Professorship Policy, School of Business and Social Sciences (Aarhus BSS)

Approved by the Faculty Management Team, 11 October 2012.

Revised May 2016.

The purpose of the Professorship Policy at Aarhus BSS is to ensure high quality academic standards in relation to appointment of full professors to ensure that professorships remain attractive.

It is essential that the Professorship Policy allows room for some departmental differences. Consequently, each department has the responsibility for the distribution of faculty across the academic staff categories within the department, respecting the budget and taking into account the research coverage in the department’s teaching activities.

The purpose of the appointment to a professorship is not to reward faculty members for their past efforts but rather to encourage future achievements. Appointment to professorships must therefore largely be determined by the candidate’s future potential contributions. It is, of course, essential that the advertised professorships are filled only by applicants who possess necessary and high qualifications within research and research management, as well as teaching and knowledge exchange.

Advertisement and appointment of professorships 

  1. As a rule, advertised professorships cover fairly broad academic fields and include specific requirements as a secondary criterion.
    The phrase "fairly broad academic fields" means that it is largely left to the experts, i.e. the individual departments, to interpret the term "broad academic field", while "as a rule" implies that some circumstances may call for advertisement of professorships covering more narrowly defined academic fields.

  2. Professorships are advertised publicly and at regular intervals agreed upon in advance, e.g. annually or biennially.
    This means that appointments without advertisement are only applied in very exceptional circumstances at Aarhus BSS. Furthermore, regular advertisements allow potential applicants to adapt accordingly, providing them with several opportunities within a certain time period to apply for a professorship. At times, it may be necessary to advertise professorships outside the adopted plan, e.g. in connection with external funding.

  3. As a rule, professorships are advertised only as permanent professorships.
    This means that there is a single set of qualification criteria applied in the academic assessment. For further information regarding the assessment criteria, please see Aarhus BSS Guidelines for assessment committees.
  4. Fixed-term appointments to professorships may be applied only in exceptional instances and require that the candidate is deemed academically qualified by an assessment committee for a permanent professorship.
    While fixed-term professorships are usually advertised in connection with permanent professorships, the advertisements for professorships with special responsibilities may be advertised separately.

    Accordingly, two types of fixed-term appointment to professorships are used at Aarhus BSS:

    a. Fixed-term professor
    Applicants for fixed-term professorships must be assessed on the basis of the same criteria applied to a permanent professorship.

    b. Professor with special responsibilities (in Danish: professor MSO)
    Applicants for a position of professor with special responsibilities must be assessed based on the same criteria applied to a permanent professorship.
    A professor with special responsibilities is only appointed when the position is associated with a particular task that lies within the department’s core areas or is considered a priority at Aarhus BSS, e.g. in relation to large external funding for special projects. 

Assessment committees

Assessment committees including the chairman evaluating applications for professorships must be composed exclusively of members external to Aarhus University, and preferably include one or several international members. For further information regarding the assessment committees, please see Aarhus BSS Guidelines for assessment committees.

In order to adhere to the criteria stipulated for advertisement, assessment of and appointment to professorships, it is important that the assessment committees conduct thorough evaluations, including the assessment of  the applicant’s' future  potential for advancement. Having detailed and thorough assessments will provide the head of department and the dean with the necessary information to arrive at a decision of appointment.