Recognition of Distinction (application procedure)- (2) to No 4373



<br /> Oxford University Gazette: Recognition of Distinction<br /> (supplement)

Oxford University Gazette

Recognition of Distinction

Supplement (3) to Gazette No. 4373

Thursday, 21 September
1995



Contents of the supplement:

To Gazette No.
4373
(Thursday, 21 September 1995)

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Prefatory note

In the explanatory note to the decree implementing the University's
new policy
on the recognition of distinction (Gazette, p. 1166), it was stated
that
details of the first exercise to be held under the new arrangements
were being
considered. These details have now been completed and the General
Board, with
the approval of Council, is issuing a communication to faculty boards
about
the first annual exercise for the conferment of the title of
professor or
reader: the text of that communication is annexed. It will be seen
that after
faculty boards receive the communication at the beginning of
Michaelmas Term
they will send a copy to all eligible university academic staff,
together with
covering information about the composition of the committee to which
the
faculty board will delegate its consideration of the applications. It
will be
recalled that the new policy permits in certain circumstances the
conferment
of the title of reader or professor on employees of the University
outside the
academic grades, and on persons not employed by the University but
who are
making a significant and sustained contribution to it in an academic
capacity.
This is being drawn to the attention of faculty boards, and is also
being
publicised through circulars to heads of departments and heads of
house.

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ANNEXE

RECOGNITION OF DISTINCTION: COMMUNICATION FROM THE GENERAL BOARD
TO
FACULTY BOARDS AND OTHER APPOINTING BODIES

Following the decision by Congregation, confirmed in a postal vote,
to approve
a new policy for the recognition of distinction, the General Board,
with the
approval of Council, now sets out the arrangements for the first
exercise
under this new policy.


1 Timetable

Individuals should now be invited to submit themselves for
consideration in
this exercise. Applications should be made by 1 January 1996 to the
Secretary
of Faculties at the University Offices. All applications will be
forwarded for
consideration on behalf of the relevant faculty board or other
appointing
body, [1] whose comments should be sent to the
Secretary of
Faculties by 16 March 1996. The General Board's Distinctions
Committee will
then consider all of the material and make recommendations to the
Board by the
end of Trinity Term 1996. The Board will in turn make recommendations
to
Council. New titles will take effect as soon as Council's final
decisions are
made. (It will be recalled that under the new policy the duties and
stipends
of those on whom a new title is conferred do not change.)

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2 Criteria

Title of reader

(a) The primary criterion is a research record of a high
order,
the quality of which has gained external recognition, and which is
comparable
in distinction with that expected of readers appointed on the grounds
of
research achievement at other major research universities.

(b) The individual must have undertaken teaching and
borne an
equitable share of administrative duties in the University (and in
college
where appropriate) and these teaching and administrative duties must
have been
performed well. Particular flair in teaching or in contributions to
teaching
would strengthen the case for the title. An outstanding contribution
to
teaching could compensate for a lesser contribution to high-level
research.

Title of professor

(a) The primary criterion is that research must be of
outstanding
quality, have led to a significant international reputation, and be
comparable
in distinction with that expected of a professor in other major
research
universities.

(b) The individual must have undertaken teaching and
borne an
equitable share of administrative duties in the University (and in
college
where appropriate) and these teaching and administrative duties must
have been
performed well. Particular flair in teaching or in contributions to
teaching
would strengthen the case for the title. An outstanding contribution
to
teaching could compensate for a lesser contribution to high-level
research.

In all cases, in accordance with the University's equal
opportunities
aims, account will be taken of factors which might have affected an
individual's performance during the time under review, thus making
the
contribution to research, in particular, less than would otherwise
have been
expected.

All of the information supplied by applicants under 3 below,
including
any statements about factors which may have led to academic
achievements
appearing less than they would otherwise have been, are to be
assessed against
these criteria.

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3 Detailed procedure

Each board should delegate the consideration of the applications to a
single
committee (i.e. it will not be appropriate to set up separate
committees in
respect of the possible conferment of the title of reader on the one
hand and
professor on the other). Since an external perspective will be
provided
through references and through membership of its Distinctions
Committee, the
General Board does not think that it is essential that faculty board
committees contain external members; it is however open to faculty
boards to
appoint externals to their committees if for any reason they believe
this to
be necessary or desirable. The Board has given careful consideration
to
whether individuals from Oxford who do not already hold
professorships should
be eligible for membership of the committees. There are obvious
practical
difficulties over this, but also potential advantages, not least in
terms of
the way in which the process is perceived. The Board has again
concluded that
it should be open to faculty boards to include such individuals on
their
committees in any year, on the obvious understanding that they would
not be
eligible to apply in that year's exercise. Provided suitably
qualified
individuals exist, each such committee must contain at least one
member of
each sex.

It is essential for exercises such as this to be conducted as
openly as
possible and faculty boards are therefore asked to send this circular
to all
eligible academic staff on their establishment, together with
covering
information about the composition of its committee. (Printed labels
will be
available for this purpose.)

Separate circulars are being sent to heads of departments and
to
colleges, since under the new policy all employees of the University
(i.e. not
merely academic staff), and also persons not employed by the
University but
who are making a significant and sustained contribution to it in an
academic
capacity, are eligible to apply. Faculty boards may themselves wish
to ensure
that such persons in their subject-area who are not members of the
academic
staff are aware of the exercise. Such persons must apply according to
the same
timescale and under the same procedures as for academic staff: and
their
applications will be considered according to the same criteria.

Those who wish to put themselves forward should indicate
whether they
wish to be considered for the conferment of the title of reader or of
professor, or either. They must submit information set out under the
following
headings:


   (1) University lectures and classes given   )Over the last three
                                               )years or such longer
   (2) Graduate supervision and other          )period as may be  
       graduate teaching undertaken            )required to specify 
                                               )the nature and 
   (3) University examining                    )extent of particular
                                               )contributions under
   (4) University administration               )these headings  
                                               )
   (5) Undergraduate teaching for college(s)   )
                                               )
   (6) College administration                  )

   (7) Advanced study and research, including 
       publications, grants, etc.

   (8) Future plans for research

   (9) Any other relevant information

They must also supply a curriculum vitae and the
names of
three referees, at least one of whom must be external to Oxford, and
one of
whom must be a representative of the college. [2]

All of those who wish to be considered must make such an
application to
the Secretary of Faculties, University Offices, Wellington Square, by
1
January 1996 (it is not open to faculty board committees to invite
individuals
who have not put themselves forward to consider doing so).

All of those who put themselves forward should feel free to
mention any
factors (domestic or otherwise) which may have led, for instance, to
academic
achievements appearing less than they would otherwise have been.

References will be taken up in all cases by the Secretary of
Faculties
in one of the standard formats which are appended at I–IV.
References
received will be passed on immediately to the committee to which the
relevant
faculty board has delegated its consideration of the applications.
That
committee must assess all of the applicants in the light of the
material they
have submitted and of the references received, and strictly by
reference to
the criteria in section 2 above. The committee should then submit its
comments
to the Secretary of Faculties for the Distinctions Committee. Whether
through
the references obtained, or through its own comments, or both, the
faculty
board's committee is expected to address explicitly in each case the
question
whether in its opinion the individual meets the key elements of the
relevant
criteria, namely

(a) quality of research achievement and its
comparability with
that expected of professors/readers in other major research
universities;

(b) extent and quality of contribution to teaching and
administration for University and college.

The committee should supply details as to how it approached its
task, and
in particular as to how it interpreted the criteria.

Faculty board committees may make such inquiries as they deem
necessary
in order to ensure that they have sufficient evidence to enable
submissions to
be assessed consistently.

Faculty board committees must consult between themselves in
cases where
an individual on the establishment of one board has academic
interests nearer
to those of another board.

In making their submission, chairmen or secretaries of
committees should
state expressly that these bodies have observed the following
elements of the
above procedure: composition of selection committees, circulation of
all
information to all eligible academic staff, consideration of factors
affecting
academic performance, and consideration of all information against
the
criteria.

The comments made on behalf of each faculty board must be
forwarded to
the Secretary of Faculties by 16 March 1996.

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4 Introduction of the new policy

The new policy has been introduced in recognition of the high quality
of
Oxford's academic staff and of the desirability of recognising
distinction
more explicitly than in the past. Given that no additional
expenditure is
involved in the conferment of titles, there is no artificial bar to
the number
of titles which may be conferred. On the other hand, faculty board
committees
will wish to take care to ensure that the new criteria are properly
applied
and in particular to take account of comparability with other similar
institutions. They will also need to bear in mind that, in future,
titles will
be conferred annually, so that there will be ample opportunity for
individuals
who meet the criteria to be recognised. The General Board considers
that a
steady state in the number of holders of the title of reader and
professor
should be reached by the year 2000 and the Board therefore asks
faculty board
committees to keep this in mind in forwarding comments to the
Distinctions
Committee on the applications received.

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5 Subsequent submissions

Applicants who are unsuccessful in this exercise will be informed
that their
applications and references will be retained in the University
Offices, so
that some of this material may be used, if applicants so wish, in
either or
both of the subsequent two annual exercises. Since, however,
reconsideration
by the Distinctions Committee of identical material will result in
the same
outcome, applicants who are unsuccessful in one exercise will no
doubt wish to
supply replacement or supplementary material, and/or to put forward
the names
of different referees, if they wish to be considered in subsequent
exercises.

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6 Composition of the Distinctions Committee

The composition of the Distinctions Committee is as follows.

(1) the Vice-Chancellor;

(2) the Chairman of the General Board;

(3)–(14) twelve persons not necessarily being members of the
General
Board, two of whom shall be external to Oxford; and comprising at
least one
member of each sex.

Those appointed under (3)–(14) shall hold office for four
years,
and shall not be eligible for reappointment, after serving for any
full period
of office, until a further period of four years has elapsed.

The actual membership of the committee has not yet been
settled; details
of this will be published in the Gazette as soon as they
are
known and before the deadline for receipt of submissions from
individuals.

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APPENDIX I

LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY OF FACULTIES REQUESTING A REFERENCE IN
RESPECT
OF AN APPLICANT FOR THE CONFERMENT OF THE TITLE OF PROFESSOR

Recognition of distinction: 1~

1~ has applied for the conferment by the University of the title of
professor
and has given your name as a referee. I should therefore be very
grateful if
you could let me have your opinion of 1~'s candidature.

Full details of the new scheme which the University has
introduced to
recognise distinction are annexed. May I draw your attention to the
main
criteria for the title of professor, as set out on p. 2:

(a) The primary criterion is that research must be of
outstanding
quality, have led to a significant international reputation, and be
comparable
in distinction with that expected of a professor in other major
research
universities.

(b) The individual must have undertaken teaching and
borne an
equitable share of administrative duties in the University (and in
college
where appropriate) and these teaching and administrative duties must
have been
performed well. Particular flair in teaching or in contributions to
teaching
would strengthen the case for the title. An outstanding contribution
to
teaching could compensate for a lesser contribution to high-level
research.

In respect of the primary criterion it would be of considerable
help if
you would comment on the quality and international reputation of 1~'s
research
record, and compare its distinction with that expected of professors
in the
leading UK departments in this subject area. Any additional comments
you might
have, e.g. on 1~'s contribution to teaching and administration, would
of
course also be welcome.

It would be helpful if I could receive your reference by 2~.

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APPENDIX II

LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY OF FACULTIES REQUESTING A REFERENCE IN
RESPECT
OF AN APPLICANT FOR THE CONFERMENT OF THE TITLE OF READER

Recognition of distinction: 1~

1~ has applied for the conferment by the University of the title of
reader and
has given your name as a referee. I should therefore be very grateful
if you
could let me have your opinion of 1~'s candidature.

Full details of the new scheme which the University has
introduced to
recognise distinction are annexed. May I draw your attention to the
main
criteria for the title of reader, as set out on p. 2:

(a) The primary criterion is a research record of a high
order,
the quality of which has gained external recognition, and which is
comparable
in distinction with that expected of readers appointed on the grounds
of
research achievement at other major research universities.

(b) The individual must have undertaken teaching and
borne an
equitable share of administrative duties in the University (and in
college
where appropriate) and these teaching and administrative duties must
have been
performed well. Particular flair in teaching or in contributions to
teaching
would strengthen the case for the title. An outstanding contribution
to
teaching could compensate for a lesser contribution to high-level
research.

In respect of the primary criterion it would be of considerable
help if
you would comment on the quality and degree of external recognition
of 1~'s
research record, and compare its distinction with that expected of
readers in
the leading UK departments in this subject area. Any additional
comments you
might have, e.g. on 1~'s contribution to teaching and administration,
would of
course also be welcome.

It would be helpful if I could receive your reference by 2~.

Return to List of Contents of the supplement



APPENDIX III

LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY OF FACULTIES REQUESTING A REFERENCE IN
RESPECT
OF AN APPLICANT FOR THE CONFERMENT OF THE TITLE OF READER OR
PROFESSOR

Recognition of distinction: 1~

1~ has applied for the conferment by the University of the title of
reader or
professor and has given your name as a referee. I should therefore be
very
grateful if you could let me have your opinion of 1~'s candidature.

Full details of the new scheme which the University has
introduced to
recognise distinction are annexed. May I draw your attention to the
main
criteria for the title of reader or professor, as set out on p. 2:

Title of reader

(a) The primary criterion is a research record of a high
order,
the quality of which has gained external recognition, and which is
comparable
in distinction with that expected of readers appointed on the
grounds of
research achievement at other major research universities.

(b) The individual must have undertaken teaching and
borne an
equitable share of administrative duties in the University (and in
college
where appropriate) and these teaching and administrative duties must
have
been performed well. Particular flair in teaching or in
contributions to
teaching would strengthen the case for the title. An outstanding
contribution
to teaching could compensate for a lesser contribution to high-
level
research.

Title of professor

(a) The primary criterion is that research must be of
outstanding
quality, have led to a significant international reputation, and be
comparable in distinction with that expected of a professor in other
major
research universities.

(b) The individual must have undertaken teaching and
borne an
equitable share of administrative duties in the University (and in
college
where appropriate) and these teaching and administrative duties must
have
been performed well. Particular flair in teaching or in
contributions to
teaching would strengthen the case for the title. An outstanding
contribution
to teaching could compensate for a lesser contribution to high-
level
research.

In respect of the primary criteria it would be of considerable
help if
you would comment on the quality and reputation of 1~'s research
record, and
compare its distinction with that expected of readers and professors
in the
leading UK departments in this subject area. Any additional comments
you might
have, e.g. on 1~'s contribution to teaching and administration, would
of
course also be welcome.

It would be helpful if I could receive your reference by 2~.

Return to List of Contents of the supplement



APPENDIX IV

LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY OF FACULTIES TO THE REPRESENTATIVE OF
THE
COLLEGE REQUESTING A REFERENCE IN RESPECT OF AN APPLICANT FOR THE
CONFERMENT
OF THE TITLE OF READER OR PROFESSOR

Recognition of distinction: 1~

1~ has applied for the conferment by the University of the title of
[professor/reader/reader or professor] and has given your name as a
referee. I
should therefore be very grateful if you could let me have your
opinion of
1~'s candidature.

Full details of the new scheme which has been introduced to
recognise
distinction are annexed. May I draw your attention to the main
criteria set
out on p. 2, and in particular to the following provision:

(b) The individual must have undertaken teaching and
borne an
equitable share of administrative duties in the University (and in
college
where appropriate) and these teaching and administrative duties must
have been
performed well. Particular flair in teaching or in contributions to
teaching
would strengthen the case for the title. An outstanding contribution
to
teaching could compensate for a lesser contribution to high-level
research.

It would be of considerable help if you would provide
information on the
extent and an opinion on the quality of 1~'s contribution to college
teaching
(if appropriate) and administration. Any additional comments you
might have,
e.g. on 1~'s research record, would of course also be welcome.

It would be helpful if I could receive your reference by 2~.

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Footnotes

[1] Henceforth in this document reference will be
made to
faculty boards only, but in all cases this should be taken to include
other
bodies responsible for the appointment of academic staff (e.g.
inter-faculty
committees).

[2] In cases where applicants employed by the
University hold
no college fellowship, the names of two referees only should be
supplied.
Applicants not employed by the University must cite three referees,
at least
one of whom must be external to Oxford, and one of whom must be a
representative of their employer.

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