Redesign of Academic Performance Indicators

Academic Excellence and Human Resource Services have commenced a review and redesign of academic performance indicators in order to re-align measures with external performance drivers, the University’s key strategic priorities, and understand the integration of these measures within existing policies, procedures and frameworks.

Work undertaken by the Academic Excellence team has centred on the detailed analysis of the University’s internal and external performance and developing an understanding of the key drivers from various national rating scales and world ranking systems. The project team also benchmarked several Australian universities to compare the performance expectations and targets for academic staff and to gain a perspective on current and dominant trends.

Consultation to date has included feedback from Heads of School, School Executive Officers and academic staff via face-to-face meetings and an online survey. The feedback identified widespread dissatisfaction with the current performance measures and the compelling need to redesign the measures to be more strategically aligned and inclusive.


In 2021, performance reporting will transition from static PEF Reports to a dynamic dashboard complemented by Performance Review and Development (PRD) feedback. Reporting will continue to evolve overtime and increasingly, more qualitative and quantitative measures will become visible in the dashboard.

Redesigning the University’s academic performance indicators

The key objectives of the redesign of academic performance indicators are to:

  • embed the alignment between individual and institutional performance to achieve overall strategic goals;
  • ensure that the performance measures remain inspirational, future focussed and dynamic;
  • confirm that the Performance Expectations Framework for academic staff (PEF) provides appropriate measures and support for all disciplines;
  • propel the University’s reputation nationally and globally;
  • promote academic staff and leader’s continual engagement with the Performance Expectations Framework (PEF) throughout key processes such as Performance Review and Development (PRD), academic promotion and the Special Studies Program.

It is proposed that the three core areas of academic work are maintained and the metrics and priorities within each academic work area be revised and realigned to have a greater focus on quality and reputation.

The key changes include:

  • renaming ‘Service and Engagement’ to ‘Engagement and Impact’ to distinguish performance in this area from usual workload;
  • a mix of quantity and quality measures, with an increased focus on quality and impact;
  • greater consideration of discipline norms, including recognition of non-traditional research outputs (NTRO);
  • heightened awareness and encouragement to publish in high-impact journals and consideration of author position and co-authorship with highly-ranked national and international institutions;
  • developing strategies to improve research income, including HERDC and other income sources;
  • improving research collaborations, with an emphasis on quality partnerships and international in focus; and
  • measuring on-time PhD completions, rather than higher-degree research (RHD) supervision.

The proposed academic performance indicators can be reviewed below (or view as pdf)

Proposed Academic Performance Indicators

Input into the review from the University community is important, and Academic Excellence welcomed all staff to provide feedback on the proposed academic performance indicators. 79 submissions were received during the open consultation period and we thank you for your feedback.

Submissions will now be considered and recommendations finalised over the coming weeks.

Feedback and enquiries may still be submitted directly to

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.