Daigaku ronshu: Research in higher education Issue 50
2018-03 発行


A Study on the Historical Change and Current Situation of Professor Emeritus System in Japan
Nanbu, Hirotaka
This article analyzes the historical change and current situation of the professor emeritus system in Japan. A professor emeritus system cannot be one of the core sub-systems which plays an important role in university, but assumed that any sub-system in university, including the professor emeritus system, undergoes influence of changes in the external condition.
Historically, the professor emeritus system was introduced for the first time in the Imperial University in 1893. It was emphasized that Japanese universities needed it because there were professor emeritus systems in foreign countries. The system has been introduced in the specialized schools administered by the Ministry of Education in 1910’s and in national and public universities in the 1920’s. It was expanded to some schools in the non-educational section after the 1930’s. From the beginning of its introduction to the end of 1940’s, the title professor emeritus had the status of a “part-time government officer”.
By 1950 all national, public, and private universities had introduced the professor emeritus system on the basis of the School Education Law. Since then the title professor emeritus has been regarded as a just title, and every university has had regulations on it, including the condition and process of conferring the title. As a result of analyzing current regulations on the professor emeritus system in national universities, it is clear that each university has original rules. For example, only five years of work experience as professor in that university is needed in some universities, and in some others twenty years work experience as professor, associate professor, as well as lecturer is needed.
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