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Staff Development Procedure - Academic Promotion Committees Levels C-E
Promotion at Monash University is based on merit following a thorough and fair process. The University is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in promotion and recognises that staff contribute to its vision and goals in diverse ways. The achievements of candidates for promotion are assessed relative to the particular circumstances of their career progression and the opportunities which have been available to them.
Teaching and research (including education-focused) candidates who satisfy the relevant promotion committee that they meet the criteria for promotion are to be promoted irrespective of considerations such as the increased cost of staffing.
Research-only candidates will be promoted if they satisfy the promotion committee that they meet the criteria for promotion and provided that the relevant grant holder and/or head of unit has confirmed that there is funding available for the promotion.
This procedure applies to committee members who are evaluating applications from candidates who:
This procedure should be read in conjunction with the Staff Development Procedure - Academic Promotion for Candidates Levels C-E.
Academic performance standards: faculty or discipline-specific performance standards for all academic staff against which academic performance will be measured, particularly for the purpose of probation, promotion and performance development. The standards are qualitative, quantitative or a mixture of both across the three key areas of academic activity - research, education and service. They include identified ‘minimum’ performance standards, below which the staff member would be managed for unsatisfactory performance, and ‘faculty expectation’ or aspirational standards, which are relevant for promotion in accordance with the requirements of the Staff Development Procedure - Academic Promotion for Candidates Levels C - E.
Achievement(s) relative to opportunity: is an evaluative framework in which the overall quality and impact of achievements is given more weight than the quantity, rate or breadth of particular achievements. Assessing achievements relative to opportunity involves giving consideration to circumstances, arrangements, career histories and overall time available to the staff member. This in turn allows appropriate evaluation of achievements in relation to:
Achievement relative to opportunity is a positive acknowledgement of what a staff member can and has achieved given the opportunities available and is not about providing “special consideration” or expecting lesser standards of performance.
Assessor: An expert in the field able to offer a balanced and confidential assessment of the candidate’s standing in the field and of the merits of the application based on stated criteria. Assessors may or may not be known personally to the candidate and should be selected by the Dean/Pro Vice-Chancellor and President (Monash University Malaysia).
Conditional promotion: A conditional promotion means that the committee authorises the chair of the committee to approve the promotion if certain specific criteria are met before 1 May in the following year. A conditional promotion will come into effect on the date that the chair approves the promotion or 1 January in the year following the candidate’s application, whichever is the later.
Education-focused candidate: A candidate for promotion who occupies an academic role of engagement characterised by innovation and leadership in educational design and delivery.
Head of Unit: head of an academic or organisational work unit, for example Head of School, Head of Department or where applicable, a person acting as his or her nominee. If there are no heads of unit within the faculty, a deputy dean or equivalent may be delegated the head of unit’s responsibilities for the academic promotion process.
HR Business Partner: is a key member of the Monash HR Business Partnering Community and provides strategic advice, guidance and solutions that underpin key client goals, HR strategy and organisational vision to a particular client group.
Procedural irregularity: refers to where the University has not followed a process that is articulated in this procedure.
Promotion committee: means the relevant committee constituted in accordance with Table 1 in this procedure that is responsible for assessing and determining the promotion application.
Promotion coordinator: is a designated staff member within Monash HR who is responsible for administration and coordination of the promotion process. The relevant promotion coordinators are:
Research Achievement Record: is a report that details the candidate's research outputs, funding applications, and HDR supervision during the relevant promotion period. For Australian candidates, this report is generated via the University's Business Intelligence system.
Research-only candidate: A candidate for promotion who is employed on a research-only contract of employment and who is appointed to undertake predominately research and research-related activities.
Student Evaluation Record: is a record of a candidate's student evaluation results for units that they have taught in or had a leadership role in. The record will cover the period relevant to the promotion application and is generated by University Planning and Statistics.
1. Preparation for promotion committee meetings
1.1 Equal opportunity training
All promotion committees are required to understand and apply the equal opportunity principles of the relevant jurisdiction.
For Australian committees, the chair must ensure that all members are provided with a current copy of the University’s Equal Opportunity Guidelines for Academic Promotion and take reasonable steps to ensure that they have read and understood them.
The Equal Opportunity Guidelines for Academic Promotion are designed to heighten awareness and understanding of circumstances that may be relevant when assessing applications for promotion, for example, family responsibilities. Unless the chair has previously received or attended equal opportunity training, he or she is required to undertake equal opportunity (EO) online training prior to chairing an academic promotion committee.
All Australian-based promotion committee members are required to undertake the equal opportunity (EO) online training, with the exception of the external member prior to the commencement of the first committee meeting.
1.2 Conflict of interest
A committee member must declare to the chair any actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest which may arise as a result of involvement in the process. Examples of potential, actual or perceived conflicts of interest include; a committee member who is supervising or supervised a candidate’s postgraduate studies, or a committee member who is a friend of the candidate as well as a co-worker. If a committee member is uncertain whether an actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest exists, advice should be sought from the chair.
The chair is responsible for ensuring that no declared conflict of interest can influence the outcome of the application and that there can be no reasonable perception that it might have done. If necessary, the chair will require the committee member to withdraw from the committee, or discussions relating to that candidate only.
Confidentiality is required of all persons involved in promotion processes. The chair will emphasise the importance of confidentiality during her or his welcome and overview. The duty of confidentiality continues after the promotion process has been concluded.
All materials are restricted to those directly involved in the assessment process. At the conclusion of the final meeting, access to materials will be removed, and any materials provided are to be returned to the Monash HR representative supporting the committee.
Information contained within the academic promotion application and interview is used for the purposes of assessing promotion applications. If the information is to be used for a purpose other than the promotion process, then prior advice should be sought from the Privacy Officer.
Committee members must take all reasonable steps to protect the personal information contained in the candidate’s application form from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. This includes notes made during committee meetings and discussions. Personal information includes information or an opinion (including information or an opinion forming part of a database) that is recorded in any form and whether true or not about an individual whose identity is apparent or can reasonably be ascertained from the information or opinion.
1.5 Briefing to committee members
A representative from Monash HR will attend the promotion committee meeting to provide secretarial support and procedural advice.
Prior to each meeting the HR Representative will brief committee members to ensure awareness of:
2. Application assessment process
2.1 Criteria for promotion
Candidates must satisfy the promotion committee that he or she has, in accordance with the academic performance standards:
It will normally take a candidate several years at their current level of appointment to develop a track record which demonstrates that the above criteria have been met. A candidate's capacity to perform commensurate with the academic performance standards forms one component of the case for promotion and does not on its own constitute grounds for promotion. All relevant evidence of a candidate's performance and achievements as outlined in the case will be considered by promotion committees in making their decision. Each application is viewed holistically and the decision will be informed by, but not determined by, the relevant academic performance standards.
Applications are to be considered on their merits in relation to the criteria for promotion taking into account the weightings selected by the candidate.
The purpose of requiring weightings is a recognition of different strengths. A candidate chooses weightings, within the specified parameters relevant to their academic focus (see Staff Development Procedure - Academic Promotion for Candidates Level C-E), to enable the promotion committee to assess whether he or she meets the criteria for promotion in the particular circumstances of her or his responsibilities and achievements at the current level of appointment.
Promotion focuses on the quality, quantity and impact of achievements in the relevant areas of academic activity rather than workload allocations. For higher levels, the focus is on the applicant’s impact on the discipline at a national and international level.
The committee may vary the weightings if it advantages the candidate's application.
2.3 Differences between academic disciplines
Committee members should be aware that there are differences between academic disciplines, including in the way teaching is delivered and research is undertaken and recognised. Committee members should have an understanding of how these differences relate to promotion applications. Information about differences between and within academic disciplines can be obtained from a range of people, including the chair, dean, associate dean (research), associate dean (education), Provost and Senior Vice-President, Vice-Provost (Research), Vice-Provost (Learning & Teaching) or Vice-Provost (Academic Performance).
Committees should refer to the following:
The promotion committee should take into account achievements at the previous university or universities of a candidate who moved to Monash from the same level of appointment or higher.
2.4 Relevant personal circumstances
The promotion committee must assess a candidate's achievements relative to the opportunities available to the staff member whilst ensuring that the indicators of quality have been demonstrated.
Committee members should:
The promotion committee must assess a candidate’s achievements relative to the opportunities available to the staff member whilst ensuring that the indicators of quality have been demonstrated.
2.5 Case for Promotion and Supplementary Reports
A complete application for promotion is comprised of the Case for Academic Promotion Form: Levels C-E and the following attachments:
The Case for Academic Promotion Form: Levels C-E will include the candidate's details, weightings, qualifications and appointments, any relevant personal circumstances and their case for promotion across the three areas of academic activity - research, education and service. It will also include the performance supervisor and head of unit's comments and endorsement of the candidate's application. The Case for Academic Promotion Form: Levels C-E will be supplemented by the following reports.
Research Achievement Record
The Research Achievement Record will include the following:
For Australian candidates, this report will be generated via the Business Intelligence system and supplemented by the candidate where necessary.
Student Evaluation Record
Research-only candidates who have not allocated a weighting to education are not required to provide an Student Evaluation Record.
A personalised Student Evaluation Record is provided to candidates by University Planning and Statistics.
The report contains the following:
2.6 Preliminary assessment form
A preliminary assessment form will be distributed to committee members prior to the first meeting of the committee. The purpose of the preliminary assessment is to identify, via the independent assessment of all voting committee members acting separately, those candidates who appear clearly to meet the criteria for promotion and those who do not. This will assist in streamlining the process of decision making during the actual meeting, allowing more time for discussion of those candidates who fall in the middle band (i.e. about whom there are mixed views).
3. Assessor reports
Assessors are nominated by the dean/Pro Vice-Chancellor and President (Monash University Malaysia), in consultation with the head of unit. Further requirements regarding assessors are outlined in the Staff Development Procedure - Academic Promotion for Candidates Levels C-E.
Assessors will be required to indicate whether or not they have a professional and/or personal relationship with the candidate and if so, the nature of the relationship. Where a close professional or personal association exists, the report will still be provided to the committee, however, the Chair may seek an additional assessor if he/she deems necessary.
On request, completed assessor reports may be provided to the dean prior to preparing their dean's reports for the Professorial Promotion Committee.
The relevant promotion coordinator will make all reasonable efforts to contact nominated assessors. If the promotion coordinator has not received a report(s), the respective promotion committee cannot disadvantage the candidate when assessing the application.
4. New information
New information received from a candidate must be in accordance with the Staff Development Procedure - Academic Promotion for Candidates Levels C-E.
New information will be circulated to committee members, tabled at the relevant committee meeting or presented at interview.
4.1 Further information
Committee members should contact the relevant promotion coordinator as soon as possible if any further candidate information is required beyond the summarised materials presented, (such as performance development reports or teaching and unit evaluations).
The chair may determine the method of voting, in consultation with committee members. During the meeting, each voting member of the promotion committee may cast one ‘yes' or ‘no' vote. A candidate will be promoted if a majority of those present and voting cast a ‘yes' vote.
Abstentions are only allowable if a committee member has declared a conflict of interest relating to that candidate. In this case, the chairperson will determine whether the conflict of interest can influence the outcome of the application and will request that the committee member abstains from the discussion of that applicant. If a committee member abstains from voting, this is to be noted by the relevant promotion coordinator and any view will not considered as a vote.
6. Conditional promotion
Promotion committees may make a conditional promotion decision where the committee believes that the candidate’s case for promotion is ‘borderline’ but that some specified achievements by the candidate before the next promotion round would lead to a clear case for promotion.
Appropriate conditions might include:
The committee must:
If the candidate succeeds in meeting the conditions before 1 May in the following year, the candidate must provide written evidence that conditions have been met to the relevant promotion coordinator. The chair of the committee will review the documentation to determine if the candidate will be promoted. In the case of a conditional promotion to professor, the dean will review the evidence supplied and provide a recommendation to the chair, via the relevant promotion coordinator.
If the candidate does not meet the specified promotion conditions before 1 May in the following year, and wishes to reapply for promotion, the candidate will be required to submit a new application.
The decision of the chair is final and there is no appeal process for conditional promotion.
7. Faculty decision making
In the case of promotion to senior lecturer, senior research fellow and associate professor, the decision about whether a candidate is promoted rests solely with the faculty or Malaysia senior lecturer promotion committee and the faculty or Malaysia associate professor promotion committee respectively
7.1 Interviews for associate professor candidates
Candidates applying for promotion to associate professor may be interviewed by the relevant promotion committee, at the committee's request. The interview allows the committee to clarify information contained in the application. It also provides an opportunity for candidates to answer relevant questions. The Chair will determine whether to interview the candidates within the faculty.
8. University decision making
The decision about whether a professorial candidate is promoted rests solely with the University Professorial Promotion Committee.
8.1 Reports to the University Professorial Promotion Committee
The dean must provide two reports to the University Professorial Promotion Committee:
Where a candidate does not agree with the factual information contained within the dean's individual candidate report, the candidate may comment in writing to the Chair. The candidate's comment is for information only and there is no requirement for the dean or the committee to respond.
The dean's ranking report of recommended candidates does not bind the committee and is confidential.
8.2 Interview for deans – professorial candidates
The dean will be interviewed by the University Professorial Promotion Committee. The dean will be familiar with all background material relating to each candidate's case and be prepared to discuss it in detail.
8.3 Interviews for professorial candidates
All candidates applying for promotion to professor will be interviewed by the University Professorial Promotion Committee. The interview allows the committee to clarify information contained in the application. It also provides an opportunity for candidates to answer relevant questions.
9. Notification of outcomes
The only person who can provide feedback to candidates regarding their application is the chair or a representative appointed by the chair. All other committee members must refrain from discussing any aspect of the meeting with candidates or any other person.
The chair of the Senior Lecturer/Senior Research Fellow and Associate Professor Promotion committees will inform candidates in writing of the committee's decision within seven working days of the final sitting day.
The chair of the University Professorial promotion committee will inform candidates in writing of the committee's decision within 14 working days of the final sitting day.
The relevant promotion coordinator will provide administrative assistance to the chair by preparing the outcome letters.
Unless a candidate has been offered a conditional promotion, all promotions take effect from 1 January of the following year.
9.1 Notification of outcomes and support for unsuccessful candidates
Outcome letters for candidates not recommended for promotion must include a summary of the reasons why the promotion was not supported and outline the areas that, in the opinion of the committee, need strengthening before a future application is lodged. The major points to be made in the letter should be determined during the committee meeting.
The chair (or a nominated representative) will be available to meet with unsuccessful candidates and their performance supervisor (at the candidate's request) to discuss the committee's decision. Where relevant, the chair should provide the name of an appropriate staff member nominated by the committee to give the candidate additional support, mentoring and guidance on the development of a future application.
Copies of the outcome letters are provided to the performance supervisor, head of unit and the HR Business Partner. The dean will also be copied into the outcome letters for professional candidates.
Candidates not recommended for promotion may lodge an application for a rehearing only on the basis that there has been a procedural irregularity substantive enough to result in material disadvantage to the candidate with regards to the committee's decision.
Candidates must seek the advice of the chair of the committee, the dean/pro vice-chancellor and president, or both before lodging an application for a rehearing.
Candidates who choose to lodge an appeal for a rehearing must do so within seven working days of being notified of the decision.
For further information on the rehearing process refer to Staff Development Procedure - Academic Promotion Rehearing Process Levels B-E.
Table 1 provides the membership details of relevant promotion committees.
Committee members must:
The chair may appoint additional members to ensure sufficient disciplinary or academic focus expertise, whilst ensuring committee size does not become unwieldy.
11.1 Gender balance
The chair of the promotion committees must ensure the committee has as close to equal gender representation as reasonably practicable, with a minimum of one-third representation of each gender.
Gender balance can be facilitated through the dean's appointees and drawing attention to the aim for gender balance when calling for faculty nominees. In the case of faculty committees, if the chair is unable to meet this requirement, the relevant promotion coordinator will assist by contacting individuals (of the under-represented gender) from a cognate area and provide the faculty with the names of these individuals.
If in exceptional circumstances, there are no available individuals (of the under-represented gender) from a cognate area, a request by the dean to vary or waive the gender representation requirement may be made to the Provost and Senior Vice-President. The Provost and Senior Vice-President may approve that request in writing and confirm the composition of the committee.
11.2 Election and appointment of committee members
Members of faculty promotion committees will normally be elected or appointed for a three-year term, with one-third of the membership being subject to election or appointment each year. Members may be re-elected or reappointed.
All eligible Australian faculty staff members are to be included in the election process; and considered for appointment by the dean.
All faculty committees must have:
Appointments should be made after election of other members to assist the dean in attaining gender balance requirements and a spread of representation across academic disciplines and levels.
Where there are insufficient nominations to fill an elected position, the position will be re-advertised if there is time, but otherwise the dean will fill the position with an appointee, who will be regarded as an elected member for the purposes of quorum.
For Senior Lecturer/Senior Research Fellow and Associate Professor Promotion Committees, the Chair and the dean will ensure the committee includes broad disciplinary representation.
Deans may appoint an external member to the Associate Professor Promotion Committees if desired.
All positions on promotion committees at Monash University Malaysia are appointed.
11.3 Applications to senior lecturer/senior research fellow or associate professor from Berwick or Peninsula
Where an application is received from a candidate located at Berwick or Peninsula campus, the dean may appoint (for one year) a committee member from the relevant campus but is not obliged to do so.
11.4 Applications from candidates not located in faculties
In the case of non faculty-based Australian staff applying for promotion to senior lecturer or associate professor, candidates will nominate the most relevant faculty to assess their application, subject to the agreement of the dean of that faculty.
Non faculty-based Malaysia staff seeking promotion to senior lecturer/senior research fellow or associate professor will nominate the most relevant faculty for the purposes of providing associate dean reports, subject to the agreement of the dean. Applications will be considered by the relevant Malaysia promotion committee.
To ensure sufficient expertise for non-faculty based applications, the relevant promotion coordinator on behalf of the dean/Pro Vice-Chancellor and President (Monash University Malaysia) will ask the relevant Vice-Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor to nominate a representative from his or her portfolio to attend the committee as a full voting member for deliberation relating to that candidate only.
Professorial candidates from non faculty areas will nominate the most relevant faculty for the purposes of providing associate dean and dean reports, subject to the agreement of the dean.
11.5 Applications from education-focused candidates
For education-focused applications, the Committee must co-opt an education focused expert to the committee. This will be the Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching) or nominee. This member will be a full voting member for deliberation relating to education-focused candidates only.
11.6 Applications from candidates from under-represented groups
It is acknowledged that some candidates are required to participate in numerous service activities as a result of being part of an under-represented group and this may impact on other areas of academic activity. This could include women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) disciplines and Indigenous candidates.
11.7 Professorial promotion committee
The Provost and Senior Vice-President, as chair, must appoint four professors of the University to serve on the Professorial Promotion committee. The Deans may be approached to nominate persons from their faculty for the Provost and Senior Vice-President's consideration. Deputy deans are advised not to participate as committee members to ensure that are available to act as proxy for the dean at interview, if required.
The Provost and Senior Vice-President may co-opt one or more professors whether at Monash or elsewhere to be members of the committee for the purposes of improving representation or ensuring sufficient disciplinary or academic focus expertise.
12. Inquorate or improperly constituted committees
Where a senior lecturer/senior research fellow or associate professor committee is inquorate or improperly constituted, in order not to disadvantage a candidate the Provost and Senior Vice-President may use his or her discretion to either validate the relevant committee decision or require that a quorate or properly constituted committee consider the application.
In the case of the University Professorial Promotion committee, an inquorate committee must not proceed.
If the Provost and Senior Vice-President becomes unexpectedly unavailable on the day of a committee meeting the committee should determine whether to proceed or reschedule the meeting to a date when the Provost and Senior Vice-President is available. Where the committee decides to proceed, the chair will be nominated by the Provost and Senior Vice-President.
Provost and Senior Vice-President: responsible for academic staffing within the University including the oversight of the academic promotion process. The Provost is also the chair of the University Professorial Promotion Committee, and is responsible for ensuring that the committee members carry out a fair, confidential and objective assessment of applications for promotion.
The Dean is responsible for:
Pro Vice-Chancellor and President (Monash University Malaysia)
As the chair of the Malaysia Senior Lecturer Promotion Committee and the Malaysia Associate Professor Promotion Committee, the Pro Vice-Chancellor and President is responsible for:
Head of Unit and Performance Supervisor: the candidate's performance supervisor and head of unit are required to each provide a report that forms part of the academic promotion application form. If there are no heads of unit within the faculty, a deputy dean or equivalent may be delegated the head of unit's responsibilities for the academic promotion process. They are also responsible for being available to give confidential advice and other forms of support to potential applicants before applications are submitted.
Associate Deans: the associate deans responsible for education and research in a faculty are required to provide a report on the candidate's case for promotion in the relevant area of academic activity.
The candidate is responsible for complying with requirements of this procedure and providing timely and accurate information to the performance supervisor, head of unit, relevant promotion coordinator and promotion committees. Candidates must:
Monash HR - Promotion Coordinators
A dedicated resource in the HR Operations Centre is responsible for:
Senior Adviser, Policy and Academic Promotion
The Senior Adviser, Policy and Academic Promotion is responsible for:
Malaysia Promotion Coordinator:
The Malaysia Promotion Coordinator is responsible for:
Additional forms for Monash University Malaysia Staff:
Table 1: Membership of Faculty, Malaysia and University Promotion Committees
Refer part 11.