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Academic Promotion Rule

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) The rationale for academic promotion at the University of New England is to strengthen and develop the University's academic staff profile, as part of its commitment to enhancing a culture that values and recognises high performance.

(2) The purpose of this Rule is to provide high level information about the promotion of academic staff from one classification/salary level to the next, based upon the evaluation of meritorious performance that will lead to a realisation of the University's goals and mission (as outlined within the UNE Strategic Plan). The key features informing academic promotion at UNE, and the UNE Position Classification Standards utilised as the evaluative tool to assess performance, are located at Section 19 and Schedules 5 and 6 of the University of New England Academic and ELC Teaching Staff Collective Agreement 2014-2017 (the Collective Agreement).

(3) The evaluation of applications for promotion is undertaken on an annual basis by members of the Academic Promotion Committee (the Committee) whose membership is informed by Section 19.7 of the Academic Collective Agreement.

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Section 2 - Scope

(4) This Rule applies to members of academic staff who hold full-time or fractional, continuing or fixed-term appointments of more than twelve (12) months duration. Staff who are on a period of leave without pay in excess of twelve (12) months at the time of the promotions round, are not eligible to apply for that round.

(5) The following categories of staff may apply for promotion as an exception to the Rule under special circumstances, but their application will not be considered eligible, unless it receives approval to proceed by the Chair of the Academic Promotions Committee or his/her nominee:

  1. Staff who have been in their current appointment less than twelve (12) months prior to the closing date for applications of the promotion round; or
  2. Staff who applied successfully for promotion in the last round; or
  3. Staff who have been unsuccessful in their application for promotion for two consecutive years. These members of staff would normally be excluded from reapplying the following year, in accordance with Section 19.2 of the UNE Academic Collective Agreement. Exceptions to this requirement must also have support from the staff member's Head of Cost Centre/Supervisor outlining their special circumstances.

(6) University Representatives must comply with this Rule.

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Section 3 - Rule

(7) Information sessions will be conducted before each promotion round, for all prospective candidates and their supervisors. The sessions will outline the steps to be undertaken by candidates, supervisors and members of the Promotion Committee, across the academic promotion process.

(8) It is the responsibility of staff applying for promotion to provide all material relevant to their application, for consideration by the Committee.

(9) The supervisor of a staff member seeking promotion is to provide them with constructive feedback about their application based upon their knowledge of the staff member's performance. The feedback will incorporate an evaluation of performance against the classification criteria for academic staff positions (at Schedule 5 of the Academic Collective Agreement) to determine the staff member's 'readiness' for promotion to the level being sought.

(10) The Committee applies the principle of equal opportunity to all staff seeking promotion. Evidence of a staff member's performance, as outlined within their application, will be rated against the UNE Position Classification Standards — Academic Staff (at Schedule 5 of the Academic Collective Agreement). Performance outcomes will be considered in light of opportunities that have been available to each staff member.

(11) Applications and the Committee's deliberations relating to each applicant's meritorious performance will be considered in confidence by all people involved in the promotions process. Discussion relating to the applications, recommendations or deliberations is to be restricted to the Committee meeting.

(12) An application for promotion will be recommended to the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer if two-thirds (2/3) of the Committee members are in agreement that the meritorious performance of the candidate meets the classification criteria for the level of promotion being sought.

(13) A successful application for promotion does not constitute an extension of employment in circumstances where the staff member's employment is not continuing.

(14) Written feedback to be given to unsuccessful candidates will be discussed by the Committee and formally approved by the Chair before being provided to the applicant.

(15) All applicants will be advised in writing of the outcome of their application.

(16) Appeals may be lodged only on the grounds of a breach of procedure, where it can be shown that the breach affected the outcome of the application. Appeals will be lodged according to the Academic Promotion Appeals Procedures associated with this Rule.

(17) Actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest between those involved in the promotions process, must be disclosed. The management of any potential conflicts of interest is to be in accordance with the UNE Conflicts of Interest Policy and its associated Procedures.

(18) The Director Human Resource Services, is responsible for ensuring that this Rule is implemented effectively and consistently across all academic promotions processes.

Authority and Compliance

(19) The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, pursuant to Section 29 of the University of New England Act, makes this University Rule.

(20) University Representatives must observe this Rule in relation to University matters.

(21) A failure to comply with this Rule may amount to misconduct/serious misconduct and/or unsatisfactory performance.

(22) The Rule Administrator is authorised to make procedures and guidelines for the operation of this University Rule. The procedures and guidelines must be compatible with the provisions of this Rule.

(23) This Rule operates from the Effective Date.

(24) Previous policy on Academic Promotion and related documents are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of this new Rule.

(25) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this University Rule, the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer may approve an exception to this Rule where the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer determines the application of the Rule would otherwise lead to an unfair, unreasonable or absurd outcome. Approvals by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer under this clause must be documented in writing and must state the reason for the exception.

(26) Where there is any unresolved interpretation of this Rule in relation to the provisions of the relevant Collective Agreement, the provisions of the relevant Collective Agreement take precedence.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(27) Academic Collective Agreement means the UNE Academic and ELC Teaching Staff Collective Agreement 2014-2017 as extended or varied from time to time, and is taken to include any Collective Agreement that replaces or varies one or more of these documents.

(28) Academic Staff means employees covered under the UNE Academic and ELC Teaching Staff Collective Agreement 2014-2017 or the replacement Collective Agreement, with the exception of English Language Teaching Staff.

(29) Effective Date - means the date on which this Rule is published or on such later day as may be specified in this Rule.

(30) Exceptional circumstances are normally those that are considered unusual, uncommon or abnormal and are beyond a staff member's control. Examples include serious illness or injury; death of an immediate family member, partner or close relative; acute or substantive illness or injury of a partner, immediate family member or close relative.

(31) Head of Cost Centre normally means the Head of School or Director (as the case may be) of the relevant School or Directorate. Where it is not appropriate for the Head of School or Director to act, or where the circumstances relate to a position reporting directly to a Senior Executive, the Head of Cost Centre will be taken to mean the relevant Senior Executive. Where the matter relates to a Senior Executive, the Head of Cost Centre will be the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer.

(32) Normally means that it is the default position that must be followed unless exceptional circumstances exist that require a departure from the default position, as determined by the Rule Administrator acting reasonably.

(33) Rule Administrator is the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor or delegate.

(34) School means School and other organisational units such as Oorala, Teaching and Learning Support and UNE research centres.

(35) Supervisor means the role to which a position reports

(36) UNE Act means the University of New England Act 1993 No 68 (NSW).

(37) University Representative means a University employee (casual, fixed term and permanent), contractor, agent, appointee, UNE Council member, adjunct, visiting academic and any other person engaged by the University to undertake some activity for or on behalf of the University. It includes corporations and other bodies falling into one or more of these categories.