To safeguard the university system, guidelines for appointments and promotions of academic staff are designed to serve as a benchmark for assessing and appraising the staff. Appraisal of academic staff in Nigerian universities has become a subject of controversy in recent times. This paper is aimed at finding a classifier for the discrimination of academic staff of a university system of known states or staff categories, viz.: S1 - Lecturer I and below, S2 - Senior Lecturer and -S3 Professor/Associate Professor, into latent subgroups on the basis of their research proficiency. A combination of cluster analysis and linear discriminant analysis was first used as a framework for identifying three latent subgroups, viz., mover, mediocre and stayer, with the quantity of scholarly publications, quality of academic journals in the system publish in, and the author-level citation index as input variables. Principal component analysis in combination with logistic regression was used to investigate and classify a (training) data set of a cross-section of academics of several categories with diverse research features from different universities within Nigeria. The results revealed that there are more stayers in S2 , and more movers in S3 . A comparison of the staff categories indicates that the research performance of academics in S 3 outstrips those in S1 and S 2 , and that academics in S1 did better than those in S 2 .The methods reported here have potential utility for the latent intra-class categorisation of staff of the research oriented system within the mover-mediocre-stayer paradigm. The method is useful for shortlisting applicants for interview to a more appropriate staff category of the system.
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