy should be read in conjunction with:

  1. Academic Promotion Procedure; and
  2. Academic Planning and Performance Policy.
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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This policy applies to all full-time or part-time academic staff with continuing or consecutive fixed-term appointments of no less than three (3) years, including eligible honorary academic appointees (in accordance with the Honorary Academic Titles Policy).

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Section 4 - Policy Principles

Academic Standards

(5) The University's promotion process will offer recognition and reward for sustained excellence.

(6) Candidates must demonstrate the expected level of academic performance over a sustained period with the significance of the work, in each relevant category:

  1. widely recognised locally, nationally and where appropriate internationally;
  2. well documented and evidenced; and
  3. corroborated by a number of external independent assessors.

(7) The candidate's profile should clearly demonstrate sustained performance within the standard expected at the level above their current level of appointment.

(8) Candidates for promotion will demonstrate they have maintained active and effective scholarship in their disciplines by contributing to teaching, research, and engagement and leadership within their discipline/profession, the University, and the community.

(9) Academic promotion will reflect the expectation that as academic staff progress through the levels of academic appointment:

  1. there is an increase in the quality and effectiveness of their teaching and their contribution to all aspects of teaching and learning;
  2. there is an increase in the quality, impact, and engagement of their research output including research related to the scholarship of teaching and learning;
  3. their role in the promotion of scholarship expands;
  4. their qualitative contribution to their discipline/profession increases; and
  5. they demonstrate increasing leadership in their discipline/profession, the University and the community.


(10) Promotion to all levels will be on the basis of the merit of the case presented without reference to staffing profiles, quotas or resources.

(11) The University will assess a candidate's performance relative to opportunity.

(12) The University recognises some candidates may have less opportunity than others to meet the full criteria for promotion.  These candidates are encouraged to outline their unique circumstances and to what degree they believe these circumstances have impacted their academic performance. Performance will be assessed relative to the opportunities available to the candidate whilst continuing to maintain a focus of quality, impact and engagement. Examples where performance relative to opportunity may be applicable include, but are not limited to:

  1. the acceptance of additional responsibilities;
  2. reduced working hours such as part-time hours;
  3. career disruption – a prolonged interruption to work due to parental leave, illness/injury and/or carer responsibility;
  4. disability or ongoing health issues; 
  5. discipline specific challenges.

(13) The outcome of previous applications for promotion will have no relevance in a promotion round aside from the “two year wait rule” (see clause 19).

Equal Opportunity

(14) The promotion process will have regard for the principles of equal opportunity, fairness and social justice in accordance with relevant discrimination legislation.

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Section 5 - Roles and Responsibilities

(15) All staff with access to promotion documents will maintain confidentiality at all times.

(16) Candidates for promotion will participate in the process openly and honestly.

(17) The University's Conflict of Interest Policy and its associated procedure must be complied with throughout the promotion process.

(18) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Vice President must develop and maintain a procedure to support this Policy (see Academic Promotion Procedure).

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Section 6 - Relevant Definitions

(19) In the context of this document, candidates are required to wait two (2) years from their last application submission before submitting a further application in order to demonstrate sustained performance at the expected level.