Thursday, July 12, 2012

The professor's hat

Sometimes people ask me what hat am I wearing now, since I have a reputation of wearing several hats and sometimes switching hats in the middle of a sentence.   

Today I added additional hat - the professor hat.      How did I get this hat?  -- 
around a year ago I was asked to serve as academic adviser to the MIS department in the Yizreel Valley College,  I decided to do it, on top of all other things I am doing, as a kind of contribution to society, contributing to higher education in the periphery, the college resides in a green area in the countryside, around 45 minutes drive from Haifa (depends on the traffic).

 I supervised students seminars and projects, and started a work on help re-design the curriculum.  I have been teaching over the years at the Technion as adjunct faculty member,  but in the college I am in the status of a "real" faculty member (part-time), so I needed academic appointment.   To anybody not familiar with academic processes - academic appointment procedures are inherently long, go through multiple phases, with non-deterministic results, the nominee is totally passive and does not know (unless somebody leaks) who is evaluating, and what the status is.

Since the process is long, I started with temporary appointment, and the process started.   
Today the college president, Aliza Shenhar, called me  (actually I was swimming and she left me a message, I called her back later) to tell me that she is now driving back from the committee of the higher education council (colleges are not authorized to grant professor ranks, so the final decision is within a committee consists of professors from various universities appointed by the higher education council).
It turns out that this committee's meeting was the last milestone in the way to the professor hat (the process took almost a year E2E).   So I can borrow the hat from Professor Dumbeldore (in the picture above).

As the academic hat is a hobby and not my main occupation at the current state, this appointment is not as dramatic as promotion for an academic person,  and everybody (including undergrad students) are calling me by the first name anyway...  

3 comments: said...

Congratulations, Opher! But you will keep your other position as well, if I understand right?

Actually there are a lot of different kinds of professors, in Germany but also all over the world and is already changing again:
- der Ordentliche Professor (means the real professor)
- der Außerordentliche Professor (means actually not a real professor, but a bit)
- der Lehrbeauftragte (the adjunct professor, working unpaid from outside, why actually?)
- der Unordentliche Professor (me)
- der Honorarprofessor (somebody who needs or loves titles)
- der Juniorprofessor (doesn't like to work industry style)
- Full professor, half or quarter or still minor professor but still a professor
- and so on, depending on the country there are some more...)

Rainer von Ammon said...

Here is how it should work in Israel:

"The ranking system combines the American system and the German one. There are four faculty ranks rather than three: lecturer (martsé), senior lecturer (martsé bakhír), associate professor (profésor khavér), and full professor (profésor min ha-minyán). Traditionally, senior lecturer is equivalent to the American assistant professor rank. Promotion from lecturer to senior lecturer rank usually entails tenure, but not always. The two higher ranks had German rather than American equivalents: professor khavér was comparable to professor extraordinarius, while professor min ha-minyan was the equivalent, and Hebrew translation of, professor ordinarius. Tenure (not guaranteed) is granted after 4–7 years (depending on institution and academic achievements). Hence a professor khavér is in fact comparable to the American full professor; many academics never become a "professor min ha-minyan." The academic programs of the university are controlled by a Senate, of which every full professor is a member, as well as representatives of other ranks. Israeli universities do not, as a rule, grant tenure to new hires, regardless of previous position, rank, or eminence. A candidate is considered for tenure together with promotion to the next highest rank, or after a year for initial appointments made at the rank of full professor."

Opher Etzion said...

Thanks Rainer. I am a real professor but part-time, this is not my major occupation, just a hobby in this phase. As for the rank system in Israel, what you cites is quite accurate.