Promotion to Professor: Exceptional Circumstances Policy

Document Number000806
Date Approved22 March 2007

1.      Introduction

This policy supports the broad goals of the University’s strategic plan (Building Distinction 2007 – 2011) and its particular commitment to fostering excellence and valuing equity.

2.      Policy Intent

To provide the principles which will guide professorial promotions outside the normal promotion  processes.

3.      Policy

3.1.     Promotion to Professor outside the normal promotions process will be made only in exceptional circumstances.

3.2.     Such a promotion will be made when promotion is judged to be critically important to the strategic direction of the University.

3.3.     The process of promotion in exceptional circumstances will not normally be used within twelve months of an unsuccessful application for promotion to Professor.

3.4.     Approval to promote to Professor outside the normal promotion process will be based on evidence provided through the following procedure.

4.      Procedure

4.1.     The procedure will be initiated by the Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor who will make a recommendation to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) that consideration be given to the promotion of a staff member to Professor.  

4.2.     The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) will give the Pro Vice-Chancellor a preliminary opinion.  

4.3.     Following a decision to proceed, an Exceptional Circumstances Professorial Promotion Committee will be formed to assess the merits of the case. The Committee will consider relevant material, which will normally include the following:  

i.          a statement by the Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor as to why the staff member is so critical to the strategic direction of the University that the normal round of promotion and/or competitive recruitment action would not otherwise meet the needs of the University within an acceptable period of time;

ii.          a statement by the staff member’s Head of School in support of the staff member’s promotion;

iii.         the staff member’s curriculum vitae and a brief statement on teaching, research and service activities and achievements;

iv.         reports from at least two referees as determined by the Pro Vice-Chancellor in consultation with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic); and

v.         other documents that may be requested by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

4.4.     Exceptional Circumstances Professorial Promotion Committee

The Exceptional Circumstances Professorial Promotion Committee will comprise:

         -     Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

         -     Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)

         -     President of Academic Senate (or nominee)

         -     two senior members from the University Promotions Committee (determined by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic))

Advising members will be:

       -    Director, Human Resource Services (or nominee)

         -    Equity Observer (determined by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic))

The Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor may be invited to attend the meeting.

4.5.     Assessment

i.          The Committee will consider the case expeditiously.

ii.         The staff member may be invited to be interviewed by the Committee.

iii.        The Committee will assess the staff member against the same standards of teaching, research and service as used in the normal promotion round. The exceptional circumstances process is about responding in a timely manner to a strategic need; it is not about applying different academic standards.

4.6.     Outcome

i.         At the conclusion of the meeting, and on the advice of the Exceptional Circumstances Professorial Promotion Committee, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) will determine the outcome.

ii.         There is no right of appeal on either the outcome or the process. Any such promotions will be counted in the next normal round for statistical purposes.

4.7.     Conditions

i.          A staff member who is offered promotion to Professor through this process will be bound, as a further condition of their employment, by:


a)   the Position Classification Standard (however titled) for the level of Professor ; and

b)   any terms and conditions applying to the promotion determined by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).


ii.          The offer of promotion will take effect upon the staff member’s acceptance of these terms and conditions. Where a staff member is offered promotion and elects not to accept the terms and conditions, then the offer will lapse.

Approval AuthorityVice-Chancellor
Date Approved22 March 2007
Date for Review22 March 2010
Policy SponsorVice-Chancellor
Policy OwnerDeputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Policy ContactDirector, Human Resource Services
Amendment History

Policy Owner modified from Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Global Relations) to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) to reflect structural changes from 1 January 2013, The Secretariat, 20 August 2013.

Updated: Vice-Chancellor, 28 August 2007