In which issues concerning the profession of philosophy are bitched griped about
Anyone else find the wording of the post somewhat insulting for those who manage to secure a (frequently hard-won and much sought after) VAP position? At this stage in the game I'd be thrilled to have a 1 year VAP nailed down, but apparently that isn't sufficient for entry into the community of scholars. This seems especially troubling in a world where TT positions make up a smaller and smaller percentage of the positions offered. And what of renewable contract positions at schools that do not offer tenure? Do those people also fail to meet the high barrier of entry required for Leiter to welcome you into the profession?To make matters worse, there is frequently no real distinction between VAP and post-doc positions. I've applied for post-docs with higher teaching loads than many of the VAP positions. Indeed, I can think of at least one ivy-league institution that hires its own otherwise unemployed graduates as lecturers but gives them a "post-doc" title. It seems like a title change is an easy way to make your VAP/lecturer position look more enticing than it actually is.
No, not insulting. All else being equal, it's clear that TT jobs are preferable to postdocs, which are preferable to VAPs. It seems like the most desirable combo is to defer a TT job for a year or two to take a post-doc.If we interpret the list as "who got the most prestigious and desirable jobs this year", then it makes more sense. I'm not saying that's a good thing to care about, but it's not insulting either.The increasing number of fake postdocs with relatively high teaching loads is a separate issue.(I'd kill for a VAP position right now, too.)
Agreed, 10:07.Some VAPs are quite prestigious, e.g. the three-year one at Melbourne this year.I think it's another instance of Leiter's elitism. The only other explanation is space considerations, but the internet seems to have plenty of space.
10:07,I can assure you that the wording of this post doesn't even crack the Top 10 List of Most Insulting Things About the Job Market.
Doesn't Leiter have enough undeserved power in the profession without young philosophers thinking that he's the one to welcome you into the profession? That's the job of the hiring committee who offers you the job.There might be (or have been) some good in the Gourmet Report. Let's not contribute to its pernicious and dispiriting elitism. I've gotten two jobs that I could post there over the years and happily posted neither. You can resist. Really. Celebrate with your loved ones. We'll all be the better for your resistance.
A VAP is a big fucking deal. Maybe the fine folks here could open a VAP hiring thread.
SLAC-er,I don't care about Leiter, but I like reading the job postings. It is one of the ways I learn that people I've talked with at conferences, etc., have gotten jobs and where they are off to. Just today I learned that a friend (using the term a touch loosely) has gotten a tt job, which made me smile.
I agree with Fritz. Let's open a VAP thread here! A VAP is a big deal.
Has anyone heard about the position at——oh, I can't. I can't keep it up any longer.
Anon 8:46 said, "I don't care about Leiter, but I like reading the job postings. It is one of the ways I learn that people I've talked with at conferences, etc., have gotten jobs and where they are off to."I wholeheartedly agree. There are a lot of people I met at conferences over the years that I don't keep in touch with, but I'm still happy for their success.Also, it makes it easier to check up on the jobs I thought I was particularly well-suited for and those for which I interviewed, to see who bested me, what their CVs are like, and in what ways I should try to better my own in the upcoming year. It's motivational.
is this the thread where we complain about all the sham searches that ended up going to internal candidates?
9:29,Sure. If you can distinguish them from the legit searches that went to internal candidates. And also please include the sham searches that went to external candidates.In other words, as long as you can provide evidence that the search was indeed a sham, without pointing to the internal applicant as proof.
My experience is that the internal candidate is usually a political move to try to show someone that "we took this person seriously." The internal candidate gets the job *much less* often than an external candidate. That is my experience over the last ten years or so. I know of cases first hand where the internal candidate wasn't even seriously considered although he got an "on campus"--it was entirely to humor him.
To make the occasion, a classic post:http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2012/02/juvenile-jackass-watch-the-case-of-ip-address-122182042.html
Wow! Women are doing great on the Leiter thread: 8/16 so far! Progress.
Question: I have a two-body problem. Suppose that I'm offered a job by a department that isn't able or willing to make a second job for my partner. Will I make enemies by reapplying for jobs again the following year, with the intention of securing positions for my partner and I?More generally: Am I correct in thinking there's a norm against re-entering the job market soon after securing a TT job?Thanks for any information you can provide!
1:43: there's a norm against having a two body problem, a partner, a family, and a life. they're giving you a job, not purchasing your future. moreover, you're probably on a year to year contract until tenure anyway. fuck it. keep it close, but you do what you need to do.
1:43,Any department that doesn't assume all junior faculty are on the market is deluding itself.Until you are offered tenure, you are on the market. The only question is, will you actually be applying for jobs?
I'm w/ 5:40pm -- if you let them know that you have a partner that needs to be accommodated, and they can't/won't, then they shouldn't be surprised if they lose you to somewhere where the grass is greener by your lights.
I think a norm against re-entering does exist. And it is trumped by the norm in favor of caring more for your partner than for your employer.
I want to add my vote to 5:40's and especially (the second) 7:24. They know the problem, they know they couldn't help you with it, so they know you're going to go on the market.I think when you give someone, including an employer, a reasonable expectation that you'll stay for some certain amount of time, that does create *some* ethical reason to do it; but your employer has no such reasonable expectation, in my opinion. So, in sum, they aren't going to get pissed off at you. (Unless they're jerks, or clueless.)
1:43, some departments will understand and support your applying. Others will hold it against you; I think that's immoral, but it's out there. So I'd apply for jobs but not tell my new colleagues. But definitely don't lie to them.
On sham searches and internal hires: Sorry, but when the ad is tailored to the AOC/AOS of an internal candidates, then the belief that no one else ever had a shot at that job is justified.
I've been at two schools where someone had the two-body problem. In each case, things got awkward.In the first case, the wife of a tenured prof applied for but did not get a tenure-track spot in the department. (She finished her PhD much later than he did.) He got very angry, resigned from his position as department chair, and sulked in his office for about two years. Not kidding -- he basically withdrew from department affairs for a while.In the second case, we had a tenured prof and a tenure-track prof who wanted to get work for their wives in the department. Neither wife was offered a tenure-track position, and both couples ended up leaving. People were unhappy about it, but no one was surprised when they left.Anyway, I think Anon at 7:49 pm has got it right.
"Sorry, but when the ad is tailored to the AOC/AOS of an internal candidates, then the belief that no one else ever had a shot at that job is justified."One thing you need to remember is that, in many cases (say when a VAP line is converted to a TT line), the AOS/AOC was written when the department filled the original position. The TT line reflects a remaining department need, which the VAP fills and should be considered a viable candidate for.I think it's a little naive and mean-spirited to assume that every time a department hires a TT position "tailored" to an internal candidate, that search must be a sham.Yes, internal candidates often (but not always) have an edge. But when an internal candidate is hired, that is not proof that the search was a sham.But if you really think all internal hires prove a sham search, I think you should run an experiment next year. When the jobs are posted, run through the departments' webpages and try to identify an internal candidate based on AOS/AOC. Post that list as the "Sham Jobs List." Come back later in the year, and see how many of those jobs have, in fact, been filled by internal candidates.
"I think when you give someone, including an employer, a reasonable expectation that you'll stay for some certain amount of time, that does create *some* ethical reason to do it"When you sign a contract, you give the employer a reasonable expectation that you will stay for the length of that contract. Nothing more.
"When you sign a contract, you give the employer a reasonable expectation that you will stay for the length of that contract. Nothing more."I don't think that's right, actually.My contract doesn't have a length. Our faculty rules specify that tenure track faculty get seven years and then up-or-out, but that doesn't bind *me* at all, only the university.But I think when I joined the department I created a reasonable expectation that I would not, e.g., quit four weeks later, leaving the department no chance to get any of their other favorite candidates.
Re: "sham searches." Several people suggested that Hamilton's search was aimed at hiring an inside candidate who is a VAP there. The VAP did not get the job -- it went to someone else. I kind of wish that the search was rigged, b/c then I could feel better about not getting an interview!
"My contract doesn't have a length."Then you are not obligated to your employer for any length of time."Our faculty rules specify that tenure track faculty get seven years and then up-or-out, but that doesn't bind *me* at all, only the university."Agreed. Especially if your contract does not specify a length."But I think when I joined the department I created a reasonable expectation that I would not, e.g., quit four weeks later,"Part of that is because of how the market works. But if your contract doesn't specify any length of service, you can walk away whenever you like. In fact, you have the right to quit the job whenever you want."leaving the department no chance to get any of their other favorite candidates."That's not even a little bit your problem.
"Several people suggested that Hamilton's search was aimed at hiring an inside candidate who is a VAP there. The VAP did not get the job -- it went to someone else. I kind of wish that the search was rigged, b/c then I could feel better about not getting an interview!"Hamilton, in fact, made two hires, neither of which was an inside candidate.
Elizabeth Harman said:"some departments will understand and support your applying. Others will hold it against you; I think that's immoral, but it's out there. So I'd apply for jobs but not tell my new colleagues. But definitely don't lie to them."How does one go about this? Do letters come from one's graduate institution faculty or outside philosophers who can comment on one's work? And, if so, would this be a disadvantage when applying to other departments since one would have (presumably) no letters from one's current colleagues?
1:43 here.Just to be clear: I wasn't asking because I was going to avoid applying—I will definitely re-apply, in the event my partner and I don't get accommodation the first time around. More wondering about how much this behavior might be held against me. Everyone's been real helpful in sorting that out. Thanks for all the comments!
Perhaps I've been naive all this time, but I thought philosophy was about the love of knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Honestly, the more I continue within the "business" of philosophy today, the more it disgusts me.
Wow, 6:20's purity of heart is admirable. But disgust at the need of the rest of us to earn a living, live with our beloved partners, and other such mundane concerns, may be unbecoming, even in Socrates.
I have the same question as 2:00. Your thoughts, Elizabeth?
620I think it's good that you have been disabused of your naive notion. Philosophy is a job, with all that that entails. It is also something people are passionate about but that doesn't change the fact that it is a job, that you have to understand and work within the power structures your department and university, etc.Note: almost any job will have those elements. It's just that academics, for some reason, don't seem to think that they are subject to all of the problems of everyday life.
620 As the one who made the above comment I have to say first, that I agree -- today -- philosophy has become a job, however, the "job" part is supposed to be an accident or part of the profession and ought not to be transformed into the whole, into what is essential to it, which is, sadly, slowly becoming the case. So my own sad musings are about the fact that philosophy is, ever so slowly, being transformed into -- just -- a job. I am as passionate about philosophy as I believe that all or at least most of my fellow colleagues are. I have a family, have struggled like the rest of you and am VERY clear about what is required in order to take care of my family. But feeding my family is not why I entered into philosophy. For that, I could have entered into any number of other professions. I chose philosophy, because I believe in the value of education. In my opinion, when once the true purpose with respect to what it is that we do, a purpose that is not just individualistic, but social, civil, pedagogical, etc., has been uprooted, the reasons for maintaining philosophy and the entire system of "liberal" university education is torn up along with it.
"But feeding my family is not why I entered into philosophy."Nor I.My reasons are not as altruistic as yours -- I just couldn't stop thinking about philosophical questions, and I really wanted to know the answers and work things out for myself. I didn't get into philosophy to save anyone's soul, or change society.But, although my purpose wasn't to feed my family... I still have to feed my family. So job market stuff worries me, and I have to pay a lot of attention to it. If that disgusts you, so be it.
Philosophy is more of a job at some places than others. I teach 10 courses/year, serve on multiple committees (required as a junior faculty), and advise 40 students.My dissertation advisor taught 1 course/year, was exempt from service because his publishing was more valuable to the department, and never had to advise more than 15 students (including grad students) in any given semester.Start off lucky enough and become important enough, and the job becomes much more about doing philosophy.
Wow, ten courses and 40 advisees.I have a 2/2 load, and so do my star colleagues -- nobody ever gets courses off here for being famous. (Star lab scientists get courses off for running their big labs, but philosophers not so much.) And, we (junior faculty) are strongly discouraged from joining any committees, and protected from admin pressure to join. So, I feel very lucky.And I do mean lucky. I figure I was about an average student in my grad program, and my job is much better, much cushier than almost any of my classmates'.So, yeah, turns out that job market thing is really important. It's almost all out of your control, but we sweat it anyway. I'm told in a couple more years I might feel like going to the Eastern APA again... Not yet, though.
I teach 10 courses/year, serve on multiple committees (required as a junior faculty), and advise 40 students.My goodness ... I'm willing to bet that sent a shiver through the readership here. I teach at an R1 with a top ranked grad program and I'm constantly telling grad students not to form their conception of the life of a professor on the basis of this department, since it is not representative of the majority of jobs. I'm going to frame your comment and distribute it to anyone who asks me about the job market.Can others chime in and give their teaching, committee and advising stats?
I'm a junior TT faculty member at a regional state school. When I applied for this job (fairly recently), it had around 150 applicants. I teach 8 sections per year, but only 4 unique courses each year. I have minimal advising responsibilities and very little in the way of service requirements.
I'm a first-year faculty member at a regionally-known SLAC. I'm contracted to teach 3/3 during the academic year, with teaching during January-term and summer encouraged but not mandated. As a new faculty member, I presently have no advisees or committee assignments (apart from being on our department's hiring committee -- which is the whole department). But that will change next year: I can expect to be serving on somewhere from 3-5 college committees (we're still a mostly faculty-governed institution) and will get my first crop of advisees -- probably 5-10 per year.
Junior TT faculty at a regional SLAC. I teach a 3/3 with two preps per semester. Moderate research expectations (but with sufficient time and resources to do a fair bit of research, if one wishes). Moderate service work expected of junior faculty (e.g., one or two terms of three years each on university-wide committees, plus departmental service). I have a few advisees each semester (3-6 or so). First year faculty are protected from service and advising work. There were well over 200 applications for my position. I consider myself extremely fortunate.
1:47 again:7:02, use my story as you see fit. My load is 4/4, which is 3 gen-ed sections of Intro, with one upper-division course in an AOC/AOS. Because of scheduling needs, I generally rotate through 4 different courses (though I did have to twice teach outside of my AOC/AOS to accommodate a sabbatical leave).I love teaching in the gen-ed program - and am very happy to have a job - but because the pay is pretty shit (lowest-paid faculty in a large state system), I pick up 2 extra gen-ed sections over the summer (mostly for transfer students). So, yeah, on average I teach 8 sections of Intro and 2 upper-division courses every year.Don't get me wrong; I love what I do. I especially love introducing Philosophy to non-majors, and have done a decent job of encouraging non-majors to take more Philosophy electives. A good thing, for all students, in my opinion.However, this means that my research progresses at a snail's pace. I can afford to attend one conference every year, have limited time to write (even over the summer), and know that I will never have the time or energy to publish my way into a lighter teaching load.I know how very lucky I am. I also know that I was completely unprepared for this coming out of graduate school.
"How does one go about this? Do letters come from one's graduate institution faculty or outside philosophers who can comment on one's work? And, if so, would this be a disadvantage when applying to other departments since one would have (presumably) no letters from one's current colleagues?"There is no expectation that you will have letters from your current colleagues. And I would say that the longer you've been out of grad school and in a position, the more important it is to start filling out the dossier with letters from people in your field who know your work and were not your grad advisors.
I have a junior TT position in a small department. It's a 3/3, and I usually have three preps. I have some service obligations, but they're kept low for junior profs. I need to publish about a paper a year in a solid, peer-reviewed journal. I advise 10-15 undergrad majors each year. I have no real complaints about my job.
My first tt job began with a 3/3 load while serving as undergraduate advisor (~60 students) in a department that was chaired by an incompetent and vindictive fool. Heavy committee expectations, unrealistic publishing expectations (at least 6 articles in good places by tenure time). I slacked on teaching, getting excellent evals in the process in order to make time to get enough pubs to get the hell out.
"How does one go about this? Do letters come from one's graduate institution faculty or outside philosophers who can comment on one's work? And, if so, would this be a disadvantage when applying to other departments since one would have (presumably) no letters from one's current colleagues?"I agree with the comment above that the most important thing is to have letters not only from your graduate advisors but also from other people who know your work in the field.With that said: If you are in a department in which all of your colleagues are the kind of people we all are glad to have as colleagues, having your search for a two-body solution be public knowledge should be no problem. Not everyone can be so lucky. But if you have at least one colleague (preferably well-known in the profession, and/or your department chair) whom you feel you can trust, it can be useful to have a letter saying "So-and-so is a great philosopher and also someone great to have in the department; we'd all be sad for so-and-so to leave." I have been in department meeting candidate discussions in which such letters have made some difference.
I'm at a SLAC, 2/3 load, amount of committee service depends on which committees you get, but I was lucky to get elected to a committee that supports faculty scholarship, so the work is interesting and doesn't take too much time. We have two kinds of undergrad advising - general advising, which is not too onerous. You just meet with them every now and then to check up on their degree progress, have a chat, etc. We also advise undergrad theses, which is quite a lot of work, and one might do up to 5 a semester (sometimes they are year-long), and that's as much work as advising grad students. But with the right student, it's really rewarding (I'm advising a thesis at the moment on Miranda Fricker's work, and it's pretty damn excellent). I have no idea what publishing requirements are (tenure requirements aren't transparent, for good reason, although I wish they were). About 5-6 pieces in good and preferably peer-reviewed places is what I'm guessing, excluding things like book reviews.
First year in a TT job at a state university without a graduate program. There were about 270 applicants for my job. I have a 2/3 teaching load (1-2 preps per semester), no advising work, and minimal committee work (on two departmental committees, but each requires about 3 hours per year). Junior faculty obviously protected on that front. I've been advised that tenure will require 5-6 papers in solid peer-reviewed journals, but in actual fact, most recent successful cases have had less. Wonderful colleagues, decent students, pretty campus, decent travel support. I've felt damn lucky every day since I accepted the job, but now I'm starting to feel painfully so. My heart goes out to people in tougher spots (will anyone on the Smoker believe that I'm not being snarky? Ah well, I'm not.)
I have a very important question. A Department which is considering me for a tt position voted last week(i.e. the week that goes from Feb 17th to Feb. 21st) on my case, and I still have not heard from them. Does that mean that the offer went to someone else? Or is it still possible that I am the chosen one, but that due to administrative bureaucracy they still have not been able to inform me?
@Anonymous 2:20:It's nigh impossible to know. Many institutions require the dean/provost/et al. to sign off on the department's decision, and it may be that the relevant administrator is out of town or proving difficult to persuade. It may also be that they've offered the position to someone else.It wouldn't be entirely out of the ordinary to call or e-mail the chair of the search committee and ask about the current state of the process; then you'd at least know for sure.
2:20,There are often bureaucratic delays. Depending on the institution, it is possible that the dean has to call and make the offer (this is the case at many of the institutions where I have interviewed and worked). If they voted, say, last Friday, then the offer will not go out until the dean has time to sit down and make the call.If it makes you feel better, I got the call for my current job the week after they said they were going to make someone an offer. I was the first choice, it just took them longer to get it all organized than they initially expected.Fingers crossed for you!
Maybe this question belongs in another thread, but after reading some of these descriptions of work loads as junior faculty members I have to wonder...Have any of you come to hate this job? I hope I'm wrong about this, but it sounds like some you would have to put in well over 50 hours a week to keep up with all the teaching, advising, and committee work alone. It is just hard to imagine a person loving any job that requires so much of them, let alone a job that is unlikely to fairly compensate for such absurd time commitments.And I know that many of us got into this to teach and advise. Still, between all the time and stress the first six years of post-graduate school seem like hell.
"Do letters come from one's graduate institution faculty or outside philosophers who can comment on one's work?"Yes, to both.If you are getting letters from your graduate institution, you will want to make sure they address your recent work, and not just your work as a graduate student. And yes, you want letters from people in the field.When you apply to jobs as a grad student, you are applying as a novice seeking entry into the professional ranks; your advisors speak to your potential. However, when you are applying as a professional, you are expected to have developed professional contacts; your peers should be able to write letters.This may sound harsh, but whenever I see an application from someone already in a TT position, if that applicant does not have letters from colleagues (if they all come from his advisors), that's a red flag for me. Not an immediate no, but a red flag.
Feb. 24 at 2:59 pm: I think I am currently working at your former institution.
4:30pm: I work my tail off at my job (over 50 hours a week) and *love* it.
4:30I hate my job.I love teaching. I love every minute I am in the classroom and office hours. I love my research, and wish I had more time to develop it.But I hate my job.I hate spending so much time in pointless meetings, which are largely an excuse for everyone to express their opinions and never agree to anything, pushing off actual decisions so far in the future we just forget about them. I hate dealing with some of my colleagues, who have long since given up any sense of research, and who have lowered the bar so far their students cannot possibly fail. (One of my colleagues admits he never gives anything lower than a C, because he can't be bothered anymore to deal with under-prepared students.) I hate dealing with shrinking budgets for faculty, while I watch as higher-level administrators earn high 6-figure salaries. I hate watching my department go from almost fully-staffed tenure-track faculty to a 50/50 tenure-track/contingent faculty.I love the field. I hate the business of higher education.
I'm Anon 8:08 from 2/24; I absolutely love my job. I'm paid a comfortable salary for the region I live in, and I'd probably keep doing my job even if they cut my salary in half. (But don't tell my administrators that.) I find doing philosophy with enthusiastic undergraduates absolutely infectious.
I also work 50-60 hours a week in a TT job, and absolutely love it.
4:30pm:I've been on the job market for seven years now. I have, fortunately, been in a very good, but non-TT, situation at a top regional masters university for that duration, teaching a 4/4/1 load, publishing papers, and doing minimal service work. I work really hard at my job and, like 6:26pm, absolutely *love* what I do. Although, I should say that I don't put 50 hours a week into my job, at least not anymore. The first couple of years was painful, for sure, but the work load gets better as one hones one's teaching. I'm a finalist for a TT position this year that I want, want, want, and it carries a 4/4 load, with moderate research and fairly heavy service expectations. Why do I want the job? Because I love teaching and desire to be at a SLAC that cares about educating students "holistically." The point is that many of us have different reasons for doing what we do. The idea of having graduate students (which I've had where I am at now) isn't at all appealing to me. I'd rather teach gen ed philosophy to freshman than teach graduate students in a 2/2 situation at a R1 institution.Am I tired when I get home? Of course. But knowing that I"m making a difference in students' lives is far more important to me.
I hear lots of philosophers *say* that they work 50-60 hours per week (or more). But I sort of doubt that it is true of most of the people who say it. Unless they count time reading blogs, etc., as working. Many of the people I've heard claim to work themselves to the bone, just don't seem to produce much to show for it. So either they don't really work as much as they claim, or they work stupid. And while working hard is a virtue, working stupid ain't nothing to brag about.
I hear lots of philosophers *say* that they work 50-60 hours per week (or more). But I sort of doubt that it is true of most of the people who say it. Unless they count time reading blogs, etc., as working. Many of the people I've heard claim to work themselves to the bone, just don't seem to produce much to show for it.Pffff. I'm tenured at SLAC, 2/3 load. I produced enough to get tenure (barely) and have had trouble being nearly as research productive as I'd like to be. But I work 50-60 hours a week easy, often more. Just teaching is ridiculously time intensive. Of course the value I put on teaching may count as "working stupid" by many. I have very little to say to that except that I think different folks have inconsistent, but equally reasonable value rankings.
I do work 50 hours a week during the term, but a less during the 4-5 months I’m not teaching. I'm fairly productive, scholarship-wise, though probably not productive enough for 9:21.Like 8:49, I’d do this job for half the pay I’m getting.I’ve done some irritating committee work, but I’m not doing any this year.I have great colleagues, and I live in a great place, and I get to do philosophy a huge percentage of the time – meetings and administrative garbage is a very small percentage.
Better to accept a prestigious multi-year postdoc (e.g., ANU, NYU) or a tenure-track position at a non-elite institution (e.g., SLAC with 4-4 teaching load)? Is there great risk in choosing the first? Is it nuts to choose the second? Would welcome perspectives from those who have had to make a similar choice.
"Better to accept a prestigious multi-year postdoc (e.g., ANU, NYU) or a tenure-track position at a non-elite institution (e.g., SLAC with 4-4 teaching load)?"Unless you want to spend your career in a non-elite institution with a 4-4 teaching load, and you have a research profile that is typical of someone at such an institution, you are better off taking the postdoc.I was not so fortunate as to be faced with a choice between a post-doc and a SLAC, but I did teach 6 courses a year with 5 preps in a labor-intensive SLAC. It is extremely difficult to launch a serious research program in such circumstances. Do not count on being able to publish your way out of a SLAC and into a better job. You are competing with people who have 2-2 loads or better, and you can't really shirk teaching or service at a SLAC.
"I hear lots of philosophers *say* that they work 50-60 hours per week (or more). But I sort of doubt that it is true of most of the people who say it." I have a 4/4 load with 30 students per section.Just out of curiosity, how long does it take you to grade 120 essays, multiple times during the semester?I spend 12 hours/week in the classroom. 4 hours/week in office hours. At least an hour a day every day preparing/reviewing for class. So right now I'm at 21 hours/week, and all I've done is prepare for class. Add in service, advising, GRADING, and research, and I EASILY work more than 50 hours/week.
I'm in my tenth year of the profession in a TT/tenured role. I spent my first 5 years at a LAC/SLAC with an official 3/3 load. But that was easy to get down to 3/2, and never more than 2 preps a term. Tenure expectations weighted teaching most but research was essential, but in the 5 years I was there those two came to be more balanced. Junior faculty were largely protected from too much university wide service and it wasn't overly laborious. I advised 4-5 students a year (the majors were allowed to pick which faculty served as their advisors).I'm now at a less prestigious place. The reasons are complex, but for family reasons and not job reasons. I now have a 4/4 load, with 4 preps a term. It's a small school, so I teach more broadly, to less good students. The research expectations here are less, but given what I do, the school is very supportive and finds quite good financial support for travel, but there's virtually no way to buy-out my teaching. My service components to the university are also higher.I bet I work in the 50-60 hour framework during term, and at least 35 during summers--but that's flexible, so I (for example) write at 10:00 at night or read while watching my kids at the park.In general, I love what I do--though not all the service components or some of the ways in which higher education has changed in the past 10 years. But wow, I'm tired. Is it worth it? Well, I don't still think I'd be doing it if I didn't think so. But I will need to back off the gas pedal a bit, to use a metaphor, to keep up the pace for another 20 years. But much of what I do I do because I enjoy it, not because my job requires it (e.g., I do way more research or service to the discipline than my university requires or even cares about).
"Do not count on being able to publish your way out of a SLAC and into a better job. You are competing with people who have 2-2 loads or better, and you can't really shirk teaching or service at a SLAC."Similarly, don't count on being able to publish your way up the ladder from a prestigious post-doc. I bet we all know people whose prestigious post-docs led to adjuncting jobs rather than TT jobs.Remember, you are competing with people who are finishing grad school, who have lower teaching loads, are not expected to have published as much, and whose PhDs have not started to go stale.
"I bet we all know people whose prestigious post-docs led to adjuncting jobs rather than TT jobs."Are these people the rare exceptions? How common is this?
I've had a few prestigious postdocs and I was lucky to get a TT even after holding them. While I held them, I turned down TTs for postdocs (and continued to be productive) but every year I kicked myself for not taking a TT at some point (the TTs were 2/2s at pretty nice places). I've now left the postdoc scene for a TT w/ a bit worse teaching load than ones I've turned down in the past. I don't regret having turned those original TTs down (and not just because I landed on my feet). In the end I ended up leaving my postdoc early and wish I'd have stayed because you just get so much more research done as a postdoc at a good place--and that holds even if you have to teach at the postdoc. Anyway, n=1, so take it w/ a grain of salt.
You should pretty much ALWAYS take a t/t job over a postdoc, unless the postdoc is at Princeton or NYU or Rutgers or Chicago (you get the idea). Even then, I'd think twice about it.I speak as someone who had a postdoc at a prestigious place and ended up with a t/t job at a good but not great SLAC…after 4 years on the market, and half a dozen campus visits.
"You should pretty much ALWAYS take a t/t job over a postdoc"Yes, if the t/t job is one that is acceptable to you, and would likely be acceptable in the long run.
Re: post-doc vs. TT, I had this choice and chose the post-doc, which in my case turned out to be a great choice. One thing to ask yourself is how much unpublished work you have in the pipeline. If you're sitting on two papers that are almost ready to be sent out, and have another one that was just rejected from PPR (but with positive referee comments), then the post-doc looks less risky. You have a good shot at going on the market with 2 or 3 more good publications - plus a letter from someone at the post-doc institution. On the other hand, if you got all of your late-stage work out in advance of this trip on the job market, then the risk is much greater. Given how long it takes me to refine and polish a good paper (1-2 years, at least), plus the ridiculous review times, you may end up back on the market with no more publications, which could make you look unproductive.
I was fortunate enough to have the difficult choice of a post-doc or a 3-2 TT job. My supervisor advised turning down the job and just taking the post-doc. Essentially everyone else (including me, now) thought that was terrible advice. I took the TT job, but negotiated a year deferral to take part of the post-doc. So it was essentially the best of both options. You can always go on the market the following year instead of taking the TT job you accepted: you're not contractually obligated to start the job. However, you'll likely make some enemies in that department if you go that route.
Just a reminder to any of you who are willing to consider leaving North America that European jobs are often advertised late - for example, King's College London have just advertised two posts, one of which is a permanent (tenure-track/tenure equivalent) Philosophy of Language job...
3:34 is totally right--what looks worst is taking a postdoc and not producing a substantial amount of work
9:58: Makes sense. But what counts as substantial?One paper in decent a peer-reviewed journal during the postdoc year? Or *multiple* papers?
"Makes sense. But what counts as substantial?One paper in decent a peer-reviewed journal during the postdoc year? Or *multiple* papers?"Multiple. The post-doc is a research position. You are expected to take advantage of such a position to produce multiple papers in decent journals.
1:16 PM: " The post-doc is a research position. You are expected to take advantage of such a position to produce multiple papers in decent journals." Not necessarily... There are postdoctoral teaching positions where you have to teach several classes. If you aim at a SLAC position, having some teaching experience could improve your chances. Yes, you still have to publish, but multiple papers in one year is not necessary.
HELLO SMOKERS! I HAVE A QUESTION. HERE IS MY QUESTION:How much teaching experience is necessary to make one competitive for jobs? At research institutions? SLACs?That is to say, what's the minimum amount of teaching necessary that it's a non-issue for hiring institutions. I understanding, of course, that more is better, but I imagine there's some bottom threshold. What is that? And how much is typical?THANK YOU SMOKERS.
1:57,With a good enough publication record, you don't have to worry about teaching.
1:57,I would add,Coming out of a Leiterrific grad program, with a super writing sample, and super star profs testifying that you are the next hot thing, you don't have to worry about teaching.
Not at my SLAC. Publish up a storm if you'd like, but you won't make the short stack if you haven't taught 5 or 6 courses of your own. (We rarely hire folks straight from grad school.)
Coming out of a Leiterrific grad program, with a super writing sample, and super star profs testifying that you are the next hot thing, you don't have to worry about teaching.Not exactly true. This package will get you interviews (fistfuls of them if you are a woman) but you still have to lock down the job talk. Most years people will come through with stellar letters but will bomb the job talk and/or Q&A. Those people don't get offers.
It appears to me that quite a few of the TT hires were VAPs or postdocs at the hiring university. Is this normal? Many departments avoid hiring their own PhD grads to avoid the appearance of nepotism, but is a VAP or postdoc more like a try-out? I ask because I want to stay at the place where I'm about to do a postdoc forever. And I want to dream a beautiful dream in which that's a live possibility. What do y'all smart, well-informed folk think?
10:57: Stop it with the nonsense that women have an advantage in the job market. We don't. It's been proven over and over again.
6:24: I wouldn't say it's *rare*, but it's close to rare. Don't bet on it. You'll be an "internal" candidate, but it's not clear that that's an advantage in the final decision-making. (It will likely get you past the first cut, though. So it's an advantage in that sense.)
9:17, can you refer us to the proof?
So far (as of this weekend) the Leiter list seems pretty close M/W split, with men only slightly in the lead.No idea what this shows except for the stats for this year, so far. If anyone wants to do the math for the past 5 years, be my guest. But right now, this year, there doesn't seem to be any advantage one way or the other.
Thanks, 11:29.If there really are about as many female and male candidates getting TT positions, then -- since only about a quarter of those earning philosophy PhDs are women -- women are doing *vastly* better than men on the job market. This is then roughly the same as if those born in January, February and March were to get as many positions as those in the other nine months combined: in other words, based on these statistics, a woman on the market has approximately three times the odds of a man at landing a position. This is definitely good news for female candidates!
11:29, except that there are far, far more men in the job pool than women. So, no.
Here ya go; http://philosophysmoker.blogspot.ca/2012/04/to-get-job-in-philosophy.htmlWomen are now getting jobs in proportion to their graduation rate (e.g., ~30% new PhDs each year are women: ~30% of jobs go to women…although that's skewed slightly towards postdocs rather than TT hires.)Women do not have an advantage in hiring. QEMFD.Just curious: how many times does this data have to be repeated until you dudebros give it some uptake?
Here's another summary: http://www.newappsblog.com/2013/06/placement-data-and-trends-2011-2013.html(Sorry, I got the postdoc/TT hire numbers flipped.)
"But right now, this year, there doesn't seem to be any advantage one way or the other."Not really: Going by past numbers, there are roughly two to three times as many male PhDs produced as female, such that a 50/50 split would represent a significant advantage for women. But, that said, as I understand it, from the data available from the past few years, women get jobs at rates proportional to the production of female PhDs. So if there is an advantage for women, it either isn't showing up in the available data, or is more subtle than just percentages getting jobs.Given the disadvantages that women face in philosophy, I expect that any advantage there might be on the job market is more than balanced out by the disadvantages. And the men blaming their job market woes on reverse-sexism should pull their heads out of their asses.
11:29--that's not a way of establishing anything. You also, at a minimum, want some idea of the gender split of candidates, which is almost surely not 50/50
To my knowledge, only two studies have been done:1) Andrew Carsonhttp://www.philosophynews.com/post/2013/10/02/Will-I-get-a-Job-Graduate-School-Philosophy-Placement-Records.aspxConclusion:"Thus, it appears that it is slightly more favorable in terms of career prospects to be a graduating woman in philosophy, especially initially, than a graduating man in philosophy. However, the advantage is small, so not too much should read into the difference."2) Caroline Dicey Jenningshttp://philosophysmoker.blogspot.com/2012/04/to-get-job-in-philosophy.htmlConclusion:"Because of that fact, the chance of a woman from an NRC ranked department getting a tenure-track job or post-doc is about the same as for a man from these departments: 51%."Both of these two studies seem to conclude that there's only a negligible, if any, advantage to being a woman on the market.
If 9:17 means that women face systematic disadvantage as students and professionals in philosophy, disadvantage which makes it difficult for them to be well positioned for the job market, then I agree. I also think this is well established. But if 9:17 is denying that a woman candidate with comparable recs, pubs, project, and pedigree to a man candidate will get more interviews, then I am extremely skeptical (based only on anecdotal stuff: my own experience and the experience of others). I am NOT saying this is a bad thing. But I do believe it is bad to deny the reality of these hiring practices. On the one hand, such a denial is insulting the the men who lose out (legitimately, in my eyes) on jobs they are otherwise well-qualified for. On the other hand, it's grist for the mill of those who want to oppose gender-integrating the philosophical workplace, and want to depict feminist philosophers as political enemies.All this is assuming that my anecdotal evidence is accurate. If 9:17 really thinks it's proven to be false (I'm not at all sure that's what 9:17 was saying, for what it's worth), then I'd be interested to see why.Also: as I understand the percentage of women receiving doctorates in philosophy is in the ballpark of 30%. So if the leiter jobs post suggests that the jobs split is about 50/50, as 11:29 suggests, then that's fully consistent with the claim that there is a serious advantage in the job selection process for equally qualified women candidates.
11:29Don't remember the base rate fallacy
Getting "fistfuls" of interviews is not the same as getting a bunch of job offers, i.e. that women might get a lot of interviews does not entail that they have an advantage in the job market. I've had a good number of interviews where it seemed pretty obvious to me that I was a "diversity" candidate and would get no further. And I didn't.
Since only about one in four people who completes a philosophy PhD is a woman and the other three in four are men, if there is no advantage to being a woman or a man in the market it follows that there should be one woman getting a TT position for every three men.If, as it seems, men and women are getting TT positions about equally, then a woman on the job market this year is three times as likely as a man to get a job.That's good news for women!
The evidence supports 11:29's thought. Women get faculty jobs in just about their proportion in grad school. So, they appear not to have an advantage nor a disadvantage, on net.It's not conclusive, since women job candidates might be better philosophers or teachers than men, or they might be worse. But it's evidence, and it does suggest that there's no major advantage or disadvantage.Paxton, Figdor, Tiberius, "Quantifying the Gender Gap", Hypatia (27) 2012.
It's astonishing how often male philosophers like to complain about letting the girls play in their sandbox.I'm so very sorry that you are no longer the unqualified kings of the world. It must be so very difficult to know that there are women out there, getting jobs and doing work and contributing to the field and shit. But have no fear, you can angrily shake your fist at the sky and rant about the evils of feminism. Sure, we just had that post, but this is philosophy, so it will come back again.But have no fear. We have managed to keep the field mostly white. So we still have cause to celebrate.
I don't want to be a word weenie here, but it's worth pointing out that every time these threads start up about women having an "advantage" on the market this is an incredibly poor choice of words. For starters, it tends to come across as an acceptable way of publicly saying that these women are getting jobs because they are women. And that's just a really crappy thing to say or imply. I suspect many folks throwing around the "advantage" bomb are perfectly aware of this, and so I sort of hate giving them the satisfaction of knowing that their trolling has the effect they wanted it to. But it does. It undermines what is a really awesome achievement for these folks (who already deal with the seeds of doubt that anything they accomplish in the profession is the result of some sort of favoritism) and that is not cool. Not cool at all.Also, I'm a woman on the market and I certainly don't have my head in the sand in regards to the fact that my gender is going to help me out in coin flip situations. All else being equal, the fact that I'm a woman is going to be taken into consideration by hiring committees in the same sort of way that personality fit might. But it's just dumb to think that my gender gives me any kind of significant "advantage." That's in part because it's also been a serious disadvantage being a woman on the market. Here's why. I, for one, have found myself on the receiving end of some very weird and uncomfortable stuff during fly outs. And in general being a woman on the market and in interviewing situations comes along with a whole nest of extra stressors and shit to deal with that dudes don't have to deal with. So, let's not forget all that as we devolve into yet another conversation about how awesome it must be to be a woman on the market with all these people just throwing jobs at them. Lastly, props to all the ladies kicking ass and taking names on the market this year!
It's much to early to use the Leiter post as an accurate summary of this year's job market. I personally know of at least a half-dozen postdoc and TT jobs that aren't posted there (yet?), and I have no doubt there are many more. So even the assumption that men and women are getting jobs in equal proportion this year is unwarranted, let alone the conclusions being drawn from that assumption.I'm signing this post in an effort to convince people I'm not just BS-ing about the other jobs of which I'm aware.
6:56,I'm agnostic about whether women have an advantage or not (aside from coin flip cases, where there's little doubt); but your comment really shows a total lack of understanding.You express mock sorrow that male candidates are "no longer the unqualified kings of the world." Really? They used to be? Male candidates on the market this year have presumably never had jobs in any previous decades or centuries. When were the men who are on the market now enjoying a position of privilege?The answer, of course, is never. There were obviously some high-status males of previous generations who had big advantages over others in securing philosophy professorships. These men are not among them. Perhaps affirmative action policies are a good idea. I'm not sure either way. But I can say for sure that it is ridiculous to regard men on the market now as having had 'their turn'. They never did. Show some respect, please, and stop gloating.
"I don't want to be a word weenie here, but it's worth pointing out that every time these threads start up about women having an "advantage" on the market this is an incredibly poor choice of words. For starters, it tends to come across as an acceptable way of publicly saying that these women are getting jobs because they are women. And that's just a really crappy thing to say or imply."Let it be also recognized that the same kind of complaint can be made from implications about implicit bias reflecting negatively on men.
In my department we actively seek out female applicants, often reading and re-reading application materials, calling people we know at their institutions, and so on. We also try as hard as possible to fly out as many women as we can from the final list we draw up.We don't do either of these things for male applicants. I'm sure there are male applicants we are overlooking. I'm not sure it matters though. People are eventually hired based on their merits, not their gender. All people who bomb their job talks (or fail to impress) are treated equally. Among people who do impress, gender is sometimes but not always a tie-breaker.
It is really annoying to see how people defend women in the profession, but show absolutely no interest or motivation in defending other minorities, such as Hispanics blacks or foreign applicants. The result of this narrow minded and ethnocentric mentality is that philosophy departments are populated by white middle/high class people, and the rest of the population is totally underrepresented. Just to clarify: I celebrate the fact that women are getting more jobs. But I am deeply annoyed to see that people who consider themselves liberal and open to diversity show absolutely no indignation about the fact that only 2% of the grad students in the US are Latinos, a similar number are black, and almost none of them are from other countries.
@2:16"such a denial is insulting the the men who lose out (legitimately, in my eyes) on jobs they are otherwise well-qualified for."People losing out on jobs they are otherwise well-qualified for is a guaranteed outcome in the present job market. Even most of the people who got jobs lost out on jobs they were well-qualified for. That fact stands independently of any analysis of the role of gender in hiring.
10:39 writes:" In my department we actively seek out female applicants, often reading and re-reading application materials, calling people we know at their institutions, and so on. We also try as hard as possible to fly out as many women as we can from the final list we draw up. We don't do either of these things for male applicants. I'm sure there are male applicants we are overlooking... I'm not sure it matters though. People are eventually hired based on their merits, not their gender."(1) is true in my department as well, and it is true in the departments of a number of my friends. What I don't understand, however, is how you and others do not recognize (apparently) that (1) is inconsistent with (2). If being female makes one more likely to get to the (on campus) interview stage than one would be if one were male (keeping the CV and other qualifications the same), then, of course, "it matters" and, of course, it's an "advantage" (@8:42). It also means that females who are hired as a result of these processes got the job *partly* because they are female. This isn't to deny that they are hired (partly) based on their merits, but (1) is inconsistent with their being hired *solely* on the basis of their qualifications and not at all because they are female.Furthermore, the process 10:39 describes is not one where a candidate's being female is used as a factor only as a tie-breaker in coin-flip situations, as some previous posters have maintained are the only ways in which this is used.A number of posters obviously don't like the implication that some (perhaps many, depending on how widespread these practices are) of the females being hired are getting their jobs *partly* because they are female and not *solely* based on their merits. This has led them either to deny that gender plays the sort of role described in (1) or else to deny that its playing such a role in any way amounts to an "advantage" on the job market. But neither of these claims is the least bit plausible. That's just the logic of affirmative action. Instead of insisting that the emperor is in fact wearing clothes and anyone who says otherwise is sexist, such posters would be better off trying to show either that this advantage, while real, does not amount to an unfair advantage, or that this advantage, even if unfair, is nevertheless justified on other grounds.
couldn't agree more with 10:43.blacks and the poor have been dealt *far* greater injustices by the profession of philosophy than have women. why is there no similar outcry about their underrepresentation?
Okay, maybe we can all agree that the facts are these:(1) Implicit bias helps males on average and hurts females on average.(2) Preference in hiring helps females on average and hurts males on average.If we are seeing that the number of women getting jobs is proportionate to the number of women entering graduate school (this is the relevant comparison, since (1) but not (2) could disproportionately cause women to drop out of grad school), then these things balance out *on average*. But that doesn't mean that in any particular case these factors will balance out. Indeed, it means there are some women that will be advantaged by (2) but not disadvantaged by (1), and some men that will be advantaged by (1) but not disadvantaged by (2). And perhaps we will see a few more men and women like this with lots of job opportunities, since they have a leg up but no corresponding leg down. But as long as we think that the majority of individuals are advantaged by one and disadvantaged by the other - i.e. that there is substantial overlap in who is helped by preferential hiring and who is harmed by implicit bias and vice versa - we should be fairly happy with the system (or at least we should prefer it to a system in which only implicit bias operates).[One worry, though, is that upper-middle-class white women and men are the primary ones receiving the benefits, without the corresponding harms. Not sure what to think about this, but I agree that we don't worry enough about the presence of racial minorities.]For what it's worth, I'm a professor at a school with a graduate program, and my department explicitly does not take gender into account in our decisions. Indeed, to do so is illegal in my state. So I am merely taking people's word that there is preferential hiring in other departments.
10:43,I agree with you about blacks and Hispanics (and with 2:00 about the poor). But why people from other countries? Do we have any reason to think they are systematically discriminated against in hiring? I'm not trying to pick a fight, I'm just interested in your reasoning. [In my department, about 1/3 of our full-time faculty are not from the U.S.]
Do white Brits, Canadians, Australians, and New Zealanders count? I know lots of those folks who have jobs in the U.S. and they wouldn't count at my university's diversity office as part of diversity. Most of the time I forget they are not from the U.S.
"such a denial is insulting the the men who lose out (legitimately, in my eyes) on jobs they are otherwise well-qualified for."Maybe I'm being uncharitable, but it sounds like you are assuming that the women getting these jobs are not qualified for them. I assume that's what you mean when you say that men should "legitimately" have gotten the jobs.If that's the case, name names. Go to the Leiter List and call out the unqualified women who are getting jobs. You have balls; find them.
"I agree with you about blacks and Hispanics (and with 2:00 about the poor). But why people from other countries? Do we have any reason to think they are systematically discriminated against in hiring? I'm not trying to pick a fight, I'm just interested in your reasoning. "I am 10.43. Compare the percentage of foreign people in the world (95%) and the percentage of foreign people who work in US universities. Are not they underrepresented?
Maybe I'm being uncharitable, but it sounds like you are assuming that the women getting these jobs are not qualified for them.Not that they aren't qualified. Just that they aren't *as* qualified.
"Not that they aren't qualified. Just that they aren't *as* qualified."Proof. Or STFU.
3:18/7:06, why so hostile? Is belligerence all they taught you at feminist school?Stop and think about what your interlocutor (not me, by the way) is saying. The claim is that the present hiring methods will have the consequence that in some competitions, some women will have a slightly greater chance of securing positions than some men on the grounds of their gender. The claim is NOT that there is some particular woman, known to your interlocutor, who hasn't earned her position or whom your interlocutor knows to be less qualified than whoever her competitors are.Bursting into this conversation like a bull in a china shop and shouting 'you've got balls' and 'STFU' is not only rude and unhelpful: it's stupid and derailing.Please think and pace yourself. Let's not allow another conversation to get derailed here so easily.
Hey there, 5:38. That they are not *as* qualified is straight bullshit. Go compare some CVs. Maybe that'll help you figure out what you're doing wrong (other than, you know, being an asshole).
Yep, 5:38, put up or shut up. Who got hired who isn't as qualified as other applicants to those jobs?
5:38Seriously. I lost out on jobs to people I thought I was "better qualified" than, but I don't draw the gender inference that you do. But maybe that's because I'm a woman. TT hiring isn't a CV competition. It's not the best CV that gets the job. It's a person. It's about "fit."Deal with it, and don't use it as an excuse to bring your sexist bs to light.
The outrage expressed by a number of posters here is somewhat understandable but misplaced. The whole point of affirmative action is to see to it that members of certain groups get positions that they would be unlikely to get by competing for it solely on the merits. That's it's purpose. If the members of these groups were just as likely to get these positions solely on the merits, then there would be no point in having these policies in place. They would be unnecessary. What this means, of course, is that, when affirmative action processes are in place, members of these groups who receive positions are viewed as likely getting the position partly because of their membership in that group. Moreover, people are not making a mistake in drawing this inference. On the contrary, to infer that, in general, those who receive positions in this situations get them based solely on the merits and not at all because of their membership in that group would be a failure of reasoning--one that these posters would be unlikely to make in other contexts. Since it is the implications of affirmative action that they resent, it is really the practice of affirmative action to which these posters should be objecting. The problem, of course, is that these posters want two things: They want affirmative action to be practiced in order to increase the number of women philosophy professors, and they also want everyone else to immediately assume that any woman who gets a position got it solely on the basis of her qualifications for the job (vis-a-vis her competitors) and not at all because she is a woman. But these things are incompatible. It would be irrational to make this assumption under these conditions, and it is irrational of these posters to get upset at people for failing to make it.
How incredibly interesting. Let's keep talking about this.
Hi 7:38.I have compared some CVs. I’m pretty sure I’m not doing anything wrong (in that regard!). Women have fewer top journal articles on their CVs than men have.I don’t think you’re actually interested in evidence, but if you ask, I'll give a citation. But I doubt you will ask.Asshole.
Just chiming in here on the implicit bias claims. I am fairly certain none of you have any clue what effect IB has on anything because those of us who actually try to quantify effects of (e.g.,) IB vs. explicit attitudes can barely figure out how to quantify this, never mind see any actual effect. Please do keep this in mind--no one has shown you the quantifiable effects of IB, and I'm pretty positive you don't even know the effects that are out there. For example, on average people are pro-women, when compared to men on a good/bad IAT. Does this mean that women have an advantage overall? I'd guess not but we've no current evidence how to quantify the effects of these IATs.Does this mean women don't have a harder time on the market? Anecdotal evidence abounds in favor of this. But it's probably best to leave implicit bias claims out of this debate based on the current state of our knowledge.Also, please don't name names of those you think are less qualified. It's just bound to make folks feel bad and it'll accomplish very, very little. The market sucks for everyone, perhaps a bit more kindness from all of us would help.
Obviously, it would be incredibly unkind to cite the names of individuals who one thinks have pretty clearly benefited from gender preference in this job cycle (and I trust that the moderators would not approve any such posts from being published!). So the posters who are demanding evidence of this sort are either wicked or disingenuous. My guess is that it's the latter and that they believe it highly unlikely that anyone would even attempt to answer their blusterous challenges. Ironically, they are banking on the decency of those they are busy calling sexists. The effect, though, is only to make them look unserious.
Yep, 5:38, put up or shut up. Who got hired who isn't as qualified as other applicants to those jobs?I didn’t have a particular case in mind – and if I did, I obviously wouldn’t reveal it publicly. I think the first is pretty obvious, and the second is *really* obvious, so I conclude you aren’t actually interested and are just attempting a cheap silencing trick.Seriously. I lost out on jobs to people I thought I was "better qualified" than, but I don't draw the gender inference that you do. But maybe that's because I'm a woman.Seriously – I have never lost out on a job to someone I thought I was better qualified than. I can’t see any reason for you to assume that I have.
"Let's not allow another conversation to get derailed here so easily."The conversation has officially shifted (once again) to an argument about the virtues of feminist theory and policies. Consider it derailed.Can we just start a new blog called "People rudely bitch to each other about feminism," and thus stop poisoning this blog?Don't get me wrong, these are very important topics. But the conversations going on in these comment threads are almost never productive.
"Obviously, it would be incredibly unkind to cite the names of individuals who one thinks have pretty clearly benefited from gender preference in this job cycle"But it isn't at all unkind to make sweeping generalizations about women in the profession? So it's unkind to ask for specific women who are under-qualified, but not at all unkind to assume (without evidence) that women as a group are under-qualified? Awesome. I'll keep this in mind next time we talk about sexual harassment on this blog, and I suggest that all men in philosophy are sexual predators. I'll remember that it's unkind to name names, but painting with a broad brush is acceptable."So the posters who are demanding evidence of this sort are either wicked or disingenuous."Neither. In my case, I want evidence for a claim that is being stated as fact. Without evidence, all we have are assumptions. And from the discussion, some of those assumptions seem rooted in simple sexism."My guess is that it's the latter and that they believe it highly unlikely that anyone would even attempt to answer their blusterous challenges."I'd like to know the under-qualified women who got hired this year. Both to out them for the frauds they are, and to shame the hiring departments for their poor hiring practices. If this really is a field-wide problem, let's try to fix it."Ironically, they are banking on the decency of those they are busy calling sexists."Oh, so it's decent to make sweeping generalizations about women in the profession? Decent? "The effect, though, is only to make them look unserious."Nope. I just want evidence.
Is demanding evidence in this case a silencing technique? Well, yeah. Because we want you to stfu with your baseless sexist crap. You can't post evidence because there isn't any. Those women are all highly qualified. And if you think that pointing to another candidate with a better CV who didn't get the job is *proof* that a less qualified candidate was hired, then you really don't know how hiring works. It's not a CV comparing competition. The most impressive CV isn't what lands one the job. There's more to it than that.
Is demanding evidence in this case a silencing technique? Well, yeah.Excellent. I’m glad you admit it. Your demand was just a tactic. You have no interest in the evidence.I was pretty sure, but now it’s established, so thanks.You can't post evidence because there isn't any.I can, but you have admitted you aren’t interested in it. Your demands are just an attempt at silencing. If I post evidence, you’ll just turn to other tricks. For example:Those women are all highly qualified.Which women are all highly qualified? And who denied that they are?This is another transparent rhetorical trick. Nobody has denied that any women are highly qualified.
Here's how I understand this extremely unproductive recent sub-thread.At 2:16PM March 2, someone expressed skepticism about a (possible) denial of the idea that a woman candidate with comparable recs, pubs, project, and pedigree to a man candidate will get more interviews. That comment added that the skepticism is based only on his/her own experiences and experiences of acquaintances, and not on any other evidence.The response has been to call that commenter an 'asshole' and 'sexist', the comment 'crap', to demand evidence and even 'proof', and to demand that s/he stfu. Also to apparently invent other claims and attribute them to that commenter.That's not a reasonable reaction to the comment.
I think we can all agree that 5:38 said that the women he sees getting jobs on the Leiter thread "aren't *as* qualified" as the men that otherwise might have gotten those jobs (see the comment at 5:38), and that he defended this claim by reference to his observation that "Women have fewer top journal articles on their CVs than men have." (see the comment at 4:35 AM.)I think we can also agree that this is a poor reason for believing that, as there are obviously lots of qualifications for tenure-track philosophy jobs other than number of publications in top journals.Let us now all STFU about it.
Well put, 9:55.Mr. Zero, I like 6:52's suggestion that we stop having comments by and about feminists. They aren't interesting and they're obviously wrecking the blog.We already have NewAPPS, Feministphilosophers, the Gender and philosophy blog, Whatitslike, Whatweredoingaboutwhatitslike, and on and on. Some of these blogs are nothing more than online vehicles for the radical feminist movement. More recently, thanks perhaps to Rebecca Kukla's influence, Leiter's blog has become a cesspit of non-stop harassment allegations and 'news'.LaughingPhilosopher at least takes an alternative view, but it's still focused on the same tired harassment-and-sexism issues. Only PhilosophersAnonymous seems to be the sole broadly philosophical refuge from the morass of feminist-oriented claims.Can't this be another one? I'd really love to go back to the kinds of discussions we were having before the feminism-related crap started being a nonstop fixture in all our lives. It's enough alreadyAt the very least, I'd love to have a few feminist-related threads here that people who can't stop obsessing over it can go to, and a strict 'no feminist topics' policy for the rest. Thank you very much from a faithful reader.
Hey, who else just got the awesome 'exercise for the reader' PFO?"Thank you for your application for ... We received a large number of qualified applicants. We have successfully completed the search." But is it supposed to be a lesson in enthymemes or in conversational implicature?
Careful 10:18, feminists walk among you! You may not even be able to tell who they are! So you should just be paranoid that everyone you meet, of whatever gender, and whatever they say, might be *gasp* a feminist!Wow. Please just do us all a favour and leave the profession.
I think we can all agree that 5:38 said that the women he sees getting jobs on the Leiter thread "aren't *as* qualified" as the men that otherwise might have gotten those jobs (see the comment at 5:38),My comment wasn’t about the women I saw getting jobs on the Leiter thread.I tried going back over the comments that preceded mine to see if I had missed something, but I don’t think so. I don’t know why you think my comment was about the Leiter thread. It was intended to be about the general trend, and not about those women.and that he defended this claim by reference to his observation that "Women have fewer top journal articles on their CVs than men have." (see the comment at 4:35 AM.)Correct.I think we can also agree that this is a poor reason for believing that, as there are obviously lots of qualifications for tenure-track philosophy jobs other than number of publications in top journals.It’s a pretty good reason. The fact that there are other qualifications doesn’t make it a poor reason. It just makes it an inconclusive reason. If someone else finds other qualifications that (among employed philosophers) women have in *greater* degree than men, they could post that – it would be a reason to believe the contrary.Let us now all STFU about it.Okay, your blog.
This is 6:52. I certainly wasn't recommending that feminists should not be allowed to post here. Nor do I think that a blog like this one should be against discussing feminist topics. The concern is that there are some people (probably not many) who frequent this blog, and are always constantly fucking enraged about feminist issues (on both sides). This rage translates into vitriol, which in turn incites vitriolic responses from the other camp, and then before you know it we have hundreds of comments of idiocy with a few rational voices being completely overpowered. Both sides are equally to blame for this trend.I just hope the readership of this blog tries to remember that this blog can be of great value to people entering the profession. I know it was very valuable to me. But now I find myself disgusted by the anger, vitriol, and accusations that inevitably occur in every thread. Why can't these discussions be mature and productive? My guess is it's because there are a few partisan hacks on this blog who ruin it for the rest of us. Feminism's not to blame. The readership is.
No discussion of why women have an advantage (because they *don't*) can be "mature and productive." The discussion starts in a bad place, from utter, intransigent ignorance. This issue is really an interesting case study in the epistemology of ignorance.
SUNY Albany did not go to the VAP who fit the ad's description. And the VAP was a woman, no less.
I would like to get some clear statement of the evidence in support of the claim that women have an advantage on the job market in Philosophy at present. I would then like to know whether the individual making that claim believes that women still have an advantage once other considerations are factored in (implicit bias in evaluating 'merit' on the basis of CVs, for instance). If 'advantage' just means a statistical advantage, then there is nothing to support the idea that the women getting these jobs are less qualified. It might, in fact, tell us that women are slightly better candidates at present, perhaps because so many who were unable, unwilling, or unlikely to be able to compete at the highest level have already been edged out by lack of mentorship, sexism, solo status, competing family factors, etc. We already know that men are more likely to be rated higher for identical CVs, so perhaps they have the advantage. Perhaps women applicants' devotion to doing more work and better quality work for equal recognition simply begins to pay off at the job market stage. It seems to me that "We already have 'What It's Like', so go there to discuss your female concerns" is the sort of comment that makes such a site necessary; the suggestion is that those who have been marginalized ought to stay on the margins and butt out of the real discussions, which don't concern them or needn't concern their concerns.
I was told by a member on the search committee at four different institutions that they were only considering women this year. I have no doubt there are more. (I am a man.) And you know what: that's fine. Call me crazy, but I actually think gender matters in job performance. It's just a fact that I'm not going to be able to mentor the vast majority of female students nearly as well as my female colleagues will be. There is a need for women. If this profession wasn't so fucked up, the present need wouldn't be as great, and it wouldn't have to happen all at once. And as it is, that's what it feels like. But it's the right thing to do.
7:55, all good points, and I feel some responsibility to answer some of them, but Mr. Zero pretty specifically asked us to STFU about this.
"No discussion of why women have an advantage (because they *don't*) can be "mature and productive." The discussion starts in a bad place, from utter, intransigent ignorance."I'm happy to grant this (I'm the commentator you're responding to). But, what if the person is actually just ignorant of the data/arguments that you are aware of? How is insulting that person or otherwise being hostile a viable pedagogical strategy? We (and I use 'we' because I am a strong ally of feminist causes) should approach this as an opportunity to educate someone, not insult them. And if the person is not ignorant, but is in fact one of the anti-feminist ideologues who haunt this blog, then being hostile will only start a flame war, which hurts the entire readership. Allowing that person to melt down in fits of sexist rage while we maintain a cool demeanor presents a better image of feminism than sinking down to their level.Feminists like us already have a reputation for being hostile, and by engaging in behaviors that support that stereotype we simply reinforce the indignation and self-righteousness of those we oppose. In short, I am making a plea for civility on all sides. It's better for everyone.
I am an intelligent and successful philosopher who is kind to women (and to men!)In my opinion it is a significant advantage, though certainly not a decisive one, to be a woman when competing for jobs. It is maybe equivalent to having two more publications on your CV from good journals like Phil Studies.I take no position on whether this is a good or bad thing, just or unjust, etc. This is simply how the situation appears to me to be.
So…a tone argument? Is that what you're giving?It's natural to be hostile to culpable ignorance, if the poster is ignorant of the data. There's no good excuse at this point for not having seen the data. It's also *in this thread* already! So they're posted *after* the data has been presented. If they're not ignorant, then I'm happy to be hostile if they are aware of the data but continue to hold their ignorant position.
"So…a tone argument? Is that what you're giving?"Well, I'm not dismissing what you're saying by appealing to your tone, so I don't think I'm quite committing the fallacy of the tone argument (as I understand it). In fact, I'm agreeing with what you're saying. The tone argument is a kind of red herring, and I don't believe that 's what I'm doing. This is a general appeal to civility. This appeal is given in the context of the unproductive discussions that have occurred on this blog as of late. If you think your hostility is justified and effective, then feel free to disregard these comments. It is merely one suggestion of how we can all work to improve the atmosphere on this blog. If you think the atmosphere does not need improvement, then I doubt you would find my appeal compelling.
I am poster 7:55. I respect Mr. Zero's desire to avoid inflammatory comments and personal attacks. I continue to be surprised by how many people believe that feeling, personal opinion, and anecdote, all of which are wide open to bias and don't tell us very much in any event, are sound or informative ways to determine whether women have an advantage on the job market. It seems to me that it has been demonstrated repeatedly that women face many disadvantages leading up to and on the job market--including evaluation of equal CVs, the focus of referees in their letters, and in publishing under a female name. My questions contain nothing hostile or inflammatory and involve no personal attacks. For this reason, I think it is appropriate, on a thread about who is getting TT jobs, to address reasonable questions and comments about who is getting TT jobs. It is fairly understandable that those who have not faced the disadvantages faced by certain minority groups have difficulty recognizing or acknowledging these disadvantages as well as the corresponding advantages which thereby accrue to members of the majority, but it seems to me that what is called for is not banishing the topic, but more data and more information.
7:55/2:01,I guess Mr. Z could have said something if he didn’t agree with your 2:01 thought, so I will answer the questions germane to my own comments. I won't have anything to say about the parts of your comments that appear to be about comments other than mine. (You can look back and see which those were, since after my first comment I signed my ‘name’.)It seems to me that it has been demonstrated repeatedly that women face many disadvantages leading up to and on the job market--including evaluation of equal CVs, the focus of referees in their letters, and in publishing under a female name.I don’t deny that. I am familiar with the CV bias. I don’t know anything about the other two points you mention.I would then like to know whether the individual making that claim believes that women still have an advantage once other considerations are factored in (implicit bias in evaluating 'merit' on the basis of CVs, for instance).I think the advantages and disadvantages cancel out. That is what the data appear to support. The rest is speculation.-5:38
2:01,I apologize for my role in creating a discussion that suggested that a marginalized community should be further marginalized by being sent to another blog (I am the author of the 6:52 comment that recommended a blog entitled "People bitch rudely to each other about Feminism.") This comment was taken by some to suggest that feminism or feminists are a problem on this blog. This was not my intention. I have just become very tired of every discussion devolving into a flame war. Much (or, actually, most) of the flaming comes from the anti-feminist side, but people on both sides seem to be responsible to some extent. I am a white, straight, cis, male and I try not to be blind to the privileges this affords. As you noted, it can be difficult to fully comprehend it. But I regularly hear colleagues (often women, or members of other marginalized groups) complain about their authority in the classroom, being dismissed by prominent men in the field, being treated as a sex object, etc., and I fully agree that the proper course of action is to seek more information and more data in order to determine the extent to which these factors negatively impact women in the field. In short, I apologize for not thinking my comment through. It was meant to be an expression of frustration about how unproductive these discussion have become. It was not meant to dismiss the importance of the topic of these discussions.
Thanks. What data are there concerning an advantage for women on the job market? Statistical advantage isn't the relevant kind, since it says nothing about qualifications.
Wow, thanks 3:13. You are doing more than most by hearing your colleagues out. I agree that such discussions can be frustrating, which is why I think it is important to try to contend with the data, insofar as they are available. This is more likely than expressions of opinion, feeling, and anecdote to capture the realities of hiring practices. I'd also suggest, though, that for minorities, the frustration stems also from having members of the majority make unsupported inflammatory statements that challenge the qualifications or competence of those already at a disadvantage. If minorities have a defensive reaction to unsupported claims, it is to guard against bias and sexism or racism and defend some recent gains, but where members of the majority have a defensive reaction to challenges to their unsupported statements, one wonders what it is that is being defended without data and why.
3:29 (assuming that was addressed to me),I'm not exactly sure what you mean. Only statistical evidence tells us whether things balance out. Without it we have no idea whether the advantages of, for example, some programs' affirmative action policies are greater or less than the disadvantages of, say, CV bias. You may be right that this has nothing to do with qualifications (though I doubt it), but the question I thought you were asking was whether the net is an advantage or a disadvantage.There is also evidence about qualifications, though this is hard to come by partly because people don't agree much about what counts as a qualification. But most agree that papers published in top journals is an important qualification. Women do not publish as much in top journals as men, on average, in philosophy.If there is evidence about other qualifications, I would be very glad to know about it.
It is my observation that your most recent post also contains no data to support the contention that women are at an advantage on the job market, and your post surely does not tell us "whether the advantages…are greater or less than the disadvantages". (In fact, I'm not even sure what you are wishing to compare). I think a commentator above said it best in saying "Women are now getting jobs in proportion to their graduation rate (e.g., ~30% new PhDs each year are women: ~30% of jobs go to women…although that's skewed slightly towards postdocs rather than TT hires.) [In other words] Women do not have an advantage in hiring."But what really strikes me is that there just seems to be no reason for wishing to make such claims absent data. Why do you wish to make such claims? There is a lot more anecdotal evidence that hiring is biased against women and people of colour (the way CVs are evaluated, the way candidates' answers to job talk questions are fielded and assessed, and the many unstated 'norms' that privilege men and white people in the process), so cherry-picking the anecdotes you prefer makes it seem as though you have an agenda. I think we all wish that academic hiring processes were entirely merit-based, but they seem plainly not to be in some subtle and not so subtle ways. Maybe we should all found Best U: "at Best U, we use an expert-developed formula to carefully balance a candidate's publications, pedigree, teaching experience, choice of shoes, mannerisms, number and degree of impolitic comments uttered in exhaustion, attractiveness to the dean, 'fit', ability to satisfy a favour owed from one SC member to another, and referees' connections to SC, so that none but the 'best', so-defined, is ever hired." In this shitstorm you're worried about an extra woman getting a flyout?Finally, I admit I find it a little bizarre that you point to women's fewer publications in top journals on average at any stage in their careers as good grounds for the view that women currently on the job market are less qualified. Unless you are just taking the opportunity to say that women are less qualified in general to do philosophy, but this is not what the stats suggest either. The stats I'm aware of are these:2002-2007 % femaleEthics: 19.30%JPhil: 13.33%Mind: 6.38%Nous: 11.62%Phil Review: 11.11%PPR: 12.26%PPA: 13.98%What this shows is that women are at a statistical disadvantage. Perhaps because they are not encouraged to submit, perhaps because review isn't triple blind and editorial boards are overwhelmingly male at these journals, perhaps because they are singled out for more teaching and service duties, or perhaps for some other complexity of reasons. But it is not obvious to me, as it seems to be to you, that what this tells us is that women just aren't as qualified to do philosophy.
If this is a stats game, why are some people only focused on journal articles?What are the numbers for, say, papers presented at top conferences? Books at top presses? Invited lectures at top universities? Teaching awards?Also, be careful when you decide that one part of the CV is the deciding factor for merit on the job market. If you're comfortable with the idea that more articles in top journals = better for the job, should we assume that you are pleased when someone with more articles gets hired over you? I mean, the rest of your impressive CV isn't important, right?
It is my observation that your most recent post also contains no data to support the contention that women are at an advantage on the job market, and your post surely does not tell us "whether the advantages…are greater or less than the disadvantages". (In fact, I'm not even sure what you are wishing to compare).I’m baffled by this. What I wished to compare was the advantages that women have in getting a job in philosophy, on the one hand, with the disadvantages. Obviously you don’t find that illuminating, but I don’t see what the problem is.You are right that the comment you refer to doesn’t contain data to support that claim, but that data has already been posted, and you quote it yourself:I think a commentator above said it best in saying "Women are now getting jobs in proportion to their graduation rate [...] [In other words] Women do not have an advantage in hiring."Yes, I agree, assuming that 'advantage' means 'net advantage'. So, if that data shows that women have no net advantage, it shows also that they have no net disadvantage. The advantages and disadvantages cancel out. Which is what I said.It's not clear to me whether you mean to be disagreeing with this, or not.There is a lot more anecdotal evidence that hiring is biased against women and people of colour (the way CVs are evaluated, the way candidates' answers to job talk questions are fielded and assessed, and the many unstated 'norms' that privilege men and white people in the process), so cherry-picking the anecdotes you prefer makes it seem as though you have an agenda. I didn’t pick any anecdotes. What are you talking about?Will you please tell me specifically which anecdotes of mine you’re talking about?Maybe we should all found Best U: "at Best U, we use an expert-developed formula to carefully balance a candidate's publications, pedigree, teaching experience, choice of shoes, mannerisms, number and degree of impolitic comments uttered in exhaustion, attractiveness to the dean, 'fit', ability to satisfy a favour owed from one SC member to another, and referees' connections to SC, so that none but the 'best', so-defined, is ever hired." In this shitstorm you're worried about an extra woman getting a flyout?No, I’m not.I’m pretty sure you haven’t read my comments. That’s disappointing.Finally, I admit I find it a little bizarre that you point to women's fewer publications in top journals on average at any stage in their careers as good grounds for the view that women currently on the job market are less qualified.Why? Can you please explain why that’s bizarre?The stats I'm aware of are these:2002-2007 % femaleEthics: 19.30%JPhil: 13.33%Mind: 6.38%Nous: 11.62%Phil Review: 11.11%PPR: 12.26%PPA: 13.98%What this shows is that women are at a statistical disadvantage.I don’t know what that means. It shows that women do not publish as much in those journals as men do. If that’s what you mean by saying that they are at a statistical disadvantage, then I agree. If you mean something else, please say what it is.Perhaps because they are not encouraged to submit, perhaps because review isn't triple blind and editorial boards are overwhelmingly male at these journals, perhaps because they are singled out for more teaching and service duties, or perhaps for some other complexity of reasons. Perhaps, if indeed those things are true. We don’t know. But we do know that women don’t publish in those journals as much as men do.But it is not obvious to me, as it seems to be to you, that what this tells us is that women just aren't as qualified to do philosophy.I don’t think there is such a thing as “qualified to do philosophy”. That's your phrase, not mine. There are qualifications for jobs, though, and one qualification is publications in top journals.
I really don't understand why people who are convinced that less qualified women are being hired because they are women discount the effects of implicit bias (not just on the processes that lead up to and contribute to the shape of an application file, but also) on the judgments made during the application process itself. Take the classic 'tiebreaker' situation, where gender is used to decide between two candidates who are otherwise *perceived* to be of equal quality. In such a case, the woman overcame the effects of implicit bias in order to be perceived to be of equal quality to the other candidate. We cannot proceed as if perceptions of quality are not themselves influenced by implicit bias. Or, is the claim that there is no such thing as implicit bias?
Hold on. When men publish more frequently in top journals than women do, it is evidence that men are superior philosophers, but when women get more jobs than men in relation to their relative numbers in the field, this is not proof that women are superior philosophers?Why are some people assuming that journals are a better judge of professional merit than hiring committees?Did I miss the discussion where we all agreed that journal editors and anonymous readers always make the best decisions regarding the merits of scholarship?
4:48: You don't know how to weigh the effects of implicit bias on behavior. No one knows how to. It's not even clear what sort of behavior (or cognition, as it might be) one has in mind when they mention implicit bias. Your argument comes off as much weaker by utilizing a premise involving IB. Philosophers are very happy to mention IB, but it's worrisome because it's being used to assume a well-defined and understood construct where no such thing exists. This isn't to say that there aren't unconscious factors affecting marginalized groups, but how to quantify those effects (or understand exactly what groups we are speaking of) are not known.
My rather long reply to 7:50 didn’t get posted. Maybe it’s still hung up in moderation? If it doesn’t show up soon, I’ll try again.10:11,If this is a stats game, why are some people only focused on journal articles?What are the numbers for, say, papers presented at top conferences? Books at top presses? Invited lectures at top universities? Teaching awards?It’s not a “stats game”, it’s just evidence.I don’t have those other numbers. If you do, it would be great if you’d post them. I don’t think anyone has compiled them.Also, be careful when you decide that one part of the CV is the deciding factor for merit on the job market. If you're comfortable with the idea that more articles in top journals = better for the job, should we assume that you are pleased when someone with more articles gets hired over you?I didn’t say that one part of the CV is the deciding factor. If you think I did, would you please point to the comment in which you think I said that?I have certainly been in the situation in which someone with more articles in top journals got hired over me. I wasn’t pleased at all! But I don’t think it was unfair, either.I really don't understand why people who are convinced that less qualified women are being hired because they are women discount the effects of implicit bias (not just on the processes that lead up to and contribute to the shape of an application file, but also) on the judgments made during the application process itself.If this is addressed to me:I didn’t discount the effects of implicit bias. Can you please point to the comment in which you think I did?4:48,Hold on. When men publish more frequently in top journals than women do, it is evidence that men are superior philosophers, but when women get more jobs than men in relation to their relative numbers in the field, this is not proof that women are superior philosophers?If this is addressed to me:First, women don’t get more jobs than men in relation to their relative numbers in the field. They get the same number.Second, I didn’t say it was evidence that men are superior philosophers. I said publications in top journals are qualifications for jobs.I find it disturbing that so many replies to my comments attribute to me views that I didn’t express. Why does that keep happening?
Ah, the long posting did show up, just delayed (probably because it's long). It's 3:28 AM.
My rather long reply to 7:50 didn’t get posted.It got snagged in the spam filter; it's now published. sorry.
"It’s not a “stats game”, it’s just evidence.I don’t have those other numbers. If you do, it would be great if you’d post them. I don’t think anyone has compiled them."It's one very narrow type of evidence.Personally, my evaluation of the merits of a work of scholarship have more to do with its impact on the field than where it is published. Publishing an article in a top journal is fine, but if it has no noticeable impact on subsequent scholarship, then it's not terribly important, is it?Also, as evidence, it focuses on one very narrow part of the job. As many here will agree, teaching is far more important to many departments than publishing record. If that's the case, then publishing more articles in top journals is evidence for one very specific type of job. If many schools (and, as such, hiring committees) value teaching over scholarship, than focusing on scholarship as your primary evidence misses the point. Those committees are evaluating applicants on evidence you choose not to take into consideration.It sounds like the evidence was selected in order to support the argument, and cherry-picked evidence doesn't prove very much.
I think we can all agree that there's no data to support the notion either a) that women have an advantage in the job market or anywhere else in Philosophy--all evidence pointing to either the contrary or to nothing at all--or b) that the disadvantages women face in Philosophy up to the point of being on the job market are then balanced by some advantages the supporting data for which seem not to be forthcoming. At this point, someone surely would have provided them if there were any.I think it's important to recognize the possibility, at this point, that the *feeling* one may have that women are getting a leg up may on the job market may actually reflect the fact that customary privilege is simply not reigning unchecked (if that is indeed the case). Sometimes, when a member of the majority's privilege is suspended, it can feel like some unfair advantage is being given to members of the minority group, which then motivates one to seek out evidence in support of this feeling, even in the face of repeated failures to discover any.
9:51,I can't tell if you're denying that publications in top journals is a qualification for a job in philosophy. I think it is.I didn't "cherry pick" any data. Show me data about other qualifications and I will be happy to consider it.2:24,I think we can all agree that there's no data to support the notion either a) that women have an advantage in the job market or anywhere else in Philosophy-If that was addressed to me: I didn't assert that women have an advantage in the job market. I asserted, to the contrary, that neither sex has any net advantage. But maybe you are just arguing against a straw man (which is a very popular pastime here recently). b) that the disadvantages women face in Philosophy up to the point of being on the job market are then balanced by some advantages the supporting data for which seem not to be forthcoming.Hm.Well, everyone who isn't actually reading the evidence presented can agree about that, anyway.You didn't say what you think is wrong with the evidence already presented, so I don't know what to say in reply.I haven't said one word about "feelings", so that's just another straw man.
"9:51,I can't tell if you're denying that publications in top journals is a qualification for a job in philosophy. I think it is."I do too. I just know that it's not the only qualification, nor is it the most important qualification for many hiring committees. "I didn't "cherry pick" any data. Show me data about other qualifications and I will be happy to consider it."You're the one who wants to argue data; you go get it. If data is important to you, collect it. But to say this is the only data you are going to consider because it's the only data you have is a terrible way to make your argument. Members of hiring committees repeatedly note that they look at the whole application, which includes teaching, a writing sample (which may be unpublished), letters of recommendation, and then performance during interviews. If you want data, it's there to be found. But really, you sound like the undergraduate who only included research he could find at the campus library, because he couldn't be bothered to go through Inter-library Loan. "It's the only evidence I have, so it's the only evidence that matters."
I would like to make a plea that an end be put to this thread. And, furthermore, any threads in which folks anonymously post about the advantages and sub-par qualifications of women on the job market and those who have secured jobs in this kind of general way. Nothing about this conversation is helpful (clearly no one is going to convince 5:38 of anything on this blog, regardless of how reasonable and well-argued your position is), and it is, frankly, extremely harmful. Clearly the intent behind some of these comments is to imply that women are sub-par philosophers and do not deserve the jobs they have worked incredibly hard to secure. Those of us who are the targets of these comments know that this is nonsense, but it's still incredibly hurtful and frustrating nonetheless to see it tolerated in a public way. So again, just an honest, agenda-free request that well-meaning folks don't engage the trolls on this one. It's not doing a lick of good and keeping the thread going gives the impression that there is some meaningful discussion to be had about women being under-qualified. I am not a feminist. I am a woman who would like to enjoy my professional accomplishments without having them constantly undermined by strangers. Help a girl (and many others) out. Thanks.
Wait a minute 7:55. It seems a little much to say that the fact that this conversation is occurring is "extremely harmful" to you because you are "incredibly hurt" and "frustrated" by the thought (and cute throwing the 'troll' accusation in there). Your plea to ban this sort of discussion is hardly an "honest agenda-free request". It's an effort to paint yourself, as a woman, as a victim in order to suppress a conversation you don't want to see occurring. The fact that you don't see yourself as a feminist while doing this is evidence that the tribal mentality you're exhibiting is deeper in your psyche than are your avowed creeds. What's needed here is not the suppression of the conversation but a strengthening of your character. You are not owed any favors by the fact that you're made uncomfortable by what other people are talking about. And you are leagues away from showing that this conversation is causing any actual harm to you or anyone else. Your feelings are generally not much important when it comes to what the rest of us will talk about. If you don't want to take part in the conversation you are free to go elsewhere. You're even free to call for the conversation to be shut down (just don't expect that to go unchallenged). But complaining about how "incredibly hurt and frustrated" you are by the conversation makes you look like a child trying to throw herself a pity-party.
I agree that 5:38 will not be deterred. I think that's clear. I too believe that such remarks are harmful, but I don't think challenging them has been harmful. The explicitly or implicitly held belief that women are less qualified to work as philosophers or are inherently less capable of doing philosophy, despite a lack of evidence, affects women philosophers' working lives every day and hence, I think, must be challenged. I wish 5:38's point of view and the ease he feels with expressing it were unique to him. Unfortunately, it would seem this isn't so. I think very few people realize how many difficulties women in philosophy face simply by virtue of being women and how many merits are overlooked and qualifications discounted over the course of a woman's career. Congratulations to all of the women who have secured TT philosophy positions--due to your hard work, brilliance, and hard-earned qualifications.
Just more anecdotal data FWIW: I have been on two search committees and each time, at each stage of the process, it was a huge advantage to be a woman. A was brought to campus as opposed to B because A was woman; C was hired as opposed to D because C was a woman.
8:56,The explicitly or implicitly held belief that women are less qualified to work as philosophers or are inherently less capable of doing philosophy, despite a lack of evidence, affectsI gave evidence that women are *less* qualified in a dimension that everyone agrees is a job qualification. The response I've got includes patently false characterizations of my comments, childish demands that I go do studies to answer questions about a half dozen other qualifications before I say anything about it on this blog, being called a 'troll', and in general many attempts to shut me up without actually rebutting the evidence.Several times when commenters have falsely characterized what I said, I called them out, and as far as I can tell they have never tried to justify the falsehoods. Now you're doing it again. Show me the comment that makes it correct for you to include "or are inherently less capable of doing philosophy". Show me where I or someone else said that.You won't, because there is no such comment. It's just another shitty trick you use. You aren't interested in the answers to the questions; you aren't interested in the truth of the matter.
Christ Almighty.Just more anecdotal data FWIW: I have been on two search committees and each time, at each stage of the process, it was a huge advantage to be a woman. A was brought to campus as opposed to B because A was woman; C was hired as opposed to D because C was a woman.Assume that A was brought to campus over B, and the tipping consideration was that A is a woman. It does not follow from this that A was advantaged overall in the process by being a woman. It could be that A overcame a shitstorm of implicit biases, etc. to be in a position to be the last of two candidates from whom one would be offered an on-campus.
5:38,I've never been a big commenter on this blog but have waded in recently (on the Colorado business, and now here) because I am completely disgusted by the anti-feminist / anti-woman attitudes that are apparently held and so vigorously defended by some in the profession.But I won't try to characterize your viewpoint at all (and therefore will say that the first paragraph was not meant to apply to you). And I'm not planning on entering the debate.But let us say I accept your point, here is a simple question for you:Of all the injustices in the profession and all the unequally distributed advantages that accrue to some individuals (wealth, connections, etc) why is the one dimension that you feel you have to point out, investigate and publicize the advantage of being a woman?
7:23 talks of "anti-feminist / anti-woman attitudes".I'm one of the people who has been objecting to the way some feminists have been behaving about the Colorado situation. And I'm worried by how easily people seem to make the association 7:23 does above. Vocal objection to feminist activism as it is exhibited by some in the community is not an attack on women, and if some in the profession have become so enamored with feminism as a political ideology that they can no longer bear to hear it criticized then it is those who hold these attitudes that are the problem. You do not get to beg 'disgust' about a conversation as a way to shut it down (and contra the protestations of some, there is no evidence whatsoever to support the claim that this conversation is "extremely harmful"). If you'd like to talk about something else, by all means do so. If you'd like to try to change the topic or offer contrasting perspectives, again you are welcome. But you do not have a right to have those around you cease to publically discuss some issue on the basis of it having offended or disgusted you. This profession is and will remain a forum for free thought.
Leiter's recent tirade can be summed up in a single word: waaaaaaa!He got undressed, deservingly so, and is now throwing a tantrum. I look forward to LeiterReports Parody's tweets.
Thanks for dodging the substantive question 8:17.I wasn't trying to shut the conversation down. In fact I asked a question meaning I wanted the conversation to continue.I was relaying my perspective. My perspective is that taking any chance you can get to moan about the unfair advantage women, a historically discriminated against group, have in hiring is anti-woman. Sorry if that makes you feel uncomfortable and looks like censorship to you. It isn't.You can feel that pointing out that women are less qualified for jobs they get than the competition is pro-women.That's fine.But I ask again:Of all the injustices in the profession and all the unequally distributed advantages that accrue to some individuals (wealth, connections, etc) why is the one dimension that you feel you have to point out, investigate and publicize the advantage of being a woman?
8:41--you should take more seriously the suggestion raised that social media has distorted your perspective on how people see things. To many of us it is not at all obvious that Leiter said anything that warrants the chest-clutching responses we're seeing. And the high-minded vilification of the man is just ugly. You may get a sense of personal pleasure from contributing to that, but to some of us you look like a pig wallowing in its own shit. And this coming from a man who is otherwise rather turned off by Leiter's views.
I'm sorry Confused, I was trying to address the issue at hand (the conflation of anti-feminism with anti-women). That's how I approach my activism. I try, in little ways in some places and in big ways in others, to make a difference in what's going on around me. You ask why I focus on feminism, but that's largely a function of the fact that there's so much bad work being done by feminists today, together with the fact that feminist activism has become so strident in the last few years. It's what I happen to be surrounded by as I'm going about my professional business. And FYI I think of responding to anonymous comments on a blog to be one of the 'little ways' I'm making an impact on my community. I wouldn't want us to get an overinflated sense of the importance of feminist activism and its criticism. Ultimately this is a debate about elite privilege. The really interesting questions of justice are located elsewhere.
9:09 is pretty right here.Leiter is a bully and we all know it. We still read his blog for some reason... I actually don't really know why...But if you look at the thread, this Matt Drabek guy called Leiter "champ" to which Leiter responded "watch your tone".Not sure why the moderator then came down so hard on Leiter as Drabek was not "being nice" which apparently is the comment policy.That said, Leiter does start to get a little unhinged as the comments go on. His "I'll search you down and sue your @ss" was idiotic.
"It could be that A overcame a shitstorm of implicit biases, etc. to be in a position to be the last of two candidates from whom one would be offered an on-campus."No, to the contrary. Explicit biases (affirmative action pressure from the administration) gave every plausible female candidate a huge advantage to be included on the final shortlist, right from the beginning.
Where did Leiter and McKinnon go at it?
10:09 - the reason why the moderator cam down so hard on Leiter, I think, is because he used a specific term: 'tone'. The tone argument goes like this: because the views and voices of minorities have historically been dismissed not because of the content of those views, but because of the tone they have been expressed in (examples: angry black woman, hysterical feminist), it is not appropriate to call someone out on their 'tone' in a discussion. So Leiter (perhaps inadvertently) stepped on a bit of landmine when he called someone out on their tone in the comments on a feminist blog.
I take it Leiter's biggest crime wasn't the tone exchange, but his response to Current Student, in which he encouraged him or her (I can't remember) to leave academia for reasons that others found offensive.This occurred on Feminist Philosophers, in the thread on Ludlow.
Just to add another bit of anecdotal evidence from UK. I've been kept informed about the hiring process at two different places (though not serving on SC). In both cases the clear, but unofficial, agreement was to attempt to hire women. Although men got interviewed as well, in both cases women got hired in the end.
12:03 -- Yes, I think that's right. But I really don't see how Leiter was dismissing anyone's argument on the grounds of its tone. He was asking someone, basically, not to be mean to him. How can anyone take issue with that, especially when "be nice" is one of the rules of the blog? Civility's a two-way street, no?
12:25 - You're absolutely right that the biggest problem was Leiter telling the graduate student to GTFO of academia. But someone upthread asked why he was jumped on for his tone, so I thought it was worth explaining why. 12:03 - Even assuming you're right, I think there's still a problem. The rule is something like this: don't criticize the tone of others. Of course, you might use the word tone in your response to someone without dismissing their argument, as you say,but you're still violating a rule that is in place for good reason. Further, if you go into someone else's space, it's on you to learn basic rules of etiquette (just like when you go to a foreign country, you should make an attempt to learn some basic politeness norms of that country).
I do find the piling-on on Leiter, on the blogs and on facebook, amazing. This is not a sexual harasser. There is no evidence that he ever did anything wrong on this score. There is a long history of his taking public stands for progressive causes. How many years has he been doing the lightning rod thing? He finally screws up and says something particularly nasty when pissed off. Now all of these folks who were like 'Yes, Socrates' are acting all high and mighty. Leiter has been calling out junior faculty and grad students the entire time he's run the blog, if they've put themselves out there. And rightly so. That it happened to be, this time, a beloved member of the progressive set is what counted as his undoing. Oh, Jesus, the hypocrisy.
I am a woman who recently lost a Philosophy TT job to a man with a degree from a higher-ranked institution but with significantly fewer publications (of equal calibre). I have other achievements like teaching advanced courses in the AOS and having been very successful with funding. My understanding is that it was a close competition. Though I would have preferred to get the job, I neither hold that a) he got the job because he is a man nor b) that there was some injustice in the process. I have no reason to believe either a or b, and so I accept that it was a fair competition. I wish that when a woman won out against a man--even if the woman had fewer publications-- people were willing and able to imagine that she got the job because the hiring committee determined she was a more suitable candidate. The fact is that none of you is disadvantaged because some woman somewhere got a job for which you weren't even competitive. Only in the case that you are beat out by an actual woman for an actual job for which you are actually shortlisted or given an actual on-campus interview does it make any sense to wonder whether gender was a factor. At that point, you can only conclude that it was if you have a reason to think so. Shouldn't that be clear to philosophers?
"Only in the case that you are beat out by an actual woman for an actual job for which you are actually shortlisted or given an actual on-campus interview does it make any sense to wonder whether gender was a factor."Here's the logic many seem to follow: Every woman who was hired beat out a man for the job. Therefore, in those instances, her gender mattered, because those actual women got actual jobs over actual men who were actually qualified.Putting aside for the moment the fact that at least some of these claims are rooted in sexism, they are all rooted in some fundamental misunderstandings of the job market:1. Qualified people will not get jobs. There are more qualified applicants than there are jobs. You can be fully qualified, do everything right, and still find yourself unemployed. This has nothing to do with gender.2. Hiring committees do not all think alike, and do not all want the same things. Some committees will place more weight on clearly measurable parts of the application (publications, institutional ranking, etc.), while others will place more weight on parts of the application/interview we can never measure (writing samples we will never see, performance on interviews, overall fit). Committees can value these parts of the application/interview process without taking gender into consideration. (This, by the way, is one reason why two different programs can identify two vastly different groups of finalists, even for jobs at similar institutions with nearly identical job ads. Of course, another reason why is the large number of qualified applicants.)
5:49 pm: What are you talking about? He 'finally' screws up? Leiter has been doing bullying like this for years. Consider his witch hunts against alternative rankings, Richard Heck, harmless parody accounts, etc.
8:21 PM,You write:"Only in the case that you are beat out by an actual woman for an actual job for which you are actually shortlisted or given an actual on-campus interview does it make any sense to wonder whether gender was a factor."This is false. Here is another case: The search committee, without revealing this in the advertisement, explicitly decides that the process must result in the hiring of a woman (for whatever reason, and applying whatever filter). In such a case, it is of course clear that it makes sense to wonder whether gender was a factor. Because gender, in fact, was a factor. And anyone who is aware of anything at all about how the current job market in philosophy functions these days knows that this practice is prevalent. If you are worried about what men think about women hired into tenure-track positions, perhaps it would make more sense to advocate the abandonment of this practice, rather than insult those who are aware of it and have genuine concerns with it (due to the harm it causes to women and men alike).
8:21PM writes: "Only in the case that you are beat out by an actual woman for an actual job for which you are actually shortlisted or given an actual on-campus interview does it make any sense to wonder whether gender was a factor. At that point, you can only conclude that it was if you have a reason to think so. Shouldn't that be clear to philosophers?"A number of posters on this thread have explained the role that gender considerations have played in recent searches by the search committees in their departments and those of their colleagues at other schools. Gender considerations have been given significant weight (not just as a tie-breaker) at all stages of the search: in the initial review of applications, in the formation of short lists, in deciding whom to give first round interviews, in deciding whom to bring to campus, and in deciding whom to hire.Did you miss all those posts, or are you just having trouble making the correct inferences?In the event that you just missed them, a quick recap:"In my department we actively seek out female applicants, often reading and re-reading application materials, calling people we know at their institutions, and so on. We also try as hard as possible to fly out as many women as we can from the final list we draw up. We don't do either of these things for male applicants." -3/3/14 at 10:39AM"I was told by a member on the search committee at four different institutions that they were only considering women this year. I have no doubt there are more. (I am a man.)" -3/4/14 at 9:24PM "Just more anecdotal data FWIW: I have been on two search committees and each time, at each stage of the process, it was a huge advantage to be a woman. A was brought to campus as opposed to B because A was woman; C was hired as opposed to D because C was a woman." -3/7/14 at 5:20AM"Just to add another bit of anecdotal evidence from UK. I've been kept informed about the hiring process at two different places (though not serving on SC). In both cases the clear, but unofficial, agreement was to attempt to hire women. Although men got interviewed as well, in both cases women got hired in the end." -3/7/14 at 12:42PM
"witch hunts" against alternative rankings, Heck, harmless parody accounts??? What are you talking about?
Well, either Ludlow or the Plantiff are lying through their teeth here. And it seems like, with respect to some of the allegations, at least, it should be pretty easy to tell which one. For example, if there is, in fact, a security camera in the elevator of Ludlow's building, that should make it fairly obviously whether they were 'furiously making out' or, as Ludlow claims, not touching one another at all. It also seems that testimony from bartenders/servers should be able to substantiate pretty definitively whether the student was 'black-out drunk' or had only had one glass of wine over the course of six hours. Whichever one is lying, I'm pretty surprised they would do so about such straightforward, provable matters.
Yes agree. Reading it through I tend to think Ludlow is "more" right about the facts. Although misrepresenting his reactions (ie if he himself wasn't "dtf" wouldn't he have driven her home?). That would explain the university's level of sanctioning. The elevator videotape will be important evidence in this case I bet. Sadly, the student appears to have taken this all very hard. And given how quickly she went to faculty felt badly about the night right away. Anyway, this is all good data to suggest that professors should keep a professional distance. Just a little introspection and we should all know 18 year olds are crazy. I was. Even if you were to socialize with students, which might be ok, never alone.
You write: "A number of posters on this thread have explained the role that gender considerations have played in recent searches by the search committees in their departments and those of their colleagues at other schools…. Did you miss all those posts, or are you just having trouble making the correct inferences?"In fact, very little has been 'explained.' What has been offered is a) anecdata and b) some data of questionable relevance on the basis of which it would be (evidently) erroneous to make general claims about women's advantages on the job market (or advantages leading to some 'neutral net result', which has been the outlandish conclusion of at least one person on this thread). I think it is you who is having trouble grasping what it is possible to infer about your statistical chances at a job in the absence of anything remotely resembling sufficient data concerning hiring practices. Honestly--what do you think you can infer? Go ahead if it makes you feel better: in every case in which you are not shortlisted or offered an interview, 'infer', on the basis of insufficient evidence and a handful of anecdotal reports on this thread, that gender was a factor. In all cases in which women are not offered a flyout or interview, ignore all anecdata and conclude that it is impossible to know whether gender stereotypes and implicit bias played a role, because there is insufficient evidence. Even when the person hired is a man, 'infer' that gender worked against you because the handful of anecdata allows you to to 'infer' that a woman took your spot for a flyout. That's surely the correct inference to make at every stage. If this nonsense is challenged and the challenge happens to come from a woman, be sure to take the opportunity to tell her she is having difficulty understanding 'inference'. Judging from your comments, you are probably a student and not a professional philosopher, but for those who are on the job market, consider whether you've implicitly adopted the above line of 'reasoning' about your current experience on the job market and, if so, consider realigning your thoughts with reality.
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