Appointment processes at Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences are criteria-based, multi-stage and time-intensive. One special feature of the appointment process at Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences is the determination of selection criteria for each specific position prior to reviewing the applications. In addition, selection interviews and trial lectures are intentionally separated in time. This allows the Appointment Committee the opportunity to evaluate each applicant twice and thus obtain a more comprehensive picture. It also offers applicants the chance to present themselves in two different situations and to gain a good first impression of our institution. The Equal Opportunity Officer and, if applicable, the Representative for Severely Disabled Persons are fully involved in every step of the process from an early stage onwards.
The appointment process is mainly based on the Appointment Regulations, the Guideline for Implementing the Equal Opportunities Mission of Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, as well as the Lower Saxony Higher Education Act (NHG) and the General Act on Equal Treatment (AGG).
The explicit provision of the professorship (also called denomination), the profile paper and the call for applications form the basis of the process. A working group is appointed by the Dean to prepare the procedure. The working group comprises representatives of the subject area, the Dean and/or Dean of Studies, the faculty-specific or central Equal Opportunity Officer and, in an advisory capacity, the Appointments Officer. The working group drafts a proposal, a justification text (profile paper) and an advertisement text for the resolution in the Faculty Council and/or Institutional Board. In addition, the denomination, profile paper and call for applications must be approved by the Academic Senate, the University Steering Committee and the Foundation Board. Only then is a professorship advertised on the homepage of the University of Applied Sciences (current job offers) and in other online and print media.
The constitutive meeting is the launch event for the work of the Appointment Committee, where the members of the Appointment Committee become acquainted with each other in their specific composition. At this point the Committee clarifies the formal conditions as well as the subject-related criteria for the selection process based on the call for applications and the profile paper. In addition, the procedure as well as the profile and structure of the professorship to be filled are discussed within the faculty or institute. As an integral part of the quality assurance of appointment processes, the Appointment Committee is not informed about the individual applicants until after the constitutive meeting.
The Appointment Committee is usually composed of at least four members of the university teaching staff, one academic staff member, one student as a voting member and one staff member from technology and administration as a non-voting member. At least two external university lecturers of the relevant subject participate. A third external member may also be called in as an expert from the field with eligibility to vote. The Equal Opportunity Officer and, if applicable, the Representative for Severely Disabled Persons as well as the Appointments Officer attend the meeting in an advisory capacity.
The constitutive meeting is followed by a selection meeting. At this meeting, all applications are reviewed and evaluated. The foundation for this is section 33 II Basic Law, according to which a shortlist of the most suitable candidates is compiled. This means that every applicant has the constitutional right to be assessed according to suitability, qualification, and performance. The assessment matrix comprises the formal and subject-related criteria agreed upon in the constitutive meeting. The task of the Appointment Committee is to find the most suitable candidate for the advertised professorship. The selection meeting establishes the further procedure on the basis of the applications received. At this stage, a decision is taken as to whether an applicant is relevant, conditionally suitable or not suitable at all. For this purpose, the Appointment Committee considers each individual application in its entirety. Applicants, who are identified as ‘best candidates’, are invited to a selection interview. Conflict of interest is not allowed and must be disclosed and the necessary steps to be taken are decided upon in advance.
The selection interview is also subject to the conditions of the so-called shortlist, i.e. it must be transparent, criteria-based and offer equal opportunities. It also serves the additional purpose of getting to know each other, namely the candidates and the Appointment Committee. Each applicant has the opportunity to present herself or himself personally and, for example, to clarify open questions regarding the university, faculty, professorship, requirements and facilities. The interview can last for 45 minutes to an hour. The Appointment Committee will inform you about the key points in the letter of invitation.
In the trial lecture, the applicants demonstrate how they teach and interact with students. The Appointment Committee specifies the format and the lecture topic to be covered in the invitation letter. As a default, this lecture is conducted in German. The exact format of the trial lecture varies between faculties and the Institute of Music. For example, it may include parts in English, seminar units, a performative lecture and/or a specialist lecture. The trial lecture is evaluated by the students present and by the Appointment Committee.
After the lecture, the Appointment Committee compiles an ordered list of candidates they consider suitable for the position. After an appointment proposal has been prepared by the Appointment Committee, an appointment report is compiled. This report documents the entire course of the procedure. The report is submitted to the Faculty Council. If the Faculty Council approves the report, it is also voted on by the Academic Senate, the University Steering Committee and the Foundation Board of the University of Applied Sciences. When all approvals are received, the position may be offered to the successful candidate.
If all Committees have approved the appointment report, the first-placed candidate is invited to accept the appointment at Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences. This is followed by appointment negotiations with the President and the personal decision of the candidate to accept or reject the invitation. If the invitation is accepted, all other applicants will be informed about the name of the successful candidate and date of appointment.
New professors are usually appointed at the beginning of a new semester, corresponding to February 1st for the summer semester or September 1st for the winter semester.
Among various services for new professors, Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences offers the PROFHOS programme for further professional development of new members of university teaching staff. This programme offers the opportunity to not only further develop one's own teaching personality, but also to get to know colleagues in similar professional situations across faculties and to exchange experiences and first impressions of Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences.