Professorial quality diluting

July 12, 1996

Just under 45 per cent of Oxford University academics are either professors or readers following this week's mass promotion.

One hundred and sixty two elevations to professor and a further 99 to reader have been agreed following a review by a 14-strong Distinctions Committee, including three external assessors. This increases the professoriat to 361 and takes the number of readers to 206, out of a total academic staff of 1,262. Women professors have more than doubled from 12 to 30 and readers are up from 8 to 20. Further reviews will be conducted annually. Applications, invited after a University Congregation decision last year, were judged on "quality of research as compared to that of professors and readers in other major research universities and, second, quality of contribution to teaching and administration".

Paul Slack, chairman of the University's General Board, said :"The results demonstrate the distinction of Oxford's faculties when measured against international, as well as national, yardsticks."

There will be no change in the pay or academic duties of promotees.

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