Physical Demands: While performing the duties of the job, the employee is regularly required to use hands and arms and talk or hear. The employee requires dexterity in using telephone, computer keyboard, mouse and calculator while seated at a desk. The employee is frequently required to stand, walk and sit. The employee may frequently move to interact with fellow employees and/or clients. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.
There were a number of things that seemed weird to me in this section. I mean, (a) I've never seen anything like this; (b) "the employee is regularly required to use hands and arms and talk or hear"; (c) "The employee requires dexterity in [doing stuff] while [specifically] seated at a desk"; (d) depth perception. The weirdest thing about this ad, though, is that they sort of seem to be saying that you would not satisfy the physical requirements of this job if you, for example, needed to use a wheelchair. It seems like there's a bunch of stuff in this ad that would have to be in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
I mean, I guess I see why they might want you to be physically located in San Diego. They're trying to run a college, and they've got meetings and stuff. But I don't see why they'd need you to specifically stand and walk. I don't see why you couldn't just roll to the meetings and stay seated the whole time.
(Also, I had a friend in college whose eyes were pretty messed up, so that she didn't have much in the way of depth perception. This problem of hers made it so that she couldn't really play frisbee very well--we talked her into it once but we quickly realized we were making a bad mistake--but I doubt it would have interfered with her ability to perform the duties of assistant professor of online philosophy.)
The other thing that stood out to me was, I checked their Wikipedia page, and according to it, anyway, Ashford is a for-profit university located in Clinton, Iowa, not San Diego, California. And as for-profit universities go, they seem to be particularly unscrupulous. Wikipedia says that they were audited by the Department of Education; that this education revealed several infelicities concerning their handling of financial aid funds; that they kept financial aid money when they shouldn't have, and that they take their time in disbursing funds to students. Additionally, only 37% of students at Ashford complete their degree program. Now, as I understand it a completion rate like that wouldn't be out of place at a community college. But community colleges are not-for-profit public service institutions, not a strategy to funnel money into the pockets of their owners.
Also, although they're private and for-profit, 86% of their operating budget comes from federal funds. I don't know what the typical number is for private colleges & universities, but that seems awfully high for a school that offers mostly online classes and that seems to have no appreciable research situation. Which makes it seem like Ashford is pretty much of an institution of predation, and not so much of higher learning.
And so the larger thing I started wondering about is, why isn't this illegal? I mean, I've been accused of being naive before, and I can't imagine that those days are over. But I don't see why this is an acceptable approach to education. Especially when these for-profit "universities" adopt the business model they do: get students to borrow money to pay for it, and then have only a third of them finish their degree. It's not a university; it's a racket.
So, I guess what I'm saying is, I don't think I'll be applying for this job.