The Profile of the Academic Teacher and the Academic Career

Academics is distinguished by the connection it makes between teaching and research, which is why Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (the VU) wishes to establish an explicit connection between these two aspects in an academic career. Making a strict separation between teaching and research is not advisable in any WP position. Each academic, even an academic whose career focuses on teaching, must have a basis in research and maintain this basis throughout their career. Equally, it is impossible to have a career in academics without having demonstrable experience and proven competence in teaching. However, this does not mean that an individual staff member's teaching and research performance must be at the same level at all times in his or her career. The level of teaching and research performances can vary in relation to each other, allowing for the performance level in one area to be compensated by the performance level in the other.

In 2015 the VU has established the Framework Teaching Performances. In doing so the VU took the lead in bringing into balance both teaching and research aspects in an academic career. Since then the framework has been included in the tenure track policy of the VU and in the recruitment and promotion policy of a growing number of faculties.

This has resulted in:
•    Improvement of the acknowledgement and visibility of teaching and teaching performances in the academic career of academics who are dedicated to providing good-quality teaching;
•    Improved support for the professional development of academics with regards to teaching by describing this development and the required training in the different phases of their career;
•    Better career prospects for academics who dedicate their career to ensuring that teaching is of good quality, that there are innovations in teaching, and that solutions are found to deficiencies within teaching, right up to the highest level in the organization.

Furthermore the VU offers academics who are exceptionally committed to teaching the opportunity to have an academic career up to the highest academic level in the organization.  Prominence given to and/or excellent performance in teaching within the profile of the academic, is a necessity.
The VU has currently appointed 7 professors with a teaching profile.