1. Purpose and Objectives
These procedures enact PPL 5.80.12a Promotion of Academic Staff (Levels A-D) - Policy.
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.
CCPC - Central Confirmation and Promotions Committee
Head - Head of School or equivalent level
LCPC - Local Confirmation and Promotions Committee
SECaT - Student Evaluations of Course and Teaching
TEVALs - Teacher Evaluations
ITALI - Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation
3. Procedures Scope/Coverage
These procedures apply to academic staff across the four academic categories - Teaching and Research, Teaching Focused, Research Focused or Clinical Academic - seeking promotion from Level A up to and including Level D. This procedure also applies to Conjoint appointees and Academic Secondees who seek promotion up to and including Level D. Information on professorial promotion is covered in PPL 5.80.14 Promotion to Professor.
4. Procedures Statement
These procedures cover information for applicants (considerations before applying and the process of submitting an application), the application process and timing, the roles and responsibilities of officers of the University and of committees in the academic promotion process, and enquiries and submission address information.
5. Information for Applicants
5.1 Considerations before making an application
5.1.1 Criteria for promotion
The criteria and standards against which the performance of the applicant is judged are set out in PPL 5.70.17a Criteria for Academic Performance - Policy.
The Guidelines on Evidencing Academic Achievement complements this policy by listing a broad (but not exhaustive) range of examples of academic performance indicators, which acknowledge the diversity of academic achievement. Applicants may find that the guidelines are a useful resource in evidencing achievement in their submissions and in providing a description of academic roles.
The decision to make an application rests with the staff member subject to them meeting the eligibility requirements described in PPL 5.80.12a Promotion of Academic Staff (Levels A - D) - Policy, section 5.
5.1.3 Advice on submission
While the decision to apply rests entirely with the staff member, it is advisable for staff considering applying for promotion to discuss their readiness for promotion with their head and/or other senior staff in their discipline. Some applicants apply prematurely; others wait longer than is strictly necessary.
Academic staff can attend an annual seminar about the promotion process. The seminar examines the application and assessment procedures for promotion (those wishing to attend can enrol through the Staff Development website).
5.2 Transparency and right to sight adverse comments
Heads are required to provide copies of their recommendations on applicants for promotion (using Form D) to applicants. On receiving a copy of the Head’s report the applicant can write a response to include with the application submission. In addition, applicants have the opportunity to respond to adverse referee comments.
5.3 Submitting an application
The Academic Promotions (up to Level D) process is managed in UQ Jobs, UQ’s web-based recruitment system via the Academic Promotion web-site http://www.uq.edu.au/current-staff/?page=104896. The promotion submission includes:
If applicants are also applying for final review (submission date is 25 February) they should ensure that their nominated referees appropriately cover both continuing appointment and promotion and indicate in the covering letter and covering email for the final review submission that they are also applying for promotion (a separate, updated promotion submission will be required via the online application process by 2 June). Applicants should provide information regarding any interview constraints (the interview period is July – mid October) in the cover letter.
The onus is on the applicant to prove the case. Therefore, applicants should ensure that their written submission is well structured and that they are prepared to present their case at interview. It can be beneficial to ask senior colleagues, outside of the immediate disciplinary area, to read the application to obtain feedback and to ‘rehearse’ prior to the interview.
If an applicant considers that their application would more appropriately be considered by a different LCPC to the allocated Committee (see Section 9.2.2) they can send a request to the Chair of the CCPC, who is the President of the Academic Board, for consideration. This should be well prior to the application closing date. The Chair will consult with relevant parties as required before making a determination (for example the Head and Chairs of applicable Local Committees).
5.3.1 Covering letter
A covering letter of no more than 800 words is required. The covering letter should clearly demonstrate the applicant's case for promotion and concisely outline the applicant's achievements and career goals.
It is recommended that the cover letter includes:
A summary of achievements to date with a focus on the period since appointment/promotion to the current level against PPL 5.80.12 Criteria for Academic Performance (evidence should be contained in the Academic Portfolio of Achievement);
An outline of contributions to academic roles, including relative areas of strength (see 5.3.2);
Explanation of any special considerations in relation to performance relative to opportunity considerations.
5.3.2 Consideration of Relative Strengths
Applicants for promotion (whether T&R, TF, RF or CA) have the flexibility to accentuate different parts of their portfolios within their cover letter and highlight the relative strengths of their various Academic Roles and may thus build a case that reflects their achievements in the context of their academic appointment category. The Academic Categories Procedures and the Guidelines on Evidencing Academic Achievement provide a broad description of academic categories. The Guidelines also provide examples of evidence of academic activities, outcomes, quality and impact.
While all applicants must meet the expectations outlined in the Criteria for Academic Performance Policy for the applicable category and level, it is recognised that few individuals will be able to demonstrate excellent achievement across all criteria and that higher achievement in some areas may compensate for lesser achievement in others.
Statements regarding relative strengths should reflect the applicant’s judgement about their overall contribution, based in particular on their assessment of the quality, quantity and impact of their work.
The full portfolio should be used to record contributions. For a TF academic, contributions to original research complement both the teaching portfolio (as currency in the discipline) and SoTL portfolio (as further evidence of scholarship). For a T&R academic contributions to SoTL complement mainly the teaching portfolio (as evidence for leadership, quality, impact and quantity) and, to a lesser extent, the research portfolio (as further scholarship contributions).
5.3.3 Academic Portfolio of Achievement
Folio 1– All sections are to be filled in
Folio 2 – All sections are to be completed (TF, T&R and CA appointments). RF academics are to complete the section on Research Higher Degree supervision and others as applicable
Folio 3 - TF applicants are to complete all sections
Folio 4 – All sections are to be completed for T&R, RF and CA staff
Folio 5 – All sections are to be completed
Folio 6 – All sections are to be completed
Folio 7 – Sections are to be completed as applicable
Folio 8 – Not applicable
Folio 9 – Not applicable as these will be provided as part of the online application process. If also applying for final review the applicant should ensure that the final review submission indicates that he/she is applying for promotion so that referees can cover both confirmation and promotion.
5.3.4 Teacher evaluation forms
University approved teacher evaluations (TEVALs/SECaTs) must be submitted for all courses to which a substantial teaching contribution has been made during at least the three most recent semesters. Course evaluations are also encouraged, particularly where the applicant is the course coordinator. Staff have access to their own SECaTs back to the year 2010 (refer to https://mis-xi-web.mis.admin.uq.edu.au/InfoViewApp/logon.jsp. ITALI can supply evaluations as PDF documents upon request, prior to this time, back to the year 2000.
5.3.5 Brief Update
The applicant may submit a brief ‘update’ 1 week prior to the interview, to the relevant HR Manager via the appropriate email address listed in Section 10, on any substantial new achievements since submission of the application (e.g. a one to two page dot point summary of new achievements with new teaching evaluation summary sheets appended).
5.3.6 Head’s forms
A Form D - Assessment and Recommendation for Continuing Appointment and Promotion will be provided to both the applicant and to the relevant email address in section 10 by the Head, at least 2 weeks prior to the submission date. On receiving a copy of Form D the applicant may make a response to include with their submission. From 2014 the applicant will be required to submit a copy of the Form D with their online application submission.
The Head will also nominate referees on Form E - Head's Nomination of Referees for Continuing Appointment and Promotion, which the Head submits to the relevant HR Manager via the appropriate email address listed in Section 10.
5.4 Nomination of referees
Applicants should ascertain their referees’ willingness to write reports prior to nominating them. Heads would not usually be nominated as a referee given that they comment on the applicant’s contributions on Form D.
Applicants can nominate referees they would prefer the Committee not to contact in their covering letter. Referees will be asked to comment on any area of academic activity outside of the nominated area, if credibly able to do so. In particular, where service and engagement are considered a relative strength, referees should be nominated with the ability to comment on this aspect.
5.4.1 Forms for nomination
Applicants provide email, phone and address details of referees via the online application process. The Head completes Form E - Head's Nomination of Referees for Continuing Appointment and Promotion and forwards it to the relevant HR Manager via the appropriate email address listed in Section 10. The Head may consult an applicant when selecting referees, indicating with an asterisk if the applicant has been consulted when determining the Head’s choice of a referee.
5.4.2 Conflicts of interest
Applicants must not nominate referees who have a close personal relationship, financial interest or other conflict of interest with the applicant (e.g. a mentor, close collaborator, relative or close friend). Committee members should not be nominated as referees.
5.4.3 Teaching referees
All Teaching and Research, Teaching Focused and Clinical Academic applicants and their Heads must nominate one referee each to report on the applicant’s teaching ability. Referees should have first-hand knowledge of the applicant’s teaching, should cover as many aspects of the applicant’s teaching as possible and can be an applicant’s former student, colleague or former colleague.
5.4.4 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning referees
Teaching Focused applicants applying for Level B promotion and their Heads must nominate one Scholarship of Teaching and Learning referee each (preference should be given to independent, external referees, who are leaders in the field). Teaching Focused academic applicants applying for promotion to either Level C or D and their Heads must nominate two Scholarship of Teaching and Learning referees each (one each of the referees is a reserve). Independent, external referees, who are leaders in the field must be chosen. Nominated referees must be able to comment on the applicant’s contribution to pedagogy and innovative teaching practice and their impact on the enhancement of learning in their discipline.
5.4.5 Research and Creative Work referees
Teaching and Research, Research Focused and Clinical Academic applicants applying for Level B promotion and their Heads must nominate one Research/Creative Work referee each. Preference should be given to independent, external referees, who are leaders in the field. T&R, RF and CA applicants applying for promotion to either Level C or D and their Heads must nominate two Research/Creative Work referees each (one each of the referees is a reserve). Independent, external referees, who are leaders in the field must be chosen.
5.4.6 Service and Engagement referee
Clinical Academics must nominate one service/engagement referee. Preference should be given to an independent, external referee who can comment on the applicant’s professional and community roles.
5.4.7 Committee appointed referees
The Committee may appoint referees other than those nominated by the Head or applicant.
6. Application Processes
Applicants for promotion must complete an Academic Portfolio of Achievement and have a performance review with their Head (or nominated supervisor) in sufficient time for the Head to complete Form E and Form D and submit them by the due dates (Form D must be sent by the Head to the applicant and relevant "cap" email address at least 2 weeks prior to the application submission date).
The applicant will be invited to an interview with the LCPC, at which they will have the opportunity to present the case for promotion and respond to questions from the Committee. The interview supplements the written application and affords an opportunity for interaction between committee members and the applicants, and to raise and answer questions on procedural matters. A strict five minute (or less) précis of the application may be presented by the applicant at the commencement of the meeting. The applicant may submit a brief ‘update’ 1 week prior to the interview to the relevant HR Manager, via the appropriate email address listed in Section 10 on any substantial new achievements since submission of the application (e.g. a one to two page dot point summary of new achievements with new teaching evaluation summary sheets appended).
Any applicant who objects to the presence of a member of the interviewing committee should inform the Chair of the LCPC in writing of this objection and the reasons for it, as soon as possible prior to the convening of the meeting. The Chair has the authority to withdraw a committee member, based on the applicant’s written objection. Members of the committee may be allowed to withdraw from the interview of any particular applicant should the member perceive there is a conflict of interest. In either such case, a stand-in may be appointed by the Chair of the LCPC.
Applicant interview constraints (the interview period is July – mid October) should be included in the online application form.
6.2 Communication of decision
The Chair of the CCPC will notify applicants of the results by the end of November. If the applicant has been successful, promotion takes effect from 1 January of the following year.
6.3 Feedback meeting
Unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to avail themselves of the opportunity for a feedback meeting with the Chair of the LCPC (and/or LCPC nominee) and the Chair of the CCPC (as appropriate) to discuss ways of strengthening a future application.
An applicant who is not promoted can appeal. The appeal:
must be lodged in writing with the Director, Human Resources within 21 days of the date of issue of notification; and
must be based on procedural matters and not, for instance, on matters which could be considered as arguments on merit, length of service or a claimed precedent.
The initial assessment that an appeal is validly made will be conducted by the Director, Human Resources Division, before proceeding to the Provost for consideration. The Provost has discretion in reviewing the case, with his or her decision being final. It is expected that unsuccessful applicants will seek the feedback discussion prior to appealing.
7. Indicative Timeline
Applicants notify their Head of their intention to apply for promotion by the end of February so that the Head can schedule the applicant’s performance appraisal by 1 May.
After the performance appraisal, applicants lodge all relevant documentation via the online promotion process by 2 June. It is the applicant’s responsibility to lodge all relevant documentation apart from Form E, which is lodged by the Head.
Referees are contacted by HR in a timely manner.
LCPC conducts interviews and assessments July to mid October.
CCPC conducts assessment of referred cases by early November.
The Chair of CCPC informs all applicants of the results of their promotion application by the end of November.
Feedback meetings and appeal process are conducted.
Promotion to new level becomes effective from following 1 January.
8. Roles of Officers of the University
8.1 Heads’ role
The University recognises the importance of the roles of Heads and nominated supervisors (where the Head is not the immediate supervisor) in inducting, guiding, advising and managing the workloads of staff. In particular, supervisors are in a position to assist staff to balance workload issues, such as (for a T&R and CA staff member) the time given to preparing teaching materials balanced against identifying and pursuing fruitful programs of research.
Supervisors are encouraged to actively advise staff on the completion of the Academic Portfolio and provide honest advice on their readiness for promotion. Where Heads have to make recommendations they will objectively assess the extent to which staff have in fact made a case and should be promoted. The University acknowledges the responsibility of its Officers to make fair statements that can be supported when formulating their recommendations in the promotions process, as part of sound management practice. Where the Head is an applicant, the Executive Dean or Institute Director will be requested to nominate some other person to undertake consultation and to comment on the application.
8.1.1 Form D - Assessment and Recommendation for Continuing Appointment and Promotion
Heads are asked to comment on the staff member’s application and to make their recommendations on Form D - Assessment and Recommendation for Continuing Appointment and Promotion. It is more useful to the Committee to be provided with an informative assessment of the performance of the applicant under each of the relevant sections, rather than merely summarising an applicant’s activities. They should refer to the criteria set out in PPL 5.70.17a Criteria for Academic Performance - Policy. Heads should discuss recommendations on an applicant for promotion with the applicant, and sign Form D to indicate that a copy of the form has been provided to the applicant and to the relevant email address in Section 10 (at least 2 weeks prior to the submission date). The applicant can include a response in their submission.
Heads should consult with other senior members of the organisational unit concerning applications for promotion. The Head and nominated supervisor may complete the relevant sections on the form, or the Head may complete the entire form after discussion with the delegated supervisor (where the supervisor is not the Head). The Head must receive an applicant’s documentation in sufficient time to complete the recommendation at least 2 weeks prior to the submission deadline of 2 June.
8.1.2 Form E - Referee Nomination Form
Heads should also complete Form E - Head's Nomination of Referees for Continuing Appointment and Promotion and submit it as a MS Word email attachment to the relevant HR Manager supplying referee names, positions, postal addresses, email, fax and telephone numbers in full. Heads should ascertain referees’ willingness to write reports prior to nominating them. The Head should consult with senior staff within the organisational unit before selecting referees (Section 5.4 has information on number and types of referees required). The Head may consult an applicant when selecting referees but must inform the LCPC of any referee suggested by the applicant.
8.1.3 Submission timeline
The final review submission date is 1 March. The mid-term review submission date is 12 June and the promotion submission date is 2 June. The Head should ensure that the two forms listed above adequately cover the purpose/s of the submission. Where the applicant is applying for both final review and promotion, the Head may wish to update Form D and forward it by at least 2 weeks prior to the submission date (usually only where substantial new information is provided by the applicant).
8.2 Executive Dean/Institute Director
The key role of an Executive Dean or Institute Director is to chair the relevant LCPC. Because of this role the Executive Dean or Institute Director does not formally produce a report on applicants. Where an Institute Director does not chair the relevant LCPC, they may choose to complete Form D.
9. LCPC and CCPC: Committees’ Structures and Roles
9.1 Confidentiality and conflicts of interest
Committee members will respect the confidentiality of the Committee’s deliberations, associated promotion documentation and the privacy of the staff member, including any personal circumstances, at all times.
9.1.2 Conflicts of interest
LCPC Committee members must declare all conflicts of interest to the Chair of the LCPC in the first instance, who will determine the level of conflict and take appropriate action including referring the matter to the Chair of the CCPC, where appropriate. Where a member of the CCPC has a potential conflict of interest they must declare the matter to the Chair of the CCPC.
Examples of potential conflicts of interest include; personal relationships, collaborations, mentoring and supervisory roles. According to the level of conflict, the Chair may choose to take one of the following actions:
allow the member to participate in the deliberations, however, ensuring that the Committee is not unduly influenced by the member
allow the member to remain for the discussions around the applicant, however, ensuring that an undue influence is not permitted and that the member does not participate in the voting or decision-making processes around the applicant
require the member to withdraw entirely from all discussion and deliberations around the applicant
9.2 The Local Confirmation and Promotions Committee
The Local Confirmation and Promotions Committee is comprised of:
A chair who is the Executive Dean or Director of the cognate Institute(s);
One Level E staff member who is the Local Committee’s representative on the Central Committee and is the Central Committee’s representative on another Local Committee;
One Central Committee representative from another Local Committee; and
Four staff (one staff member at Level E, two at Level D and one at Level C) from the Faculty/cognate Institute(s).
A quorum will be the Chair, the CCPC representative and two other members.
The members of the LCPC will be chosen by the Executive Dean in consultation with the Director(s) of any cognate Institute(s) and the President of the Academic Board, in consideration of the following:
balance of representation across faculty and cognate institute(s). In exceptional circumstances, an additional member may be submitted to the Chair of the CCPC at the time of informing the committees for purposes of organisational representation. The additional member must be approved by Academic Board with the formation of the committee
experience across academic categories
balance over time and retaining ‘corporate history/knowledge’ ie balance between new and experienced members
Members of the LCPC must not themselves be on probation. The Level C member must not be an applicant for promotion.
9.2.2 Organisational coverage of Local Confirmation and Promotion Committees
The LCPCs will cover the following faculties and institutes:
Business, Economics and Law
Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and Sustainable Minerals Institute
Humanities and Social Sciences, Teaching and Educational Development Institute and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit
Health and Behavioural Sciences
Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Queensland Brain Institute, Institute for Molecular Bioscience
Science, Centre for Advanced Imaging, Queensland Agriculture and Food Innovation, Global Change Institute
Local Committees decide on promotions to Levels B, C and D for all academic categories, but may refer cases to the Central Committee. A case will be referred to the CCPC for consideration where there is a lack of consensus on the outcome. For promotions, the LCPC’s deliberations result in one of the following decisions:
2. Case referred to the CCPC
3. Do not promote
In all cases where a decision has been made to either promote an applicant or to not promote an applicant, the Local Committee’s decision and promotion documentation are to be forwarded to the CCPC and to the Provost.
In cases where the LCPC refers the matter to the CCPC for resolution, LCPC summary reports and relevant promotion documentation are provided to the CCPC on the applicants concerned.
In cases where the LCPC’s decision does not agree with the recommendation from the Head, the Chair of the LCPC informs the Head.
9.3 The Central Confirmation and Promotions Committee
The Central Confirmation and Promotion Committee is comprised of:
The President of the Academic Board who is the Chair;
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic);
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research);
The Deputy President of the Academic Board;
The “representatives” from each of the LCPCs.
The CCPC membership includes the Provost when policy is being considered.
A quorum will be the Chair, at least one Deputy Vice-Chancellor (or the Provost for policy decisions) and at least three “representatives”.
The Central Confirmation and Promotions Committee considers cases for promotion to Levels B, C, and D referred by LCPCs but does not call the applicant to a further interview. The CCPC makes the final decisions in all referred cases and conveys decisions to applicants and to the Provost. The CCPC does not reopen LCPC decisions on whether to promote or not to promote an applicant.
The CCPC acts as a policy, monitoring and decision-making committee at University level. It reviews and monitors the mid-term review, final review and promotion processes each year and provides overall outcomes and statistics to the University through the Academic Board.
10. Enquiries and Submission Address
Enquiries about the promotion process should be directed to the relevant faculty or institute Human Resources Manager/Consultant:
Business, Economics and Law (Ph 3365 6965) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and Sustainable Minerals Institute (Ph 3365 7922) - email@example.com
Humanities and Social Sciences, Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit (Ph 3365 4921) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Health and Behavioural Sciences (Ph 3365 4798) - email@example.com
Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, Queensland Brain Institute (Ph 3366 5312) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Science, Centre for Advanced Imaging, Queensland Agriculture and Food Innovation, Global Change Institute (Ph 3365 9761) - email@example.com
Enquiries regarding technical problems using the Academic Portfolio can be directed to the organisational unit computer support staff or the IT help desk (Ph 3365 6000).