Even though the intention of granting tenure was to give a senior academic   the  intellectual autonomy to be involved in issues which they are most passionate about so that they had the right to dissent  without having his  position terminated without just cause,   The fact remains that only tenured staff have job security.

In Public Doctoral Granting Universities Only about 30% of academics are full time tenured or in the tenure track. Around 15% are in full time non-tenure track  15-16 % part time    ( in private colleges and universities this  goes up to  around 50% )  and around 40% are graduate assistants.

Usually only  Professors  and associate professors are full time tenured. After 7–8 years, –  (depending on the university ) an  assistant professor  may be  tenured. People denied tenure at the end of this time lose their jobs or are even dismissed from the university. This is a period of employment insecurity almost unique among U.S. professions.

Faculty members remain accountable after achieving tenure. Tenured faculty at most colleges and universities are evaluated periodically-among other things, for promotion, salary increases and, in some cases, merit increases. Grant applications and articles for publication are routinely reviewed on their merit by peers in the field. A finding of incompetence or unprofessional conduct can still result in firing.

All other faculty members are on short term contracts.

During a probationary period, almost all colleges can choose not to renew faculty contracts and terminate faculty without any reason or cause. Throughout this time, senior professors and administrators evaluate the work of new faculty- i.e. teaching, research and service before deciding whether  to extend the contract. The most recent survey of American faculty shows that, in a typical year, about one in five probationary faculty members was denied tenure and lost his or her job.

B Criteria for tenure  will be student evaluations for teaching,  research publications in peer reviewed journals –   (the required number may vary ) –  Chapter(s)  in    published books or a full bookor books . Excellent teaching does not count enough in earning tenure – although in the Liberal Arts it does carry some weight- and is not rewarded enough in promotions or salary increases.

C. Salary structure will vary widely  between universities and even within a single university with certain faculties being able to command much higher salaries than others.

d. Sabbatical- The general guideline is that one year of paid sabbatical leave is granted after seven years of meeting full departmental responsibilities

e. Teaching load –

Assistant Professors on average teach 9-12 hours weekly. They are expected to conduct research projects and publish. The position can be seen as a training period during which one works to develop a case for tenure.

Associate Professors spend fewer hours on undergraduate teaching (about 6-9 hours a week) and are likely to lead graduate classes and advise graduate students on their dissertation projects.

Full Professor usually teach 3-6 hours per week. They take an active role in the research projects and dissertations of doctoral candidates. Further advancement opportunities include positions in administration such as department chair, dean of students, or college president.

Funding –  Govt. funding ,endowments, grants,


a. It is difficult to get a permanent position in the UK academia. About half of the positions available are given on the basis of fixed-terms  ( temporary ) contracts. For this reason, mobility within the system is quite high.

b. Salaries are usually negotiated and fixed within the market. They may vary greatly from one position and university to another.

c. sabbatical opportunities – Although the guidelines differ from institution to institution it is the norm  that paid sabbatical is granted for one semester every 4-5 years. Sabbatical time is expected to be used for research.

d.Teaching load will be around  12 hours a week. The rest of the time  will be supervising post graduate work, tutorials, research   etc.

e. Funding – Government spending.  funding depends on performance.  Top universities are funded by industry, private donations, trusts


Australian universities do not offer tenure track positions any longer, hence, occasional scrutiny occurs and advancement is neither guaranteed nor automatic.

Salaries are contracted between the university and the scholar. Salary rates and packages vary widely across universities.

Sabbatical opportunities – normally for a 6 month period, but may be granted for shorter or longer periods (of up to 12 months) where an appropriate case is made.

Funding :  Govt. Funding depends on performance.


A new appointee to an academic position in the University is usually placed on a 3-year contract. As in school education  Singapore takes the view that if  a teacher  is not good at his job he/she should be removed  as soon as possible so that  students will not be exposed  to bad teaching for 40 years .

Tenure contract refers to a full-time permanent faculty position with no periodic contract reappointments.  A faculty on tenure-track will be eligible for tenure consideration and the tenure decision for Assistant Professors and Associate Professors is  made no later than the 9th and 6th year of employment respectively. The  most coveted contract among professors is the T65 contract, which guarantees them a place on the teaching staff till they hit the age of 65. Usually only around 55% of professors will get this

B SalariesThe monthly base salary is  reviewed annually by the University. This is  based on the performance of the faculty member and the national economic growth and productivity gains. A  Performance Bonus In addition to the payment of salary set out above, subject to the performance of the faculty member and the performance of the University, the University may in its absolute discretion decide to pay an Individual Performance Bonus.

The Individual Performance Bonus is not a contractual commitment and the University reserves the right to vary or withdraw it at any time.

In the past 5 years only around 23% of Singaporeans were recruited  into the universities. The rest were foreigners.

(The foll: cut and pasted from the Parliamentary replies )

Question :

The Minister for Education (a) what percentage of newly recruited academic staff in local universities are Singaporeans in each of the last 5 years; (b) if there are any plans or efforts to recruit more Singaporeans as academic staff in local universities; and (c) whether good PhD holders from local universities will be recruited as academic staff in these universities.


1.                   For our universities to be top-ranked, it is essential for them to hire academic staff based on merit and not whether they are Singaporeans or foreigners.

2.                   Candidates are selected based on their ability to meet or exceed the needs of their appointment. Each university has its own academic staff selection process but the underlying principle of selecting academic staff based on merit is the same.

3.                   In the past five years, about 23% of newly recruited academic staff have been Singapore citizens, and another 12% have been Permanent Residents. While the universities recruit talent from abroad, they also actively seek out and recruit similarly outstanding Singaporeans with PhDs, whether from local or foreign universities.   In addition, the universities develop potential faculty members through their postgraduate scholarship schemes, which are open to Singaporeans and Permanent Residents.

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© 2017.


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