Senior Academic Appointments

Approving Authority:
Vice-Chancellor's Advisory Committee
Date of Approval:
24 January 2001
Last Amended:
Contact Officer:
Faculty HR Consultant

These Protocols aim to assist the University in selecting from a range of applicants short-listed for senior academic (that is, Professor and Associate Professor) positions. They are designed to ensure consistency and confidentiality in the process.

(Note: There are separate Protocols for the position of Dean.)

These Protocols supplement the existing processes and documentation used in the recruitment process for senior academic staff. In particular, the Confidentiality Form that accompanies the documentation that Human Resources provides to all Selection Committees should be read in conjunction with the Protocols.

A. The role of the Dean

1.0 The Dean will provide advice to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) about the process, including use of search committees and external consultants, to be followed in recruiting for the position, including mechanisms for attracting members of EEO target groups.

B. Tasks for the Head of School prior to the advertisement

Note: The Dean will advise Human Resources if the Head of School will be an applicant for the position. If so, the Dean will determine another senior (usually Professorial) academic member of staff who will assume the role of the Head of School for the tasks described by the Head in regard to these Protocols.

1.0 The Head of School (or alternate as above) will:

a) Ensure that staff of the School are advised that the position will be advertised, and if necessary

b) Prepare draft Supplementary Information for inclusion in the information booklet for applicants (consultation with a small working party about the draft documentation may be appropriate in some circumstances).

c) If required to nominate a member of the academic staff of the School for consideration as a member of the selection committee, ensure staff of the School are consulted before a nomination is made.

C. Use of search consultants

1.0 Where the services of an external consultant are utilised, the Dean (or HOS) will liaise with the Director Human Resources to ensure that the consultant's actions accord with the University's EEO policies.

D. Orientation of Short-listed Applicants

1.0 Where it is deemed appropriate by the Dean, the Head of School will ensure that short-listed applicants have the opportunity to meet with key University staff.

2.0 The Head of School will ensure that short-listed applicants have the opportunity to meet with key staff of the School and the Faculty, such as the Dean and Heads of Schools, on an informal group basis or one-on-one. The Head of School should ensure that through these meetings applicants become familiar with the accommodation, infrastructure and administrative support in the School and Faculty as well as School and Faculty plans and key research activities.

3.0 Care should be taken in the organisation of meetings so that applicants do not meet or obtain knowledge of other applicants.

E. Presentation of seminars by short-listed applicants

1.0 Part of the selection process should include the invitation to short-listed applicants to present a seminar. Applicants who choose not to present a seminar, for example for reasons of confidentiality, may do so, but they will be advised that this may limit the information available to the Selection Committee.

2.0 The Head of School will organise the seminars. Seminars must take place prior to the day of selection interviews.

3.0 The seminar should be open to all School members and the members of the Selection Committee.

4.0 Short-listed applicants should not attend seminars by other applicants.

5.0 All applicants should be provided with consistent information about seminars and should be advised to use the seminar to indicate their:

  • past, current and future research and teaching activities,
  • approach to maintaining and improving the teaching and research effort of the School,
  • views on issues likely to affect the future directions of the School, and
  • approach to academic and administrative leadership and management.

6.0 The Head of School should co-ordinate the seminars so that:

a) staff have the opportunity to ask questions of the short-listed candidate giving the seminar,
b) all seminars are equal in length.

The Head of School should advise School staff of the purpose and the format before the seminars. They should be advised of the importance of confidentiality and requested to refrain from mentioning any details that might disclose the identity of other applicants.

F. Feedback to the selection committee

1.0 School members of the selection committee should attend all seminars and will be expected to provide the selection committee with feedback from the School on each candidate's seminar. This can be done by speaking to as many staff who attended the seminar as soon as possible thereafter, or by inviting written comments. The Head of School will be responsible for coordinating comments.

2.0 Before the seminars are held, School staff should be advised of the method for providing feedback to School members of the selection committee. School staff should also be made aware that feedback should be given in terms of the advertised selection criteria for the position.

3.0 It must be understood that School members of the committee are independent of the School when reporting the range and frequency of all views expressed by School staff. They do not vote on the selection committee as 'representatives' of the School or a particular group or groups within the School.

4.0 Members of the selection committee, as well as the School members, are encouraged to attend seminars. If they are to provide feedback to the selection committee about seminars, they must have attended all seminars.

G. Confidentiality

1.0 Staff must not be told the names or number of applicants who will not be presenting a seminar.

2.0 Short-listed applicants must not be told the names or number of other applicants. Every effort must be made to schedule seminars and meetings with staff of the University so that chance meetings between applicants are avoided.

3.0 On the day of the selection interviews, Human Resources will attempt to provide a suitable waiting area to prevent applicants crossing paths.

H. Courtesies

1.0 The School should consider the ways in which it can extend courtesy to short-listed applicants. This could include:

  • Meeting interstate and overseas applicants at the airport
  • Invitations to attend social functions (such as a lunch or dinner)
  • Tours of the campus
  • Meeting and greeting applicants as they arrive for their seminars and interviews, and afterwards
  • Activities for family members accompanying overseas/interstate applicants.

I. Post-interview feedback

1.0. The Presiding Member of the selection committee will determine how feedback should be provided to unsuccessful applicants.