Academic promotion


DATE OF APPROVAL: 18th June 2002, Council resolution: 2002/3/3

AMENDMENTS: June 2006; Approved by Council 19 October 2006; January 2007; Approved by Council 21 February 2008; Approved by Council 11 December 2012, Council resolution 2012/6/4; Director: Human Resources, November 2014; Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture, March 2017; Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture, February 2020.


Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture

Vice Chancellor and President


University of South Australia Enterprise Agreement 2019
Academic Promotions Guidelines
Performance Management Policy
Performance Development and Management Framework




The Academic Promotion Policy sets out the guiding principles that underpin a fair and transparent academic promotion process.

The Academic Promotions Guidelines should be read in conjunction with this policy.



The policy applies to all academic staff employed at the University of South Australia, whether full-time or part-time, continuing or fixed-term, who seek promotion to:

  • Level B
  • Level C
  • Level D
  • Level E

The policy does not apply to casual or sessional staff.


Policy Statement

Academic promotion at the University of South Australia is aligned with the University's mission and strategic directions. The promotion process acknowledges that individual staff members contribute to the achievement of these objectives in diverse ways.

Academic promotion will be based on the following principles:

  1. Academic promotion recognises and rewards sustained academic excellence in three areas of academic activity: teaching and learning, research, and engagement. Promotion applications will be assessed on the basis of the quality and impact of contributions in these areas and evidence of leadership and its impact relevant to the promotion level being sought.
  2. Applicants for promotion will have the flexibility to highlight the strengths of their performance and build their case for promotion by allocating a weighting to each area of contribution.
  3. Promotion will be on the basis of merit, relative to opportunity.
  4. Continuing and fixed-term academic staff, whether full-time or part-time, who meet the criteria for promotion are eligible to apply for promotion. Normally, a staff member would make a single application to the level above their current substantive level, but it is possible for a staff member to make separate applications to a number of different levels in the same promotion round.
  5. The University will establish promotion panels to assess the case made by individual applicants for promotion. In their decision making, promotion panels will seek a balanced and confidential assessment of an application for promotion from experts in the applicant's field.
  6. All materials and deliberations relating to academic promotion applications will be treated in the strictest confidence by all participants in the academic promotion process.
  7. Applicants who are unsuccessful can appeal only on the grounds that due process was not followed.
  8. Equal opportunity, fairness and justice will apply to the academic promotion process in line with the University’s policies and state and federal legislation.



The Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture will provide guidelines and information sessions to aid the implementation of this policy.


Further information or assistance

Further information or assistance can be sought from:

  • People, Talent and Culture Unit