Human Resources

Fast-track procedures for the appointment of professors (Level E)

Further information

HR policies

Fast-track appointment procedures for appointment or promotion of professors (Level E) (including ARC & NHMRC Fellows) to enable the University to respond rapidly to opportunities to recruit professorial staff of exceptional quality.

  1. When to use the fast track procedures
  2. Nomination procedures
  3. Senate selection committee
  4. Role and responsibility of the senate selection committee
  5. Appointment procedures
  6. Funding
  7. Equity issues
  8. Confidentiality

When to use the fast-track procedures

Fast-track appointment procedures for selection and appointment of professors (Level E) enable the University to respond rapidly to opportunities to recruit professorial staff of exceptional quality.

For most professorial appointments in the University the standard search, selection and appointment process will be the most appropriate, and the fast-track procedure will only be used for a relatively small number of appointments.

The Senate may appoint a professor (Level E) to the staff of the University after following the procedures for fast-track professorial appointments detailed in this document, if it is satisfied that:

  • there is an academic and a financial case in favour of the appointment; and
  • the appointee is of international standing, has achieved eminence in his/her field of scholarship and has demonstrated leadership qualities; and
  • the appointee would be judged to be outstanding if being assessed through the normal processes associated with an advertised position of professor (Level E) at the University.

Before making any appointment, the Senate shall satisfy itself that in making its recommendations, the Selection Committee has taken into account, as far as is practicable, the views of members of the school concerned.

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Nomination procedures

Nominations for professorial appointments may be submitted to the Vice-Chancellor. Such nominations will normally be submitted by a head of school through the appropriate dean, but in the event that a suitable nominee comes to the attention of the Vice-Chancellor in some other way, the nomination will be referred through the appropriate head of school and dean as the first step in determining the candidate's suitability.

Nominations should be supported, where possible, by the following:

  • a brief summary of the basis for the claim that the nominee is of international standing, has achieved eminence in his/her field, has demonstrated leadership qualities and would be judged as outstanding if being assessed for an advertised chair in his/her field at the University;
  • a copy of the nominee's curriculum vitae, including details of publications;
  • the names of at least three referees, including addresses, telephone and facsimile numbers and email address;
  • the names of approximately ten possible assessors of international standing in the discipline concerned, including addresses, telephone and facsimile numbers and email addresses. (To ensure a balanced perspective, it is important that both genders are represented in the list of names.)

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Senate selection committee

The Vice-Chancellor will refer to a Senate Selection Committee any nominations for which she or he believes a prima facie case for consideration exists.

The Senate Selection Committee shall comprise:

  • The Chancellor or nominee (Chair)
  • The Vice-Chancellor or nominee
  • The Chair of the Academic Board or professorial nominee
  • The Dean of the relevant Faculty or nominee
  • The head of the relevant school or nominee
  • Lay member of Senate appointed by the Chancellor
  • Executive Officer

The Committee shall have the power to co-opt to ensure balanced perspective, specialised knowledge, equity and gender balance.

The Manager, Equity and Diversity will be invited to attend meetings as an observer.

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Role and responsibility of the senate selection committee

The Committee will be responsible for advising Senate whether an academic and financial case exists for the appointment of a nominee to a professorial position.

The Committee shall carefully examine the case submitted to it, and shall observe strict confidentiality.

If after consideration of the initial submission, the Committee decides that the nominee satisfies the basic selection criteria for a professorial appointment at this University and that a "prima facie" case exists for a "fast-track" appointment, it shall make extensive further enquiries which may include the following:

  • seeking a more detailed curriculum vitae from the nominee;
  • seeking referees' reports;
  • seeking assessors' reports;
  • inviting the nominee to the University for discussions and formal interview.

Referees' and assessors' reports may be accepted in written, faxed or verbal form. In the latter case, the verbal comments shall be recorded in writing by the recipient for report to the Selection Committee.

As far as is practicable, the Selection Committee shall ensure that it takes into consideration the views of the members of the school concerned on any proposed appointment.

In cases where the Committee does not wish to proceed, or determines that no prima facie case for appointment exists, the nomination will proceed no further and will remain confidential.

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Appointment procedures

The Committee may recommend to the next meeting of Senate that a nominee be offered an appointment as a professor (Level E) of the University, if it is satisfied that:

  • the nominee is of exceptional quality in terms of professorial appointments;
  • the nominee meets the stated criteria for a fast-track appointment;
  • the appointment would be consistent with the University's Strategic Plan; and
  • funding is available for the appointment.

If an urgent decision is required, and the Selection Committee is unanimous in its recommendation to offer a professorial appointment to a nominee, the Selection Committee may act executively.

The appointee shall be granted the title, status and full conditions of service appropriate to a professor (Level E) of the University.

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In accordance with University policy, professorial appointments made through this process will normally be funded by the appropriate faculty and/or an external body. However, the Vice-Chancellor may give consideration to meeting the cost of the first year of appointment on the understanding that the faculty/external body will meet all costs for the remaining term of the appointment.

Deans shall take into account any professorial appointments made to schools in their faculties via the procedures set out in this document when considering other professorial appointments in those schools.

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Equity issues

It is essential that throughout the appointment process due regard is given to the University's commitment to equity. Particular efforts should be made to identify suitable women for consideration for appointment.

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All proceedings relating to the nomination and appointment of staff are strictly confidential. Decisions reached by the Selection Committee are confidential until formally announced through the appropriate channels.

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