Professor (title)

Article

July 6, 2022

Professor - the highest academic title in the USSR (since 1934) and the Russian Federation (since 1991), assigned to the most qualified teachers and researchers of higher educational institutions and research institutions, leading independent courses and leading research work. The academic title of professor in Russia is for life. The title is awarded to persons who have a scientific degree of Doctor of Science and who meet a number of formal conditions confirming their experience and high qualifications. The institutions awarding professorships are the Russian Ministry of Education and Science, and in some cases, state academies of sciences. The word "professor", in addition to the academic title, is also used to designate a teaching position in a university. At the same time, although professorial positions exist all over the world, the conceptual distinction between “professor-title” and “professor-position” is accepted only in Russia and some post-Soviet states. In other countries, the admission of a person to a position automatically means receiving the title of the same name for the duration of the employment relationship, without any special centralized assignment. The need for a unified procedure for conferring the titles of professor (and associate professor) earlier in the USSR and now in Russia is associated with a significant (greater than in the West) spread of the scientific and pedagogical level in different regions and different institutions.

History, rules

In the Russian Empire

In the universities of the Russian Empire, there were several types of professorial positions (adjunct professor, extraordinary professor, ordinary professor), but the word "professor" did not formally designate an academic title. Professors were assigned certain class ranks in accordance with the Table of Ranks. The exception was the title of Honored Professor of a higher educational institution of the Russian Empire, awarded for life and approved by the Ministry of Public Education.

In the USSR

After the revolution of 1917, all ranks, titles and degrees, including scientists, were abolished. In connection with the abolition, since 1918, two categories were organized for university teachers: “professor” - for everyone leading independent teaching