Senior Appointments Panel (SAP)

The SAP consists of the Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (People and GLAM), Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research). The Registrar is consulted on all cases concerning senior administrative (ALC6) posts.

The headings below set out the different types of request covered by the SAP and give details of the requirements in each case.

 

OVERVIEW

The Panel advises the Vice-Chancellor on: the ad hoc conferment of professorial (DOC) title for recruitment and retention purposes; above scale payments [insert link] to Associate Professors and senior clinical researchers (grade E82) for recruitment and retention purposes; salary approval on appointment for statutory professors and additional payments to substantive readers and professors for retention purposes; and the creation, grading and salaries for senior administrative posts (grade ALC6) and senior research posts (PDF) (grade RSIV) and the appointment of individuals to such posts without advertisement.

Cases are considered at meetings, which are held monthly. Very pressing cases may be considered by correspondence or by the Vice-Chancellor on behalf of the panel. All cases must be submitted via the relevant Divisional Office.

All cases will be reviewed by the secretary to the SAP (the Head of Reward) against the procedures and any incomplete cases will be returned by the Secretary for completion. If departments or divisions will not be able to provide any required item of information in a timely fashion, they should contact the Secretary in the first instance to discuss their options.

The SAP also ratifies the recommendations from Divisional Panels in the Recognition of Distinction and Professorial Merit Pay exercises and conducts a biennial review of the salaries of staff employed on grade ALC6.

AWARDING PROFESSORIAL TITLE

Cases can be submitted to the SAP to award professorial title on appointment or on the grounds of retention.

Cases will only be considered on appointment where the award of title is an important element of the recruitment package to secure the appointment.

Cases will only be considered on the grounds of retention where the need is acute ie a firm offer has been made and it is thought likely that the individual will accept it, or there is clear evidence of momentum towards such an offer.

Cases for the conferment of full professorial title or which include a request for the conferment of title should:

  • include a CV for the current or proposed postholder;
  • provide three references from full professors at prestigious universities, explicitly comparing the individual to the University’s distinctions criteria. The referees should not be nominated by the individual;
  • specify the exact title requested eg ‘Professor of French Literature’;
  • specify the date of effect;
  • confirm that conferment of title would be consistent with decisions previously made in the subject-area by the Recognition of Distinction Committee or the SAP; and
  • provide confirmation of the views of the college of association whenever relevant.
ABOVE SCALE PAYMENTS

Cases can be submitted to the SAP to award salary supplements on the grounds of recruitment or retention to Associate Professors (grade 10a) and senior clinical researchers (grade E82), and on the grounds of retention for Statutory Professors and Readers.

Cases requesting a salary supplement should:

  • explain the rationale for the proposal, in terms of the academic importance of recruiting or retaining that individual;
  • specify the proposed supplement and salary package, including any college income (if applicable) as well as any variation from the standard set of terms and conditions;
  • make clear why the proposed supplement will be sufficient to recruit or retain the individual;
  • include formal confirmation that the costs are fully funded. Cases should be signed off by the relevant Divisional Financial Controller; and
  • provide confirmation of the views of the college of association whenever relevant.

The following documents must be provided to accompany the case:

  • CV for the current or proposed postholder;
  • evidence to show that the proposed total salary would not lead to unacceptable salary anomalies;
  • in cases of recruitment, include the references received; and
  • in cases of retention, provide a copy of the offer, where this isn’t possible specify the details of the offer and confirm who has seen a copy of the offer

Cases will only be considered on the grounds of retention where the need is acute ie a firm offer has been made and it is thought likely that the individual will accept it, or there is clear evidence of momentum towards such an offer. The SAP does not make awards on the grounds of equity.

SALARIES FOR STATUTORY PROFESSORS

 

The SAP is responsible for the salary setting for incoming statutory professors.

The SAP considers requests for salary approval well in advance of any salary negotiations taking place with the successful candidate taking into account matters of internal equity and the external pay market.

This is part of the wider recruitment process and the Senior Appointments Team provide all the necessary information as part of the recruitment process.

The SAP can also be asked to consider requests for supplements on the grounds of retention (DOC).

ALC6 POSTS

Creating ALC6 (senior managerial and professional) posts for advertising

 

Cases requesting the creation of a new post for advertising should:

  • set out the rationale for the post;
  • provide a graded job description;
  • specify whether the proposed post is permanent or fixed-term (including the duration if it’s fixed-term);
  • specify the proposed salary and details of the funding;
  • provide evidence to show that the proposed salary would not lead to unacceptable, internal salary anomalies; and
  • include formal confirmation that the costs are fully funded. Cases should be signed off by the relevant Divisional Financial Controller

Creating ALC6 (senior managerial and professional) posts for the purpose of managed moves (including regrading)

 

Cases requesting the creation of an ALC6 post for the purpose of a managed move should:

  • set out the rationale for the post;
  • specify whether the proposed post is permanent or fixed-term (including the duration if it’s fixed-term);
  • specify the current and proposed salary and details of the funding;
  • if it is an entirely new post as part of a managed move for a particular individual provide a narrative on how the individual was identified, which other potential candidates were considered and the grounds on which the proposed postholder was selected (including a list of any potential female candidates identified with an explanation of why they are not being offered this opportunity);
  • if it is a regrading of an existing post set out why the current post has changed and grown, highlighting the new responsibilities;

The following documents must be provided to accompany the case:

  • a graded job description;
  • a list of the salaries of any comparable posts, at departmental or divisional level, as appropriate, with the legal sex of the postholders;
  • a CV for the postholder
RSIV POSTS

In advance of requesting the creation of an RSIV post a recruitment board made up of the Head of Division, Head of Department from the employing department, and two further Heads of Department from the employing division should consider the request to create and make an appointment at RSIV. The Division should ensure there is an appropriate gender balance on the recruitment board.

Cases requesting the creation of a new post for advertising should:

 

  • provide confirmation that the recruitment board agreed the request to create an RSIV post should come forward to the SAP;
  • be a joint submission from the department and division specifying why the RSIV post is critical to the department and division for the future;
  • set out the rationale for the post;
  • specify the number of vacant Statutory Professorships in the department and division and provide commentary on why an RSIV post rather than a Statutory Professorship is appropriate;
  • specify whether the proposed post is permanent or fixed-term (including the duration if it’s fixed-term);
  • specify the proposed salary;
  • include formal confirmation that the costs are fully funded. Cases should be signed off by the relevant Divisional Financial Controller;
  • provide commentary on the longer term funding of the post, including the balance of external and University funding, and the impact on space and facilities, with reference to any other senior posts in the department which might be affected by the proposed creation of the RSIV post ie by the reduced availability of space that will result.

 

The following documents must be provided to accompany the case:

  • a graded job description;
  • a list of the salaries of any comparable posts, at departmental or divisional level, as appropriate, with the legal sex of the postholders; and
  • the business plan, which is received by the division for the approval of the Divisional Financial Controller.

Cases requesting the creation of an RSIV post for the purpose of retention should:

  • provide confirmation that the recruitment board agreed the request to create an RSIV post should come forward to the SAP;
  • be a joint submission from the department and division specifying why the RSIV post is critical to the department and division for the future;
  • set out the academic rationale for the retention proposal, outlining the individual’s academic standing and contribution to the University. An assessment of the difficulty anticipated in replacing the individual with a researcher of equivalent global standing should be supplied;
  • provide a clear indication of the individual’s track record of:
    1.  research grant income and record of publication
    2. leadership and citizenship both internal and external to the institution
    3. teaching and/or training
  • state the number of vacant Statutory Professorships in the department and division and specify whether in the longer term the individual proposed for appointment will be suitable for and therefore encouraged to apply for a Statutory Professorship;
  • specify whether the proposed post is permanent or fixed-term (including the duration if it’s fixed-term);
  • specify the proposed salary;
  • include formal confirmation that the costs are fully funded. Cases should be signed off by the relevant Divisional Financial Controller;
  • provide commentary on the longer term funding of the post, including the balance of external and University funding, and the impact on space and facilities, with reference to any other senior posts in the department which might be affected by the proposed creation of the RSIV post ie by the reduced availability of space that will result;
  • provide details of the offer and confirmation that all the options available to retain talent have been considered, and set out why they would not be sufficient, including but not limited to:
    • the conferral of title, which SAP can award outside of the gathered field exercise on the grounds of retention
    • the award of salary supplements equivalent to levels of professorial distinction award
    • an application for variation of duties for a defined period of time to allow an individual to undertake a particular project; and
  • if the move is from the Associate Professor grade to an RSIV post, provide clarity as to what will happen to the underlying teaching. The impact on the balance of teaching and research should be specified along with a clear statement on the teaching strategy in the employing department. The position of the college should be provided and the college should specify how it proposes to deal with any reduction in teaching.

 

The following documents must be provided to accompany the case:

  • a graded job description;
  • a copy of the offer, where this isn’t possible specify the details of the offer and confirm who has seen a copy of the offer;
  • a list of the salaries of any comparable posts, at departmental or divisional level, as appropriate, with the legal sex of the postholders;
  • the business plan, which is received by the division for the approval of the Divisional Financial Controller;
  • contextual data on the number of staff and the proportion of women in senior academic and research roles in the department and (as far as is known) in the subject nationally;
  • an assessment of the individual alongside the other top ten people in the relevant field in the world and a summary of any conversations held with these people to date about the opportunity to work at Oxford. Those drafting the list should ensure they have reflected on the gender balance in the field;
  • three external commentaries on the leaders in the field. Following consultation with the department the assessors should be decided on and requested by the division and assessors should be provided with a list of three to five researchers on whom they would like a comparative commentary (these should be the top three to five researchers in the relevant field). The name of the proposed appointee should be included in the list but it should not be specified that they are being considered for an appointment. The SAP will reserve the right to request external validation of the commentaries, whereby a further external assessor will be asked to review all the documentation, including the original commentaries.

Cases requesting the creation of an RSIV or ALC6 post for the purpose of a managed move should:

  • provide confirmation that the recruitment board agreed the request to create an RSIV post should come forward to the SAP;
  • be a joint submission from the department and division specifying why the RSIV post is critical to the department and division for the future;
  • set out the academic rationale for the proposal, outlining the individual’s academic standing and contribution to the University;
  • provide a clear indication of the individual’s track record of:
    1.  research grant income and record of publication
    2. leadership and citizenship both internal and external to the institution
    3. teaching and/or training
  • state the number of vacant Statutory Professorships in the department and division and specify whether in the longer term the individual proposed for appointment will be suitable for and therefore encouraged to apply for a Statutory Professorship;
  • specify whether the proposed post is permanent or fixed-term (including the duration if it’s fixed-term);
  • specify the proposed salary;
  • include formal confirmation that the costs are fully funded. Cases should be signed off by the relevant Divisional Financial Controller;
  • provide commentary on the longer term funding of the post, including the balance of external and University funding, and the impact on space and facilities, with reference to any other senior posts in the department which might be affected by the proposed creation of the RSIV post ie by the reduced availability of space that will result; and
  • if the move is from the Associate Professor grade to an RSIV post, provide clarity as to what will happen to the underlying teaching. The impact on the balance of teaching and research should be specified along with a clear statement on the teaching strategy in the employing department. The position of the college should be provided and the college should specify how it proposes to deal with any reduction in teaching.

 

The following documents must be provided to accompany the case:

  • a graded job description;
  • a copy of the offer, where this isn’t possible specify the details of the offer and confirm who has seen a copy of the offer;
  • a list of the salaries of any comparable posts, at departmental or divisional level, as appropriate, with the legal sex of the postholders;
  • the business plan, which is received by the division for the approval of the Divisional Financial Controller;
  • contextual data on the number of staff and the proportion of women in senior academic and research roles in the department and (as far as is known) in the subject nationally;
  • an assessment of the individual alongside the other top ten people in the relevant field in the world and a summary of any conversations held with these people to date about the opportunity to work at Oxford. Those drafting the list should ensure they have reflected on the gender balance in the field;
  • three external references.

The SAP considers that in the vast majority of cases, it will be preferable to create an RSIV post for advertisement and invite individuals to apply, rather than to appoint them without advertising. For those exceptional cases in which appointment to an RSIV without advertising is the only way to achieve an objective that is vital to the University’s continued growth and good reputation requests should follow the following three stage process.

 

Stage 1: Application by division for the creation of an RSIV post to be filled without advertising

Cases requesting the creation of an RSIV post to be filled without advertising should:

  • provide confirmation that the recruitment board agreed the request to create an RSIV post should come forward to the SAP;
  • be a joint submission from the department and division specifying why the RSIV post is critical to the department and division for the future;
  • set out the academic rationale for the proposal, outlining the individual’s academic standing and a description of how the individual’s research will fit with departmental academic priorities;
  • set out how the opportunity to recruit this individual came to light ie did the individual approach the department or has it come to light through other means that an individual is interested in moving between institutions
  • provide a clear indication of the individual’s track record of:
    1. research grant income and record of publication
    2. leadership and citizenship both internal and external to the institution
    3. teaching and/or training
  • state the number of vacant Statutory Professorships in the department and division and specify whether in the longer term the individual proposed for appointment will be suitable for and therefore encouraged to apply for a Statutory Professorship;
  • specify whether the proposed post is permanent or fixed-term (including the duration if it’s fixed-term);
  • specify the proposed salary;
  • include formal confirmation that the costs are fully funded. Cases should be signed off by the relevant Divisional Financial Controller; and
  • provide commentary on the longer term funding of the post, including the balance of external and University funding, and the impact on space and facilities, with reference to any other senior posts in the department which might be affected by the proposed creation of the RSIV post ie by the reduced availability of space that will result; and
  • provide confirmation that the individual is and will continue to be below the EJRA for the term of any proposed fixed-term contract

 

The following documents must be provided to accompany the case:

  • a graded job description;
  • the business plan, which is received by the division for the approval of the Divisional Financial Controller;
  • contextual data on the number of staff and the proportion of women in senior academic and research roles in the department and (as far as is known) in the subject nationally;
  • an assessment of the individual alongside the other top ten people in the relevant field in the world and a summary of any conversations held with these people to date about the opportunity to work at Oxford. Those drafting the list should ensure they have reflected on the gender balance in the field; and
  • three external commentaries on the leaders in the field. Following consultation with the department the assessors should be decided on and requested by the division and assessors should be provided with a list of three to five researchers on whom they would like a comparative commentary (these should be the top three to five researchers in the relevant field). The name of the proposed appointee should be included in the list but it should not be specified that they are being considered for an appointment. The SAP will reserve the right to request external validation of the commentaries, whereby a further external assessor will be asked to review all the documentation, including the original commentaries.

Departments should not conduct negotiations with an individual about salary or other terms prior to SAP approval for the creation of the post, to avoid reputational damage if approval is not received. If an individual approaches the Department, any discussions should be as brief as possible and clearly based on the understanding that the Department cannot make any guarantees. If the Department wishes to approach an individual they believe to be interested in moving, they should seek SAP approval before making an approach. This includes naming individuals on research grant applications. In such cases SAP approval in principle should be sought to create the post, make an appointment without advertising, and specify a salary before any grant application is submitted.

 

Stage 2: Decision-making in principle

On receipt of cases, the SAP will consider whether to:

  1. approve the creation of the post for appointment without advertising, subject to successful receipt of references and negotiations with the individual on salary and terms;
  2. seek more data, where appropriate from external sources, which might include:
    1. asking the department (via the division) to provide further detail in particular areas of the case;
    2. asking the Secretary to acquire further contextual information about the gender balance and/or most eminent scholars in the subject area;
    3. requiring the department to ‘sound out’ the interest of the list of eminent scholars in the potential post.

 

The SAP will then reconsider the case at the earliest opportunity.

 

  1. approve the creation of the post but require the department to progress to an advertisement in all normal media and a competitive selection exercise (to be brought to the attention of the department’s preferred target and some or all of those on the list).

 

Stage 3: Finalising the package

When approval to enter negotiations with an individual is given, departments may open discussions over the details of the package. Before a firm offer is made, the SAP must approve the proposed package including salary, any start-up costs, and any other benefits outside of the normal terms of a senior academic-related post, such as a temporary or partial exemption from the ‘30-day rule’.

The expectation is that RSIV staff make a contribution to teaching and administration equivalent to that of a statutory professor, and approval should be sought for any other arrangement. Leave equivalent to sabbatical may be included in the package if the individual will undertake a full teaching and administration load; otherwise, no leave equivalent to sabbatical can be included without the SAP’s approval.

The following details should be provided in support of the case:

  • the individual’s proposed salary and key terms;
  • the individual’s current salary (and any relevant terms of their package), if known;
  • a list of the salaries of any comparable posts, at departmental or divisional level, as appropriate, with the legal sex of the postholders with an explanation for any significant differences between those who are to be colleagues.
 
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