In which issues concerning the profession of philosophy are bitched griped about
Rusty Jones was definitely my hero last year, but Meghan Sullivan is the first Leiter hire of this season, so let me be the first to congratulate her. I'm sure you'll do great at Notre Dame.
Rusty will be everyone's hero for a long time. But Meghan definitely deserves our congratulations, due both to her incredible talent and her incredible personality.
So much for CCNY's pedigree strategy (the one Marinoff detailed in Inside Higher Ed last year.) Looks like one of the hired candidates is moving on already. (Not that there's anything wrong with the hire moving on--my target here is that pedigree strategy.)
Well said, Anon 8:30.I also think there's nothing wrong with the hire moving on. But what about the department? Judging by the Leiter thread, it looks like several departments hire candidates that already have tenure-track jobs elsewhere. Does that strike anyone as bad for the profession (or simply bad hiring practice on the part of departments)?
What is the consensus opinion on self-reporting one's hire on the Leiter thread? I can understand why placement directors or department chairs would want to publicize the fact that their departments are placing graduates in tenure-track jobs. I can also understand that the department doing the hiring might want to advertise their new hires. When it comes to self-reporting of hires, I am really torn. I get the impulse of a new hire to announce to the rest of philosophy-dom that he or she won the job lottery, both as a personal accomplishment of which to be proud and as a way of letting the broader philosophical community know your future whereabouts. However, I can't over the feeling that self-reporting also contains an element of bragging and vanity.
Wow! How could anyone walk away from the "harvard of the proletariat"But to be fair to the HotP we have no idea why the candidate left (family reasons, cost of living, preference of living situation, etc).
I reported on the job thread because I wanted it to be apparent that you do not have to go to Rutgers to get a TT job. I also wanted people I may not contact directly to know where I will be. If only placement directors and SC chairs posted, it seems to me, the thread would not give a very accurate picture of what is going on with hiring this year. I am sorry to hear that self-reporting strikes some as smug and hope that this is not the general view.
I want people to report on what jobs they got on Leiter as much as I want people to report it on the Wiki. Its the sharing of information, and that's always good.
Some people self-report because their placement directors ask them to. Doing so makes a bit less work for the (overburdened) placement officer, and it also probably reduces the risk that the listed AOSs are all and only the ones that the candidate thinks are relevant.
I think that getting a tenure track job in philosophy is a huge accomplishment and that any pride one might feel would be completely justified. I also think that the Leiter thread is better when it is more complete, and that if you report it yourself, it's no big deal. Self-reporting seems fine to me.
This is the anonymous who posed the question about self-reporting. I ask because I have accepted a tenure-track offer for next year (not at a super-fancy school, but a TT offer nonetheless) and have been conflicted about whether or not to widely report this. I suppose I feel bad trumpeting my success when many of my friends are less fortunate (maybe something like survivor's guilt?), but I do recognize there is value in having good info about the people getting the tenure-track jobs. I think I might just hope my grad department's chair or placement director posts it eventually.
hi anon 10:44, Congratulations! Although your friends might be jealous, they will also be happy for you. I say, post away. But don't do it right now, because then everyone will know it was you.
Not all placement directors/department chairs follow Leiter or will make the announcement for their new hires. Should these people be left out for fear of looking too haughty about it? I think it is much more self-important to think you cannot mention your success to others, because it might make them feel bad, than it is to simply state the fact on a blog where such information was solicited! "Oh God, I just can't talk about my job success with anyone because I'm so great and it will make the little people out there feel bad! I'm so humble for keeping my mouth shut about how successful I've been." Anon 7:32AM--I think the latter view is much more vain, self-important, and uncharitable to one's colleagues, most of whom can probably be happy for others despite their own misfortunes in this tough market.
Christ, this profession.Given that Leiter explicitly asks candidates, hiring chairs, or placement directors to post, I think reading anything into a candidate complying with a request for information is completely uncalled for.
I find it far more self-important, vain and uncharitable to one's colleagues to think you couldn't mention your success (especially on a blog soliciting such information), than to simply report it. I would be offended if one of my friends didn't tell me of her success for fear that I'd be jealous, hurt or put-off by it! I think those who would stifle such information probably think they're more special than those who proudly own the fact.
Another reason to make sure that people's placement information is reported by someone (whether or not it is the hired professors-to-be themselves) is that the Leiter thread is one of the best sources of information of the hiring activity of the profession that we have. It's pretty much the only such source, in fact. For example, it's valuable to potential grad students deciding what programs to select, and to the faculty in PhD-granting programs trying to get a sense of how well they are doing at placing their students, compared to the rest of the profession.So I think it's pretty important for everyone with the relevant information to have that information represented on the thread, to help give as accurate a picture as possible. It's nothing that rises to the level of a duty or an obligation, I think, but my point is that it is a good thing to do, and it's not just a matter of bragging, but about getting relevant pieces of information into the public sphere.
I'm sympathetic with the hesitation to self-post. But this doesn't make me think any less of those who are comfortable self-posting. Also, there are important differences between posting P on a blog and mentioning P to friends in private conversation. Neither is an obvious case of 'trumpeting', but the former is more likely to be construed as such. So if one doesn't want his friends to think he's trumpeting, he might choose not to self-post on Leiter's blog even though he'd be happy to tell friends the news face to face or over email. Of course, real friends would probably allow one to self-post without construing it as trumpeting, either, so maybe 'friends' is to be taken somewhat loosely.Finally, talking about this seems kind of goofy. I'm off to see "Rusty Jones: Never Say Never 3D" for the third time!
Given the recent data about women in the profession, I like seeing that 8 of the first 14 hires listed are women. We absolutely need more women in this profession.
But to be fair to the HotP we have no idea why the candidate left (family reasons, cost of living, preference of living situation, etc).To Anon 7:56 AM--yes, of course there could be lots of reasons that a faculty member might make a move. It's true that this can happen at any institution after any hire. But that's just it. Marinoff had made a point in print about how their selection process, which included degree pedigree, would serve them well in selecting hires. But it seems that it did not, in fact, fare better for them. I don't want to push further and make a claim about how selecting for pedigree might increase the likelihood of "stepping stone" scenarios. I'd just say that nothing in their selection criteria turned out to guarantee fit with the department. Nothing does provide any guarantees, including pedigree.Now, my personal view actually is that a public institution like CCNY would benefit more using selection criteria that emphasized huge amounts of teaching experience with under-served and underprepared student bodies. Pedigree would be last on the list, if at all. I say this because I actually did my undergraduate degree at a CUNY college and have taught in the system. The days of HotP are past, and, despite tougher admissions standards, I believe it was disingenuous for Marinoff to speak like that. Too, too many in the applicant pool are ace teachers whatever their pedigree--teaching in the trenches and making it work--for me to have read Marinoff's piece last year and had that sit well. I hope the line stays open and when the job is advertised maybe they re-think their stance on pedigree. --Anon 8:30 PM
Anon 1:11,So you think posting on Leiter is supererogatory?
Unlike the wiki, which is anonymous, the Leiter thread names names, providing genuine information about who got hired, and where. One thing I find beneficial about it is that I can see who got hired for a job I interviewed for. This might give me information about why I did not get the job. Gee, that guy has four times as many publications as I do, or he went to an Ivy, or whatever. Sometimes it doesn't give me that information. I had a flyout last year for a job where the guy who was ultimately hired had a completely different AOS than the one advertised for. So why did he get the job? I don't know. He was very accomplished in his AOS. Maybe that counted for more, with that department, than having the advertised AOS. Maybe he just knocked their socks off in the teaching demo.I also like the thread because I am genuinely, sincerely glad for the people who got jobs. Even if they go the job I wanted. We don't have to be cutthroats.
Hello Anon 8:30/ 3:18, 7:56 here. Your expanded comment is well taken.To 7:32/ 10:44, congrats! Like others, I see nothing wrong with self-reporting. I'm sympathetic to the way you're feeling, but I don't think being secretive is the answer. I'd recommend telling your friends/ peers the good news (while being sensitive about how you report it); if they are good friends, they might feel worse that you kept it from them.I second zombie's sentiment of not being cutthroat!
10:44,Congrats on the job! I had similar feelings last year when I was lucky enough to land a TT job. I waited several days to see if my placement director or my new chair would post the hire, but neither did. I concluded that sharing the information with friends, teachers, colleagues, grad students, and might-be grad students is more important than whatever personal reservations I may have felt.But for the search committees reading this, I'd encourage you to post those hires yourself as soon as you seal the deal. It will probably make your new hire feel special and welcome.
To worry about whether or not you are vain, is just vain.
"Anonymous said... To worry about whether or not you are vain, is just vain.No. it's just a healthy check on encroaching narcissism.
Anon 3:41, That's why I asked. I'm not even sure anything is supererogatory. But since the earlier post implied that it was, I asked.If push came to shove, I'd say it probably is.
Even on a very generous interpretation of moral duties, you have no moral duty to report your hire on the Leiter thread. Would it be beneficial to others if you did? yes.Would it cost you much to do so? no.Should you do it? yes.Should you do it if you just don't feel like it? *shrug*But think about Rusty Jones, and how he inspired the hordes of unemployed philosophers with his seemingly unlikely, well-deserved, come-from-behind underdog WIN last year. Surely there is another Rusty Jones out there. *Cue theme from Rocky*
Are we going to see Mr. Zero's name in the Leiter Jobs list soon? Just hope that he gets the job!Since he cannot reveal his identity here (we need to protect him! ^_^), probably we cannot say directly whether he get the job now. But then I have a relevant question: Usually, how long the final candidates should have to wait to hear the decision from the school after the final (usually on-campus) interview? Anyone has any idea about that?
Anon 5:14, it can be as short as a few days when you hear you did or did not get the job, or it may be a phone call in two months asking if you're still available because the ppl who were offered the job before you all turned it down and now you're being offered the job. in short, watch the wiki and fret, or just try not to think about it.
Last year the placement director at my institution was unaware that Leiter had a TT job thread. My institution did very, very well at placing people last year, but it was at places whose search committees also did not know that Leiter had a TT job thread. Consequently, those in the profession who don't go out of their way to check our placement website had no idea how well we did.
Thanks to the reply from 7:23. Yes, this kind of uncertainty is making people crazy..... It is so hard to concentrate on anything now.... sigh...=(
Does anyone know to what department Anon@8:47 is referring (i.e. the department that had a strong placement record last year)?
7:23 (or anyone): If you know an offer has been made to someone else, is it ever OK to email the school and gently ask about your status? Or do you just suck it up and wait?
The most recent entries in the Leiter thread show people moving from postdoc to postdoc, presumably looking for a fulltime position. Is that respresentative you think?
Anon 12:28: I don't (as a search committee member) think that asking for a status update is wrong, per se, but I also am not sure that it is the right thing to do.For one thing, I don't think that you will learn much. If you had an on-campus interview, you pretty much know that you were in the top three--and you probably know something of the hiring timeline. Based on that timeline, you know if you were the first choice or not (and this is, of course, setting aside your claim to know that an offer was made). The vast majority of departments will inform the on campus candidates that the position has been filled--so you also pretty much know that until you hear otherwise, the top candidate(s) has not accepted the job.What is there left to know? Potentially a lot, of course, but most departments will probably not be willing to give up the kind of specific information that might add to what you already know (i.e., they won't tell you if you are second or third, or if they voted to extend you an offer if the preferred candidate(s) turns them down, etc.).So you are not likely to learn anything--but you may cause awkwardness or discomfort for the person who has to respond to your inquiry and beat around the you-not-being-first bush. Now, this is really a minor thing, and having to deal with such stuff is clearly a part of the SC chair's job. But if nothing else is going to come of the inquiry, you might as well avoid the awkwardness all the same.
Thanks 2:30. I'm just frustrated since an offer has definitely been made (wiki, plus we're past the deadline they gave). It'd be nice to know how far-fetched my hopes are, but if the SC is not automatically forthcoming, I guess it's best to stay in the dark.
Anon 12:30, based on my observations, multiple post-docs are a bad idea, unless they involve some teaching. I know scholars who did 2-3 research only post docs in a row, struck out in the job market every year and had to leave academe. Without recent teaching experience you can be more of a liability than an asset. Sad but true.
There is one person (out of the current 21) who moved from post-doc to post-doc (omitting the one who did so previously, but ended up at a TT job). So why surmise that this is a trend??
It's early, but already kudos to Wisconsin-Madison for placing three to TT and one to a nice postdoc.
seriously. what magical things are people doing in wisconsin?
I think if you're lucky enough to be offered two post-docs in a row then jump at the chance, but make sure you use the time productively for research. I wouldn't have thought anyone would turn their noses up at you if you come out with half a dozen good articles and a UP book (though if you can do a little teaching on the side it may be a good idea).The one person on Leiter's list in this position hardly constitutes a trend though, especially since they were on the other side of the pond from most of you guys...
If I have to come up with a speculative theory about Madison: All 3 TT hires are in moral theory. Perhaps that hardcore, very popular metaethics conference makes UWMadison seem like a very hot place for ethics. But, more likely, they have great students doing interesting work with wide appeal.
Don't forget, U. Wisc. has a lot of grad students. I'm not saying their placement is unimpressive, but part of the explanation is the sheer number of students.
Rutgers has over 15 students on the market. I bet that comes close to the top. I suspect that this accounts for their recent showing.
Rutgers has over 15 students on the market.Now, in the third year of the worst job market season in 30 years (not to mention the decline of tenure), are there many department which don't have 15, or so, candidates on the market?
Most departments are full of grads that realize they most likely won't get jobs bc they aren't at a Rutgers, NYU, Harvard, etc. and leave the profession. So no, most don't have that many on the market.
Rutgers actually had 20 people on the market this year. Several other top departments had double digit numbers of candidates too. As Anonymous@3:00 points out, these large numbers are due to several years of poor job markets. Not only are folks graduating this spring looking for jobs, but so are many people who graduated 1, 2, 3 years ago and didn't get TT employment, and so are many people who had a post-doc or VAP that is expiring. It is just brutal out there.
The correct accounting for Rutgers is that we had 13 students currently enrolled in the graduate program on the market this year, some of whom applied for only a few jobs. As placement director, I know of three or possibly four former graduates of Rutgers who currently have a postdoc or another position elsewhere who also submitted applications this year. We will be posting at least a couple more hires over the next few weeks. My impression is that a number of other departments had an unusually large number of students on the market this year, perhaps because people who might have made applications last year decided that the poor market then made it rational to defer until this year. That combined with the relative paucity of positions made this a dreadful year to be on the market.
Thank you Jeff for that informative post. There's far too much in the way of puffery and secrecy when it comes to graduate placement. You're a class act.
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