Teesside University professors 'must re-apply for job'
All research professors at Teesside University have been told they need to re-apply for their jobs, the BBC has learned.
The move affects 27 professors across the university's five schools.
A spokesman for the university said it was creating a new role with new criteria.
The University and College Union (UCU) said it was "surprised" by the move, which they said effectively means each professor is at risk of redundancy.
Jon Bryan, from UCU, told BBC Tees it was a "shock" and a "kick in the teeth" for those affected.
Mr Bryan said Teesside University does "internationally excellent research" and has got "world leading experts in a whole range of fields".
A university spokesman said the new role of "professor (research)" would build on the university's "research success".
"The university is currently in the early stages of consultation with the relevant staff," he added.
"The proposed process would enable all current professors to apply for appointment to the new role and, if they met the new criteria, be appointed.
"All current research students will continue to be supported through their studies during these changes."