Accessibility statement

Review of promotions criteria

Background to the project

The University is committed to creating processes that are supportive, transparent and ensure equality of opportunity for all. Therefore we need a set of promotions criteria that meets the needs of our diverse staff population and reflects the breadth of our academic endeavour. 

The academic promotions criteria enable promotion from grades 6, 7, 8, Reader and up to Professor. The professorial promotions criteria then support progression through the Professorial bands. Neither set of criteria had been reviewed in recent years and both are operated via different timetables and processes.

Having listened to feedback from the promotions committees, applicants and external referees, Senate decided to conduct a review of the promotions criteria and the supporting policies and process. On behalf of Senate, Ken Badcock (Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost and Chair of the Academic Promotions Committee) led a Working Group to undertake this important work. Following a period of stakeholder engagement the Working Group took their final recommendations to Senate in January 2024 and received approval. The Group are now working to implement Phase 1.

Launching the revised academic promotions criteria

Phase one of the review focused on the promotions criteria, policy and process for promotion from grades 6, 7, 8, Reader and up to Professor. Work is now underway to create all the guidance, forms and infrastructure that will underpin the new academic promotions criteria and process. 

The new academic promotions process will be opened to applicants in June 2024, with a deadline of 31 December 2024. A package of support and guidance will accompany the launch to ensure that all applicants feel confident in their understanding of the new criteria and process. 

From 2025 onwards, the academic promotions application window will always be open, this is to provide greater flexibility, allowing colleagues to submit at a time of year that best suits them. All applications will then be harvested once a year on 31 December. 

Phase 2: professorial promotions criteria

Members of the Working Group will progress with phase 2 of the project in the Summer of 2024. This will see a focus on the promotions criteria for progression through the professorial bands. 

In time, the professorial promotions process will follow the same timetable as the new academic promotions process. However, the next round of the professorial promotions process will run as usual, using the existing timeline, process and criteria.

Key outcomes of the criteria review

  • One set of promotions criteria that provides a transparent career journey from grade 6 up to the most senior professorial level
  • One timeline and process that brings together the professorial promotions process and the academic promotions process 
  • A clear definition for every grade and every contract type. (This would allow greater alignment with the recruitment process in the future) 
  • Criteria that is both robust and has the inbuilt flexibility to consider lived experience, individual circumstances and variances in contract type
  • Greater alignment between the promotions process/criteria and resources and programmes of career support

The Working Group

On behalf of Senate, Professor Ken Badcock is leading a working group to undertake this important work. The group is made up of academic colleagues representing a diversity of experience, background, discipline and contract type. 

Project support is being provided by colleagues from the HR Department.

Membership of the Working Group

Name Role and department
Professor TT Arvind Professor and Head of Department, York Law School
Professor Ken Badcock Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost
Dr John Bissell Lecturer, Electronic Engineering
Dr Ed Braman Senior Lecturer, School of Arts and Creative Technologies
Professor Caroline Dessent Professor, Chemistry
Professor Miles Elsden Director of the Institute for Safe Autonomy
Professor Claire Hughes Professor and Deputy Head of Department, Environment and Geography
Professor Rowena Jacobs Professor and Deputy Director of CHE
Professor Ian Kirkpatrick Professor, School for Business and Society
Professor Avtar Matharu Professor, Chemistry
Rachael Millhouse Director of Human Resources
Dr Jenna Ng Senior Lecturer, School of Arts and Creative Technologies
Dr Ruth Penfold-Mounce Senior Lecturer, Sociology
Dr Matthew Perry Director of the International Pathways College
Iona Rodger Assistant Director of Human Resources
Professor George Tsoulas Professor, Language and Linguistic Science
Professor Jill Webb Professor and Associate Dean, School for Business and Society
Professor Stephanie Wynne-Jones Professor and Deputy Head of Department, Archaeology

Next steps

In May 2024, we will share further information about the launch of the new academic promotions process.