Due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, the Confirmation process was suspended for 4 months from 26 March 2020 through to 25 July 2020. As a result, the due dates for the progress reports and Confirmation term were pushed out by 4 months for staff on Confirmation during that period. Confirmation related work undertaken at the University of Otago during the suspension does contribute towards the confirmation goals.
Reports on progress are required from Heads of Departments at regular intervals.
All new academic staff hired on a confirmation path (or "tenure track" as it may be known elsewhere), must prove they can successfully meet clear performance objectives in three key areas over the 5-year confirmation period.
The three key areas are:
- Teaching, assessment and curriculum development
- Establishing a research profile and being an independent researcher
- Service contributions appropriate to appointment level
New staff will be advised of their performance objectives soon after their appointment; after which they will be given regular feedback in the form of discussions with their Head of Department and/or Dean and written confirmation reports.
This information sheet provides key information about the Confirmation Path for newly appointed staff.
Human Resources holds information sessions during the year to provide important information to new confirmation staff. These sessions support new academic staff by informing them of HR policies and processes that directly impact their role.
The major focus of these sessions is on the confirmation and academic promotion processes, but staff will also receive information on:
- research resources available
- the Otago Teaching Profile
- services offered by the Higher Education Development Centre (HEDC)
The following table summarises when reports are required after the appointment of staff members to Confirmation Path appointments:
|Reminder by HR||Report Due|
|First report||1 month after appointment||3 months after appointment|
|Second report||16 months after appointment||18 months after appointment|
|Third report||28 months after appointment||30 months after appointment|
|Fourth report||40 months after appointment||42 months after appointment|
|Final report||52 months after appointment||54 months after appointment|
Further confirmation information and resources
Academic staff may wish to better understand aspects of the Confirmation Path Policy not directly related to the confirmation process.
The table below contains aspects of the policy that we receive enquiries about, and the appropriate section of the policy for more information (if relevant).
|Early Confirmation||Early confirmation will only be approved where the agreed objectives and standards have been fully met and at least 3 reports have been submitted and approved. |
The Staffing Advisory Committee makes the decision about early confirmation.
|Section 14 of the confirmation path policy|
|Minimum hours||Staff members appointed to a confirmation path position must normally be employed for at least 0.4 FTE.||Section 4 of the confirmation path policy|
|Suspension of confirmation period||The confirmation period may be suspended if staff members have an extended break of more than three months because of: ||Section 5 of the confirmation path policy|
|Interim reports||The University may ask for interim reviews and reports. |
Heads of Department must provide clear feedback to staff members about their performance and whether or not progress is satisfactory.
|Section 13 of the confirmation path policy|
|Deferral of confirmation||Consideration of confirmation may be deferred for up to 12 months beyond the agreed confirmation period. |
This decision is made if the University believes that an extension of time will provide the staff member with a reasonable opportunity to improve.
|Section 16 of the confirmation path policy|
|Prior service||Prior service with the University of Otago or any other university is not normally recognised as part of the confirmation path appointment.||Section 3.2 of the confirmation path policy|
|Staff member concerns||Staff are encouraged to use the 'Staff Members' Comments' section of the confirmation reports to identify concerns or alternative views.||Section 7.2.4 of the confirmation path policy|