(Russian, from Latin docens, genitive docentis,one who teaches), academic rank of instructors at higher educational institutions.
In Russia the rank of dotsent was introduced by the university statute of 1863. (Staff instructors with a master’s academic degree were called dotsenty.) In 1884 the rank of dotsent was abolished and that of privat-dotsent introduced. In the USSR, the rank of dotsent is conferred by the Supreme Certifying Commission (VAK) upon the representation of the councils of higher educational institutions—as a rule, to candidates of science who have passed a competition for the position of dotsent and worked successfully for at least a year and also to highly skilled specialists without the academic degree but with lengthy service in production who are chosen on the basis of a competition for the position of dotsent and successful pedagogical activity for a semester. Between 1937 and 1971, VAK confirmed 111,367 people as dotsenty, including 7,653 in the physical and mathematical sciences, 5,269 in chemistry, 4,192 in biology, 1,894 in geology and mineralogy, 35,327 in the technical sciences, 4,900 in agriculture, 9,050 in the historical sciences, 8,006 in the economic sciences, 2,572 in philosophy, 6,376 in philology, 1,226 in geography, 1,620 in law, 3,218 in pedagogy, 11,939 in medicine, 409 in pharmacy, 1,447 in veterinary science, 2,722 in art studies, 688 in architecture, 2,400 in military science and 437 in naval science, and 22 in psychology (conferred since 1969).
The rank of dotsent (or “docent”) also exists in the higher educational institutions of Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Sweden, and other countries. As a rule, it is awarded to individuals having a master’s degree.
M. N. VOLKOV