University of Cambridge plans formal teaching-only posts

Academic says the move is a ‘huge change’ for the institution

July 31, 2014

The University of Cambridge is planning to formalise its teaching-only posts in a move that one academic has branded a “huge change” for the institution.

Cambridge’s general board has recommended that two new university “offices” – or academic posts – be established for the small but growing number of teaching-only staff on open-ended contracts.

Gill Evans, emeritus professor in medieval theology at the institution, said that the creation of the new titles may reflect a shift towards the current trend in higher education of “identifying teaching-only powers”.

Writing in the 16 July issue of the Cambridge Reporter, the university’s general board says that the current set-up for teaching provision has developed in a “piecemeal fashion” with staff subject to a variety of terms and conditions, which is “unsatisfactory and poses risks for the university”.

It recommends that new offices of lecturer (teaching) and senior lecturer (teaching) be established to provide a clear structure for appointments and promotions.

Traditionally, the academic career structure at Cambridge has been based on university offices that include both teaching and research. Professor Evans said: “It [has been] absolutely fundamental since 1877 that Cambridge academics [are] there to do research as well as teach. So it is a huge change in that respect.

“This looks a bit like Cambridge going with the trend of identifying teaching-only powers.”

The general board says that combined teaching and research offices will provide the main career structure for permanent academic posts.

It adds that the new teaching-only offices should be used sparingly because of the “university’s critical dependence on maintaining high-quality research”.

A spokesman for Cambridge stressed that the creation of the new offices is currently a recommendation.

holly.else@tsleducation.com

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Summer Receptionists

University Of Chichester

PhD fellow within Machine Learning for Personalized Healthcare

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Lecturer in Finance

Maynooth University

Teaching Laboratory Assistant

University Of Bristol
See all jobs

Most Commented

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

Mitch Blunt illustration (23 March 2017)

Without more conservative perspectives in the academy, lawmakers will increasingly ignore and potentially defund social science, says Musa al-Gharbi

Alexander Wedderburn

Former president of the British Psychological Society remembered

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham