Policy

Academic Categories - Policy

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This policy identifies the four categories of academic staff and the main academic roles undertaken by academic staff at UQ. The University recognises the diversity of academic achievement and acknowledges that academic roles and activities may vary over the course of an academic’s career. For some academic staff this may lead to a change of academic category.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Academic category – academic appointment type i.e. Teaching and Research, Teaching Focused, Research Focused or Clinical Academic.

Academic role - main academic functions such as teaching, scholarship of teaching and learning, research, creative work, clinical innovation, service and engagement.

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies across the four categories of academic staff at UQ.

Refer to the Criteria for Academic Performance - Policy (PPL 5.70.17a) for specifications of University expectations for different categories of academic staff and different roles. The Guidelines on Evidencing Academic Achievement can be referred to for a broad (but not exhaustive) range of evidence of academic activities, outcomes, quality and impact. The Guidelines also acknowledge the diversity of academic achievement and provide a general description of academic categories and activities.

4. Policy Statement

The University of Queensland’s commitment to excellence is supported by an academic staffing profile that spans the continuum from Research Focused through Teaching and Research to Teaching Focused and Clinical Academic appointments.

According to the category of academic appointment, academic roles may include a combination of teaching, scholarship of teaching and learning, research and creative work, service, engagement and clinical innovation. The Criteria for Academic Performance - Policy (PPL 5.70.17a) specifies the roles that are relevant to academic categories. However, within these roles there is a wide range of activities which academic staff may be expected to undertake. The patterns of academic activity vary widely across academic categories and disciplines. While there are common elements, the balance between them may be different from one discipline to another. Furthermore, the amount of time required for each activity may be dependent on the discipline, and in many disciplines some of these activities could also lead to opportunities for industry linkage and commercialisation. The Criteria for Academic Performance policy offers guidance as to the performance expected of the academic staff member across the five classification levels in each academic category. The criteria outlined in this policy are the formal University expectations and any expectations of academic performance set at the school, faculty or institute level are subordinate to these criteria and must be consistent with them.

The Guidelines on Evidencing Academic Achievement lists a range of examples of academic performance indicators.

Across the course of an academic’s career, it is possible to choose to transition from one type of academic category to another by varying the mix of activities and following a transition of academic category process, as set out in the Transition of Academic Category - Procedures (PPL 5.41.12b).

Custodians
Director, Human Resources
Mr Bill Kernahan (Acting)

Procedures

Academic Categories – Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

Across the course of an academic’s career, it is possible to shift from one type of academic category to another by varying the mix of activities and following a transition of academic category process.

This procedure describes the process involved in the transition to a new academic category for Teaching and Research, Research Focused, Teaching Focused or Clinical Academic appointments.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Academic category –academic appointment type i.e. Teaching and Research, Teaching Focused, Research Focused or Clinical Academic.

Academic role - main academic functions such as teaching, scholarship of teaching and learning, research, creative work, clinical innovation, service and engagement.

Head - Head of School or equivalent

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

This procedure applies to all persons involved in the transition process to a new academic category.

4. Procedures Statement

A transition of academic category would usually result from discussions arising from the Annual Review (refer to PPL 5.70.15 Performance Appraisal for Academic Staff).

PPL 5.70.17a Criteria for Academic Performance - Policy offers guidance as to the performance expected of the academic staff member across the five classification levels in each academic category. The criteria outlined in this policy are the formal University expectations and any expectations of academic performance set at the school or faculty level are subordinate to these criteria and must be consistent with them.

The Guidelines on Evidencing Academic Achievement complements PPL 5.70.15a by listing a broad (but not exhaustive) range of examples of academic performance indicators, which acknowledge the diversity of academic achievement. The Guidelines also provide a description of academic categories and activities.

5. Allocation of Category on Appointment

For each of the categories of academic appointees at UQ, the mix of duties and associated workloads (see PPL 5.41.07c) will be managed by the relevant Head. When advertising a new position or a replacement appointment for a vacancy, the Head will assess the required mix of duties and advertise for the appropriate category.

All academic appointees will receive an offer of appointment which specifies the type of academic category to which they are being appointed (either T&R, RF, TF or CA) and the mix of duties agreed with the Head at the time of appointment. The mix of duties may be subsequently altered at the Annual Review. Fractional appointments are possible under each type of academic category. The employing organisational unit should decide how it wishes to engage such staff. Whatever employment arrangement is used, Annual Review and performance appraisal of staff (see PPL 5.70.15) are essential.

For each academic category, the following indicate expected ranges of contribution across each relevant academic role:

For T&R [19] staff:

Upper Boundaries: Teaching 50% Research 50% Service 30%

Lower Boundaries: Teaching 30% Research 30% Service 10%

For TF [20] Staff:

Upper Boundaries: Teaching 70% Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 50% Service 30%

Lower Boundaries: Teaching 40% Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 20% Service 10%

For RF Staff:

Upper Boundaries: Research 90% Teaching 20% Service 20%

Lower boundaries: Research 60% Teaching 0% Service 10%

For CA [21] staff:

Upper Boundaries: Teaching 60% Research 70% Service 50%

Lower Boundaries: Teaching 10% Research 20% Service 20%

6. Procedure for Transition

A transition of academic category will normally be progressed through discussions at the Annual Review, and will take into consideration the staff member' academic activities over the last period of time. At this discussion, an academic staff member can signal to their supervisor an interest in changing the mix of roles and propose practical steps to move to a new academic category. A timetable for the transition to the new category will also be discussed.

The Annual Review discussion is summarised in Form B – Achievements and Objectives.

A change of category would usually be achieved over time. Before a staff member and the Head propose a change of category they should consider the implications for the staff member’s career path. For example, for staff on probation, the timing of the staff member’s mid-term and final review will be an important consideration in determining if and when a change of category should occur. In addition, the Head will need to consider the operational requirements of the unit. The Criteria for Academic Performance (PPL 5.70.17) and the Guidelines on Evidencing Academic Achievement should be consulted before proposing a change of category.

The transitions shown below are likely to be the most common. Normal expectations for such transitions are shown. The ability to transition includes a demonstrated capacity to meet the requirements of the new category.

  • For a move from TF to T&R - Undertaking a viable and productive disciplinary research program, showing the capacity to win competitive research grants, and being a member of a suitable research group or team.
  • For a move from RF to T&R - Undertaking programs to enhance teaching and supervisory skills, and taking on a full teaching, course co-ordination and higher degree by research supervision load.
  • For a move from T&R to TF - Demonstrating excellence in teaching, making contributions to the scholarship of teaching and learning, taking on teaching leadership roles such as program co-ordinator, undertaking projects such as curriculum review, or chairing relevant school committees related to teaching.
  • For a move from T&R to RF - Undertaking a viable and productive research program that would justify an RF appointment.
  • For a move from TF to CA - Contributing as a member of a suitable clinical research group to a viable and productive research program, supervision of postgraduate students and/or students in advanced or speciality programs, strong engagement with the clinical profession, which may include contributions to clinical innovation.
  • For a move from T&R to CA - A high level of clinical expertise, undertaking clinical research, strong engagement with the clinical profession, which may involve clinical innovation, supervision of students, which may include advanced or speciality programs.

7. Implementing a Change of Academic Category

When proposing a change of category Form F - Change of Academic Category is to be completed as follows:

  • the staff member completes Section 1 of the form by indicating the category change being sought and explaining the progress that has been made towards the new category;
  • the Head completes Section 2 of the form after meeting with the staff member and supervisor (where the Head is not the nominated supervisor) to discuss the proposed category change. The staff member’s Form A - Academic Portfolio of Achievement and Form B - Achievements and Objectives will be considered against the Criteria for Academic Performance (PPL 5.70.17) and the requirements for the type of transition, outlined in section 6. The Head must support the change of category before it can be progressed further. The Head forwards Form F and attachments to the Executive Dean or Institute Director, who is the approving authority;
  • the Executive Dean or Institute Director will seek advice from the relevant senior staff e.g. Associate Dean (Research) and/or Associate Dean (Academic) before making a determination. The relevant senior staff will use Section 3 on the form to record their comments and recommendations; and
  • a ‘Variation of Appointment’ letter will be sent from the relevant faculty or institute HR Manager/Consultant to staff (copied to the Head) whose change of category is approved.
  • Where the request is not approved the staff member will be informed.

8. Enquiries

Enquiries regarding the transition process may be directed to the relevant faculty or institute HR Manager/Consultant, in the first instance.

Custodians
Director, Human Resources
Mr Bill Kernahan (Acting)

Forms

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Change of Academic Category (Form F) - Form

Change of Academic Category (Form F) - Form

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Description: 

This form must be completed when proposing a change of academic category. Please refer to PPL 5.41.12b Transition of Academic Category - Procedures for further details.

Custodians
Director, Human Resources
Mr Bill Kernahan (Acting)
Custodians
Director, Human Resources
Mr Bill Kernahan (Acting)
Custodians
Director, Human Resources
Mr Bill Kernahan (Acting)