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Staff Development Procedure - Academic Promotion Committees Levels C-E
Staff Development Policy
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.
Unless a candidate has been offered a conditional promotion, all promotions will take effect from 1 January of the year following the promotion decision.
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, above which the staff member may be eligible 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.
Campus promotion coordinator: is a designated staff member from MUSC or MSA who has responsibility for coordinating the promotion process for levels B-D for the relevant campus.
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 is an education-focused academic (ie. his or her primary role is to provide a high standard of learning and teaching, educational design and delivery and educational leadership).
Faculty or Divisional Cluster: refers to a cluster of Faculties and/or administrative Divisions that is serviced by a particular HR Service Hub.
Faculty promotion coordinator: is a HR Business Partner (or nominee) within the relevant HR Service Hub who has responsibility for coordinating the promotion process for levels B-D within the faculty and providing secretarial support for the faculty’s promotion committees.
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 member of Monash HR who operates as a strategic partner responsible for providing a range of human resources services for an assigned Faculty or administrative Division. HR Business Partners are located within a HR Service Hub.
HR Service Hub: is the centre for human resources services and activities within a Faculty or Divisional Cluster.
MSA: Monash South Africa.
MUSC: Monash University Sunway Campus.
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.
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.
University promotion coordinator: is a designated staff member within the Workforce Policy and Performance team in Monash HR who is responsible for coordinating the promotion process and providing secretarial support for the Professorial Promotion Committee.
1. Preparation for promotion committee meetings
1.1 Preliminary assessment form
A system of preliminary assessment must be undertaken 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).
A preliminary assessment form has been developed to guide the preliminary assessment process which can be adapted to suit the needs of each committee. The relevant promotion coordinator is responsible for ensuring that the preliminary assessment form is completed.
1.2 Briefing to committee members
The relevant promotion coordinator will attend the promotion committee to provide secretarial support and procedural advice to committee members. Prior to each meeting committee members must be aware of:
1.3 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 meeting. All 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.
1.4 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. In the case of the University Professorial Promotion Committee, the Vice-Chancellor can vary or waive the gender representation requirement.
1.5 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 promotion 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 relevant promotion coordinator.
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 advice should be sought from the Privacy Officer prior to doing so.
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 the 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.
2. Application assessment process
2.1 Criteria for promotion
Committee members should be aware that candidates must satisfy the promotion committee that he or she has:
Applications are to be considered on their merits in relation to the criteria for promotion taking into account the weightings selected by the candidate for each of the relevant areas of academic activity.
The purpose of requiring weightings lies in the diverse and changing nature of academic work. A candidate chooses weightings, within the specified parameters relevant to their academic focus, 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.
Committee members should be aware that promotion at Monash focuses on the quality, quantity and impact of achievements in the relevant areas of academic activity rather than workload allocations. For higher levels, Monash also focuses on the applicant’s impact on the discipline at a national and international level.
The committee may vary the weightings of a candidate, if it believes that varying the weightings will assist the candidate in her or his application for promotion. However, neither the Faculty/Campus Associate Professor Committees nor the University Professorial Promotion Committee can recommend that a candidate change her or his application to a special case for promotion.
2.3 Differences between academic disciplines
When assessing whether a candidate has met the criteria for promotion, committee members should be aware that there are differences between, and within, academic disciplines, including in the way teaching is delivered. For example, some academic roles require one-to-one teaching in specialist roles outside the traditional faculty framework. Committee members should have an understanding of how these differences relate to applications for promotion. 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, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) or Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research).
Committees should refer to the following documents for further information about assessing applications for promotion:
The decision of the promotion committee should be informed by, but not determined by, the relevant academic performance standards.
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 and who has remained at that level.
3. Assessor reports
Prior to the first meeting of the promotion committee, the relevant promotion coordinator will request written reports from the assessors listed in each application.
Candidates are required to have the following assessor reports:
Assessors will be asked to:
Assessors are nominated by the dean/pro vice-chancellor and president, 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.
The relevant promotion coordinator will make all reasonable efforts to contact the assessors listed in the application.
If the promotion coordinator has not received a report, the respective promotion committee cannot disadvantage the candidate when assessing the application.
4. Relevant personal circumstances
Promotion committees will be in a better position to make fair and valid judgements about each candidate's achievements if the committee is aware of the particular circumstances relevant to a candidate’s career progression that will facilitate an assessment of his or her achievements relative to opportunity.
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.
5. New information
Any 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 the committee members, tabled at the relevant committee meeting or presented at interview. Committee members should contact the relevant promotion coordinator as soon as possible if any further candidate information is required beyond the summarised materials presented.
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. 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 promotion coordinator and any view will not considered by the committee as a vote. A candidate will be promoted if a majority of those present and voting cast a ‘yes’ vote.
7. 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 specified 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 University 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 for promotion.
The decision of the chair is final and there is no appeal process for conditional promotion.
8. Faculty and University decision making
8.1 Promotion to senior lecturer/senior research fellow and associate professor
In the case of promotion to senior lecturer and associate professor, the decision about whether a candidate is promoted rests solely with the faculty/campus senior lecturer promotion committee and the faculty/campus associate professor promotion committee respectively.
8.2 Promotion to professor
The decision about whether a professorial candidate is promoted rests solely with the University Professorial Promotion Committee. It is expected that the candidate has the support of the dean, head of unit and performance supervisor in making an application for promotion to professor.
8.3 Report to the University Professorial Promotion Committee
Prior to the University Professorial Promotion Committee meeting, the dean must prepare a report addressing the candidate’s case in the three areas of academic activity. The report should also reference the relevant academic performance standards. The dean will then discuss the report with the candidate and provide the candidate with a copy.
The dean will also prepare a separate report which ranks the candidates in terms of who has the best case for promotion. The University promotion coordinator will collect these reports and provide them to the University Professorial Promotion Committee.
The merit listing of recommended candidates does not bind the University Professorial Promotion Committee and is confidential. It is not provided at any stage to candidates, whether successful or unsuccessful.
If a faculty has no professorial promotion candidates, the dean must send a short letter to the chair of the University Professorial Promotion Committee to confirm that this is the case and include the following information:
8.4 Interview for deans – professorial candidates
The dean may be interviewed by the University Professorial Promotion Committee at the committee’s request. The dean will be familiar with all background material relating to each candidate's case and be prepared to discuss it in detail with the committee.
8.5 Interviews for professorial candidates
All candidates applying for promotion to professor will be interviewed by the University Professorial Promotion Committee. The purpose of the interview is to clarify information obtained in the candidate’s application or statement of relevant personal circumstances and to allow candidates to present and defend their case for promotion. Candidates unable to attend an interview in person will be provided with an opportunity to be interviewed via an audio-conferencing or video-conferencing facility.
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 will inform candidates in writing of the outcome of their application within seven working days of the committee's last sitting day. Letter templates to guide the chair in drafting the letters are available through the relevant promotion coordinator.
The candidate’s performance supervisor and head of unit will be copied into the outcome letter. If the candidate is from the Gippsland campus, a copy will also be provided to the Pro Vice-Chancellor and President (Gippsland) and the HR Business Partner for the Gippsland campus.
The dean will also be copied into the outcome letters for professorial candidates.
9.1 Notification of outcomes and support for unsuccessful candidates
Committee members will be given the opportunity to review the draft letters to unsuccessful candidates, to ensure that they accurately reflect the views of committee members.
Each letter must include a summary of the reasons why the promotion was not supported and will 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 the candidate and their performance supervisor (at the candidate’s request) to discuss the committee’s decision. Where relevant the chair should provide contact details 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.
Candidates not recommended for promotion may lodge an application for a rehearing on the basis that there has been a procedural irregularity resulting in material disadvantage. Candidates should 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 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.
11. Committee membership and roles
Table 1 provides the membership and quorum details of the relevant promotion committees.
Committee members must:
The chair may appoint additional members to ensure sufficient disciplinary or academic focus expertise, ensuring that the committee size does not become unwieldy.
Deputy deans are advised not to participate as University Professorial Promotion Committee members to ensure that they may be available to act as proxy for the dean at interview, if required.
11.1 Election and appointment of committee members
The 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:
All faculty committees must have:
Appointments should be made after the election of other members to assist the dean in meeting the gender balance requirements and to provide 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, in consultation with the committee, will fill the position with an appointee, who will be regarded as an elected member for the purposes of a quorum.
All positions on campus promotion committees at MSA and MUSC are appointed.
11.2 Inquorate or improperly constituted committees
The proceedings of an inquorate or improperly constituted committee are void. In order not to disadvantage a candidate the following staff may use their discretion to either make the decision which the committee purported to make or require that a properly constituted committee consider the application:
11.3 Applications to senior lecturer or associate professor from Gippsland, Berwick or Peninsula
Where an application is received from a candidate who is located at the Gippsland campus, the dean is required to appoint a member from the campus to the promotion committee. The member is a full voting member of the committee for the whole of the promotion round, and is appointed to ensure that any campus-related contextual issues are presented. The member will be required to attend all relevant faculty promotion committee meetings in person or via video conference.
The head of school is required to inform the pro vice-chancellor and the dean that a candidate from her or his campus is applying for promotion.
If an application is received from a candidate who is located at the Berwick or Peninsula campuses, the dean may wish to appoint a member from the relevant campus to the promotion committee, but is not obliged to do so.
Members appointed or co-opted to a committee under the provisions related to representation of the Berwick, Gippsland or Peninsula campuses are appointed for one year only.
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 for promotion, subject to the agreement of the dean of that faculty. Applications are then submitted to the faculty promotion coordinator for consideration by the faculty promotion committee most relevant to the candidate’s discipline/area. Associate dean reports are also required.
Non faculty-based staff from MUSC or MSA who seek to apply for 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 campus promotion committee.
To ensure sufficient expertise for non-faculty based applications, the dean/pro vice-chancellor and president will ask the relevant Deputy or Pro 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 either be the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) or nominee; or the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) or nominee. This member will be a full voting member for deliberation relating to education-focused candidates only.
11.6 Professorial promotion committee
The Vice-Chancellor and 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.
The Vice-Chancellor and President may authorise the Provost and Senior Vice-President, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) or the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) to chair any meeting of the committee which the Vice-Chancellor and President is prevented from attending.
Vice-Chancellor and President: as the chair of the University Professorial Promotion Committee, the Vice-Chancellor and President is responsible for ensuring that committee members carry out a fair, confidential and objective assessment of applications for promotion.
Provost and Senior Vice-President: responsible for academic staffing within the University including the oversight of the academic promotion process.
Dean/Pro Vice-Chancellor and President (Monash South Africa/Sunway Campus Malaysia): as the chair of the Faculty/Campus Senior Lecturer Promotion Committee and the Faculty/Campus Associate Professor Promotion Committee, the dean/Pro Vice-Chancellor and President is responsible for ensuring that committee members carry out a fair, confidential and objective assessment of applications for promotion. The dean is also required to provide a written report to the University Professorial Promotion Committee addressing each professorial candidate’s case for promotion.
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.
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.
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.
Table 1 Membership of Faculty, Campus and University Promotion Committees
Refer part 11.