Tenure track

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Tenure track (/ ˈtenjə (r) træk /, translated: “Procedure for permanent employment”) is a term from the English- speaking world and describes a procedure in the academic career at universities and colleges . Tenure track here means the chance to receive a lifetime professorship (or position for life) after a limited probationary period. As a rule, this is associated with advancement within the college of professors (typically Assistant - Associate - Full Professor). The tenure track is comparable to the qualification professorship with development approval in Hesse.

Tenure track in the USA and Canada

The tenure track is a system used in the US education system for the recruitment of lifelong university staff. In the universities there, a professor is initially employed on a temporary basis; he is academically independent, but is subject to constant performance requirements and monitoring in order to obtain the prospect of permanent employment ( tenure ). A comparable system applies e.g. B. also for teachers in the school service or for scientific staff in the system of the national laboratories of the US Department of Energy (United States Department of Energy National Laboratories) .

This career structure is expressed as a tenure track: You get a fixed-term contract (usually six to seven years) as an assistant professor with clear objectives for the contract period and a fixed career promise in the event of probation. In the context of this fixed-term contract, you can only terminate the contract with increased effort and after it has expired you can become an associate or full professor . It is customary to lure excellent scientists into promising tenure . However, it is not a "regular promotion" or an "automatic recruitment after a probationary period".

Prerequisites for a tenure position at a US university are above all an extensive list of publications, the acquisition of third-party funding, positive evaluation and evaluation by students and commitment in the faculty and university. Ultimately, of course, the development of the subject in question is also decisive. The tenure decision through numerous internal university places by the department (department) up to the Senate (trustees) .

In the USA, the terms of appointment or employment for professors are regulated differently depending on the university. Also, colleges and other educational institutions, in particular, which are the active in the adult vocational training, can adjust professors without the authorization of the this Department of Education (the German equivalent to the Ministry of Culture requires).

At the renowned American universities, an in-house assistant professor hardly has a chance of tenure. There the position is mainly a stepping stone to a better place elsewhere. The current development at American universities shows that tenure track recruitment is on the decline. It is easier for university management to employ professors in temporary positions. In 2004, less than half of all new professorial positions in the USA were tenure-track.

Tenure track in Germany

In Germany, the tenure-track procedure corresponds to the civil servant relationship on revocation (in contrast to the civil servant relationship on a temporary basis ). This did not apply to academic staff at universities in the course of university policy changes in the 1970s. The reason was probably the rigidity of the civil service and the internal difficulties of German universities to link a scientific performance filter with the revocation procedure.

Tenure track is currently being discussed in Germany in connection with junior professorships , as the Fifth Amendment to the University Framework Act of 2002 introduced the junior professorship with the option of equipping it with tenure track. The German university managements, however, show a negative attitude, since they erroneously assume a “regular career” and “regular promotion”: Due to a lack of experience with this suspiciously viewed innovation from overseas, one fears that the promotion to a lifetime professorship at the end of the six Years limited junior professorship usually has to take place, just as the mostly three-year probationary period of many civil servant careers is usually passed. Therefore, only 8% of the approximately 1000 junior professorships advertised by mid-2006 had tenure tracks. So you have a final evaluation, though they by no means be positive in most cases must, as a precaution does not provide for more than 90% of cases and therefore ruled the supposed risk to keep a mediocre or unloved employees after six years for life need . Since the first final evaluations took place in 2008, there are still no long-term empirical values ​​about the success rate.

The Helmholtz Association advertises junior research group leader positions with tenure track every year , but the numbers are far fewer than junior professorships. In the third year of a five-year contract, a decision is made to continue to work for life. The LMU Munich has created 79 jobs since 2006 using this procedural model - but without advancing to a higher level - and would like to expand it with the funding from the Excellence Initiative. The Technical University of Munich will be introducing it from 2012, albeit as a real career system: it is not limited to the permanent appointment of a professorship, but also includes career advancement up to (full) professor. For temporary professors (assistant professors) who do not meet the promotion criteria after 6 years, the career at TUM ends. A total of 100 professors are to be appointed by 2020, 25 of which will be financed from funds from the second round of the Excellence Initiative.

In July 2014, the Science Council recommended creating more permanent positions in mid-level faculty, increasing the number of professorships from 26,000 to 33,500 and creating a larger proportion of tenure-track professorships. For example, career paths at German universities should become "internationally more comprehensible" and "more transparent".

Web links

Individual references, sources

  1. § 64 HHG (Hessisches Hochschulgesetz) of December 2017: http://www.lexsoft.de/cgi-bin/lexsoft/justizportal_nrw.cgi?xid=3917776,65
  2. Center for University Development , May 2007: Five years of junior professorship - second CHE survey on the status of the introduction (PDF; 338 kB), p. 10.
  3. ^ TU Munich creates 100 professorships - careers in teaching , Süddeutsche Zeitung of July 9, 2012
  4. ^ Anja Kühne: Wissenschaftsrat on career paths: Become a professor - but for sure. Der Tagesspiegel, July 14, 2014, accessed on July 14, 2014 .