Campus - 06.12.2016 - 00:00 

Reform of the non-tenured faculty at the University of St.Gallen

The non-tenured faculty represent the largest group of academic staff at the HSG. But what do they stand for, what are their interests, rights and obligations? A newly constituted committee is looking for answers to these questions. It has been assigned to initiate a reform of the non-tenured faculty. An article by Dana Sindermann.

7 December 2016. Young academics and lecturers, permanent lecturers and assistant professors – all these are part of the non-tenured faculty. The reform efforts were initiated by Erik Hofmann, president of the non-tenured faculty. He and the nine-strong Junior Faculty Board represent the interests of the entire non-tenured faculty at the HSG. But what do these interests actually look like? Finding this out is not simple, particularly because the non-tenured faculty is a very large and, in addition, heterogeneous group. "To start with, reform efforts will aim to create structures for the non-tenured faculty members’ participation and involvement. This will enable us to gauge the various stakeholders’ interests, situations and perspectives," explains project leader Florian Krause with regard to the essential steps of the reform.

Jointly establishing a self-image

The top item on the agenda is the joint establishment of a self-image. "Creating a clear-cut self-image is important for us to be able to represent the non-tenured faculty with one voice in the HSG bodies." It is in these bodies that important decisions concerning the HSG’s structure and orientation are made – decisions which also affect the non-tenured faculty, for instance on the revision of the regulations concerning the award of doctoral degrees and of the habilitation regulations, or on the career paths of the non-tenured faculty. "Actually, we represent the political interests of a very large group of staff members here at the University of St.Gallen," says Erik Hofmann. "And this is the only possibility for members of staff here to participate and get involved in the HSG’s decision-making bodies and thus in decision-making itself."

Support by the Vice-Presidents

The spiritus rector of the non-tenured faculty reform is the Vice-President for Research and Faculty, Kuno Schedler. He considers assessment and restructuring to be an opportunity not only for the non-tenured faculty but for the University as a whole: "The people who are part of the non-tenured faculty are very strong representatives of what’s going on at this University. Some are good at research, but above all they’re decidedly strong on teaching, as well as on supporting teaching and also on administration. And this is where we want to create framework conditions in which these people feel good and in which they like to be at this University."

On 15 December, the project will be presented on the occasion of the plenary session of the non-tenured faculty. All members of the non-tenured faculty are invited to participate in the reform efforts and to put forward their perspectives and suggestions. The contact here is the reform project manager, Florian Krause.

Dana Sindermann is a research assistant at the Institute for Business Ethics.

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