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Academic Career Framework


University management introduced the Academic Careers Framework (ACF) in 2019.  ACF removes the nationally recognized job families of Teaching and Research, Teaching and Scholarship, Research Only and Teaching Only.  These job families are associated with annual hours spent on research:teaching:scholarship.  At Hull, these are usually stated at percentages of time i.e. Teaching and Research is 40%:40%:20%, while Teaching and Scholarship is 0%:80%:20%.  Under ACF, the proportion of an academic’s time devoted to these activities is determined by negotiation with their line manager.  ACF has been presented as way of recognizing the range of activities that each academic actually does.  In practice it has been used as a device to select staff for REF submission and to force T&R staff to do more teaching.  ACF is now intrinsic to promotion and redundancy selection.

A document providing some more background on ACF and some of the problems we have identified with it, can be found here: UCU_position_ACF May2020.

As ACF is a change of employment contract, ACF requires the agreement of UCU members through collective bargaining processes.  Twice the ACF has been presented to members at General Meetings and twice is has been rejected by large majorities.  The last motion was:

 It is the UCU position that:

  1. ACF is a change of contract that has not been agreed;
  2. If the University thinks that ACF is not a change of contract then it is the University’s responsibility to demonstrate this to the UCU;
  3. The ACF and any part of any policy that refers to ACF, is not recognized and not enforceable;
  4. All academic staff have a contractual right to the nationally recognized mix of activities in their Research, Teaching and Research, or Teaching and Scholarship contracts;
  5. The UCU has provided information on parity of esteem, academic promotions and evidence relating to career planning; that is not reflected in ACF.

The UCU demands that:

  1. All documents that refer to ACF are labelled and treated as draft;
  2. The University honors all Research, Teaching and Research, or Teaching and Scholarship contracts;
  3. If the University wishes to suggest changes to academic contracts, that it engages with meaningful consultation with the UCU and that no implementation occurs until agreed by UCU.

This motion was passed by a large majority in December 2019.

It is the position of the UCU Hull Branch that ACF has not been accepted and is not a part of your employment contract.  The Vice-Chancellor has stated that ACF is NOT a change of contract.  In either case, your job family remains in force and you can insist on the proportions of activities associated with it.