Friday, December 12, 2008

Why not smile?

I spent the past few weeks willing the schools I've applied to not to contact me. Everytime I heard from one it turned out the economy sucked ... and the search was canceled. Some of them were only suspended and they (very politely) told us that the search may be reopened if money suddenly became available. **Fingers crossed for a bailout of the academic industry.**

While I'm currently sitting around willing the schools I've applied to to contact me, I saw something yesterday that seemed like the worst of all possible worlds. On the wiki someone posted:
"Email received that search (and interview) have indeed been cancelled" (emphasis added).
I thought having searches canceled was bad. THAT sucks.

--Second Suitor

11 comments:

use said...

I am curious about how many jobs for which each of us has applied have been suspended or killed because of the economy. Luckily, I have only had 2 of the jobs for which I applied suspended/killed. Anyone have a lot more than this? Anyone unaffected so far by the economic situation?

skeptinautika said...

3 gone. Sucky suck suck! And only one interview to show for 70+ apps. (Plus no dissertation progress in three months. Shit!)

Second Suitor said...

I've lost 3 out of about 40ish apps.

anja said...

The job market makes no sense. Last year I wasn't finished, had a shittier writing sample, and less good letters than I do this year, and I got six interviews. This year, so far, nothing! AAAAHHHH!

use said...

Anja: from what I can surmise from the current situation, there are not only fewer jobs available, but places are doing fewer APA interviews. There are also fewer places doing APA interviews at all, so you might have had places last year that would take a long-shot on someone ABD, with a less impressive writing sample, etc. This year, at least from what I can tell, places are being much more selective in terms of specialties, publications corresponding to specialty, etc. Of course, this is all speculation, but these seem to be the trends I am noticing. The interviews for which I have been scheduled are precisely within my AOS, and I have a feeling that any attempts to 'stretch' that at all have been denied.

bball said...

I agree with use. That's the trend I am seeing as well. Last year as an ABD candidate I applied to a limited number of positions, around 15. I got 3 APA interviews, two were a bit of a stretch for me. This year, after applying to around 35 places-many of these are, strictly speaking, stretches-so far I have uno interviews.

By the way, I can't figure out how people manage to apply to 70+ places. I am applying to most Ethics, Applied Ethics (but not those that said they specifically wanted Business Ethics or Bioethics) and Social/Political positions. I excluded just a few due to location. I only came up with 40 or so.

missamerica said...

Is it normal for departments to conduct interviews before the application deadline has passed?

According to the wiki, the Great Books post-doc at UT-Austin had conducted both a phone interview and a conference interview by December 1, which was also the application deadline stated in the JFP ad. According to that same ad, they'll announce their selections in March (i.e. no obvious need to interview before 2009). This looks odd.

Zach Simpson said...

Missamerica-

I noticed the same thing, and placed a question below the entry on the wiki. I sent my application before Thanksgiving and haven't heard anything, which I expected. Hopefully the individual(s) that posted that entry is talking about a different position or some other factors were at work.

By the way, out of 20 applications (I'm a philosopher of religion, so my field is rather narrow), I've had one search cancelled due to the economy. More are sure to follow, though.

pornchompoo said...

bball, I'm sure I've applied to many of the jobs you did, and I haven't heard a word. But then, only two of the places I applied to have entries on the wiki, so I hold out hope that next week will bring developments, and that many of these schools are tightening belts and not going to the APA, leaving us to wait until January to hear more.

use said...

pornchompoo: Given what I have seen this year, I doubt that many schools will even bother with the APA in a few years. If one really thinks about it(which we all probably have because we're sitting around waiting for emails or phone calls), the APA is waste of money for both candidates and especially for universities. Combine the fee for having a table at the APA, transporting 3+ faculty members, hotel rooms, hotel suite, expenses, etc. It just seems much more economically and environmentally friendly to conduct phone/video interviews, followed by fly-outs. From what I understand, search committee members usually do not enjoy the interviews all that much, they do not get a chance to see any sessions (in fact, I was reminded the other day by someone that there are actually philosophy papers being given at the conference - it really has become nothing more than the market for me), and they are dealing with interviewing nervous PhD's or ABD's two days after X-mas, which I imagine is less than pleasant in terms of really unusual stress dynamics.

As for us, we all know that we cannot afford to go to the conference, yet we cannot afford to miss it.

IMHO, I hope schools start taking the approach that some are now taking, which is to avoid the APA altogether. There are moments when tradition seems to become a waste of time and resources.

philo said...

Hi. Thus far 3 canceled -- and no interviews, alas -- out of about 60 apps. I have my doubts, though, about state schools that have not yet officially declared hiring freezes. I fear it may be a matter of time with many of them.

I hoped that sending out more apps (and moving from ABD to PHD) this year might help counteract the effects of the canceled searches and increased competitiveness of existing searches, but I am now wondering if these factors just aren't going to be enough this year...