The main reason that the hiring process takes a comparatively long time in Germany is that its legal framework (the Baden-Württemberg State Higher Education Act or“Landeshochschulgesetz“) is dedicated to ensuring as fair and participative a process as possible. From determining who sits in the (comparatively large) hiring committee to how the applications are evaluated and the short list generated – all procedural steps ensure equal opportunity and the selection of the best candidate based on aptitude and qualification as outlined in the guidelines for appointment procedures at the University of Tübingen (“Leitfaden für Berufungsverfahren“). Each step is documented, and the accompanying documents are stored.
With regard to the appointment of professors, the goal is to increase and ensure the quality of appointment procedures in order to exclude disadvantages based on gender and to support the active recruitment of women as long as they are underrepresented.
According to State Higher Education Act, the University Equal Opportunity Officer has the right to participate in hiring committees and to vote in the process. The representative of the Equal Opportunity Officers advises the hiring committees on ensuring equality and has the task of giving her consent or commenting on every step of the procedure in the committee meetings. However, she/he is not solely responsible for pointing out discrimination on the basis of gender. Rather, all members of the committee, in particular the chairperson, are obliged to do so.