Greeks split over promotion law

August 22, 1997

The GREEK academic community is deeply divided over legislation on promotion of university teachers brought finally before the summer session of parliament by the education secretary, Gerasimos Arsenis.

The legislation reinstates the right of the university teachers to seek promotion, establishes clear evaluation procedures for all grades of university teachers and abolishes the maximum service in one single grade other than that of the lecturer. It has attracted both praise and criticism from a number of leading university chancellors called on to implement it.

In future, all university teachers will be elected by open competition as a result of vacancies or following applications by existing staff who wish to be evaluated for promotion after three years in the same grade. Professors and deputy professors will be elected on a permanent basis. After three years' service deputy professors will have the right to apply for promotion to the senior position twice only and with a three-year interval between applications.

Dimitris Glaros, chancellor of the University of Ioannina, welcomed the legislation as "democratic and objective".

But Andreas Kintis, chancellor of the Economics University, said it was "unfair to newly appointed staff because it is unorthodox to ask a lecturer to stay in the same position for seven years and then make him redundant".

John Panousis, chancellor of the University of Thrace, claimed that "promotion should not be based on political patronage but on academic and scientific performance". While Michael Damanakis, chancellor at the Pedagogical Institute of Crete, said the legislation "provided a strong incentive for research, will reinstate a much-desired balance and will eradicate the civil service attitude among academic staff".

Mr Arsenis expressed his complete satisfaction at the response to the legislation and claimed that his proposals have lifted the uncertainty that has existed for many years in the academic community.

"In future all university teachers will receive promotion based on their teaching ability and the results of their scientific research," he said.

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