Friday, November 14, 2014

Deep Thought for Friday

I fucking hate this god damn shit.

--Mr. Zero

121 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think that this is my last year. If I don't get anything appealing, I'm moving on.

Anonymous said...

This is my first time on the job market. I have received one "PFO" letter.

I do not yet "fucking hate this shit". It is rather unpleasant, though. And, jeez--what a time suck. Applying for jobs has taken much more time, and much more money, than I anticipated.

Research has ground to a halt.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Mount St. Mary's has made its move.

Anonymous said...

Re: Mount St. Mary's: That's bullshit. Their initial ad said the deadline was 11/28. Guess they moved the goalpost (the ad now says 10/1) and declared victory.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Zero rules. New TT jobs are no more than a trickle now. We're already moving firmly into fixed-time territory. [just my impression]

Anonymous said...

"That's bullshit. Their initial ad said the deadline was 11/28. Guess they moved the goalpost (the ad now says 10/1) and declared victory."

The ad always stated that review would begin Oct. 1., but they did move the deadline from Nov. 28 to Oct. 24. I know someone connected with the Dean, who is heading the search, and it seems he always had a small set of candidates in mind. My guess is the deadline was moved once those candidates got their applications in.

Anonymous said...

Also, meeting the deadline is sometimes intended as a necessary, rather than sufficient, condition for consideration. Some ads are explicit about this.

zombie said...

Yeah, the ads this year are beyond discouraging. Where the hell are all the jobs?

At this point, 125 TT jobs listed, and a LOT of them are either overseas, or just plain weird.

Anonymous said...

I share the same sentiment as 7:43. This is my fifth year on the market. I'm really tired of applying for jobs. I am working on a Plan B-learning how to write grants. I am hoping to break into the non-profit sector if I don't get hired this year.

Anonymous said...

"Where the hell are all the jobs?"

They are currently held by adjuncts. Welcome to the New Normal.

Anonymous said...

So discouraging.

Anyone check out the new posting for a non-TT gig at Xavier? 4/4 with service AND research expectations?! Are you f-ing kidding?

Anonymous said...

1:49,

There are new non-TT full-time contracts at some SUNY schools that involve a 5/5 load with service and professional development expectations.

zombie said...

For a TT job, that wouldn't be out of the ordinary. But for a term position, teaching + service and research is kinda grabby.

Anonymous said...

"For a TT job, that wouldn't be out of the ordinary. But for a term position, teaching + service and research is kinda grabby."

Welcome to the new normal.

Anonymous said...

I just want to vent about the "new normal" for a moment...

I've been a VAP for a couple of years at a couple of places. At each place, the very people who are requiring me to teach, publish, and serve have tenure and do not themselves teach (much), publish (at all), and serve (minimally and grudgingly). According to each department head, the requirement of VAPs to teach, publish, and serve has come as mandates from higher ups (deans). I resent this. It is as if once you get tenure, you don't have to do anything but rely on temporary faculty to make your department look productive (emphasis on "look").

Thank you for allowing me to vent.

Anonymous said...

a new market question (apologies if this has been dealt with in older smoker threads): should you include materials they don't request? e.g., a teaching portfolio if they don't specifically ask for one, or a statement of future research if they don't specifically ask for one.

esp. if these things might enhance your application, is it better to not risk annoying them with extra stuff or better to throw it on there, on the off chance that they see it and that it improves your standing?

Derek Bowman said...

If your department regularly hires temporary instructors (VAPs, adjuncts, etc), you have a moral obligation to provide those instructors with the resources and mentoring necessary to help them find another (preferably permanent) job when they finish.

zombie said...

11:44 -- send what is requested. Some online applications allow you to add additional items beyond what is required. If they do, add what you like.

SCs may be under constraints by HR to review all and only what is requested, so they may ignore additional items, or look at them if they like/can.

zombie said...

Not that you couldn't figure this out yourselves, but as of today, 110 TT jobs at US institutions advertised on Philjobs.

That's really poor.

Anonymous said...

Question for smokers:

I'm going up for tenure this year. As is typical, I am also going on the job market. One motivation is to hedge my bets against a failed tenure case. But a bigger motivation, since I am not overly worried about receiving tenure, is to see if I can land a better job. I'm not crazy about my current position. I'm not exactly desperate to leave, but I would be disappointed if I spent the rest of my life here. Since I have my materials together anyway for tenure, now is a natural time to see if I can improve my lot.

It occurs to me, however, that perhaps I ought not to go on the job market. First, interviews are finite. Every one I receive is one that someone else does not. And others, especially those without permanent jobs, need them more than I do.

Second, should I land a job and take it, my current position will not automatically open up for someone else. My administration may use the occasion to thin our department. Thus, my actions may contribute to their being fewer overall jobs in philosophy. It seems better for me to have my current job and someone else to have a job than it is for me to have a slightly better job and someone else to have no job (in philosophy).

Third, even if my current position did open up for someone else, it would not be until next year. In the meantime, the person who did not land a t-t job this year because I took one may decide to give up the game. Thus, I may not merely delaying a particular person's shot at a long life in philosophy, I may be depriving him or her of it altogether. This concern is especially vexing for me given that I know and care about many of the people applying for jobs in my area of specialization.

Thus, I wonder: Do I have an obligation not to go on the job market?

Anonymous said...

@ 1:57 PM, the pre-tenure job-marketer

I thought that pre-tenure folks (specifically, people who are about to receive it within the year) apply to Associate-level positions. Why, after all, give up an almost certainly tenured position to get back in the TT rat race? If that is so, then you wouldn't be sealing the fate of a junior person trying to claw their way into the profession. The people you'd be up against are people in roughly your position.

Anonymous said...

Don't send stuff that wasn't asked for! I find it deeply frustrating when I'm on a search committee, even when I know I shouldn't. I'm sure this effects my evaluation of candidates when I try to correct for it. I'd recommend putting other things on your website and making note of the fact that they are there in your cover letter. This way you're not pushy, but they can look at anything they want to without requesting it.

Anonymous said...

absolutely not. it's every man or woman for him or herself out there.

Anonymous said...

1:57,

I really appreciate your considerate question. I do not think you are obligated to stay off the market. (This is coming from someone without a TT job.) I assume that one of the conditions on which you got into the profession was the possibility of moving laterally, or attempting to live near family, or whatever.

Anonymous said...

1:57: I don't think it's immoral for you to apply for jobs. I am currently an adjunct desperate for a TT job hoping you're not applying in my area. And I might have to leave the field if I don't get a job this year. But I think you should be able to apply.

Interviews are finite, yes. But the person who gets left off the first-round list of interviewees because you are on it, or the on-campus list, would almost certainly not be the person who got the job anyhow.

Your department might open up another job, and it might not. Either way, it's not your fault. You are entitled to pursue your career in a way that isn't callous or cruel, doesn't hurt any particular person, and may well not hurt any actual person (if your department does get a line to replace you). Actually, a concern that I think is greater is whether you're possibly hurting your present department by leaving.

If you're going to be consequentialist about this, you need more information than you have. Isn't it possible that you'll get a new job that you like, your department does do a search next year, and finds someone who would LOVE your job - but otherwise wouldn't get a job next year? Maybe the person you displace this year will leave philosophy and find an amazing career doing something else and be forever grateful that she left the field.

All that said, I hope I get an interview ahead of you! :)

Anonymous said...

"Also, meeting the deadline is sometimes intended as a necessary, rather than sufficient, condition for consideration."

Unless an ad does mention this explicitly, I think it is dishonest. Some people wait until close to deadline because they are waiting to hear from journals.

Anonymous said...

"If your department regularly hires temporary instructors (VAPs, adjuncts, etc), you have a moral obligation to provide those instructors with the resources and mentoring necessary to help them find another (preferably permanent) job when they finish."

I really, really fucking wish this was the attitude of most people with TT jobs. I have been living the VAP life for a couple of years now, and have grown increasingly bitter that faculty who teach half as much as me (and make twice as much) while not really publishing don't offer any sort of help/guidance/etc.

zombie said...

1:57: I'm in more or less the same boat. I've been advised that it is better to look for a job BEFORE you have tenure, as there are fewer jobs at the associate level than at the assistant level. The risk is having to start the tenure clock all over again. (I had a flyout last year where they basically told me I'd get NO credit for time served, research already done. Lucky for me they did not offer me the job.)

One additional reason for you to do it: you might get an offer, and decide not to take it, but use it as leverage to improve your lot where you are now. That's a win-win -- someone else will get the job you turn down, but you'll also get something out of the deal.

Anonymous said...

You also have a moral obligation to take care of your adjuncts' kids once in a while.
Christ, I have two kids and my partner works full time and I'm teaching six courses. The tenured oafs teach less than half that, make three times my salary, and most of them have no kids or their kids are grown or their wives don't work! But do they take care of my kids, ever? I'll let you guess.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 4:41 AM:

Perhaps I am particularly bad at identifying written sarcasm. But I do hope you're joking.

In the event you aren't...

Claiming that positions whose purpose is to prepare junior academics for permanent positions by offering guidance and mentoring ought to do that very thing is a far cry from claiming that permanent faculty ought to (literally) babysit for their adjunct colleagues.

I do think departments (and by extension permanent faculty) are complicit in the disparity in pay, respect, and responsibilities between permanent and adjunct faculty members. But why in the world would this obligate permanent faculty to take care of your children? All it would obligate them to do would be to work against the system that has been put in place whereby adjuncts make a 1/3 of the pay teaching twice as many courses.

Anonymous said...

4:41-

I'm having a hard time with your post. Clearly it's meant to be sarcastic, but some of us are in the position you claim to be in. We are VAPping or adjuncting, with and without children and spouses, in departments where the tenured (and sometimes even the tenure-track) faculty are not as productive as we are required to be in terms of teaching load and service expectations, mostly. At my school where I've been VAPping, the "requirement" for publishing is there for tenured and tenure-track faculty, but the tenured aren't writing and the tenure-trackers are only writing "enough" to get tenure (e.g. book reviews). All the while, they teach fewer courses (one or two compared to five or six for some of us contingent faculty) and serve on the same number of (or fewer) committees. Their salaries are double or even triple some of ours.

Anonymous said...

I imagine 4:41 was neither completely serious nor completely sarcastic, just being hyperbolic. Teaching a ton and not being ale to afford daycare, and taking most of the responsibilities at a workplace in which no one seems to recognize how much every day is a struggle, is incredibly frustrating. "Can you and your spouse both come to the colloquium?" "No, we have kids, one of us has to be at home" "Hmmm. You should really both be there. Get a babysitter" Umm, no, you halfwit, we can't afford a f*ing babysitter on our shitty pay, and even if we could, it wouldn't be so we could do *more* work. You wanna watch our kids?

Anonymous said...

The expectation of research for non-tenure faculty members, in particular, is really just a ponzi scheme. We are all told to keep dumping these articles into some general depository in order to have a chance to have a career. But nobody really reads any of this shit. Sure I read some of the top scholars in my field and try to keep tabs on them. But I certainly don't read every thing coming out in every journal. Why? Well, I'm probably not going to cite a no-name person in a ho-hum journal in my own attempt to publish in a journal. Oh wait, but I'm a ho-hum scholar trying to publish in a ho-hum journal. Just keep dumping it in boys and girls, it's all very very important.

Anonymous said...

Holy shit, 7:20, if you can't tell that 4:41's post was sarcasm, your detector is broken.

Anonymous said...

"Claiming that positions whose purpose is to prepare junior academics for permanent positions..."

You really think that's the purpose of adjunct and VAP jobs??

You and I must live in different worlds.

Anonymous said...

where in the hell is a book review meeting with approval at an annual review?

Anonymous said...

@11:30

Departments with no grad program or a terminal Masters don't always have high publishing expectations of their faculty, so book reviews can sometimes count, especially if the administration doesn't really care about the department. I know of a department where someone managed tenure with one publication in a no-name journal, no conferences, and minimal teaching. He did date a lot of students, though, so there's that. The guy hasn't published a thing since, but he did marry one of the students.*

*The sarcasm is intended, the anecdote is true.

Anonymous said...

I'm a trailing spouse/philosophy widow, and my husband recently told me that 2015-16 will be his last year on the academic job market. If he doesn't get anything, he'll leave the profession.

I love my husband, I think he's brilliant, and I'm rooting so hard for him to get a TT job... but secretly I am over the fucking moon to think that there is an expiration date for all this misery.

zombie said...

Over at the Philosopher's Coccoon, Marcus has tallied the jobs ads by AOS. Just in case you're not depressed enough.

http://philosopherscocoon.typepad.com/blog/2014/11/where-the-jobs-areor-arent.html

Anonymous said...

"But I certainly don't read every thing coming out in every journal. Why? Well, I'm probably not going to cite a no-name person in a ho-hum journal in my own attempt to publish in a journal."

It's always refreshing to learn that the merits of a work are not nearly as important as the author and the journal.

Anonymous said...

I've been on the market for the last three years. This year is number four. As someone with an AOS in value theory broadly construed, it's not clear to me that the number of tt job openings this year is worse (or better) than the three previous years But someone correct me if their impressions are different.

Anonymous said...

1:07

Value theory seems relatively stable to me, maybe a little worse. The real drop, as far as I can see, has occurred in history and especially the 'core' areas.

Anonymous said...

@ 1:07AM:

I was on the market last year, also with an AOS in Value Theory, and the number of jobs is decidedly worse. About 40 less jobs.

Anonymous said...

question from a first-time marketer: should you follow up with departments to make sure they received your application materials? Never? Always? Only for those jobs you really desperately want and think you have a chance at?

I just fear my application getting somehow lost, or my reference letters never coming through, etc.

Anonymous said...

is the wiki at all reliable? an example: UNC-charlotte was up there as having scheduled interviews, but now it's entirely gone...

Anonymous said...

8:56,
You really should receive some kind of notification of the receipt of your application. But it sometimes takes a while. Especially if the burden is placed on some poor administrative assistant to sort through all this stuff. Sending an email to check on your application runs the risk of annoying the Search Committee members but I'm not sure we can live our lives solely on the basis of whether we will annoy Search Committee members given how much they seem to be annoyed with (at least as stated on this blog and other blogs.)

Anonymous said...

What do you think that people who have tenure can and should do in light of the problems described in this thread? One thing I'm hearing is that tenured folk should take more trouble to help and mentor those who are not TT.

zombie said...

Speaking of WTF AOSs: "The ideal candidate will be comfortable working and thinking across disciplines while developing new courses in his or her own interest area Specializations could include data analysis and data visualization, mobile media, graph theory, number theory, modeling for finance and other fields, bioinformatics or networking and security.."

bad joke, or ridiculous mistake?

http://philjobs.org/job/show/3453

Anonymous said...

"What do you think that people who have tenure can and should do in light of the problems described in this thread?"

They can show support, and respect their colleagues, maybe help when they can. But there's nothing to be done system-wide. TT faculty cannot raise adjunct pay, cut the workload, etc. Most of these decisions - especially at public institutions - come from above. I'd recommend staging walk-outs, with TT walking out alongside their adjunct colleagues, demanding better working conditions. But in the uncertain job market we have, and the Facebook-activism many seem to enjoy, this will never happen.

Anonymous said...

"At my school where I've been VAPping, the "requirement" for publishing is there for tenured and tenure-track faculty, but the tenured aren't writing and the tenure-trackers are only writing "enough" to get tenure (e.g. book reviews). All the while, they teach fewer courses (one or two compared to five or six for some of us contingent faculty) and serve on the same number of (or fewer) committees. Their salaries are double or even triple some of ours."

Yeah, but this also isn't new. My dissertation advisor used to complain about when he was hired (at a ranked PhD-granting institution): one of his sernior colleagues never finished his PhD (hired ABD and the school never made him finish), never published a book (and published only one article before tenure), and only published reviews after tenure. My advisor complained because this colleague demanded that tenure be granted only for a book (oh, the horror!) and that reviews not count toward publications.

This same advisor - who complained about how unfair it was in his time as junior - now supports a 2-book-to-tenure requirement (because the first book, presumably, was mostly written as a grad student), agrees that reviews shouldn't count, and believes that only top-tier journals should count.

This is how academia has always worked: one group gets tenure and then, noticing how competitive the market has become, raises the bar. This continues to happen, and will continue to happen. At least until TT lines are abolished for a fully-adjunctified faculty.

Anonymous said...

"bad joke, or ridiculous mistake?"

Even more mysterious when you consider the AOC: cinema studies and philosophy

Anonymous said...

5:54:

40 less jobs *tenure track* than last year! Where are you finding (or not finding) all these?

On a different note, is the weak job market a result of senior folks still holding off on retirement or of retirements that are being replaced by adjunct positions? It's not obvious that for the R1s and the selective slacs it is the latter rather than the former.

Anonymous said...

I have advanced degrees in both philosophy and cinema studies. And that AOS makes zero sense to me. I'm guessing someone cut-and-pasted incorrectly. In the ad, it says, " We are particularly interested in scholars whose work attends to gender, new media, experimental cinema, and changing technologies, and draws on the history of modern European philosophy as well as 20th Century continental philosophy, including both post-structuralism and Frankfurt School critical theory." That makes sense (it's annoying because it isn't what I do, and how many philosophy and cinema studies jobs are there?? but that's another issue). They don't seem to be talking number theory and bioinformatics.

Anonymous said...

for systemic action on adjuncts, there's starting to be some movement on organizing: http://adjunctaction.org/

Tenureds could support some of these actions and help increase the visibility of the movement.

Slate (I think it was..) also suggested putting pressure on US News & World Report to prominently include adjunct/tenured faculty ratios in college rankings, right up there with student-professor ratio. I think that single move could be enormously effective in getting schools to reign in or even undo some of the adjunctification of their schools.

Of course, trying to be supportive of your department's adjuncts by mentoring and offering job advice is great too.

Anonymous said...

November 17, 2014 at 10:09 AM asks:

"What do you think that people who have tenure can and should do in light of the problems described in this thread? One thing I'm hearing is that tenured folk should take more trouble to help and mentor those who are not TT."

I'll add that TT faculty and Chairs can do away with horrible policies, like giving adjuncts and other non-tt faculty "garbage schedules" (the courses at times and days no one tenured wants to teach). All faculty are on the frontline, the most important one, teaching students. Be adults and rotate the crappy times/days, distributing the "misery" but boosting morale and a little justice in the small things.

Open curriculum development discussions to all faculty members, not just tt/t. From confronting demands from on high regarding curriculum changes, to making revisions on courses in the catalogue and adding new courses, all these curricular matters effect all the professionals teaching the courses and all need to be informed and share their input. Treat everyone teaching like the professionals they are, and this makes a difference.

Forward emails regarding faculty instructional development to non-tt/t faculty. They are typically not included in mass mailings from IT and other Instructional development services. Pursue and support non TT/T faculty in getting the instructional development resources that they need. Don't assume that they are being kept in the loop, just include them.

Speak to non-tt/t faculty about any financial crises going on at your institution and keep them informed about how things stand and how your department plans to respond. Nearly all such financial/budget crises involve their work directly or indirectly. They are your institution's lowest hanging fruit, the first hit when cut-backs in staffing arise, schedules are rearranged, etc -- and too often the last to know. Many adjuncts have no time for the "water-cooler" discussions tenured faculty are privileged to have, left out of email list-servs, etc. Don't assume that "everyone knows," as if "everyone" is driving between multiple campuses, and has the same information sources. It is on departments to make sure that "everyone" really means everyone effected.

zombie said...

1:36 -- I'm with you. I have degrees in both, and that whole AOS is gibberish and has nothing to do with either.

But teaching film and philosophy -- I do it all the time.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps this is shameless thread-jacking, but has anyone heard anything about the Hobart and Wm. Smith Metaphysics/Mind position? Have they scheduled first-rounds yet?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know about the Hobart and William Smith position, too.

Derek Bowman said...

The main thing tenured and tenure-track faculty, as individuals, can do for adjuncts and other exploited temporaries is just to honestly and sincerely acknowledge that the positions are exploitative and that the university's hiring practices are shameful. And make sure that they know that -shameful as it is- they won't be rewarded for any extra effort they put in.

Then, if you really are honest and sincere, that will mean figuring out what you can do at the department administrative level, which often may be 'not much.' But at the very least you can be a pain in the ass and mention it as often as possible to colleagues and administrators.

Anonymous said...

For those asking about Hobart and William Smith: their application deadline was THREE DAYS ago. No matter how great you are, it'll take the committee more time than that to offer you an interview.

In my experience, most search committees take three to five weeks to make decisions about first-round interviews.

Anonymous said...

8:14 AM,

I'd just like to point out that you are making the (unsubstantiated, and often false) assumption that search committees only begin evaluating and meeting to discuss applications on or after the submission deadline.

Anonymous said...

"I'd just like to point out that you are making the (unsubstantiated, and often false) assumption that search committees only begin evaluating and meeting to discuss applications on or after the submission deadline."

Indeed, it is an often false assumption. Some SC's begin review well before the deadline, while others don't get started until a week or later after the deadline (e.g., my institution). This is why it is wise to get your apps in with time to spare. I advise candidates to submit no later than a week before deadline.

Anonymous said...

On a related note: tis the season for the humblebrag on Facebook. "Hey--if any of you will be at the Eastern APA, message me! Looks like I'll be doing one of those interview things there."

Just have the guts to say that a good thing happened to you--don't cloak it in empty complaints.

Anonymous said...

@1:08

Wow, how f-ing obnoxious.

Facebook during this time can be absolutely toxic. The worst, of course, is in the spring, when philosophers start posting about how "lucky" some department is to have their advisee.

General policy: avoid Facebook.

Anonymous said...

This thread is deeply depressing. Is there nothing we can do to create jobs for philosophers? Start a publishing company that only hires philosophers to be editors? A consulting organization of some sort or another, perhaps a company comprised of ethicists that contracts them out to hospitals (for obvious stuff), tech companies (for privacy stuff), etc.? There has to be something we can do without relying on universities to give us jobs they don't have to give.

Anonymous said...

There has to be something we can do without relying on universities to give us jobs they don't have to give.

Yeah, there is something we can do, it's called the fast food/retail industry.

A philosophy PhD prepares you for one occupation and one occupation only. Outside of academic philosophy your degree is completely worthless and more likely to be obstacle to employment than an advantage. Were that not so, then nobody would get stuck in adjunct/contingent faculty hell.

Anonymous said...

8:27,

Of course you can. Put together a business plan and start contacting potential investors (or banks for potential loans) for the money you need to get your business off the ground.

But if you are serious, you also have to know that "getting jobs for philosophers" will turn many investors away. Unless, it should be obvious, that those future employees *also* have relevant experience in the field. Your publishing house will need people experienced in the publishing world. Your consulting firm for the medical community will need people with experience in medical institutions. Because I can assure you that nobody is going to hire a group of philosophers to come and do stuff they have lots of ideas about, but no practical experience in.

This brings us back to the annual Plan B discussion, and as I do every year, I'll say it again here: if you don't start planning for your Plan B career before you hit the academic market, you have waited too long.

One of my students, frustrated with the market, founded her own literary agency, specializing in promoting the work of sci-fi/fantasy authors. Every author who contacts her asks her the same question: who have you worked with in the past. And after a year, she has had no clients, because while she knows a great deal about the field, she has no experience in being a literary agent, never works for an agency herself, and has never worked with any authors to shepherd their work to publication.

Anonymous said...

Yes, avoid Facebook at all costs. It is strange how the job market has a habit of turning what seem to be reasonably decent people into craven amour propre motherfuckers. I mean we all want to be loved and adored, but c'mon, why can't you post pictures of cats or something. Then again, my adviser told me that self-promotion is more important than being smart these days and I certainly have some people on my Facebook feed who are really, really good at self-promotion.

zombie said...

I suspect that self-promotion is very important, but I kind of doubt that doing it on Facebook is the right forum.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of hating this fucking shit. UM-Flint put out a posting this morning for a position in ethics. It is November 19th and the post says that for full consideration they should have your materials by the 24th. But then the post does not list an email for applicants to send materials to. I contacted their admin assistant, and was told they are only accepting snail-applications. Even if I have my dossier mailed by Interfolio today, it will cost me 30 dollars to ensure that it gets delivered on time. That's outrageous.

Anonymous said...

Re: "A philosophy PhD prepares you for one occupation and one occupation only. Outside of academic philosophy your degree is completely worthless and more likely to be obstacle to employment than an advantage. Were that not so, then nobody would get stuck in adjunct/contingent faculty hell."

This seems wrong. I have contacts in finance, government, and think tanks who all say they view candidates with phil backgrounds favorably, because such candidates know how to think, problem solve, analyze, &c. The problem is that many of us in philosophy are led to believe there's nothing else we can do (it's academic philosophy or bust). I used to think that way myself. Maybe the reason people get stuck in "adjunct/contingent faculty hell" is that they're holding out hope for a TT position, or that they don't know what else they can do. But there are, in fact, plenty of things you can do with a philosophy PhD.

Anonymous said...

Those of you who dislike the humble-bragging on FB are wrong.

First, FB is THE place to do humble-bragging. It's one of the reasons why it exists. Humble-bragging on FB is what people do on FB. Here are pictures of my new thing. Here are pictures of the awesome places I go. Here's my sexy partner and our adorable kids. The job market is no different. FB is where people go to do this.

Second, they should be bragging. The market is Very Fucking Tough, and Very Fucking Demeaning. Any success one finds on the market, however small it may be, should be celebrated (and should be shared with one's friends). These people should be doing cartwheels, and it's not our place to criticize them for how they execute those cartwheels.

If you can't handle being reminded that other people might be successful, then you shouldn't be on social media. Or interact with other people.

Anonymous said...

9:18,

I didn't read the other posters as disagreeing with you. They said don't go on Facebook if it is going to send you into further dumpy feelings about the market. Surely, nobody is suggesting that we can cure the rampant narcissism that is part of being a professional academic. It took years of training to produce that trait in people.

Anonymous said...

This seems wrong. I have contacts in finance, government, and think tanks who all say they view candidates with phil backgrounds favorably, because such candidates know how to think, problem solve, analyze.

You have contacts? Well, that settles it then! Seriously, there is a difference between "having a philosophy background" and having a PhD in philosophy. I have no doubt that some employers might think that someone with STEM degree AND a philosophy degree (or some courses in philosophy) is an attractive hire. But it is simply fale to think that ANYONE is going to look a 30ish academic with no background except in philosophy and think "I should hire her for her problem solving skills." Your contacts notwithstanding.

Maybe the reason people get stuck in "adjunct/contingent faculty hell" is that they're holding out hope for a TT position, or that they don't know what else they can do. But there are, in fact, plenty of things you can do with a philosophy PhD.

That is simply not the case. Most of us would love to find out that there is some other line of work, non-minimum wage work, that our degrees qualify us for. But, there is not. The philosophy PhD, by itself, is utterly and completely useless outside academia. Those are the facts.

Anonymous said...

Also, the UM-Flint ad says that they list job postings for at least 7 days, but isn't the 24 less than 7 days away? WTF? Inside hire?

Anonymous said...

5:43, Where else would you expect to find out what potential employers are looking for than from the potential employers themselves? And by the way, they were talking about PhDs in philosophy. That's what I meant by "having a background." If you insist on believing that your PhD is worthless outside of philosophy, suit yourself. And good luck with that.

zombie said...

"Because the department will be conducting interviews via Skype in December, applications received by November 24th, 2014 will be given first consideration. Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled."

It doesn't say they WON'T consider applications received after Nov 24. It just says they'll be given "first consideration," which probably means those are the ones they'll look at, y'know, first.

I wouldn't waste $30 sending it. And since the ad does not say that it should be mailed, I would email it all to Wandmacher (his email address is surely on the department website).

But I don't want to live in Flint, so this free advice costs me nothing.

zombie said...

Hang on, I see Flint has two versions of their ad out. One that they emailed to the PHILOSOP listserv, and one posted to philjobs with a different name (Simon Cushing), and that one DOES say to mail the dossier.

Way to confuse people, Flint.


Here's the email version:

Asst Professor of Philosophy

Responsibilities*
Teach a 3/3 load, focused in ethics, but flexible given departmental needs. Teaching dual enrollment courses is a likelihood. Ability to coordinate varied DEEP ethics courses to maintain consistency over multiple schools. Research and service expectations based upon Department and CAS guidelines.

Required Qualifications*
Ph.D. or ABD, but Ph.D at time of appointment preferred. Evidence of excellence in undergraduate teaching. Evidence of viable research program. Ability to teach a wide range of ethics courses, including applied ethics.

Desired Qualifications*
Ability to teach related metaphysical courses.

Additional Information
Send letter of interest, cv, at least three letters of reference, evidence of teaching effectiveness, writing sample, and graduate transcripts to: Stevens Wandmacher, Chair, Philosophy Department, University of Michigan-Flint, 544 French Hall, Flint, MI 48502. Because the department will be conducting interviews via Skype in December, applications received by November 24th, 2014 will be given first consideration. Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled. Final approval of position is contingent upon university funding.

Background Screening
The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Application Deadline
Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement
The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Anonymous said...

"Second, they should be bragging"

1:08 here: I agree--they should brag. But not in such a cloaked fashion. I think one of the skills we utterly lack as emerging grad students is self-promotion. There are better and worse ways of doing this.

Good way: Hey, I just received notice that I am giving a job talk in two weeks. That's such great news!

Less good way: Hey, it looks like I'll be in Anytown in December to give a job talk. Guess I'll have to get my holiday shopping done early this year.

The humblebrag is the best that many people can come up with for announcing good news and promoting themselves. But it's not the most effective way and, to be honest, it's insulting to those who know just how good the news is. Be honest--own the good news!

Anonymous said...

A question for any members of SCs who are looking at this: we can see how many ads there are this year (fewer), but we don't know how many applicants there are. Do you have a sense whether there are more or fewer than usual? How many have you gotten?

Anonymous said...

@12:32

Not on a SC, but I know U of Miami got 600 or so applications for their open/open search. That's probably on the high side. Location/prestige/low teaching load/open AOS make it very desirable. For most ethics or lemming positions, you could probably count on getting about half that, say approx. 300 per opening. At best you'll be looking at 250/1 odds. Depending on location various factors.

Anonymous said...

It's simply not true that philosophers can't find jobs elsewhere. I studied philosophy in Europe and after my studies began teaching English. During that time, I also starting a freelance business. After a year or two I had a number of jobs lined up within the ESL and local editing and advertising agencies. I turned them all down to pursue an academic career in philosophy. Presently, I'm in a contractual FT position and still looking for a TT position. For sure, I would prefer to stay in academia, but I'm certain that in the event that things don't work out, I'll do something else.

For a second example, a friend of mine who studied at the same school, got a phd, the whole deal, decided NOT to pursue an academic career and instead went into IT. Today, by a turn of events, he's in Europe with an awesome research grant which he obtained BECAUSE he had experience outside of academia.

As I see it, the problem isn't just institutional, but is likewise rooted in the individuals themselves. If there are no jobs out there, then we ought to start creating jobs.

We've got the Phds, we're supposed to be the thinkers - so what's the problem?

There's a lot of whining go on on this forum. I think people need to suck it up and make a better life for themselves.

No offense intended - I'm a whiner too.

Anonymous said...

12:32 -- I'm on an SC in a less than desirable location, for a fairly unusual AOS. We did not get many applicants -- fewer than 100. But this position might not be typical.

Anonymous said...

"We've got the Phds, we're supposed to be the thinkers - so what's the problem?"

The problem is that most people don't consider a Plan B until it's too late. Most people who go on for a PhD in Philosophy do so with the hope of someday holding an academic post in Philosophy. The students want this. The faculty expect it (and there are stories of advisors dropping students who admit they may want to do something else, take their skills into another field).

Most people don't work on their Plan B because every moment you spend working on a Plan B is time you are working on Plan A, which is the academic job. Spending a summer developing skills for a secondary field is a summer you don't publish an article. The job at a publishing company you take prohibits you from getting more teaching experience.

I can't say I fault this thinking: if your goal is an academic post, then you need to devote as much time as possible to making yourself a desirable candidate, and this means devoting your time and energy to Plan A. That said, given the very real chance that one will not get an academic post, it seems silly not to devote time to Plan B.

The "problem," in other words, is that while many of the skills are transferable to jobs outside academia, one needs to spend time doing so. Simply having a PhD in Philosophy isn't adequate job preparation for any job other than an academic post.

Helen De Cruz said...

About the plan B: I interviewed several philosophy PhD holders who are working outside of academia. You can find the interviews on NewApps. One thing I noticed was that all the people I interviewed cultivated skills next to being a philosopher, often already in grad school, and made sure not to let those skills atrophy: statistics, computer programming, writing fiction, consultancy, etc. There was seldom a direct link between their PhD studies (which had quite wide-ranging fields, e.g., stoicism, Wittgenstein, epistemology of disagreement) and the work they ended up doing.

In part 3 of the interviews, they provide some helpful practical advice on how to approach the non-academic job market.

See here and following links: http://www.newappsblog.com/2014/06/philosophers-who-work-outside-of-academia-part-1-how-and-why-do-they-end-up-there.html

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Providence has scheduled anything yet?

Anonymous said...

Tips on navigating the Union College application procedure debacle?

Anonymous said...

In case anyone out there wants to know: William & Mary has made first-round interview requests. (I would have posted this at Phylo rather than here, but Phylo doesn't contain this position in its database.)

Speaking of which: does anyone still use Phylo? If not, someone should construct an alternative.


Anonymous said...

I've been trying to use phylo. But they deleted several positions I entered, including Hobart and William Smith and UNC Charlotte. They don't have others, such as Indiana. I'd love an alternative, especially one that doesn't smugly remind me I've been checking it too often.

Anonymous said...

"Speaking of which: does anyone still use Phylo? If not, someone should construct an alternative."

I got the impression that there's just not much activity yet. We'll know whether the Wiki is active in the next few days when more first-round invitations likely will be sent out. I imagine many SC's want to get that done before Thanksgiving.

Mr. Zero said...

I got the impression that there's just not much activity yet. We'll know whether the Wiki is active in the next few days when more first-round invitations likely will be sent out.

In the old days, the second week in December or so was when the lion's share of interview requests would go out. It's less so now, as APA interviews get less popular, but my impression is that this is leading to interview requests going out later, rather than sooner. I've only had one interview request come before Thanksgiving, but I've had a lot come after Christmas.

Of course, my case could be atypical.

Anonymous said...

"Of course, my case could be atypical."

Yours is probably typical, though I wouldn't be surprised if some invitations trickle in over the next few days (last weekend had some movement). Last year, I received two invitations to interview before Thanksgiving, one in which came late the evening right before. One the jobs had an October deadline, but the other had an early November deadline.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, I got interview requests last year for TT positions on 12/4, 12/20, and 1/9 for Skype interviews, and 12/12 for an APA interview.

Anonymous said...

I've been trying to use phylo. But they deleted several positions I entered, including Hobart and William Smith and UNC Charlotte. They don't have others, such as Indiana.

Are you saying you've gotten a first round invitation from these schools already?

zombie said...

Last year I had one interview request come the week before Thanksgiving. The others came the first week of December. So, we're definitely in the ballpark now, or close enough to see it.

Anonymous said...

@1:22 no, sorry, I wish. I meant that I had just entered them as available jobs.

Anonymous said...

@November 21, 2014 at 12:00 PM:

You can enter jobs on the wiki by clicking on the link entitled 'add an unofficial job listing to the wiki'. I have entered five jobs this season.

Last year, I got the impression that the JFP listings were uploaded en masse at some point. But this year, it looks like we're on our own. So if you want to track a job, you should consider adding it to the wiki yourself.

12:00 PM said...

3:40 PM,


I didn't realize that -- I thought you had to be officially connected to the search to post ads. Many thanks for the info!

Anonymous said...

@11:56, I'm pretty sure the message is DO NOT USE EMAIL! PLEASE APPLY USING INTERFOLIO SERVICE!! DO NOT USE EMAIL!!!!!!!!

Ha.

Anonymous said...

12:00 PM,

3:40 PM here again. You are welcome, and please spread the word!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, 6:00

It really was a mess, before they apparently fixed it. Advertising two jobs, with competing AOC's, where the ad requires a writing sample, but the interfolio interface requires a research statement (not mentioned in the ad). Plus the ad's links to the interfolio interface linked to the same job, rather than two different ones. Jesus Christ people, get your shit together BEFORE you post the ads.

Anonymous said...

I have a general question: What would be a good year on the market interview-wise? Ten interviews...five...three? I realize this may depend on your AOS and how many jobs are available...but I wanted to ask nonetheless.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"What would be a good year on the market interview-wise?"

One.

Anonymous said...

"What would be a good year on the market interview-wise?"

Having one that leads to a job.

At the end of the game, the final score is the only thing that matters. Everything else is ego.

zombie said...

5:20 -- a good year, interview-wise, is when one of those interviews turns into a job offer.

Numbers -- they can really be all over the place. My first year, I think I had 2 first-round interviews. Year 2 I had one, plus one fly-out. Year 3 it was 5, and that was a good year because I got a job.

But, I know people who get way more interviews than I ever did.

Anonymous said...

First year: 0 interviews
Second year: 5 interviews +NTT Job
Third year: 2 interviews +TT Job
Fourth Year: 0 (so far)

There is no system here, the job market cannot be "figured out" beyond things one already knows (publications matter, degree-granting institution matters, specialization matters, and FIT-that mysterious catch all term- matters a lot).

Anonymous said...

According to one survey (surely not scientific: source: http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2011/01/apa-interviews-vs-skype-survey-results.html), 22% have no interviews, 23% have one, 24% have two, 12% three, 5% four, 8% five, 4% six, and 2% more than six. So, in terms of comparison, a good year is 2-3 first round interviews. If you have three interviews, you are doing better than most.

Anonymous said...

I had 5 interviews last year, and no offer. Didn't feel like a good year. I'm adjuncting now. My partner got zero interviews for TT, but got a cushy 3-year VAP in late spring. The people above are right who say that a good year is an offer, not interviews. This year, I'll be exceeding my expectations if I get one interview and one offer.

Derek Bowman said...

So what the hell is up with this ad?

http://philjobs.org/job/show/3437

"Teaching load is four classes per semester if the applicant is hired as a Visiting Assistant Professor, and five classes per semester if the applicant is hired as a Lecturer."

So presumably the Lecturer gets paid less AND does more work?

Anonymous said...

"Teaching load is four classes per semester if the applicant is hired as a Visiting Assistant Professor, and five classes per semester if the applicant is hired as a Lecturer."

Research may be expected/required of a VAP whereas it it not typically required of a lecturer. But research requirements for a one-year position with a 4/4 load? Give me a f**king break!

Anonymous said...

"Second, they should be bragging. The market is Very Fucking Tough, and Very Fucking Demeaning. Any success one finds on the market, however small it may be, should be celebrated (and should be shared with one's friends). These people should be doing cartwheels, and it's not our place to criticize them for how they execute those cartwheels."

If hiring were remotely in the neighborhood of a meritocracy, then celebration and self-congratulation would not at all be inappropriate. However, given the enormous influence of non-merit-based considerations on most hiring decisions, people who really think that they got the interview/job because they were the most qualified candidate are most likely deluded, and probably self-absorbed. I was amazed at what happened to otherwise personable and compassionate people once they started becoming "successful" and getting interviews and jobs. I watched as, one by one, they all ignored and promptly forgot about the many qualified candidates--some of whom amply more so than they--who were left stranded on the sidelines. Should they be happy that they got interviews and/or jobs? Of course they should. Should they allow themselves to become self-absorbed and forget about the many people who were eliminated via non-merit-based considerations, and the many friends who helped them along the way whose lives are now fucking destroyed? Absolutely not.

Anonymous said...

5:40,

I once applied for a job that was advertised as full-time (non-tt) lecturer with a 3-year contract, but by the time of the interview it had become a 1-year renewable lecturer (at a lessened salary) due to "budgetary considerations."

When I was asked what my "long-term research plans" looked like, I told them honestly: I have every intention of phoning in my classes (4/4 load) in order to publish my way to a real job.

I did not get the job, but to be honest, I didn't want it anymore.

zombie said...

"So presumably the Lecturer gets paid less AND does more work?"

That's usually how it works.

The ad doesn't say there are research expectations for the VAP, but the VAP position requires a PhD and the lecturer position requires an MA. Perhaps they are thinking that the VAP will need to do research, and so gets a lighter load. But 4/4 is anything but light!

There are a lot of lecturers in my department. They do no research, serve on no committees. All they do is teach, and they have high teaching loads. But no way in hell they work less than I do, given that I teach, serve on committees, and do research, and then some.

Anonymous said...

"I was amazed at what happened to otherwise personable and compassionate people once they started becoming "successful" and getting interviews and jobs. I watched as, one by one, they all ignored and promptly forgot about the many qualified candidates--some of whom amply more so than they--who were left stranded on the sidelines."

I didn't realize that all of this was present in Facebook posts.

Derek Bowman said...

But of course the Lecturer needs to do research for the same reason as the VAP - to get another job. In fact, in all likelihood, the Lecturer will be someone finishing their PhD, meaning they'd need even more time for research.

So whatever the institutional rationale is, it's surely based on a total fiction.

Derek Bowman said...

P.S. Is it true that the lecturers in your department do no research? Or are they simply not paid for whatever research they do?

Anonymous said...

Somewhat related to the current discussion. Obviously, this is anectodal, but my guess is that my position isn't entire outside of the norm, at least these days:

I taught for three years as a VAP and another three years in a "permanent," non-TT position, both at the same school. My teaching load was 4/4, and my contract explicitly stated that research was expected of me. I received no research support of any kind, but I managed to publish an article each year I was there, and I gave papers and chaired sessions at the APA, spending my own money for travel, hotel, and conference fees. Not only did I teach far more than all of the TT profs in the department, but I published more than most of them. All of this while earning around $20,000 less than what the average is for an assistant professor at the school.

Perhaps even worse, I couldn't apply for external fellowships to fund my research, as this would jeopardize my yearly contract, since I was not able to petition for course remission.

In academia, a full time job is a good job--it means you can do what you love while also paying bills, etc., but the kind of treatment I received from the administration was atrocious and unconscionable, pure and simple. And I consider myself lucky.



Anonymous said...

@6:16, you said"the many qualified candidates--some of whom amply more so than they--who were left stranded on the sidelines."

You're upset, and I hear you. This is my third year on the market, and I've watched friends and acquaintances be more successful than me.

But you talk as if there is one single criterion (or maybe one or two) that makes someone qualified, and that it's obvious which it is. I'm not so sure. My pubs are thin on the ground: 1 peer-reviewed journal a few years ago in a journal that's in my AOS - *not* a general top 20 journal, two co-authored book chapters in prestigious presses. I graduated from decidedly mid-list Leiter. For every job to which I applied, I'm sure there literally at least 100 (usually well more than that) more qualified candidates using pubs and pedigree.

But I still have some hope, however small. I have much more teaching experience than most newly-minted PhDs, and I've taught a wide variety of courses (giant lectures, small upper levels, online, in-person, hybrid, etc) on a wide variety of subjects. I have an unusual array of AOSs and AOCs which might be attractive to schools that want to expand in those areas, I have an MA in a different field that's related to my AOS, my work is easily interdisciplinary (which a lot of schools seemed to want this year), my letters are good, my writing sample is good.

Is it possible that a non-R1 school could see something attractive in my app, even though I might be out-"qualified" in terms of pubs and pedigree? I think it's possible, or I wouldn't bother applying at all (heck, I even sent it off to some R1 schools).

Anyone who reads this, please correct me if I'm wrong. But I think it may not be as easy as all that to see who the most qualified candidate it if you're not on the SC. (I bet it's not so easy when you are on the SC.)

Last year I got more interviews than the 1st year, so I hope I get at least a couple this year, too.

Whatever your qualifications are, there might be some job that will want those qualifications. Viewing it this way also helps with FB, etc. When I see the FB posts announcing interviews/positions, there's a pang, but I'm happy (well, more happy if I like the person, I must say) that someone found the place that wanted what they had to offer, and hope it happens for me.

zombie said...

"P.S. Is it true that the lecturers in your department do no research? Or are they simply not paid for whatever research they do?"

Yes. Most of the lecturers and instructors in my department (which is interdisciplinary) are essentially permanent, in renewable contracts, have Master's degrees, and do no research (if their CVs are to be believed), don't go to conferences, and have no committee assignments or administrative duties. They get paid less, and teach more.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone who reads this, please correct me if I'm wrong. But I think it may not be as easy as all that to see who the most qualified candidate it if you're not on the SC. (I bet it's not so easy when you are on the SC.)"

It's not easy at all. Part of this is because it's decided by committee, and rarely do you have 3 (or more) academics that, when faced with hundreds of applicants, will all agree on 1 of those applicants. Generally, they will agree on which should be tossed immediately, and maybe they will all agree on a short list, but that's not likely. Often, the short list comes from discussion and sometimes compromise ("fine, we'll interview X but only if we also interview Y"). In fact, one reason why SCs bother with interviews at all is because they never agree on that 1 applicant they all want to hire.

Also, you cannot take for granted the the person hired was the SCs first choice. Sometimes, the first choice taken another job (or, remember last year's big market scandal, has the offer pulled). Sometimes, the person hired may not have been everyone's top choice, but was the SC's consensus #2, who was hired because there was no consensus #1. (I've seen that happen.)

Let's please drop the idea that there's any such thing as "most qualified," as if there's some universal criteria that all SCs always follow faithfully. The more appropriate view is that there is a pool of highly qualified candidates, from which the SC takes a chance on one.

Anonymous said...

My PFOs are rolling in now. Georgetown Business and Utica College, back to back.

How about a PFO thread?