7. SEATTLE PACIFIC UNIVERSITY, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON. Philosophy: One-year, full-time, Visiting Assistant Professor position, available September 2011. Qualifications: Ph.D. or ABD. AOS: Open. A successful candidate must be able to teach all or most of the following: ethical theory, social ethics, history of ethics, aesthetics, and a general education course that focuses on questions at the intersection of philosophy, science, and religion...
It seems to me that whoever wrote this ad is thinking about visiting professors wrong. It seems to me that your basic 1-year non-renewable visiting assistant professor ought not to be asked to teach a weird interdisciplinary general education course. It seems ot me that because VAPs teach much more and get paid much less than permanent faculty, have little or no research support, are on the tenure-track job market, and must publish constantly in order to be successful on the job market, it is not fair to assign a course like that to a yet-to-be-identified VAP. You should be trying to make the VAP's courseload as manageable as possible.
It also seems to me that it's prudentially unwise to run an ad like that. It seems to me that the pool of applicants for visiting positions is much smaller than the pool for permanent positions or even the pool for visiting positions with the potential to be extended beyond the first year. It is my understanding that 30 or 40 applications from qualified candidates is a huge number for a position like this. So if an ability to teach a interdisciplinary course that focuses on questions at the intersection of science, philosophy, and religion means anything other than a willingness to do it, you might be cutting your potential applicant pool down to zero. You're looking for someone who has, or is close to having, a Ph.D. in philosophy, who has experience teaching ethics and aesthetics, who doesn't already have a job, who is willing to spend her own money to move to Seattle for a year, and who has experience teaching this highly specific interdisciplinary course. I can't imagine there are a bunch of people like that.