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Origin of the "Up-or-Out" System and Rationality of its Probationary Period
Author(s): 
Pages: 67-79+189-190
Year: Issue:  2
Journal: Peking University Education Review

Keyword:  非升即走试用期限学术人才成长周期;
Abstract: The effective "up-or-out" mechanism is an integral part of tenure system in American universities,yet its seven-year prescription for the maximum probationary periods is rather an arbitrariness in the history,despite its prevalence and persistence in American universities.From the perspective of academic elites’ growth and based on the two cases of Stanford University and Michigan State University,this paper intends to probe into the question that whether the given probationary period is sufficient enough for faculty to demonstrate their academic capabilities or potentials.It has been found that before the review for tenure appointment,faculty in Physics Department in both universities have shown strong research capabilities(5.77 and 6.42 publications on average per year),exceeding the promotion criteria,which to some degree proves the rationality of this instituted probationary period.Nowadays,since an increasingly large number universities in China have been uncritically adopting this Americanized " up or out" rule,empirical studies should be conducted first about whether this seven-year probationary period is suited for Chinese faculty’s academic development before introducing the mechanism.
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