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Academic Promotion Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This policy states how Charles Sturt University (the University) will handle promotion of academic staff.

(2) Academic promotions will be handled to meet the following objectives.

  1. Academic promotions will:
    1. reward academic achievement,
    2. provide academic staff with reasonable career progression opportunities within the University, and
    3. support the University’s efforts to maintain and raise academic quality, by promoting academic staff who have raised their level of academic or professional influence and academic or professional leadership.
  2. The academic promotion process will:
    1. be culturally safe for First Nations Australian applicants,
    2. as far as practicable, ensure equity in promotion decision-making for applicants who are in equity categories,
    3. be as straightforward for applicants as possible,
    4. enable applicants to identify circumstances that have reduced their time or capacity to achieve, so that promotion decision-makers can assess their achievements fairly relative to their opportunity to achieve,
    5. be confidential, so that applicants’ information provided in their application and, where an application is unsuccessful, the fact that they have applied and the outcome, are known only to those involved in supporting and deciding the application, unless the applicant chooses otherwise, and
    6. provide support to applicants, supervisors and promotion decision-makers to familiarise them with the process and its expectations.
  3. Academic promotion decision-making will:
    1. be evidence based,
    2. support the University’s equal opportunity policies and strategies by including consideration of applicants’ equity categories (if any) and circumstances that have restricted applicants’ opportunity to achieve, and
    3. be reasonably consistent, so that it allows for different disciplinary contexts, and applications based on similar evidence of levels of achievement are likely to have similar outcomes.


(3) This policy applies to:

  1. all academic staff of the University who are employed on a continuing or fixed term basis and
  2. anyone else who participates in the academic staff promotions process as an:
    1. applicant,
    2. supervisor,
    3. evaluator,
    4. promotion decision-maker, or
    5. manager or administrator of the process.

(4) This policy does not apply to adjunct staff or casual academic staff.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(5) For the purposes of this policy, the following terms have the definitions stated:

  1. Academic level – means one of the five levels associate lecturer (level A), lecturer (level B), senior lecturer (level C), associate professor (level D) and professor (level E).
  2. Adjunct staff – as defined in the Visiting and Adjunct Appointments Policy.
  3. Equity category – means one of the equity groups identified in the Equal Opportunity Policy.
  4. Evaluator – means someone who provides a written assessment of an applicant’s eligibility for promotion based on their application and related documents.
  5. Promotion committee – means the University’s Promotion Committee or Professorial Promotion Committee.
  6. Promotion decision-maker – means the Vice-Chancellor, an Executive Dean, a member of a promotion committee or a promotion committee as a whole.
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Section 3 - Policy

Authority to approve promotions

(6) The following positions can approve promotions to the academic levels stated:

  1. An Executive Dean may approve an application for promotion to lecturer (level B) either:
    1. directly, on their own assessment of the application and supporting evidence, or
    2. on the recommendation of the Promotion Committee.
  2. An Executive Dean may approve an application for promotion to senior lecturer (level C) on the recommendation of the Promotion Committee.
  3. The Vice-Chancellor may approve an application for promotion to associate professor (level D) or professor (level E) on the recommendation of the Professorial Promotion Committee.


(7) An applicant for promotion may appeal a decision not to promote them, to the Vice-Chancellor.

(8) For the Vice-Chancellor to consider an appeal, it must meet the ground that there is evidence of a breach of this policy or the Academic Promotion Procedure, which has been a significant factor in the decision not to promote the applicant.

Reporting and review

(9) The Vice-Chancellor will early in each year, after any promotion appeals from the previous year’s promotion round have been decided, provide a report to Academic Senate on the promotion round and any out-of-round promotions in that previous year.

(10) The Vice-Chancellor's report will enable Senate to understand how the academic promotion process is meeting the objectives of this policy.

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Section 4 - Procedure

(11) The Academic Promotion Procedure states:

  1. the process for promotion applications and decisions,
  2. requirements for confidentiality and use of information to ensure promotion applicants’ privacy,
  3. the University’s detailed expectations for promotion decision-making,
  4. the membership and process requirements for promotion committees, including how conflicts of interest will be managed, and
  5. the process for appeals against promotion decisions.

(12) The Academic Staff Qualifications and Expectations Procedure states:

  1. the level of qualification required for each level of academic position,
  2. how a person’s combination of a lower qualification and their experience and/or achievements may be assessed as equivalent to the required level of qualification, and
  3. what activities are expected of staff at each academic level.
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Section 5 - Guidelines

(13) The Academic Promotion Guidelines and their attachments:

  1. provide advice on applying for promotion, and
  2. set out the University’s framework and criteria for decision-making on an academic staff member’s promotion application.