Faculty in Argentine National Universities. Obstacles to Faculty Career
Keywords:Faculty, faculty career, higher education
This paper analyzes the performance of¨ the mechanisms to hire and promote faculty in Argentine national universities. To accomplish this task, we carried out 156 in-depth interviews with faculty from seven national universities and two fields of knowledge, biology and administration. The faculty stresses the existence of failures in the open competitive contests as the main obstacle both to promotion to higher positions and to obtaining full-time jobs. Their critical observations stress job instability, budget constraints to hold the open competitive contests and their politicization, the criteria used to evaluate the candidates, the jury composition, and competition and its impact on the labor climate.
Some universities have tried to overcome the failures in the open competitive contests via the implementation of a “faculty career” (probation-free tenure track) that would introduce an ongoing evaluation mechanism of the teaching performance and guarantee stable posts. In so doing, they had to confront new obstacles: insufficient funds to carry out the promotions, a complex evaluation system with some faculty opposition and high management costs, and the stagnation of the job structure as a consequence of the introduction of permanent posts.