In Italy a unified procedure to rank candidates to the position of associate or full professor has been launched last year, and I of course participated to the qualification by sending a documentation of the work I performed and the articles I wrote in the course of my scientific career. With me, thousands of other candidates did the same.
Note that as a researcher for the Italian Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) I am presently following a career parallel to the one existing in the University. Despite that, in Italy everybody knows that titles such as the one granted by the selection mentioned above are important for one's career.
Tonight the results have come out, and I have been declared qualified for both the position of associate professor and the position of full professor. I was certain I would pass the qualification of associate professor, but much less so for the latter, which required the fulfilling of much tighter criteria.
The results of the selection surprised me also for the fact that many colleagues allegedly more expert than me (older, with more experience, etcetera) failed to qualify as full professors. I wonder whether the ranking by objective parameters (number of publications, total number of citations, h-index, and demonstrated capabilities of research / research organization, etcetera) neglects some important aspects of one's career, such as those connected with teaching merits or other specializations.
Anyway, who am I to blow against the wind ? Tonight I uncorked a very good bottle of red wine, and I feel slightly dizzy and quite happy. Note that this result does not have any practical implication - My position remains the same for now, my salary remains the ludicrous one I have earned in the last five years, and I have no real prospects of change in the near future. But at least this is some small token of recognition for my past career. It feels like I have not wasted my time in the past twenty years...