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Academic Promotion Procedures

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) This document establishes the procedures for academic promotion to Levels B, C, D and E, providing recognition and reward for staff excellence and achievement.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(2) Nil.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(3) Nil.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Application Method

(4) Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements for promotion as outlined in the Academic Promotions Policy.

(5) Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek guidance and discuss their applications with:

  1. their Academic Supervisor and an academic mentor;
  2. their Dean/Director prior to submission; and
  3. the Promotions Coordinator for any process-related queries.

(6) There is an always-open process for academic promotions, with applications accepted throughout the year.

(7) The Academic Promotions Committee will convene three times per year to consider applications. The dates of Academic Promotions Committee meetings and the cut-off dates for inclusion in those meetings will be listed on the University's Academic Promotions webpage at the start of the calendar year.

(8) Applications not submitted or incomplete by the cut-off date for a meeting of the Academic Promotions Committee will be held over to the next meeting.

(9) Applications should address overall career trajectory, and focus on recent achievements, as per the Requirements for Promotion, outlined in the Academic Promotions Policy.

(10) Applicants must submit as part of their application:

  1. the Academic Promotions Application Form;
  2. their CV as per the requirements in the Academic Promotions Application CV; and
  3. all supporting documents as required by the Academic Promotions Application Form, Application CV and Application Guidelines.

(11) Note: Applicants are expected to consult the Academic Promotions Policy, the Academic Promotions Procedures and the Academic Promotions Guidelines in preparing their Application Form and Application CV (these are all located on the Academic Promotions webpage ).

(12) The Promotions Coordinator in the Office of Human Resources will collect supporting reports as required, including from:

  1. Deans/Directors;
  2. referees; and
  3. independent external assessors.

(13) Applicants should be aware that delays in procuring any reports may result in the application being held over to the next available Academic Promotions Committee meeting. If this is the case, applicants will be notified in writing.

Academic Promotions Application Form

(14) Applicants should discuss in their application narrative:

  1. Key aspects of their achievements in the fields of academic practice (such as, improved SFU, teaching innovations, grants awarded or key publications, research impact, engagement and service contributions).
  2. The context and significance of any publications in alternative media (a brief 1-2 sentence explanation is sufficient).
  3. The percentage contribution in multi-authored publications, where this is higher than is apparent.

(15) Applications which exceed the word limits will not be accepted. Graphs, statistics and other visual aids are included in the word count.

(16) All works cited in Academic Promotions applications, including but not limited to, research, engagement, consultation and entrepreneurial activities, must be approved, conducted and recorded in accordance with University policies.

(17) Applications to Level D and Level E must include a list of 5 significant works. These will be forwarded to the independent external assessors for review. Applicants must submit to the Promotions Coordinator, either:

  1. a single electronical copy of each significant work, at the time of application submission; or
  2. three hard copies of each of significant work, at the time of application submission.

(18) Note: electronic copies are preferred.

Equity Considerations

(19) Applicants may include on their Application Form a personal statement (maximum 250 words) on any relevant personal circumstances and their career impact. The statement should focus on the shortest of the past five years, the period since last promotion, or the period since appointment at the University. The statement will facilitate the assessment of achievements relative to opportunity.

  1. Relevant personal circumstances may include, but are not limited to:
    1. family responsibilities (for example, primary carer for children, elder-care, illness of a partner or dependant);
    2. a temporary or permanent disability (for example, a visual impairment or mental illness);
    3. relevant cultural expectations or circumstances (for example, some cultures don't support educating women);
    4. periods of part-time work (for example, returning to work after the birth of a child); and/or
    5. absences due to ill-health or injury (for example, recovering from a major operation).
  2. Candidates are not required to describe specific details about sensitive issues. The statement should focus on the impact of personal circumstances on career trajectories and achievements relative to opportunity.
  3. Applicants submitting a personal statement should provide supporting documents, if available.

(20) The Academic Promotions Application CV form requires that information provided be capped at five years. Applicants can use an extended timeframe in their Application CV only on the basis of career interruptions and their impact on career.

  1. Applicants requesting to use the extended timeframe must:
    1. present a case on equity grounds for an extended timeframe in the Application Form (maximum 150 words); and
    2. provide supporting documents. Note: Applicants should seek advice from their Academic Supervisor, Dean/Director, and/or the Promotions Coordinator about this aspect of their application.
  2. The Application CV's timeframe can be extended for a maximum of four extra years, for a total nine years.
  3. The extended timeframe will be considered at the discretion of the Academic Promotions Committee on a case-by-case basis.

Application CV

(21) Applicants must submit their CV:

  1. in the standardised format set out in the Academic Promotions Application CV form. CVs which do not follow this format will not be accepted.
  2. with the most recent activity listed first; that is, in reverse chronological order.
  3. capped within the required timeframe; that is, not including any information more than five years old, unless there is a case presented for an extended timeframe on equity grounds.
  4. with all supporting documents attached as required by the Academic Promotions Application Guidelines.

(22) Applications are considered final when submitted. Applicants may not submit further supporting evidence, documentation or information related to their application once submitted.

  1. The Promotions Coordinator will collate supporting documents as per what is available at time of submission.
  2. If applicants anticipate forthcoming evidence (e.g., grant outcomes, publication updates, Student Feedback on Teaching data) which will strongly support their case for academic promotion, they should submit their application after this supporting evidence has become available. This is facilitated by the University's always-open submissions process.

(23) The Promotions Coordinator must make available on the Academic Promotions website:

  1. the Academic Promotions Application Form;
  2. the Academic Promotions Application CV form;
  3. the Academic Promotions Guidelines; and
  4. any other resources to assist applicants in preparing and completing their applications.

(24) Applicants are expected to use the Academic Promotions Guidelines, and are encouraged to use other resources such as Mentors, their Academic Supervisor and Dean or Director when preparing their application for promotion.

(25) All material included in the Academic Promotions application must be made available to the Committee, if requested.

Part B - Submission of Applications

(26) Applicants must submit their application in electronic copy by email to the Promotions Coordinator in the format required by the form.

(27) At the time of writing this policy, the email address of the Promotions Coordinator is promotions@westernsydney.edu.au.

(28) The Promotions Coordinator will acknowledge in writing all applications for promotion within five working days of receipt of the application.

(29) The Promotions Coordinator will provide a full copy of the application form and all supporting documents to the Dean/Director.

(30) The Promotions Coordinator will request a recommendation report from the relevant Dean/Director, referees and/or independent assessors.

(31) The Dean/Director must submit a recommendation report on the required template to the Promotions Coordinator, within 20 working days of the request.

  1. The Dean/Director must:
    1. read the application in full;
    2. consult with the applicant's Academic Supervisor in preparing the recommendation report;
    3. verify the application and supporting documents;
    4. comment on the veracity, relevance and merits of the application and supporting documents;
    5. include the comments of the Academic Supervisor;
    6. co-sign the recommendation report together with the Academic Supervisor.
  2. The Dean/Director must inform the Academic Promotions Committee Chair, via the Promotions Coordinator, of any actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest, and must recommend a delegate, to complete this report, for the Chair's approval.

(32) The Promotions Coordinator will forward the recommendation report to the applicant for their information.

  1. Applicants have a right of reply. The response must be:
    1. a maximum of 250 words; and
    2. returned to the Promotions Coordinator within seven working days of receipt.
  2. The Promotions Coordinator will forward a copy of the response to the Dean/Director for noting.

(33) Once the relevant Promotions Committee has met, an applicant cannot normally withdraw their application, unless the applicant:

  1. has accepted an offer of redundancy;
  2. has accepted a position in another institution, or
  3. has resigned from the University.

Part C - Referees - for Applications to Level B and Level C Only

(34) Applicants to Level B and Level C are required to provide the names and email addresses of referees who may be consulted about the applicant's suitability for promotion. Specifically:

  1. Applicants for Promotion to Level B must nominate up to three referees, at least one of whom must be internal to the University.
  2. Applicants for Promotion to Level C must nominate three referees, at least one of whom must be external to the University.

(35) Internal referees must hold the position of Senior Lecturer or above within the University. External referees are expected to hold national standing in the applicant's field of expertise.

(36) Applicants must not nominate their Academic Supervisor or members of the Promotions Committee (where known) as referees.

(37) Applicants with a personal, professional or other ongoing relationship with any proposed referee must declare this in their Application Form.

(38) The Promotions Coordinator will provide the referees with copies of the promotion application, CV and relevant supporting documentation, and will request written reports from the nominated referees.

(39) Referees must return their written reports to the Promotions Coordinator within 15 working days of receiving the request to provide a report.

(40) Referee reports are confidential and will not be forwarded to the applicant at any stage of the process, including after the outcome of the application is known.

Part D - Independent External Assessors - for Applications to Level D and Level E Only

(41) The applicant may advise of any potential assessors they prefer not to be nominated as an independent external assessor in their Application Form. Applicants must provide a short, written justification for any such requests. The Promotions Coordinator must forward any such requests to the Dean/Director for their consideration in nominating independent external assessors.

(42) The relevant Dean/Director and the Academic Supervisor must:

  1. consider any requests from the applicant in their application regarding potential assessors they prefer not to be nominated;
  2. not confer with the applicant in any other way regarding the nomination of assessors;
  3. nominate a pool of at least ten experts to act as independent external assessors, in order of preference;
  4. provide the complete list of nominees to the Promotions Coordinator within five working days of receipt of the request.

(43) The pool of nominated independent external assessors must:

  1. each be experts within the relevant discipline at full professorial level and with a significant publication track record, or readily identified as distinguished leaders in their field;
  2. each be of national or international standing;
  3. be free of any actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest;
  4. include a mix of genders; and
  5. include at least three international assessors, noting that at least one international assessor will be selected from the pool.

(44) The Chair of the Academic Promotions Committee:

  1. must approve the list of nominated independent external assessors, from which three reports will be requested, including one international.
  2. may disallow any nominated independent external assessors at their discretion.

(45) The Promotions Coordinator will send independent external assessors:

  1. an invitation to provide an independent assessment report;
  2. copies of applicants' 5 significant works;
  3. guidance as to the report format;
  4. a copy of the complete application, including CV and any other supporting documents, excluding the Dean/Director report, and any documentation supporting personal circumstances as supplied under clauses 16 or 17 of these Procedures.

(46) Independent external assessors are requested to return their reports to the Promotions Coordinator within 15 working days of receiving the request.

(47) The names and reports of independent external assessors are confidential and will not be forwarded to the applicant at any stage of the process, including after the outcome of the application is known.

Part E - Determination and Notification

(48) The Promotions Committee must consider each application and all associated documentation before making a determination about recommendation for promotion.

(49) There are no interviews for applications for promotion to Level B and C.

(50) Interviews are held for those applying for promotion to Level D and Level E. Interview questions will not be made available to applicants prior to the interview.

(51) Applicants must not contact any members of the Academic Promotions Committee to discuss their application, either during or after the applications process.

(52) The Academic Promotions Committee provides recommendations regarding promotion applications to the Vice-Chancellor and President.

(53) Recommendations of the Academic Promotions Committee must be by a majority of the Committee (excluding the Chair). If there is a hung decision, the Chair makes the deciding recommendation.

(54) The Vice-Chancellor and President decides the final determinations about promotions applications, after considering the recommendations of the Academic Promotions Committee.

(55) The Promotions Coordinator will notify each applicant in writing about the outcome of their application within ten working days of the Vice-Chancellor and President's decision.

(56) Promotions for successful applicants will come into effect twice a year (1 January and 1 July) following their successful application, subject to the applicant:

The promotion will not come into effect until the Dean/Director confirms that these conditions have been met.
  1. having participating constructively and in good faith in the Academic Performance Planning and Review Process in the previous twelve months; and
  2. having a current, signed workload agreement.

(57) Unsuccessful applicants can re-apply for academic promotion when they believe they can make a compelling case. They should seek advice from their Academic Supervisor and their Dean/Director in making this decision.

(58) The Vice-Chancellor and President will report annually to the Academic Senate about the following:

  1. the names (and positions held) of the members of the Promotion Committee;
  2. the number of applicants in each round;
  3. the number of promotions approved (with breakdown by gender);
  4. names of successful applicants and their level of promotion; and
  5. the number of appeals and outcomes.

Part F - Academic Promotions Committee

(59) The Academic Promotions Committee will consider all applications for promotion from Level B to Level E.

(60) The Vice-Chancellor and President, in consultation with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Academic and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International, will review and appoint the membership of the Academic Promotions Committee annually, prior to the cut-off date for the first meeting of that calendar year.

(61) The Academic Promotions Committee will consist of:

  1. a Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Chair);
  2. Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation;
  3. Pro Vice-Chancellor, Learning Transformations;
  4. Chair, Academic Senate;
  5. Four academics drawn from an internal pool; and
  6. One invited external academic drawn from an external pool.

(62) The internal and external pools of academics are considered independent members of the Academic Promotions Committee, whose roles are to provide insights and advice across the three fields of academic practice.

(63) Ex officio members of the Committee have the same voting rights as members drawn from the internal and external pools.

(64) The membership of Promotions Committee will have regard to gender and disciplinary balance. There is no requirement that all disciplines be represented on the Committee.

(65) The Vice-Chancellor and President, in consultation with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Academic and Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International, will approve the internal pool of Level D and Level E representatives from each School and Institute.

(66) The Vice-Chancellor and President, in consultation with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Academic and Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International, will approve the external pool of academics.

(67) The Director, Equity and Diversity, may attend as a non-voting observer, and provide advice at the request of the Committee.

(68) The Director, Equity and Diversity, will raise any concerns regarding procedural matters during a Committee session, or in a written report within two working days of the meeting.

(69) Deans/Directors must not be members of the Academic Promotions Committee.

(70) Where a member of the Academic Promotions Committee is no longer available to participate:

  1. ex officio members may only be replaced by persons acting in that role;
  2. the Chair of the Promotions Committee may replace a member from the internal or external pool with another person from the same pool, having regard for gender and disciplinary balance.

(71) Where a member of the Promotions Committee is the Academic Supervisor of an applicant, they must declare their conflict and remove themselves from the discussion relating to that application.

(72) Members of the Academic Promotions Committee will normally serve as members of the Committee for a period of 12 months, and are eligible for re-appointment.

(73) All members are expected to be present for meetings of the Academic Promotions Committee.

(74) The Promotions Coordinator will provide Committee members with orientation in the procedures and practices of the Academic Promotions process.

(75) The Academic Promotions Committee will provide a written report to the Vice-Chancellor and President after each meeting, clearly recommending the successful and unsuccessful applications.

Part G - Appeals

(76) Applicants whose application for promotion was determined to be unsuccessful may lodge a formal appeal of the decision. The grounds of any such appeal are limited to failure by the Academic Promotions Committee or the Office of Human Resources to comply with the procedural requirements of the Policy or Procedures that had a material effect on the decision.

(77) Appeals by applicants contesting the decision of the Vice-Chancellor and President are not permitted.

(78) Appeals must refer to the Promotions process and cannot be based on advice received after notification of the result.

(79) Any appeal of decision must:

  1. be submitted in writing to the Executive Director, Human Resources, within 20 working days of receiving the decision notification; and
  2. specify the procedural grounds on which the appeal is made per clause 76 of these Procedures.

(80) The Executive Director, Human Resources, will assess each appeal case.

  1. Where the Executive Director determines that there has been no procedural failure, or that any failing had no material effect on the decision, the Executive Director must notify the applicant and the Academic Promotions Committee Chair in writing that the decision is upheld.
  2. Where the Executive Director determines that there has been a failure to comply with the requirements of the Policy or Procedures that has had a material effect on the decision, the Executive Director must forward their recommendation in writing to the Vice-Chancellor and President. The Vice-Chancellor and President must either:
    1. determine that the decision is upheld. The Executive Director must notify the applicant and the Academic Promotions Committee Chair in writing that the decision is upheld; or
    2. determine that the decision is overturned. Where a decision is overturned, the Executive Director must notify the applicant and the Academic Promotions Committee Chair in writing. The application will be put to the next meeting of the Promotions Committee for reconsideration as per the standard timeline.
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Section 5 - Guidelines

(81) Refer to the following documents attached as associated information:

  1. Academic Promotions Application Form
  2. Academic Promotions Application CV
  3. Academic Promotions Guidelines
  4. Position Classification Standards, as per the Enterprise Agreement