Friday, December 10, 2010

Progress on the Wiki

It seems that listings on the wiki are turning yellow at a furious pace now. I did a quick count about an hour ago, and 60 entries had turned yellow or orange, and 127 were still green. So there's a long way to go. But I'm having a pretty brutal day.

--Mr. Zero

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

you and me both, buddy. you and me both. :(

Anonymous said...

Here here.

zombie said...

Heavy sigh.

Anonymous said...

I now have 60 interviews set up, and I'm hoping for another 127. I will be sure to update the wiki once I get those other 127 emails and calls.

Back to reality: at least I've still got places I applied to in the green.

zombie said...

We're on the island of misfit toysssss....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SH1j1luFOw

Anonymous said...

So what do you do if you don't even get an interview your first time out? Try again next year, or is it a clear sign it's never gonna happen? Does anyone know a candidate who got a job after a full season of PFOs?

Anonymous said...

nobody loves me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dr3In858tQk

Anonymous said...

Umm...did you really count them all? Because it tells you how many are in each status. Click on 'Search the job wiki' and look at the first box.

BunnyHugger said...

That's about proportionate to my current tally. I applied to 18 positions, have gotten 2 PFOs, and 8 rejections-via-wiki. I may not have to go to the APA this year! Uh, hooray!

Mr. Zero said...

anon 5:38: I can't tell you what to do. But I wouldn't give up after one year--this is my fourth year out, and I know lots of people who took at least this long. I mean, I don't know. It's your life. But the fact that you don't have any interviews right now doesn't mean that you won't have any this year, and even if you don't get any this year, that doesn't mean you'll never get a TT job.

anon 7:48: no, I did not literally count them. My solution was less elegant than yours, but I didn't count them one by one.

Anonymous said...

5:38. It's a multi-year project. And don't freak out yet. There are plenty of jobs to go, and plenty more that will pop up in the Spring. Sure, fewer spring jobs are plum TT jobs, but there are still plenty of TT jobs, and many shorter term positions.

If you're still in this pickle 4-5 years down the road (and haven't used that time to help your CV in various ways) THEN it's time to panic. You'll also want to seek out medication to make sure the depression doesn't mean you need to be kept away from sharp objects.

Asstro said...

@5:38:

Not sure if this will make you feel better, but I mean it to.

I would expect, your first year out, not to get any interviews. Maybe you'll get one...maybe two...if you're lucky, if you've defended, if you're getting around the conference circuit, if you're coming from a strong department, etc.

It is definitely not a sign that you have no future.

Applying for a job is hard work. Learning the ins and outs of the job market, of the interview stage, of the fly-out stage, this all takes practice. Unfortunately, most newbies screw it up a few times.

If you don't get interviews this year, take the opportunity to improve your dossier for the spring for the VAP market. Talk to your professors about what you can do differently next time. Try to land some publications. Give yourself a year or two to build up your dossier. Write like a fanatic during that time. Stay in the teaching game by doing adjunct work. Eventually the long term VAPpers will be cleared out and the skies will brighten. So long as you can show yourself to be productive and engaged, you'll probably, eventually get an interview.

Anonymous said...

Let me give you some sense of how harsh things are. I'm currently a second year tenure-track assistant professor at a small teaching school. I want a job at a research school. I have three books under contract, two solo authored and one an edited collection. One of the solo authored books will be out early next year. I have completed a post-doc, won several awards (teaching and research, and have a 10 page CV. I applied to about 25 jobs this year. I have not received one invitation to interview! Good luck newbies!!

Anonymous said...

I'm 5:38. Thanks for the encouragement. No one is better at selling himself short than me, but I thought I'd get an interview this season (although not a job). I do have a some nice publications, I've been successfully adjuncting for a few years, and I'm told my letters are very strong. People from my department with far less have had interviews, even without defending. But eliminating jobs I never had a chance at, I only have a handful left on the Wiki. Sure, it's possible something will turn up, but it really, really doesn't look good...

Sorry, this is my first experience with job market despair. I find it's much deeper than, say, dissertation-despair. It's closer to getting-dumped-by-someone-you-love despair. Which is awful.

Anonymous said...

For those lucky individuals who have received interviews, please add to the wiki how the school contacted you (by phone or email). I keep hoping that my invitation to interview got lost in cyberspace or that the school isn't calling all candidates on the same day (last year I got a call to interview a week later than other candidates). Perhaps the wiki moderators can add a feature so people can easily state how the school contacted them.

zombie said...

I count 13 I'm out of, either by PFO or wikiFO. That's about a quarter of the jobs I applied for. Granted, some of them, I knew I was a longshot, but others were really, really in my AOS. Those are the ones that hurt.

Of course, there are still the ones that are not up on the wiki yet. :-(

Ian said...

Stories are circulating about DePaul denying tenure to Namita Goswami. Her case makes me wonder about tenure. I just don't know much about it, so I'm asking y'all:

I don't know anything about her situation, and the fact that she's a non-White female working on post-colonial philosophy makes the whole question particularly fraught.

So let us suppose that she was a philosopher of mind, hired by a department that decided they wanted to hire a tenure-track philosopher of mind. She does a good job; good enough for tenure. But it is now six years later, and her department decides that, despite their previous interest in having a philosopher of mind on board, they don't want one anymore. Are they doing her an injustice if they deny her tenure, not because they judge that she has failed to live up to the standards of the department and university, but because they judge that her area is not one they want their department to represent?

I ask that seriously. I can understand why that reason might be considered unjust, or an abridgment of her academic freedom. On the other hand, it isn't unjust, or an abridgment of her academic freedom, for a department not to *hire* her just because they aren't interested in philosophy of mind; so it might not be unjust for a department not to *retain* her for the same reason.

Asstro said...

Yes. They're doing her an injustice and they're violating their agreement. In many cases, they may well be breaking the law, which is why these things can be litigated in court.

Tenure requirements should be specified in the letter of offer what that person is in place to do, what that person is expected to accomplish to get tenure. At comprehensive review, the University will take the opportunity to check in with the faculty member. This is an internal review phase that gives everyone on the faculty, and the professor herself, the opportunity to shift trajectory, emphasize something that has been lacking, or build to tenure. Documents emerging from this phase are also extremely important to the tenure case.

The University cannot shift course six years later and decide that they no longer want a philosopher of mind. Untenured tenure-track professors are protected in at least this respect.

Obviously, there are ways to abuse this system, and I've definitely heard all manner of arbitrary bullshit at some very highly ranked schools, but all told, I think it's pretty fair.

Fulci said...

In tracing the IP addresses of status-changers on the Wiki, either everyone out of Wisconsin-Madison is getting interviews, or someone who lives there is f-ing with the site. I'm now only trusting status-changers whose IP addresses trace back to an actual university computer.

Anonymous said...

This is my first year out, and I have one interview so far. I was contacted by phone Monday evening. My contact mentioned that he hadn't called everyone yet, but I'm sure he has by now. I'm happy to have an interview, but the position is open rank (confined to my AOS). If anyone has advice on how a newbie PhD can sell themselves in competition with more senior folks, my ears are open. Good luck to all.

Anonymous said...

Ian, the situation w/ Goswami is no good at all, and it bodes pretty badly for whoever DePaul hires this year--if they do hire someone, since her case, as I understand it, could still be overturned (since an external review board found that her academic freedom was violated). Given how shitty and dysfunctional this makes the department look, and given that this is now in the national media b/c it coincides with DePaul's denial of tenure to so many minority candidates this year...well, let's just say things do not look good. I withdrew my application after reading about this and talking with some graduate students about the gory details--even if this isn't a gross ethical violation, it is definitely not a situation I'd want to throw myself into, TT job or no.

Anonymous said...

@Fulci:
Wisconsin has an enormous number of students on the market this year, which could possibly explain the data you're seeing.

Anonymous said...

Yes, many UW Madison job seekers are getting several interviews.

Anonymous said...

Ian,
I think it might be unjust, or unfair, or anyway a crappy way to treat someone. But I think she has no legal complaint.
I have no legal training at all. My answers come from some discussions I’ve had with my university’s general counsel (because I was on a committee that dealt with tenure in a potentially liability-exposing way). What Asstro says here:

“The University cannot shift course six years later and decide that they no longer want a philosopher of mind. Untenured tenure-track professors are protected in at least this respect.”

is the opposite of what our GC said. She says there are certain reasons the university cannot use, the invidious ones, but there is no legal recourse if the university or department ups its standards, changes its area emphasis, or anything like that.

This is not to defend DePaul ethically. I’d like to know more details (and I imagine some of them will be contested), but it sure sounds like they treated Goswami badly and I agree with 10:35 that it would be wise not to apply there.

Asstro said...

Strange. This same issue came up in recent tenure discussions at a faculty meeting. I guess we didn't actually consult with GC on the question, but some of the old turtles in the department certainly were resolute that we couldn't change our minds about the nature of the line and thereby pull tenure out from underneath the professor.

I guess I don't really know, but it seems to me that few would ever have grounds to win in court if a university could just say that they had decided that the line was no longer of use to them.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:38,

I got no APA interviews my first year on the market, and I landed a TT job my second year on the market. (I did get an interview in the spring, but it didn't lead anywhere.) So it does happen -- although I will admit that I was lucky the second year out in that I had exactly the right combination of AOS/AOC for the job I did get.

It sounds like a had a similar CV to yours when I went on the market the first time. I know how you feel. It really is terrible.

But keep your head up, keep working, and remember that the path to a TT job is normally a several year marathon. Good luck!

Glaucon said...

For what it's worth, the personnel rules at my state school list "departmental needs" as a consideration for tenure. I doubt we're unique in having that sort of clause, but I really don't know. I know of no cases in which it has been invoked on my campus, and I think (hope?) that it would be used only in the most extraordinary economic circumstances. My dean, I think, would probably resign (as dean) before he'd be a part of this – but who knows, given the ever-deteriorating budget situation in the state. In any event, even as fucked-up as my department is, I can't imagine anyone ever suggesting this route – if only because we'd probably lose the line.

One thing that's odd about the Goswami case is that her work appears to fit so well with DePaul's avowed commitment to "continental" thought:

In the Department of Philosophy at DePaul University, the long and rich tradition of European thought remains an open and vital question, for that tradition is constantly being studied, reassessed, and extended by way of contemporary Continental modes of critique, as well as through comparative analysis with philosophical traditions from around the world, such as those of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

So it wouldn't seem that her work is outside her department's mainstream, as it might be in other places.

Anonymous said...

An ad recently went up for a job at Antioch College. Does anyone know what happened to the faculty who worked there before the college closed a few years ago? Were those faculty laid off and, if so, are any of them being hired back for the college's re-opening?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:47 PM:

I looked this up the other day. Antioch *University* closed down the Yellow Springs campus, which is reopening as Antioch *College*. Because they are different entities, they can't legally just rehire the old faculty.

How much preference they get though, probably depends on who is doing the hiring and what goals they have for the new (old) institution.

Xenophon said...

Of the jobs I applied to, only 1/3 are either yellow or I've received a PFO. (The last one was for a job nobody even posted on the wiki, and I'm assuming nobody cares about it if they didn't bother adding it to the list.)

I'll admit, this is only the second time I've checked the wiki. Now I'll probably check it daily until the APA. Thanks, Mr. Zero.

I've decided that the best time of the season is after all the fall jobs have been posted and applied for, but before you can reasonably expect to hear about interviews. In that little zone, it's great if you get an early call about an interview, but no big deal if you don't. That time is now officially over, I think.

Anonymous said...

Thus far, updates to the wiki appear to corroborate everything I know about the jobs for which I've applied.

Last year, there were complaints of the wiki not being updated by those contacted for interviews, as well as third party claims to knowledge of interviews which were not recorded on the wiki. Has anyone had any experiences of this nature this year?

Anonymous said...

anon 12:06 - can you say something about who is publishing your solo-authored books (or just the best publisher of the two, to respect anonymity)? If they are at selective places then people might need to worry, but a lot of publishers are contracting books with little review or standards, to make a profit selling hardbacks to libraries. It's important for people to know which situation this is, because if these aren't selective places then the cv isn't especially distinctive. But if the publishers are selective this is horrific.