Human Resources

Selection procedures for appointments to Professor (Level E)

Further information

  • Selection for Appointment Policy
  • Search plan - appointments to Professor Level E


Approval to establish a professorial appointment is given by the Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor on recommendation of the Dean after consultation with the head(s) of school and relevant academic staff.

The Vice Chancellor reports any recommendations to Academic Board and Senate.

On approval from the Vice Chancellor the following documents must be submitted to the Executive Officer of the Search and Screen Committee to enable the selection process to commence:

  • draft role statement/job description
  • draft selection criteria
  • draft advertisement
  • draft search plan
  • draft information brochure about the faculty, school and university
  • suggested membership of Search and Screen Committee
  • suggested corresponding member(s)
  • list of possible assessors

This information is used as a basis for the first committee meeting and should be forwarded to the Executive Officer, Executive and Chair Appointments, Human Resources (M350).

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Committee structure

The selection process is undertaken by two key committees: Search and Screen Committee and Senate Selection Committee.

These committees are responsible for the entire selection process, ranging from determining the selection criteria to advising the name of the successful applicant to Senate

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Membership of the Search and Screen Committee is as follows:

  • Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (or nominee)
  • Chair of the Academic Board (or professorial nominee)
  • Dean (or nominee)
  • Head of School (if not a candidate)
  • Corresponding Member
  • Manager Equity and Diversity (observer)
  • Executive Officer

Co-opted Membership (if required)

Additional member(s) may be co-opted to the Committee on the nomination of the Vice-Chancellor.

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The role of the Search and Screen Committee

Develop selection criteria, taking into account:

  • the needs and strategic directions of the University and the school
  • the University's basic selection criteria for a Level E appointment as ratified by Senate
  1. Prepare and authorise publication of an advertisement which is based on selection criteria and which directs applicants to address the criteria.
  2. Prepare a search plan. This will result in the identification of potential applicants to whom direct approaches may be made and senior colleagues/acquaintances who may be in a position to identify/recommend potential applicants. Particular attention should be given in this search process to the possibility of identifying qualified female applicants and applicants from diverse groups of people.
  3. Authorise approaches to be made.
  4. Identify external assessors from list provided by the dean.
  5. Review applications received and short-list candidates. Only candidates who are competitive against all essential criteria should be short-listed.
  6. Obtain referees' reports for all short-listed candidates.
  7. Review referees' reports to facilitate a further short listing process.
  8. Refer short list to assessors for consideration against the selection criteria.
  9. Review assessors' reports. Identify a list of candidates who meet the selection criteria for referral to the Senate Selection Committee with a recommendation to interview.

Internal candidates

In the case of internal candidates, it is often desirable for their personal and professional development to provide an opportunity for interview, even if the candidates are not as competitive in relation to the selection criteria as other candidates. Where it is determined that an internal candidate does not warrant an interview, the Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) will personally discuss the reasons for this decision with the candidate(s) concerned.

Unsuitable candidates

If no candidate meets all the essential selection criteria the Chair will consider whether to:

  1. initiate a new search process immediately; or
  2. defer consideration of a new search process.


All proceedings related to the selection and appointment of staff are strictly confidential. Accordingly, access to all papers, including applications, is to be limited to members of the selection committee, official observers and the committee's secretary. Committee members and observers are reminded that deliberations and decisions must not be discussed with persons outside the committee without the specific authority of the chairperson.

Decisions reached by selection committees are also confidential until announced formally through appropriate channels.

Consequently, a signed statement of confidentiality will be required from all Committee members and observers involved in the selection process.

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The Senate Selection Committee


  • Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) Chair
  • Chancellor or Pro-Chancellor
  • Lay member of Senate (to be appointed by Senate)
  • Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor
  • Chair of the Academic Board (or professorial nominee)
  • Dean (or nominee)
  • Head of School (if not a candidate)
  • Corresponding Member
  • Manager Equity and Diversity (observer)
  • Executive Officer

Co-opted Membership (if required)

Co-opted membership is normally drawn from the Search and Screen Committee

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The role of the Senate Selection Committee

1. Conduct interviews.

2. Make a final recommendation on the basis of:

  • written applications
  • referees' reports
  • assessors' reports
  • selection program
  • formal interview
  • school comments based on research seminars.

3. Advise Senate of the outcome of the selection process

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Components of the selection program


In addition to the written application, referees and assessors reports and formal interview, short listed candidates will be expected, as part of the selection process, to meet with members of the Executive, the Chair of the Academic Board and appropriate faculty and school staff.


Each short listed candidate will conduct a research seminar on a topic of his/her choice. The seminar should be designed to be presented to an audience consisting of school and faculty staff, senior students and members of the Senate Selection Committee.

Written comments

Members of the appropriate school may submit written comments to the Senate Selection Committee on the suitability of short listed candidates on the basis of meetings held, seminars presented and any other professional or personal information authorised by the candidates to be circulated in the school.

The decision

The Committee agrees on the most competitive applicant for the position or agrees that no applicant is suitable for appointment. If more than one applicant is suitable, the other applicant(s) may be ranked in order.

The Committee reviews the final rankings.

The secretary to the committee writes the final report on behalf of the committee.

The secretary to the committee submits the confidential report of the selection process to the Vice-Chancellor for information to the next available Senate meeting.

The Vice-Chancellor submits the report to Senate.

Offer of appointment

A formal offer of appointment will be prepared by Human Resources and sent to the successful applicant.

Any negotiated conditions of employment agreed to between the successful applicant and the Vice-Chancellor must also be formalised in writing prior to the appointment taking effect.

Summary of Chair selection process

What happens Who is responsible
1.   Prepare proposal Head of School 
2.   Submit proposal to Faculty Board Head of School 
3.   Submit proposal to Academic Council Dean of Faculty 
4.   Submit proposal to Senate Academic Council 
5.   Approval to re-establish or create the position Senate (through Academic Council) 
6.   (a) Convene the Search and Screen Committee
      (b) Convene Senate Selection Committee
Vice-Chancellor and Senate 
7.   Review selection criteria Search and Screen Committee 
8.   Devise search plan and authorise approaches to potential applicants  
9.   Identify external assessors  
10.   Advertise the position  
11.   Devise preliminary short-list on receipt of applications  
12.   Refer short-list to referees and external assessors  
13.   Finalise short-list  
14.   Refer short list to Senate Selection Committee with all documentation  
15.   Arrange meetings with members of the Executive, Chair of Academic Board Secretary to Selection Committee 
16.   Arrange selection programme consisting of 
  • meetings with whole school
  • individual meetings with school staff and other appropriate staff
  • research seminar
Head of School
17.   Conduct interview Senate Selection Committee
18.   Make decision based on: 
  • written applications
  • referees' reports
  • assessors' reports
  • research seminar
  • interview
  • school comments
Senate Selection Committee
19.   Forward selection report to Vice-Chancellor Secretary to Selection Committee
20.   Advise Senate of the outcome Vice-Chancellor

Basic selection criteria for Level E appointments


(Additional criteria may be added to reflect particular school, faculty or other needs)

A Professor has a special responsibility to provide leadership and to foster excellence in research, teaching and policy development within his or her academic discipline in the school, the University and the community generally.


To be specified

1. Normally a doctoral qualification or equivalent scholarly attainment.

2. Recognition as an eminent international authority in the discipline.

Research and scholarship

Applicants should:

1. demonstrate academic leadership as evidenced by publication in refereed journals, books, performances and other scholarly works, invitations to present keynote addresses at international meetings and to write chapters in international books, election to learned academies and other recognition such as awards and prizes;

2. demonstrate an ability to foster the research of other groups and individuals in the school, and related disciplines;

3. show evidence of successful supervision of postgraduate students and be willing to supervise major honours or postgraduate research projects;

4. have experience in the development of research policy.

Teaching and Learning

Applicants should:

1. demonstrate an outstanding personal contribution and commitment to high quality teaching at all levels;

2. show evidence of an active role in the maintenance of academic standards and in the development of educational policy and of curriculum areas within the discipline.


Within the University: Applicants should:

1. demonstrate a willingness to be involved in school policy development and administrative matters;

2. demonstrate a willingness to represent the discipline at school and University level.

Outside the University: Applicants should:

1. show willingness to provide leadership in community affairs, particularly those related to the discipline;

2. demonstrate an ability to liaise and communicate effectively with members of the community, professional and industry bodies.


The successful candidate must be willing to work within the legislative requirements of the University.

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