Senior Academic Promotions Committee

Terms of reference and membership


Summary of purpose

The University’s procedures for senior academic promotions are designed to provide a means of recognising the outstanding contribution made to the University’s mission by its best academic staff, and the intellectual leadership they provide in research and knowledge exchange, learning and teaching, professional practice and academic leadership.

 Duties and responsibilities

To determine applications for promotion to Professor level 1 and for subsequent promotions to professorial levels 2, 3 and 4.

To determine applications for promotion to Reader.

To determine applications for promotion to Principal Lecturer Student Experience (PLSE).

To determine nominations for university honorary titles.

To determine applications for contribution-related salary points from professors, readers and PLSEs.

To advise the Vice-Chancellor and the Academic Board on matters relating to the appointment of professors in the University, and other matters that may be referred to it.

Authority

The committee is a committee of the Academic Board with delegated power to act on behalf of the Board in considering individual candidates.

The decisions of the committee will be reported to the Academic Board.

 Membership

The committee consists of three ex officio members:

  • The Vice-Chancellor (as Chair)

  • The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Global Partnerships)

  • The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience)

and up to eight other members appointed by the Vice-Chancellor to reflect the subject range across the University.

The committee will appoint an external member(s) to provide guidance and advice on the appropriate standards for promotion with regard to external practice.

The Director of Human Resources will be in attendance to advise the committee and to record and implement its decisions.

The appointed members of the committee serve for a period of three years and are eligible for reappointment.

The quorum for the committee is six, which must include the Chair and the Pro Vice-Chancellors for Student Experience and Research and Global Partnerships.

Membership (2016-17)

Professor Alistair Fitt (chair)

Vice-Chancellor

Ex officio

Professor Julie McLeod

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience)

Ex officio

Professor Linda King

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Global Partnerships)

Ex officio

Professor Lucy Vickers

School of Law

Until October 2017

Professor Joe Tah

School of the Built Environment

Until October 2017

Professor Anne-Marie Kilday

PVC Dean, Humanities and Social Sciences

Until February 2019

Professor Rhona Sharpe

Director of OCSLD

Until October 2019

Tracy Panther

Associate Dean Student Experience, BUS

Until October 2019

Professor David Evans

Associate Dean RKE, HLS

Until October 2019

Professor Cillian Ryan, Nottingham Trent University

External member

Until October 2020

Alison Cross

Director of HR

Secretary to the committee

Frequency of meetings

The committee will meet at least once each semester, and may meet more often as required for the timely transaction of business.

There may be exceptional circumstances in which the PVC/Dean of a faculty wishes to put forward a candidate for consideration for promotion outside the standard cycle of meetings. In such cases, the PVC/Dean and the candidate should submit full case documentation to the Director of Human Resources. The Vice-Chancellor will consult members of the committee on the merits of the case and the same criteria for promotion will apply.

Decisions of the committee

Where, having considered an application, the committee agrees that there is a prima facie case for promotion, independent references will be sought.

In the case of applications for promotion to professor or reader, normally three independent external references will be required from individuals of appropriate standing who are eminent in the field in which the candidate is a specialist. They should not be existing or former colleagues, or peers with whom the applicant has worked closely.

In the case of applications for promotion to PLSE, references will normally be obtained from three external referees who can make an objective and well-informed assessment of the candidate’s contribution to enhancing the student experience.

The committee will have discretion to approach any of the referees suggested by the candidate, or to identify others as appropriate.

The Director of Human Resources will report the decisions of the committee to Academic Board and write to candidates informing them of the progress of their applications.

Each unsuccessful candidate will receive appropriate feedback about their application and the potential for re-submission. Normally, unsuccessful applicants may not submit an application for a further two years.

Eligibility

Professors will normally be members of the academic staff but other members of staff may be considered for a professorial appointment provided that they satisfy the promotions criteria.

Remuneration

Established and personal professorships may be permanent or for fixed, renewable terms. Unless a professor already holds a higher salary in a senior management post, internally-promoted professors will be appointed to the Professor grade S1 scale. In the case of promotion to higher professorial grades, candidates will be appointed at the base salary of the new grade, or at the next higher spine point to the point at which they are currently being paid. Professors who are subsequently appointed to a higher graded management post will transfer to the substantive scale for that post.

Appointment to professorial posts through external or internal competition

Appointment panels for professorial posts involving external or internal advertisement will normally be chaired by the Vice-Chancellor but, with the Vice-Chancellor’s agreement, may be chaired by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience) or Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research). A second member of the PPC should normally also be a member of the appointment panel. Panels must include a professor (or someone of equivalent status) with widely recognised expertise in the academic field of the appointment from outside the University. The panel will also include the PVC/Dean of Faculty.

Other professorial conferments

The Senior Academic Promotions Committee may also confer the following titles:

Professor Emeritus upon a member of staff who is retiring, who has held a professorial title while in the employment of the University, and who is deemed to have served the University with particular distinction.

Visiting Professor upon a distinguished person who satisfies the professorial criteria and who undertakes a regular commitment to the University’s activities. The title will be awarded for a maximum of five years and can be renewed. The appointment lapses with the termination of the connection with the University.

The title of Visiting Fellow may be conferred upon a person who has demonstrated distinction in areas relevant to the mission and work of the University. The title will be awarded for a maximum of three years, and can be renewed. The appointment lapses with the termination of the connection. Faculties should discuss and approve nominations for the appointment of Visiting Fellows at either the Faculty RKEC or SE committee, and pass them for approval to the University RKEC through the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research). The final decision rests with the University RKEC. Appointments will normally be for a maximum period of three years and nominations should provide a clear and detailed explanation of the contribution that the Fellow will make to the University, if appointed. Fellows are non-stipendiary and are not employed by the University; they may, of course, receive expenses for travel and subsistence necessarily incurred in the course of carrying out functions for the University. PVC/Deans would be expected to approve such expense payments in accordance with the University's Financial Regulations.

Application procedure


Professor

Applications for initial promotion to Professor, and for subsequent promotion to the higher levels, will be invited annually, normally in June, with a closing date in September.

Applicants are required to provide a CV in the specified format and to adhere to the stated limits on the length of applications. Alternative formats are not acceptable. The CV should be accompanied by a covering letter from the applicant summarising the case for promotion and indicating the grade to which promotion is sought. Additionally, the PVC Dean of the Faculty should provide written assessment of the application.

Applicants are asked to suggest the names and contact details of three external referees who should be fully independent and clear authorities in the field of work concerned; and who should not be existing or former colleagues, or peers with whom the candidate has worked closely. The committee will have discretion to approach any of the suggested referees, or to identify others, as appropriate.

Applications will be assessed initially by the committee at a meeting normally held in October. For those where a prima facie case is judged to have been made, external references will be sought to inform a final decision that will be taken at the following meeting.

The committee will normally reach a decision on the basis of the application documentation and the references that are received.

For applications submitted in September, promotions will take effect from 1 October after the closing date.

Readers

The process will the same as for professors except that the call for applications will normally be issued in September with a closing date in December. Candidates should submit their applications in the specified format and adhere to the word limit. Applications will be assessed initially by the committee at a meeting normally held in February. For those where a prima facie case is judged to have been made, external references will be obtained to inform a final decision that will be taken at the following meeting.

Principal Lecturer Student Experience

The process will be the same as for professors except that the call for applications will normally be issued in September with a closing date in December. Candidates should submit their applications in the specified format and adhere to the word limit. Applications will be assessed initially by the committee at a meeting normally held in February. For those where a prima facie case is judged to have been made, external references will be obtained to inform a final decision that will be taken at the following meeting.

References will be obtained from three external referees who can make an objective and well-informed assessment of the candidate’s contribution to enhancing the student experience.

 

June 2017