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Reg. 4 Annual Review by the Academic Staff Committee

***Amendments to Regulation 4 were last confirmed by the University Council at its meeting on 9 October 2019. The version detailed below is the version that the Council confirmed at the aforementioned meeting, to take effect on 30 October 2019.***

Regulations Governing the Annual Review by the Academic Staff Committee of Academic promotions below the level of Professor and confirmation of appointment to Associate Professor on a research and teaching pathway on satisfactory completion of probation.

(1) Membership of the Academic Staff Committee

The membership of the Academic Staff Committee shall comprise the Vice-Chancellor (Chair), the Provost, and fourteen members of the Professorial staff appointed by the Senate.

(2) Departments shall conduct a Review of academic staff, teaching staff and research staff (in all grades below the level of Professor) and shall, where appropriate, submit recommendations to the Academic Staff Committee.

(3) Under the Annual Review procedure, the Committee shall consider recommendations for promotion to academic roles below the level of Professor

(4) Consideration of promotion applications below the level of Professor

(a) Promotion applications should be submitted by the applicant to the Academic Processes team within Human Resources, for consideration by the Academic Staff Committee.

(b) Guidelines for promotion applications will be published annually on the Academic Promotions page of the Human Resources website.

(c) Promotion applications should be submitted on the appropriate application form, along with an up to date curriculum vitae in the approved style.

(d) Promotion applications submitted without the Head of Department’s comments will not be accepted.

(e) Names of referees should be provided by the individual or Head of Department, although this shall not preclude the Committee from seeking additional or alternative references, as it deems necessary.

(5) Confirmation of appointment to Associate Professor on a research and teaching pathway on satisfactory completion of probation

(a) Every appointment to the grade of Associate Professor on a research and teaching pathway shall be made on a probationary basis unless the person appointed has significant, relevant experience at another University and has satisfied there the equivalent requirements for the completion of a probationary appointment.

(b) The period of probation shall normally be five years from initial appointment.

(c) Each academic probationer shall be considered by the Probation Review Group for confirmation of appointment in the year in which the period of probation stated in the University’s letter of appointment is due to be completed. The Group may also consider recommendations for early completion of probation in advance of the date set by the original selection panel. The recommendation for early completion must state the justification for the appointment to be confirmed exceptionally before the expiry of the normal probationary period.

(d) A positive recommendation from Heads of Department shall be required in order to pass probation and shall be supported by an assessment of the member of staff with respect to the criteria set out in the University’s framework for progression and promotion

(6) Procedure to be followed in the case of an recommendation in regard to confirmation of appointment

(a) Responsibility for decisions on adverse recommendations is delegated to the Probation Review Group by the Academic Staff Committee and detailed in full in the University’s policy for the management of academic probation.

(b) The Head of Department shall inform the member of staff at the same time that they submit an adverse recommendation.

(c) The member of staff shall have an opportunity to make representations to the Probation Review Group against the adverse recommendation.

(d) Where the Probation Review Group makes or confirms an adverse decision in respect of confirmation of appointment to Associate Professor on a research and teaching pathway on completion or early completion of probation it shall, on the delegated authority of the Academic Staff Committee, resolve either:

(i) that the probationary period, where less than five years, be extended; or

(ii) that the probation period, if subject to lengthy periods of regulated absence under University policies on maternity, paternity, adoption, sickness etc., be extended by one and a half times the length of absence; or

(iii) that the probationer be issued with a final year’s notice.

In no case may the total period of probation (excluding regulated absence under University policies on maternity, paternity, adoption, sickness etc.), be more than five years with a sixth and final year’s notice.

(e) A member of staff may appeal to the Senate against the decision of the Probation Review Group on the grounds either that due procedure was not followed or that the member of staff is in possession of evidence that was not available to the Probation Review Group when it took its decision. The member of staff must confirm whether they are going to appeal the decision within 28 days of notice of the decision of the Probation Review Group.

(f) The Senate shall appoint an Appeals Committee, which shall be comprised of;

i) the Vice-Chancellor (or their nominated representative) who shall chair the Appeals Committee,

ii) a relevant Faculty Chair or Deputy Faculty Chair or someone of equal standing, and

iii) a further Head of Department.

(g) The appeal shall take the form of a written submission setting out the grounds of the appeal and any new evidence that was not available to the Probation Review Group when it made its decision.

(h) The Appeals Committee will also request a statement from the relevant Head of Department, a copy of which will be forwarded to the member of staff.

(i) The Appeals Committee shall consider the written submission firstly at a pre-Appeal Hearing to determine whether grounds for an appeal exist as outlined in paragraph (g) above.

(j) If the Appeals Committee determine grounds for an appeal exist, the appeal will go to a full Appeal Hearing, and the member of staff shall be informed of this with not less than 14 days’ notice of the date and the arrangements for the Appeal Hearing. At the Appeal Hearing the member of staff will have an opportunity to appear in person before the Appeals Committee to present their case. It shall be a matter for the Appeals Committee to determine whether the appeal shall be upheld.

(k) If the member of staff chooses to appear in person before the Appeals Committee, they may be accompanied by a trade union representative or a work colleague who may assist in presenting their case.

(l) At any stage of the Appeals process (including pre-hearing) the Appeals Committee may request a statement from relevant witnesses, copies of which will be provided to the member of staff.

(m) The Appeals Committee may ask the relevant Head of Department, or any other witness, to attend the Appeal Hearing for clarity of evidence. The member of staff will have the opportunity to be present while the Head of Department or any other witness is being questioned by the Appeals Committee.

(n) At the conclusion of the Hearing, the Appeals Committee will retire to consider its decision which will be issued in writing as soon as possible thereafter.

(o) The decision of the Appeals Committee shall be final.