WUR council has consented to launch an Education Career Path. This offers lecturers a new career policy, next to Tenure Track.
Hitherto, the career development options for faculty was limited to a tenure track, in which the main criteria for assessment were based on research results (the number of publications and PhD candidates). The Education Career Path allows for an education-oriented career at the university. Faculty can now be promoted when they develop in the field of education. Their assessment is based on a checklist of no less than 21 quality criteria.
This provision will allow lecturers to increase their impact on education in Wageningen gradually. While novice lecturers at Wageningen University will primarily focus on teaching, their career will move increasingly towards contributing to the development of education within the department and towards developing curricula. Furthermore, the lecturer will increase his or her expertise in knowledge divulsion, both for bachelors and masters students. Ultimately, the lecturer will design complete sets of course materials and actively participate in evaluations and pedagogical discourse.
To rise, the lecturers need not meet all 21 criteria on the checklist. The checklist is designed as an inspirational tool to be used by teachers and their managers to jointly decide which standards are relevant to the development of the individual lecturer. Teachers will only be able to follow this career path if they work for more than 20 hours per week, and spend less than 30 per cent of their time doing research. When they want an assessment for promotion is a decision taken by the lecturer.
To prepare for the assessment, teachers must build up a portfolio proving why they feel they deserve a promotion. A portfolio typically consists of a list of educational activities, a self-assessment on their development in the field of teaching, assessments by students and evaluations by colleagues. This will enable them to develop from lecturer 4 to lecturer 1 gradually.
This provision is significant for an increasing number of lecturers recently employed by the university to meet the needs of the growing number of students. In 2014, 10 per cent of university employees were teachers. This number increased to 20 per cent in 2019. Currently, most teaching staff are employed on temporary contracts.
The WUR Council ratified the Education Career Path on 5 February.