C.E. Evans wrote:
I've always believed that the billet for an operations officer aboard an Intrepid-class ship only warranted an ensign (the rest of the department consisted of enlisted personnel).
There was room for more Lieutenants on Voyager, though. Lt. Peter Durst died in S1, and until S7 we were left to assume Lt. Joe Carey had died somewhere in Seasons 2-6. And as far as starships having too many high-raking officers, just look at TUC, where the Enterprise-A has Captains Kirk, Spock, and Scott as well as Commanders Chekov and Uhura, and that was in the AQ.
Maybe Kim's lack of promotion was a decision by TPTB similar to the inability of the show to acknowledge that by S7, the ship was likely in the Beta Quadrant.