When it comes to teachers, the University of St.Gallen makes a distinction between faculty members and lecturers. Lectureships are awarded by the University's Board of Governors on a semester basis. Faculty members are appointed by the University's Board of Governors. The HSG distinguishes between three forms of employment:
- full professors,
- assistant professors, and
- permanent lecturers.
Full professors are appointed for an eight-year term. The employment period of assistant professors is limited to a maximum of ten years. Permanent lecturers are employed for an unlimited period of time. Faculty members can resign as from the end of a semester, with a period of notice of six months.
Faculty members teach students. They strive to attain a high degree of quality in teaching. They integrate the latest research results and insights from practice into their teaching. They promote research in their respective disciplines and participate in the academic dialogue with leading academics in their fields. Habilitated lecturers – who have passed the highest university examination with a so-called habilitation thesis – look after doctoral students as supervisors and review doctoral theses.
People who are habilitated can be appointed as full professors for a term of eight years. Subsequently, their teaching ability and their research is assessed, after which the University's Board of Governors will decide whether to reappoint them or not. The full professors bear the responsibility for teaching and research in their respective disciplines. This includes their responsibility as superiors, who support young academics and their members of staff. The title of "Ordentlicher Professor" is conferred on full professors on their appointment. They use this title until they retire at the age of 65; thereafter they use their previous title with the additional letters "em." for emeritus.
People who have obtained a doctor’s degree can be appointed as assistant professors for a maximum of ten years. Assistant professors are awarded their title on their appointment. To avoid being mistaken for a full professor, they may use the title of "Prof. Dr." but have to additionally mention their title of assistant professor.
People who hold a doctor's degree and will mainly be engaged in teaching can be appointed as permanent lecturers. Permanent lecturers are employed until the end of the semester in which they become 65.
Above and beyond this, the Senate of the University of St.Gallen awards further titles:
- associate professor,
- visiting professor in residence,
- honorary professor, and
Habilitated lecturers can be appointed as associate professors if they have distinguished themselves by successful teaching at the HSG and by academic achievements. Non-habilitated teachers who have distinguished themselves by equivalent attainments also have the possibility of being awarded this title. If an associate professor has not been granted a lectureship for five years, he or she may no longer use the title.
Faculty members from other universities who teach at the HSG can be appointed as visiting professors for the duration of their employment. If the teaching assignment has been fixed for a minimum of two years, the title can be supplemented by "in residence". When visiting professors leave the HSG, the title will lapse.
If full professors leave the University of St.Gallen before their retirement, the Senate can award them the title of honorary professor for special services to the University. Honorary professors can use this title for the rest of their lives. Besides full professors, the Senate can also appoint personalities as honorary professors who have a long-standing successful extramural record in trade and industry, politics, the judiciary, public administration or culture. Such persons have to pursue activities that are related to acadmic concerns, and they have to have taught at the HSG for a substantial period of time. Another possible background is a position in practice with a particularly high degree of responsibility in combination with an assignment that concerns the University as a whole. In contrast to full professors, such persons lose the title of honorary professor if their activities at the HSG are interrupted for more than two years. The title can be awarded for life if their activities at the HSG have lasted more than eight consecutive years.
When the University’s Board of Governors appoints lecturers, these persons are awarded the title of "Lecturer in [discipline] at the University of St.Gallen (HSG)". If the Executive Education Committee appoints lecturers, these may use the title of "Lecturer in [programme designation of executive education]".
Everyone who holds the title of professor uses the title until they retire, after which they use their previous title with the additional letters "em.".