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.


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.


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 (Education)

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 Chief People Officer 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 50%, which must include the Chair and the Pro Vice-Chancellors for Education, and Research and Global Partnerships. If the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education, or Research and Global Partnerships is unable to attend, the meeting will still be quorate if they submit comments on each application to the Chair before the meeting.

Membership 2023-24

Professor Alistair Fitt (chair)Vice-ChancellorEx officio
Professor Linda KingPro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Global Partnerships)Ex officio
Gina DaltonInterim Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education)Ex officio
Professor David NashSchool of History, Philosophy and Culture, Humanities and Social SciencesUntil October 2024
Dr Jenny LawrenceDirector of Oxford Centre for Academic Enhancement and DevelopmentUntil July 2025
Professor Paul CardingDirector of OXINMAHR, Faculty of Health and Life SciencesUntil October 2024
Professor Tim VorleyPro Vice-Chancellor and Dean, Oxford Brookes Business SchoolUntil March 2025
Professor Mary DalyProfessor of Sociology and Social Policy, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of OxfordUntil July 2025
Sarah ThonemannChief People OfficerSecretary 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 Chief People Officer. The Vice-Chancellor will consult members of the committee on the merits of the case and the same criteria for promotion will apply.