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Honorary Appointments Policy

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This new Policy is effective from 3 July 2020 and does not affect any honorary titles bestowed by the University prior to that date – these will be in effect as per previous approvals/arrangements.

Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) La Trobe University recognises the valuable contributions of affiliated persons who have significant expertise in an academic, research, clinical or professional environment to the University’s academic culture and activities.

(2) This Policy sets out standard categories of honorary appointments, the nature of these categories and the associated processes for appointment.

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Section 2 - Scope

(3) All new arrangements for the recognition and affiliation of persons under academic titles, including:

  1. Emeritus appointments.
  2. Adjunct appointments, which may include those who take part in some teaching or research activity within the University.
  3. Clinical staff appointments arranged between the University and the clinician’s primary health service provider employer.
  4. Other affiliated staff who are not employed by La Trobe University but have a role in the delivery of La Trobe University courses or course content, via an arrangement between the University and their employer.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) Honorary appointees may contribute to University culture and activities, including teaching and supervision of students, research engagement and participation in events. Titles are set out in relation to honorary categories as:

  1. Emeritus Professor: a professor of exceptional and distinguished academic standing within the University, nationally and internationally, who has exited the University.
  2. Adjunct appointments: a person of academic or professional standing commensurate with the level conferred, who is expected to contribute to specific areas of teaching and/or research activity or whose expertise and standing will provide ongoing benefit in the academic culture of the University.
  3. Visiting appointments: A visiting appointee has a primary appointment with another educational or research institution, or is from a community-based or commercial organisation appointed to provide teaching and/or research contributions to the University, for a defined period of time while visiting the University. This may be a clinical appointment or part of a staff exchange program.
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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Emeritus Professors

(5) Emeritus Professors are Professors of exceptional and distinguished academic standing who have exited the University. The title is conferred in perpetuity and is subject to the conditions outlined in this procedure.

(6) On the recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor, Academic Board may confer the title of emeritus professor on any professor of the University, who has exited the university, in recognition of their distinguished academic service.

(7) Provosts (or equivalent) are responsible for submitting the initial recommendation for conferral, including a written statement and curriculum vitae of the nominee. Recommendations for conferral may also be made by the Vice-Chancellor or a Deputy Vice-Chancellor (or equivalent) where the nominee is not attached to a College. Written recommendations should be no less than two pages in length and should set out a clear and well-evidenced narrative rationale for conferral of the title, including:

  1. A summary of service to the University and its communities with evidence of impact achieved through academic leadership and governance, teaching and/or research. For example, positions held or service undertaken at La Trobe and the associated contributions to innovation, student success, reputation, research income and scholarly standing of the University and or social change in the wider community.
  2. A summary of evidence of contributions and impact of scholarship at national and international levels, including evidence of peer esteem. For example, contributions to knowledge and leadership in discipline, profession or field of study and recognition of impact and esteem through mechanisms such as invitations, appointments and awards.

(8) Formal arrangements for conferral of the title may include attendance at a graduation ceremony.

(9) For all purposes of courtesy and on ceremonial occasions, an emeritus professor is regarded respectively as a professor of the University but is not eligible to be a member of the Academic Board or as an ex officio member of any College.

Part B - Adjunct Appointments

(10) Adjunct appointments are approved by the Head of School (or equivalent) via a narrative summary of the rationale for the appointment, professional or academic standing and expected contribution to the nominating department, discipline or research centre. Appointments are made for a three-year period but are renewable.

(11) Human Resources will provide a list of adjunct appointments that are due to expire within the next 12 months on a 6 monthly basis to ensure appropriate consideration for renewal. Human Resources are responsible for the monitoring of adjunct appointments to ensure that these do not lapse without review.

(12) All nominations for appointments must also include:

  1. A summary of the qualifications and experience of the nominee
  2. A curriculum vitae
  3. The recommended level of appointment

(13) Once approval has been given by the Head of School, all required information about the nomination or recommendation, as set out above, must be provided to Human Resources.

(14) Human Resources will send a letter of offer to approved appointees.

(15) The table below outlines the available Adjunct titles, their meaning and the eligibility to hold such titles:

University title Level equivalence Eligibility
Adjunct Associate Lecturer or
Adjunct Research Officer 
Level A Contribution by an employee of a public or private organisation to academic professional or business development or have previously held an academic position at this level at La Trobe or another University, or currently holds a position at this level at another University.
Adjunct Lecturer
or Adjunct Research Fellow 
Level B Leadership at a local level of a public or private organisation; with contribution to academic or professional or business development or have previously held an academic position at this level at La Trobe or another University, or currently holds a position at this level at another University.
Adjunct Senior Lecturer
or Adjunct Senior Research Fellow 
Level C Leadership at a state or regional level of a significant public or private organisation; with independent contribution to academic, professional or business development or have previously held an academic position at this level at La Trobe or another University, or currently holds a position at this level at another University.
Adjunct Associate Professor Level D Leadership at a national level of a significant public or private organisation; with significant contribution to academic, professional or business development or have previously held an academic position at this level at La Trobe or another University, or currently holds a position at this level at another University.
Adjunct Professor Level E Leadership at a national or international level of a major public or private organisation; with outstanding independent contribution to academic, professional or business development or have previously held an academic position at this level at La Trobe or another University, or currently holds a position at this level at another University.

Part C - Visiting Appointments

(16) Visiting appointments can be made with approval. Candidates will need to be approved by a Head of School (or equivalent) in an academic or organisational area related to teaching and/or research. This includes visiting clinical staff appointments.

(17) The duration of a visiting appointment is usually for 12 months. Each visiting appointment needs to be formally reviewed on an annual basis by the Head of School (or equivalent) who initially approved the visiting appointment.

(18) Such appointments must be accompanied by a written formal agreement between organisations, including:

  1. Duration of the appointment
  2. Duties to be carried out
  3. Amount and method of payments between organisations (where relevant)
  4. Responsibilities and recourse in the event of performance issues
  5. Responsibilities and recourse in the event of notice to terminate the arrangement

(19) Appointments are contingent on the staff member’s continued employment with the relevant partner organisation. Payment may be made to the partner as recompense for time associated with the agreed activities.

Part D - Conditions

(20) Honorary appointees are not employees of the University and are not entitled to membership of Academic Board or voting as a staff member.

(21) Nonetheless, all honorary appointees are required to comply with relevant legislation, requirements, rules, policies and procedures and to conduct themselves in a way that is appropriate and does not compromise the University’s reputation including:

  1. Code of Conduct
  2. Working with Children Policy
  3. Workplace Behaviours Policy
  4. Use of Computer Facilities Statute 2009
  5. Research Authorship and Outputs Policy

(22) Where materials are developed under the arrangement, separate agreements are to be put in place for the distribution of intellectual property as per the University’s Intellectual Property Policy.

(23) Following appointment, recipients are entitled to:

  1. A University access card
  2. Access to library materials
  3. Access to email
  4. Access to WiFi on campus
  5. Staff parking permits (purchased)
  6. Alumni membership

(24) Access privileges to specific areas of the University are arranged on a case by case basis.

(25) Workspaces and other equipment may be provided where a recipient is to undertake specific research or teaching activities under the auspices of the University and such spaces are deemed necessary. All such requests must be negotiated with the relevant School (or equivalent). Approval is reviewed annually by the relevant work area.

(26) In the case of teaching and graduate research student supervision, honorary appointees must meet the qualification and experience requirements of an academic employee as per the Graduate Research Supervision Policy. Honorary appointees, other than Emeriti, must be appointed an academic supervisor who is an ongoing or fixed term employee of the University.

(27) Fixed term appointments may be renewed using the same processes as those for appointment.

(28) Honorary appointees who wish to cease their affiliation with the University should provide the relevant approver (Provost, Head of School or equivalent) with reasonable notice of their intention to do so. In the case of affiliates who have research student supervision, notice is also to be provided to the Graduate Research School.

(29) The University retains the right to cease the affiliation, and permission for use of the associated titles, in certain circumstances, e.g. the conferee commits a serious criminal offence, a conflict of interest arises or it is considered that damage may be caused to the reputation of the University by continued association with the person.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(30) For the purpose of this Policy and Procedure:

  1. Adjunct appointments: a person of academic or professional standing commensurate with the level conferred, who is expected to contribute to specific areas of teaching and/or research activity or whose expertise and standing will provide ongoing benefit in the academic culture of the University.
  2. Conflict of interest: means a conflict between the private interests or duties of a staff member and their professional obligations and responsibilities to the University such that an independent observer might reasonably question whether the actions of that staff member are influenced by their private interests or duties. Conflicts of interest can involve:
    1. private financial or non-financial interests of the staff member; and
    2. financial or non-financial interests of the staff member’s immediate family or relatives, business partners or associates, or friends. 
  3. Emeritus Professor: a professor of exceptional and distinguished academic standing within the University, nationally and internationally, who has exited the University.
  4. Employee of the University: means a paid employee engaged by La Trobe University to perform work as required by a contract of employment or, in the case of casual employees, as hours are allocated.
  5. Health Services Provider: means an institution such as a hospital, clinic or practice, where its primary function is to provide a health service to the public.
  6. Members of the University: means staff, contractors, consultants, conjoints, volunteers, members of the Council of the University, external members of University committees and visitors to the University. 
  7. Staff: means all employees of the University or affiliated enterprises with which the University has a formal agreement and includes casual employees, clinical staff and unpaid members of the University such as Emeritus and Adjunct appointments, all of which are registered on the HR system.
  8. Visiting appointments: A visiting appointee has a primary appointment with another educational or research institution, or is from a community-based or commercial organisation appointed to provide teaching and/or research contributions to the University, for a defined period of time while visiting the University. This may be a clinical appointment or part of a staff exchange program.