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Update on Academic Processes Review

Academic job titles update 

As you will be aware through my insite communications earlier this year, an Academic Processes Review Group was established at the beginning of academic year 2017/18. The Review Group made a number of proposals to the Senate at its meeting in March 2018, one of which was that there should be more consistency in academic job titles as detailed in the table below.

  Research and Teaching Pathway Teaching Pathway Research Pathway
FA9 Professor Professor

(Currently Professorial Teaching Fellow)
Professor

(Currently Professorial Fellow)
FA8 (Reader) Reader Reader Reader
 FA8  Associate Professor Associate Professor

(Currently Principal Teaching Fellow)
Associate Professor

(Currently Principal Research Fellow)

The formal introduction of these new arrangements, including the new titles will require changes to documentation and systems and this will take some time to implement. Rather than delay the impact of this change, the Senate approved that all staff would have the option of informally using the revised job titles, relevant to their current role, with effect from the academic year 2018/19.

We will shortly be contacting those academic members of staff who will be affected by these changes and offering them the option to start using the new titles informally with immediate effect, if they wish to do so, or alternatively, retaining their existing job title.

It is anticipated that the University will formally move to adopt these revised job titles for new starters with effect from 1 October 2018, i.e. the new academic year. We will be writing to Departments over the summer period to advise them of how this will be introduced.

Should you have any queries in relation to this, please contact ap dot review at warwick dot ac dot uk.

Best wishes
Christine Ennew, Provost
7 August 2018

Academic promotions explained

Further to my recent updates on insite, you will have seen that the Senate approved the new framework for academic promotions which it is anticipated will be implemented for the 2018/19 promotions round.

Work is underway to develop the operational detail of the new framework and further information will be published as soon as possible.

In the meantime, we will be holding a ‘Promotions Explained’ event on 11 May 2018 to discuss the new framework and its operation in more detail. This event is open to all staff and is specifically aimed at those academic staff who are either considering applying for promotion or supporting a colleague in applying for promotion.

Further details regarding the event will be announced in due course, however, for the meantime, please save the date in your diary if you would like to find out more about the new framework for academic promotions at Warwick.

Best wishes

Christine Ennew, Provost

10 April 2018

Update on Review of Academic Promotions – 27 March 2018

At its meeting on 14 March, Senate gave approval to the new framework for academic promotions (see below). We hope that this will be a fairer and more transparent process and one that will recognise the importance of contribution and performance across the full range of academic activity:

  • Research and Scholarship
  • Learning and Teaching
  • Impact, Outreach and Engagement
  • Collegiality, Leadership and Management

The intention is that this framework will be implemented for the 2018/19 promotions round. There is still quite a bit of work to be done around the operational detail of the associated processes and these are now being developed as a priority to ensure that we can brief you as soon as possible about the way in which the new framework will function.

Update on Review of Academic Promotions – 20 February 2018

In January, we published an early draft of proposed revisions to the academic promotions process. Thank you to everyone who has helped to improve our approach by providing feedback. We would now like to update you on the latest stage of this work.

Promotion Criteria

A revised model of evaluation for promotion has been proposed, whereby applicants will be assessed against set criteria thresholds. It is proposed that the criteria will provide descriptors across four areas of academic activity, those being:

  • Research and Scholarship
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Impact, Outreach, Engagement
  • Collegiality, Leadership, Management

These four areas of academic activity will apply across all three career pathways i.e. the Research and Teaching, Teaching-focussed and Research-focussed pathways, however, the requirements for each area of academic activity will vary according to the career pathway and the particular role.

Individuals will be able to progress within their appointed career path subject to meeting the specific criteria for promotion. In order for the University’s promotions committees to assess individuals against the criteria they will have to demonstrate and evidence how they meet the relevant criteria. Some examples of evidence have been developed but these examples are not exhaustive.

The criteria and the examples of evidence have been significantly revised following feedback from the initial consultation on this work and have been reviewed in conjunction with existing role descriptions. You can view the revised criteria and evidence here.

Career Pathway Matrix

A career pathway matrix has been developed detailing a scoring system which seeks to demonstrate transparently what is needed for each promotion. It should be noted that the scores given in the matrix represent the minimum thresholds for each area of activity and that the total minimum score required to achieve promotion to each level, exceeds the cumulative total threshold scores.

The matrix has been structured in such a way to allow a degree of flexibility for individuals to structure their case for promotion and therefore whilst minimum thresholds have been set for each area of activity, it is expected that individuals will be able to demonstrate where they exceed the minimums required and therefore will be able to achieve the overall minimum score for promotion. This approach has been developed because we know that individuals excel in very different ways and it therefore allows the promotions process to recognise diversity of activity and achievement both within and across career pathways.

It is hoped that by a matrix such as the one proposed will help to alleviate some of the concern about the apparent lack of transparency in relation to academic promotions.

The initial draft of the matrix has now been revised and you can view the revised version here. Feedback from the community suggested that we had made promotion too difficult by specifying relatively high target scores at each level. We have therefore changed to specifying lower minimum scores for each area of academic activity and we have moderated the minimum score required for promotions to Professor.

Job Titles

There has been significant support for the proposals to change job titles, although a number of areas of the University have voiced concern. On the basis of this feedback, APRG does not propose to alter its proposals around the introduction of a common set of job titles.

Next Steps

The proposals relating to promotion process (scores and criteria) and job titles will be put to Academic Staff Committee (ASC) for consideration and thence to Senate at its meeting on 14 March.

If the proposals are accepted, work will start on revisions of documentation to allow the new system to be put into place for the promotions round that starts in Summer 2018.

The Academic Process Review Group (APRG) will continue its work on related academic processes and in the future will be looking at a review of probation arrangements, the possible creation of an FA6 on the research and teaching pathway and a review of Study Leave arrangements.

Background

As a reminder the review of academic promotions (and related processes) started following feedback from the 2015/16 Pulse Survey and the concern that was expressed about transparency and fairness in the promotions process. Thereafter, a more focused survey of academic staff was commissioned and this enabled the ASC to make a number of changes in respect of the probation and promotions processes in summer 2017. Additionally, the APRG was convened to look in more detail at the process and criteria for promotion as a consequence of this feedback. The membership of this group is

  • Professor Chris Ennew, Provost (Chair)
  • Professor Graeme Currie
  • Professor Janet Dunn
  • Professor Jackie Hodgson
  • Professor Matt Keeling
  • Professor Mark Knights
  • Professor Mark Newton
  • Professor Gwen Van der Velden
  • Dr Leti Gramaglia
  • Mrs Louise Kindon (Secretary)

Best wishes,

Christine Ennew, Provost
20 February 2018

      Update - 16 January 2018

      Many of you will be aware that we have been undertaking a review of academic promotions following the feedback from the last Pulse survey. We have made some changes to guidelines for promotion and to some aspects of the process – these were approved earlier last year.

      At the start of the academic year 2017/18 a Review Group was set up, which began a more detailed piece of work on the framework and criteria for academic promotions, and I wanted to update you on progress and share some of our current thinking. In developing our ideas we have reviewed current policy and practice at Warwick as well as reviewing the arrangements that operate at other leading institutions (dominantly Russell Group).

      The Review Group is currently focusing on criteria for promotion and reviewing different academic career pathways, and is considering:

      • The criteria thresholds for promotion

      • Providing descriptors across four areas of academic activity:

        - Research and Scholarship (and for those on a Teaching pathway this will focus more heavily on the scholarship associated with teaching and learning and possibly research focused on pedagogy).

        - Teaching and Learning (including leadership, innovation and quality of delivery).

        - Impact, outreach and international – here we use the term ‘impact’ in its broadest sense and we have proposed a specific reference to outreach and international activity.

        - Leadership, Management and Collegiality (taking on major management roles within the Department or University, external leadership, broader institutional contributions).

      • The use of similar sets of criteria across all career pathways

      • Greater consistency in job titles

      Your views

      We have published the proposals in draft below and on the right, in order that you can see the current thinking of the working group – however, you will see that this is very much a work in progress.

      We have shared the current thinking with Heads of Departments and Trade Unions and as well as getting their feedback, we would like to hear views from our staff community. If you do have any comments, suggestions or queries that you would like to make in respect of the proposals, please contact our Academic Processes team via academicprocesses@warwick.ac.uk

      In particular, the working group would welcome feedback on the proposed job titles as illustrated below and whether the creation of an FA6 Research and Teaching role would be welcome. The proposals are very much at an early stage and therefore the scope of what an FA6 Research and Teaching role would look like would still need to be considered and developed in the future.

      Next steps

      We will continue to update these drafts as the working group’s review progresses and as feedback is received from the wider community. The final proposals will be presented to the Academic Staff Committee and Senate for their consideration.

      It is hoped that the revised criteria will be implemented in time for the 2018/19 academic year.

      Draft proposals

      Proposed job titles

          Research and Teaching Pathway Teaching Pathway Research Pathway
      FA9 Professor Professor Professor
      FA8 (top) Reader Reader Reader
        FA8   Associate Professor Associate Professor Associate Professor
        FA7   Assistant Professor Senior Teaching Fellow Senior Research Fellow
        FA6   (for future consideration?) Teaching Fellow Research Fellow
      FA5 -   Tutor Research Assistant

      Proposed career pathway matrix

      The working group has proposed that there will be three different career pathways:

      • Research and Teaching

      • Teaching

      • Research

      Individuals will be able to progress within their appointed career path subject to reaching the required levels of performance, achievement and potential, and there will be set criteria and evidence required for individuals to demonstrate when making their applications for promotion.

      It is proposed that movement between career pathways is permitted, either sideways or upwards but is subject first to there being a clear management case for the move between pathways and, of course, to the individual meeting the specified thresholds.

      The proposed career pathway matrix found on the right hand side of this page presents a scoring system which seeks to demonstrate transparently what is needed for each promotion threshold.

      Draft example criteria

      Also provided on the right hand side of this page is an early draft of what the criteria and evidence may look like for each of the four strands of academic activity. It is proposed that irrespective of pathway, there are expectations about required performance.

      Developing the criteria and the evidence is still a work in progress and therefore the document to the right is for illustration at this stage. This is an area in which feedback and suggestions would be very welcome.

      Best wishes,

      Christine Ennew, Provost

      16 January 2018

       

       

      Supporting documentation

      February 2018

      January 2018