Monday, August 17, 2009

Small is beautiful

Prof. Andrew Mills at Otterbin College draws our attention to his new site detailing the life of philosophers in small departments. In his own words:
The bulk of the material up there now is from a survey I conducted of faculty working in small departments, but I hope to use the blog as a space for ongoing discussion about life in a small department. Among these issues are those raised by the job market: are graduate students well-prepared to compete for jobs at small departments? Are there things their graduate programs could be doing to help them? What do small philosophy departments want in new faculty, etc.
Of course, being prone to frequent bouts of sadsackness, I've been getting a particular kick out of reading the concerns of those in small philosophy departments and picturing everything that could go wrong were I to end up in one. But, per the site and survey results, there also seem to be advantages to such a gig, which might excite me on those days when I'm in higher spirits.

Regardless, I think Prof. Mills has done quite the service for all of us coming out on the market in the fall by bringing attention to something I, and probably many others, hadn't even thought about until now. I'm guessing some of the questions raised and answers given will provide some nice perspective and be mad useful for those who may end up in, or want to be in such situations.

- Jaded Dissertator


John said...

It would be more useful if the results distinguished between responses from professors at SLACs and responses from profs at community colleges.

I can only imagine that in spite of the superficial similarity that they are both "small departments", there are lots of important differences that exist between the two from the point of view of the individual professor.

Anonymous said...

It's also worth noting that small depts means "three or fewer" full time faculty, which is really very small. A good chunk of SLAC are not small by this criterion, but of course are small compared to research institutions.