A Comparative Study of Faculty Members’ Career Advancement (Promotion) Systems in the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran: Case Analysis of the University of Tehran and Portland State University

Mohammad Mehdi Tanaomi, Robert Reza Asaadi


This article examines the similarities and differences in the systems for faculty career advancement in higher education institutions in the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. The analysis focuses on two specific cases: the University of Tehran and Portland State University. Through this paired comparison, we draw out the similarities between the two cases. Both cases are public universities and share similar criteria pertaining to productivity in research, teaching, and community outreach/service as central aspects in their respective faculty evaluation guidelines. On the other hand, we find significant differences in terms of the following parameters: the degree of centralization in the decision-making process regarding promotion and tenure, specific guidelines pertaining to the adherence to Islamic ideology in the Iranian case, which lack a comparative equivalent in the American case, institutional mechanisms for faculty representation, and the ratio of tenure-track to non-tenure track faculty. The purpose of this article is to improve universities faculty members’ career advancement (promotion) systems through the identification of effective practices in an effort to develop better models of higher education.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijhe.v6n4p111


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