Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Research Fellows, Senior Research Fellows Promotion Procedures


All staff members dealing with the promotion of lecturers, senior lecturers, research fellows, senior research fellows 


To set out the procedures applied by the University in considering applications for promotion to:

  • senior lecturer
  • senior research fellow
  • senior lecturer above the bar
  • senior research fellow above the bar

Nothing in this document is to override any collective agreement (CA) or any individual employment agreement (IEA); where there is conflict in the wording, the CA and/or IEA is to prevail


Promotion round

1.    There is only one promotion round in each year and the applicant must provide their application to the academic head by 15 August

2.    The dean, on the recommendation of the academic head, may or may not allow a special application for promotion to proceed to the Faculty Staffing Committee (FSC) at other times of the year

3.    The FSC are to proceed to consider the application only where there are exceptional circumstances and where significant additional information has become available. The applicant may or may not have applied recently for promotion


4.    The academic head is to encourage all worthy candidates to apply for promotion

Note - These discussions may occur during the Academic Performance Review (APR) process. It is the responsibility of the academic head to ensure that all staff are aware of the standards expected of staff for promotion, as outlined in the Academic Standards for Research Fellows, Senior Research Fellows, Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Associate Professors and Professors Policy (hereafter referred to as the Academic Standards Policy)

5.    Staff members may apply for promotion after being employed and having their performance evaluated for at least four teaching sessions (semesters, summer school, quarters) at the University, or one year for research only staff, and must demonstrate that they meet the standards for promotion to the grade sought

6.    In applying the standards, the University is to take account of achievements from the whole of the applicant’s academic career

7.    Where there are clearly recognised relative weightings between teaching, research and service for the applicant, these weightings must be drawn to the attention of, and be taken into account by, the Department or School Staffing Committee (DSAC) and FSC through the application form

8.    Each applicant is required to complete the application form

9.    The academic career portfolio contains the  information required for the application for promotion

Departmental Staffing Advisory Committee

10.    The academic head is to convene an appropriate departmental/school/discipline/other staffing advisory committee (DSAC) comprising normally two to six departmental, school, discipline or other appropriate members

11.    The academic head or a professor is normally to be chair of the DSAC

12.    The DSAC is to comprise other colleagues who are not seeking promotion, bearing in mind equity principles, issues of conflicts of interest, and the need for strict confidentiality

13.    The DSAC is established to improve the range of advice and the quality of promotion decisions

14.    The DSAC is to provide advice through the academic head to the FSC on the applicant’s:

  • quality of publications or other research outputs
  • teaching achievements
  • service contributions

15.   The DSAC is also to consider and advise on the reports of the DSAC advisors and assess the merits of the applicant according to the grounds outlined in:

  • the Academic Standards policy
  • Faculty Practice Notes, and
  • the Academic Staff  Collective Employment Agreement (CEA)

16.    The report of the academic head must include advice concerning the views of the DSAC

Note - There is no separate DSAC report

17.    Where the academic head’s advice differs from that of the DSAC, the academic head is to present both views through the Academic Head Report

18.    The Academic Head Report is not provided to the DSAC

Note - as the DSAC is intended to provide detailed disciplinary advice, neither a DSAC nor DSAC advisors are required in a one-department faculty. The FSC is able to provide this level of expertise

DSAC advisors

19.    The applicant is to nominate one DSAC advisor

20.   The academic head must also nominate one DSAC advisor

21.   The DSAC advisors must be:

  • from the applicant’s discipline or a related discipline
  • capable of analysing the applicant’s teaching and research
  • able to offer rigorous, expert and impartial advice
  • normally at or above the grade sought by the staff member
  • not an applicant for promotion in the same round (unless other advisors are unavailable)
  • not be a member of the DSAC
  • normally from within the University of Auckland

22.     The academic head is only to accept a DSAC advisor from outside the University where there are no suitable alternatives, and then preference is to be given to a New Zealand alternative

23.    The DSAC advisors are to analyse and evaluate the applicant’s teaching, research and service on the basis of the application, and  report to the DSAC on the DSAC Advisor Report HR form through the academic head

24.    The report is available to the applicant (refer to disclosure of reports to applicant below)

Academic head advice to FSC

25.     The academic head must forward all applications to the FSC irrespective of whether or not the academic head is supportive of a particular promotion

26.     The academic head is to provide to the FSC a completed Academic Head Report Form which:

  • compares the staff member’s application with the required standards for promotion
  • summarises the considerations of the DSAC
  • appends the DSAC advisors’ reports
  • lists those consulted

27.     Where the academic head is an applicant for promotion, the dean or nominee will carry out the functions of the head for all promotions from that department to the grade or level sought by the head

Faculty Staffing Committee

28.    An FSC is to be constituted in accordance with the Faculty Staffing Committee Policy

29.    The FSC is to include an external faculty representative to assist with consistency in University-wide decision making

30.    The FSC is to be chaired by the dean

31.    The specific approval of the Vice-Chancellor is required to delegate this responsibility

32.    Prior to considering any promotion applications, the FSC is to discuss the interpretation of the Academic Standards policy in the context of the disciplines of the faculty

33.   The FSC is to consider, in strict confidence (with each FSC member having a copy available):

  • the application and supporting evidence 
  • the academic head report
  • the DSAC advisor reports
  • any ranking information from the academic head
  • other directly relevant reports (for example any report from a research funding body)

34.    The FSC may seek such additional information as it sees fit

35.    The FSC must not consider hearsay information

36.    The academic head may discuss their report with the FSC on the request of the head or FSC

37.    The head must retire from the meeting prior to the FSC deciding on its recommendation/decision

38.     In exceptional circumstances, the FSC or applicant may seek an interview between the FSC and applicant

39.     If the FSC is on the point of reaching a decision that is not in accord with the recommendation of the academic head, then the FSC may consult the head

Advice of the FSC

40.    The FSC is to recommend promotion, or recommend that promotion be declined, to the dean

41.    The recommendation of the FSC must be based on consideration of the grounds outlined in the Academic Standards Policy

42.    The FSC is to determine if there are issues that are to be brought to the attention of the academic head

The dean

43.     The dean is to consider the recommendation of the FSC. If the dean’s view is contrary to the FSC’s view, the dean will discuss the matter with the FSC further prior to making a decision

44.     The dean is then to approve or decline promotion

45.     Brief reasons for the decision of the dean are to be recorded on the FSC/Dean Decisions – Academic Promotions form and forwarded by the dean to human resources

46.     The dean is to write a letter to each applicant that includes an invitation to discuss the decision (whether approved or declined) with the dean as Chair of the FSC, or other person, to assist with guiding the applicant’s career

Note - HR will ensure there is a letter ready for each applicant

47.     The faculty office is to hold the promotion application file for at least two years, after which it may be destroyed

48.    The applicant may request the return of material provided for the application


The following definitions apply to these procedures:

Academic head means heads of departments, schools and other teaching and research units at Level 3 in the University Organisational Structure 

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full time or part time basis

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

Document management and control

Content manager: Associate Director, HR Advisory

Owner: Human Resources Director

Approved by: Vice-Chancellor

Approved date: 01 August 2015

Review date: 01 August 2018