Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

At Charles Sturt University, we strive to make sure equal employment opportunity (EEO) is available to all staff. Applicants for academic promotion are considered on merit, unbiased by personal opinion or prejudice.

We recognise that many staff have personal circumstances that impact on their achievements, so we assess merit on the basis of achievement relative to opportunity.

A representative from the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion team advises the Committee during the assessments.

  • Circumstances impacting on Achievements

    Many of our staff today have a range of responsibilities and/or personal circumstances outside of work that can impact on their academic achievements.

    • Caring responsibilities, disability, ill-health and parental leave, for example, may impact academic achievement and lead to a non-linear academic career.
    • Long breaks in careers either due to caring responsibilities, illness or other reasons have effects that are multifaceted and of longer duration than the actual leave time. These breaks typically reduce opportunities for collaboration, student supervision and delay publication and grant success beyond the return to work date.
    • Ongoing caring responsibilities of children or other dependents can impact future academic achievement, for example reducing research output or restricting opportunity for conference presentations.

    With this in mind, we consider merit on the basis of achievement relative to opportunity.

  • Achievement relative to opportunity

    Achievement relative to opportunity is an evaluative framework that acknowledges the achievements of a staff member in light of the opportunities available to them.

    This approach recognises that personal circumstances may impact on a staff member's academic achievements. It gives more weight to the overall quality and impact of achievements rather than the quantity, rate, or breadth of particular achievements, which in many instances are directly related to time available rather than talent, merit, or excellence.

    The below examples show some situations where merit has been considered on the basis of achievement relative to opportunity:

    Example 1: Part-time work

    A staff member who has had several part-time appointments in the promotion period under consideration could calculate their total number years pro rata in their promotion application. With this approach, they could demonstrate how their research output is comparable to researchers who have had the same effective years of service.

    Example 2: Primary caring responsibilities

    A staff member with primary caring responsibilities for their child has a low number of international conference papers but has a high citation rate for their papers in prestigious journals.

    Example 3: Career breaks

    A staff member has had three career breaks for parental leave and on all three occasions returned part-time with a full teaching load. Research opportunities were delayed for 12 months until the staff member increased their work arrangements to full-time. The panel should take into account the loss of not only time, but also momentum when considering the candidate's track record.

    Example 4: Significant illness

    A staff member experienced a significant illness for two of the seven years they spent at senior lecturer level. In their application for promotion to associate professor level, the academic promotions committee should take a ‘whole of career' approach, and acknowledge that the candidate has demonstrated performance of a requisite quality even though output was reduced during the two years of ill-health.

  • Respect, Equity and Diversity