Continuation (2015) Procedures


Application


These procedures apply to all newly appointed permanent academic staff members 

Purpose


To outline the procedures that apply to the continuation review which evaluates whether newly appointed permanent staff have met the expected standards for the grade, and appropriate academic and career plans have been developed and acted upon

Content


  • Application 
  • Approved
  • Deferred 
  • Declined
  • Implementing continuation decision 
  • Fixed term agreements 
  • Appeal 

Procedures


Application

1.    Within six months of appointment, the academic head is to assign a mentor and invite the staff member to meet to discuss and agree on performance objectives for the continuation period (typically the next three years). These are to be recorded on the relevant Application for Continuation form 

Note - the staff member may choose to have the mentor present at the initial meeting and/or the support of another staff member.

2.    The University provides specific criteria and standards in the HR Policies Academic Standards for Research Fellows, Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Associate Professors and Professors or Academic Standards for Senior Tutors and Professional Teaching Fellows, against which the staff member’s performance is to be evaluated. The requirements of the staff member’s employment agreement are to be taken into account

3.    Evaluation of performance is primarily though the Academic Development and Performance Review (ADPR) process.  At each of the subsequent ADPR meetings, the academic head is to discuss with the staff member not only his/her general progress but also how the staff member is progressing towards the agreed objectives for continuation and where the academic head may need to arrange additional support, mentoring or professional development. Note - the outcome of these discussions should be captured as part of the ADPR process

4.    If the discussion at the ADPR results in changes to the agreed objectives for continuation they are to be recorded on the Continuation Application Form

5.    Academic heads must be responsible for meeting with the new staff member to set objectives and monitor progress

6.    Application for continuation must be made as soon as possible after 3 years’ service and in all cases prior to 3.5 years’ service

Note - applicants who have had absences of three months or more for any reason may request an extension from the academic head for an equivalent length of time to prepare for continuation

7.    Where an academic head is being considered for continuation, the dean must take on the responsibilities of the academic head and follow the Continuation Procedures. The dean is to consult with appropriate senior members of the academic unit. Where the academic head is also the dean, the University of Auckland Staffing Committee (UASC) must nominate a person to act in the role of academic head for the purposes of these procedures

8.    Where an applicant holds a joint appointment between two academic units, the advice of both academic heads must be considered.  Where the academic units are in different faculties, the deans are to consult with the applicant and determine which Faculty Staffing Committee (FSC) will consider the application for continuation

9.    The applicant is to apply for continuation using the Application for Continuation Form or the PTF-ST Application for Continuation Form and must attach the appropriate Academic Career Portfolio. They must also nominate an advisor who will be:

  • from the applicant’s discipline or a related discipline
  • capable of analysing the applicant’s research and/or teaching and service
  • normally at or above the grade of the applicant
  • from within the University of Auckland except where there are exceptional circumstances

10. On receipt of the completed application for continuation the academic head must, after taking advice of senior colleagues and considering the view of the applicant-nominated advisor, send a recommendation to the dean. This must clearly lay out the basis for the academic head’s recommendation and include the advice given by senior colleagues whose names are to be listed. The academic head is to forward all applications to the dean irrespective of whether or not the academic head is supportive of a particular application for continuation

11. The dean must seek the advice of the Faculty Staffing Committee (FSC) and provide it with all application materials including the academic head’s recommendation.  The FSC is to consider the application and make a recommendation to the dean before she/he forms a view on whether continuation should be approved, deferred or declined. Where the dean’s view is contrary to the FSC’s view, the dean must discuss the matter with the FSC. The dean is responsible for making the final decision on continuation

Approved

12.    Where the decision is to approve continuation, the dean will advise the applicant and the academic head in writing of the decision

Deferred

13.    Where the preliminary decision of the dean is that continuation should be deferred, the dean will then:

  • advise the applicant that deferral of continuation is being considered and meet with the applicant before this decision is made
  • advise the applicant that they are entitled to bring a support person or a representative of the TEU to the meeting
  • meet the applicant with either the academic head or another person present and explain the reasons why continuation may be deferred
  • provide the applicant with an opportunity to present any explanation or information that ought to be considered by the dean
  • consider carefully any explanation or information prior to deciding on whether continuation should be approved or deferred
  • meet again with the applicant to advise them of the result

14.    If the applicant declines deferral of continuation, the dean will proceed to consider either approving or declining the application.

15.    If the applicant accepts deferral of continuation, the applicant and academic head must agree objectives and put a plan in place to maximise the likelihood that continuation is warranted when it is next considered.

Note - deferral may be granted for a period of up to two years.

16.    The dean must advise the applicant and academic head of the result in writing

Declined

17.    Where the preliminary decision of the dean is that continuation is to be declined, the dean must then:

  • advise the applicant that continuation may be declined, and that the dean wishes to meet with the applicant before this decision is made
  • advise the applicant that they are entitled to bring a support person or a representative of the TEU to the meeting
  • meet the applicant with an HR practitioner present
  • explain the reasons why continuation may be declined
  • provide the applicant with an opportunity to present any explanation or information that ought to be considered by the dean
  • consider carefully any explanation or information prior to deciding on whether continuation should be approved, deferred or declined, including whether there had been earlier advice to the applicant about their performance and the applicant had been given an opportunity to improve

18.    Where approval or deferral is not considered appropriate on the evidence the dean must proceed to decline continuation

19.    The dean must inform the applicant and the academic head of the decision in writing

Implementing the continuation decision

20.    The dean is to advise HR in writing of the decision for implementation. The application and all related information and correspondence is to be forwarded to HR for filing on the applicant’s personal file

Fixed term agreements

21.    Where a staff member has been engaged on one or more contiguous fixed term agreements on the same or similar academic grade and discipline, and is subsequently engaged on a permanent agreement, the staff member may apply for continuation when they have completed at least three years employment with the University of Auckland.  Alternatively, the staff member may apply for continuation after three years’ service under the terms of their permanent agreement.  The staff member should discuss these alternatives with his/her academic head upon appointment to the permanent role so that appropriate continuation objectives can be set

Appeal

22.    There is a right of appeal against non-continuation on the grounds of a failure in procedure that is so substantial that it may have affected the decision or where the decision is manifestly at odds with the evidence presented to the dean

23.    Advisor reports to the academic head, the report of the academic head to the FSC and the report of the FSC to the dean must be disclosed to the applicant on request after they have been advised of the outcome. These reports are to be used only for the continuation assessment purpose intended, and are to remain confidential to the applicant and her/his employment advisor. The applicant must not approach an advisor in relation to his/her report

24.    Where an applicant has concerns about procedure, he/she is to discuss these first with the academic head

25.    If the applicant remains concerned about procedure, he/she is to then discuss this with the dean

26.    If after discussing the procedure with the dean, the applicant considers that he/she has grounds for appeal under this clause, he/she may lodge a written appeal through the dean to the Vice-Chancellor, providing such appeal is lodged within 90 days of the advice of the non-continuation decision

27.    The dean must forward the appeal with a report to the Vice-Chancellor on the issues raised by the applicant

28.    The Vice-Chancellor may appoint a 2 or 3 person committee of senior academic staff to advise the Vice-Chancellor. The committee will discuss the appeal with the applicant (and employee representative, if any)

29.    The committee then will consult with the Vice-Chancellor, after which it will decide the appeal. The committee will provide the decision and brief reasons for the decision to the applicant. The decision will be final

Definitions


The following definitions apply to this document:

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

Staff members refers to an individual employed on a full time or part time basis

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

Document management and control


Owner: Director, Human Resources

Content manager: Associate Director, HR Advisory

Approved by: Vice-Chancellor

Date approved: May 2015

Review date: May 2018