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Higher Education Academic Promotions Policy

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Section 1 - Summary

(1) The Higher Education Academic Promotions Policy aims to appropriately recognise performance and leadership in academic work at Victoria University. Academic work includes teaching and learning, research, creativity and scholarship, academic leadership, engagement with industry, professions and community and service to the University.

(2) This Policy supports the career development of academic staff through promotion to higher academic classification levels. The Policy must be read in conjunction with the Victoria University Higher Education Academic Promotions Procedure.

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Section 2 - HESF/ASQA/ESOS Alignment

(3) HESF: Standard 3.2 Staffing.

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This policy applies to the promotion of eligible (see clause 15) higher education academic staff at Victoria University.

(5) It does not apply to:

  1. The promotion of Vocational Education staff, or
  2. The promotion of Professional staff.
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Section 4 - Definitions

(6) Aboriginal

(7) MSAL: refers to the Minimum Standard for Academic Level outlined in the Academic Classification Policy.

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Section 5 - Policy Statement

Part A - Principles

(8) Victoria University's promotion process is guided by the following principles:

  1. Applications for promotion will be assessed on merit.
  2. Equality of opportunity and its underpinning principles, equity, diversity and social justice form the basis of conferring all forms of employment benefits at the University, including promotion. The Academic Promotions Policy and Procedure are informed by Victoria University's commitment to equity and diversity as expressed by the University's Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity Policy, the Aboriginal Education and Cultural Equity Policy and related or subsequent policies. Decisions and processes will not be influenced by irrelevant attributes or those upon which discrimination is unlawful, as proscribed by Equal Opportunity and anti-discrimination legislation.
  3. Promotion is driven by and based on the meeting of threshold levels of evidence of outcome and impact within the University and externally, and in alignment with the Career Development and Promotion Guide and the Minimum Standards for Academic Levels.
  4. All staff involved in promotion processes must uphold the principles of confidentiality and privacy. Refer to the University's Appropriate Workplace Behaviour Policy and Privacy Policy for further information.

(9) Applications for promotion are assessed against the evidence submitted in accordance with the requirements of the Higher Education Academic Promotions Procedure.

(10) Academic Staff may apply for promotion through one of three Academic Categories, which include:

  1. Teaching and Research Academic
  2. Research Focused Academic
  3. Teaching Focused Academic

(11) In addition to the above, at the discretion of the panel, an application may be reviewed against an alternative Academic Category where the Panel conclude threshold has been met under the alternative category and constituent criteria.

(12) Assessment of applications will be based on the evidence provided in the applications and guided by comparative benchmarking, including where appropriate applicant interviews and the involvement of external assessors in addition to referees.

(13) There are no quotas on the number of academic staff promoted and as a result the number of successful applicants and their disbursement across Colleges will vary from year to year.

Part B - Promotion Rounds

(14) Applications for promotion will occur through promotions rounds, the timing and number of which will be specified and declared by the University in accordance with the relevant provisions in the Higher Education Academic Promotions Procedure.

Part C - Eligibility

(15) To apply for promotion staff must meet the eligibility requirements outlined in the Higher Education Academic Promotions Procedure.

Part D - Promotion Panels

(16) There shall be a University-wide Higher Education Academic Promotion Panel system. Refer to the Higher Education Academic Promotions Procedure for information relating to Panel formation, composition, proceedings and reporting.

(17) Promotion panels shall have an Equity and Diversity observer nominated by the Chief Human Resources Officer. Non-attendance by the Equity and Diversity observer does not preclude the Panel from obtaining a quorum or from proceeding with deliberations.

(18) A promotion Panel considering an application made by an Aboriginal staff member will be increased in number with the inclusion of an academic who identifies as an Aboriginal person. This person will be appointed by the Vice-Chancellor and may be a staff member of Victoria University or an external representative.

Part E - Assessment

(19) Promotions Panels are required to assess each application and make judgements as to whether the applicant is performing to the expectations for their current Academic classification level and the Academic Category through which the applicant seeks promotion. This assessment will be based on the evidence submitted in the application and other information obtained in accordance with the Higher Education Academic Promotions Procedure.

Referees and Assessors

(20) Applicants will be required to provide the promotions panel with information/reports from academic and professional referees, while in some cases the promotions panel will be required to obtain the views of independent external assessors. The specific requirements with respect to this clause are outlined in the Higher Education Academic Promotions Procedure.

Part F - Application

(21) Applications must follow a prescribed format, which is outlined in the Higher Education Academic Promotions Procedure.

(22) The application must provide evidence in accordance with the requirements outlined in the Higher Education Academic Promotions Procedure.

Preparation and Assistance

(23) The University will provide general information and assistance to prospective applicants to assist them with the preparation of their application for promotion.

(24) The University will offer training to members of Promotion Panels. New panel members are expected to attend training or to be trained on an individual basis by the Chair of the Panel. Panel members are also expected to have completed Unconscious Bias Training prior to attending the Panel Meeting. 

(25) Further information is outlined in the Higher Education Academic Promotions Procedure.

Notification of Outcomes and Feedback

(26) Applicants will be notified in writing of the status of their application. All applicants will be offered a verbal feedback session with the Chair of the Panel, or other nominated panel member, following announcement of decisions concerning applications for promotion. 

Part G - Appeals

(27) Academic staff may appeal against promotion decisions.  The grounds for such appeals and the processes to be followed are outlined in the Higher Education Academic Promotions Procedure.

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Section 6 - Procedures

(28) Higher Education Academic Promotions Procedure