Thursday, December 11, 2014

By popular demand: new job market thread.

Today's stats, thanks to philjobs.org's new date search feature (thanks again, guys!):

196 TT jobs listed between Aug 1 and Dec 11, 2014.

I count 101 fixed term positions (postdocs, VAPs, fellowships), same dates. Of those, more than half -- 53 -- are postdocs.

For good measure, 46 tenured/senior positions advertised.

Seems to me there are more postdocs than there used to be, which is positive, if they actually serve to transition philosophers into TT jobs (as in the sciences). If philosophy can avoid the perennial-postdoc problem they have in the sciences.

~zombie

249 comments:

1 – 200 of 249   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Two questions about postdocs:

(1) Should we expect to hear back about them as with TT jobs? (As in, right about now.)

(2) How competitive are they relative to TT jobs?

Anonymous said...

@Anon 7:40

(1) Varies from job to Job.

(2) it is a buyer's market. Every position is maximally competitive.

Anonymous said...

Any sense of how many people get on the typical short list? That is, how many people will an average SC interview in the first round?

Anonymous said...

@Anon 7:40 & @Anon7:56

Massive variability from one post-doc to another, speaking from experience. Some run a full search, interview 12 or so and then decide. (I've not heard of a post-doc or VAP doing a fly-out.) Others will interview 1 person and hire her/him if impressed. These jobs are very competitive too, just like TT jobs.

Anonymous said...

I think there's a lot of variability both for how many people get interviewed for TT jobs, and even for how searches for post-docs and VAPs are run.

I've seen SCs that interview 9 in the first round. In my former department, we interviewed only 4 or 5 in the first round. People I know have had VAP positions for which there was a campus visit. Several post-doc searches involve campus visits (I can think of a couple in particular off the top of my head).

AnonSLACer said...

Just for some hard numbers, last spring my SLAC (which is not in a highly desirable area of the country) advertised a one-year teaching postdoc position with a reasonable salary in exchange for a rather moderate teaching load.

We received about 110 applications, of which probably around half were legitimately qualified for the position.

Anonymous said...

@7:56,

The job for which I will interview on Skype offered 12 interview times. So, no more than 12, and probably exactly 12.

Anonymous said...

In a SC last season. We did 12 first round interviews.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:56

Not sure if your question is for post docs, TTs, VAPs, etc.

We don't do post docs, but when we hire for TTs, we interview 10-12 in the first round. We occasionally use VAPs when someone is on sabbatical or has left, and in that case we have interviewed anywhere between 3 and 10.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard anything from any of the UK jobs (LSE, Stirling, Reading, Leeds)?

Anonymous said...

i applied to leeds -- haven't heard anything yet.

Anonymous said...

I applied to LSE--no word.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else get this strange email from UM Flint in Michigan. It says that they wanted to update everyone to let us know that they have put together a shortlist of individuals for Skype interviews, and that they will be contacting everyone on the list by phone over the next two days, in order to schedule the Skype interviews hopefully for next week. Which sounds to my ear like they are saying "you've been shortlisted, keep your phone on you, we'll be calling."

But then the last line says "it was a particularly strong group of applicants this time." Which sounds like the last line of a PFO.

So, is this a PFO or not? Would it be acceptable to email their admin and ask them what, if anything, this email means?

Any thoughts? Did anyone else get this? Is anyone else as confused as I am by it?

Anonymous said...

11:14 I got that email too. I also was confused; seems to be saying nothing more than 'if you're lucky, soon...'

I'm really, really trying not to let that email convince me to re-assemble my shattered hopes just in time for another hammering.

Anonymous said...

Re: Michigan-Flint

Got it, too. Vague. Probably sent to every applicant.

Anonymous said...

@11:44, I got that same email and was equally confused. I'm taking it as nothing more than an application acknowledgment and a statement of their plans. The last line certainly did sound like a PFO, though.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:44 again here:

If this email is just an application ackowledgement/PFO then, I have to nominate for the honor of perhaps being the worst I've ever received. What kind of person would try to shoe horn both a PFO and a "you've been shortlisted, please keep your phone handy" message into the same email? Is it really too much work to send the acknowledgment/PFO to one group of applicants and the acknowledgment/stand by message to the people on the shortlist? All they seem to be doing here is needlessly ginning up hope in those of us (like myself most likley) who are not going to get a Skype interview. It seems pointless and cruel to needlessly get people's hopes up when you know you are going to crush them. How ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

Re: Flint

Speaking as an outsider (I don't work there and didn't apply for that job) I would take it as a friendly heads up that they've made decisions and will notify people soon but not as indication one way or another as to whether you're on the short list. My guess is that this is a way of getting around HR rules that prevent them from sending PFOs at all or until a contract has been signed. If my guess is correct, I'd appreciate receiving such an email. Good information is hard to come by.

Anonymous said...

Okay. I still want to know the mystery Leiter-ranked schools that sent out 1st round interview requests and asked for no wiki updates. Is this just BS?

Anonymous said...

My God. When you get an interview you'll know it. Until then, sit tight, drink alcohol, or whatever. No point in emailing them to ask what it means. What it means at this point is that you don't have an interview.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:44 here yet again:

Looking at the Wiki, I see that it it says UM Flint has already scheduled first round interviews.

Can anyone verify that they've already scheduled an interview with Flint? Or is that just someone's poor reading comprehension/bad idea of a prank?

Anonymous said...

They have scheduled interviews. Not with me (didn't apply), but with someone I know personally. By phone.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Flint has scheduled first-rounds. (Of course, they might not be done contacting people, but I got one).

Anonymous said...

PFO California Lutheran University. Also got the same email from Flint, so presumably it doesn't mean anything.

zombie said...

That is a craptacularly tone deaf PFO.

Anonymous said...

@12:14 PM, I have a first-round scheduled for a top-15 Leiter program that, to my amazement, has not yet been posted on the wiki. They asked us not to post to the wiki, and had a good reason for it. I guess everyone is complying.

Another top-15 Leiter program only just went up on the wiki as having scheduled on-campus interviews, after having scheduled them several weeks ago. I didn't apply for that one, but I know people who have fly-outs.

Anonymous said...

I got an interview at UM-Flint AND that strange email. It's not a PFO, nor an interview request. Just an update to every single applicant, even those who are going to the next round.

Anonymous said...

So, it sounds like UM Flint sent that email after already contacting people with interview requests. If that's right then their behavior is really outrageous. Also why take two days to make 10 phone calls?

Anonymous said...

@1:29, mind if I ask what the good reason was?

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or are decisions being made a bit later this year? If the wiki is to be believed only a bit less than half the jobs I applied for have made decisions and the last time I did this two years ago it was something closer to 80% by this point.

I guess it's possible that all the decisions have been made but they're the sort of super secret interview that some people claim to have. But I'm pretty sure that claims of hush hush interviews at Leiterrific schools are complete bullshit. (Mind you it doesn't matter to me since I didn't apply for those jobs, but I feel compelled to call bullshit when I smell it. Especially if it's causing people to freak out, which it is.)

Anonymous said...

Can someone chime in about the University of San Francisco job? It's been moved from 'first-rounds scheduled' to 'applications acknowledged'. Is someone just messing with the wiki? Can someone confirm whether or not they scheduled first-rounds?

Anonymous said...

To read between the lines of 1:29, "top 15" means between 10 and 15--otherwise they would have said "top 10" or "top 5." That means UNC, MIT, or Arizona, given the current rankings, all of which are hiring.

zombie said...

FYI, if you're prepping for interviews, last year's interview prep/interview questions thread (with links to previous years) is here:

http://philosophysmoker.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-annual-interview-prep-post.html

Anonymous said...

USF is indeed doing first-round interviews, and already did some.

Anonymous said...

Iona College did an about face after their stellar hire for moral phil 2 years ago left within a year for greener pastures. They hired someone with a Ph.D. from a low-ranked SPEP program and one pub in a so-so journal who will almost surely stick around to earn tenure. Now they're advertising for a position in phil science. So, all you philosophers with middling pedigree and one or two crappy pubs, apply now...you might just win the job market lottery!

Anonymous said...

Last year, Columbia's interview requests asked not to make the request public. The department that requested to keep the interviews quiet is probably them.

Anonymous said...

Aw, 6:47 sounds like a butthurt, entitled Ivy-Leaguer who thinks that a prestige degree and prestige pubs makes one fit for holding any job in Philosophy. Newsflash: smaller programs don't give a shit about what privileged academics think of each other. They want good teachers, not someone who thinks he's hot shit because he published some jargony crap combing the minutiae in LEM literature. The obsession with ranking in this discipline is probably its worst attribute.

Anonymous said...

Wow, 6:47, do you have some bone to pick or are you just an asshole, or both? Honestly, I don't know anything about Iona College, except that it's a Catholic college. Maybe it should occur to you that pedigree isn't the end all be all for this sort of place. At Iona, mission may be more important than how many pubs one has.

Perhaps their former moral phil guy is both happy to have left and the department is happy with that as well. In hindsight, the department may have realized they made a mistake with that hire.

I can envision a phil science candidate who would be totally on board with their mission. In fact I know a few who would be. Good for them. Not so good for you, I guess.

Anonymous said...

@1:29 - "They asked us not to post to the wiki, and had a good reason for it. I guess everyone is complying."

The point of the wiki thread (to my mind) is the free exchange of information for the benefit of the individuals looking for jobs and ought not to serve the whims of the institutions themselves.

In my opinion such a request ought not to be complied with and doing so further validates a position of power and absolute authority over the workforce.

Anonymous said...

"Has anyone heard anything from any of the UK jobs (LSE, Stirling, Reading, Leeds)?"

If you are referring to the two fixed-term (3 year) jobs at Reading, both have been filled.

Anonymous said...

I must admit that I am very curious wrt what constitutes a "good reason" not to share information on interview decisions with others in the community? I just can't think of any.

zombie said...

I have tried to think of "good" reasons for requiring job candudates to withhold information from the wiki, but try as I might, I can't think of any that aren't either self-serving or paternalistic in a way that would make them not "good reasons."

But possibly I lack imagination, or just don't think like people at top programs (the latter could be confirmed by their utter lack of interest in me as a job applicant).

But the claim that they had "good reasons" has certaintly piqued my curiosity.

Just wondering, though, if that prohibition was limited to the wiki, or extended to any online forum (such as this one)?

Anonymous said...

I know someone who has an interview at Columbia. I tried to post this yesterday, but it wasn't published.

Anonymous said...

Seattle University, really? (Please feel free to confirm since my heart basically broke anyway.)

Anonymous said...

Can anyone confirm that Seattle has schedule first-rounds? Did the invite come yesterday (12/11) or today? By email or phone?

Anonymous said...

6:47 is an ass.

Anonymous said...

Did Christopher Newport go straight to on campus interviews?

Anonymous said...

It's funny. I do realize in retrospect 6:47 (PM, that is) is an ass. But my first response to reading his or her post was, "Oooo, I am from a mid-ranked school and my pubs are so-so! Maybe someplace (if not Iona) would give me a shot!" I've drunk the kool-aid too long, I think.

Anonymous said...

7:01--no, Christopher Newport conducted first-rounds several weeks ago.

Anonymous said...

@6:47

"6:47 is an ass."

That's an hilarious coincidence.

Btw. I agree with 6:47

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Seattle U is a definite bummer. On the bright side, living in Hipster Central for the rest of your life might get irritating.

Question: When is it time to get nervous about not getting interviews? I'd have thought that that time would have come and gone, but a good number of TT/PD have yet to go up on the wiki. Anyone have any feelings about this?

Anonymous said...

RE: Seattle --

Looked like they might have an inside candidate or two (several adjuncts/instructors). Plus, they may be a little gun-shy about hiring someone who looks like a researcher, as they lost one of their rising starts last year to a research department.

Anonymous said...

8:20AM: From my past experience I would have thought that if one didn't have an interview by this week the odds of getting one were fairly slim. But it seems that better than half the places I applied to haven't made decisions if the wiki is accurate. I get the impression that with the fall of the APA as the main interview venue and the (unmourned) demise of the JFP a lot of interview decisions are being made later this year. I'd like to know what others think on that score though.

Even in the past some places would make decisions right before the APA though. I once got a request on the 22nd. Granted that department was particularly disorganized and generally flakey from what I saw.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard anything from U of Victoria? Maybe I'm just missing it but as best I can tell it's not on the wiki.

zombie said...

I concur with 9:08. Last year, I had all my interviews lined up by now. This year, if the wiki is to be believed, many departments have yet to schedule first-rounds. Things definitely appear to be moving at a different pace this year, including new jobs still (occasionally) trickling in.

Anonymous said...

I've heard through the grapevine that NIU has informed at least a few people that they're on a shortlist. Anyone have info on this?

Anonymous said...

Just got a second PFO from the McDonough School of Business Ethics Search. I received the first on Nov. 21.

This happen to anyone else?

I fully expect to receive a new PFO letter every three weeks, reminding me that I didn't get the job, until they finally relent and award me the position sometime in April.

Anonymous said...

Here's my guess at the "good reason" -- perhaps the school is doing two rounds of interviews, one just fly-outs for top candidates, with hopes that they can hire one early and quickly, and then perhaps they will also do a regular round of skypes, etc. They don't want good candidates to feel they are out of the running, or 2nd choice, just because they are doing this early interview thing, which I think is not all that uncommon.

I have no inside info, have no idea which schools these are. But that is my best guess for the "good reason".

Anonymous said...

About 'rising stars' jumping from teaching jobs to research jobs:

Do you think that these people accept positions at a teaching job with the clear intention of jumping ship in just a year or so? Or do you think they accept the position with the right intentions, thinking that a teaching-oriented career in a nice part of the country will satisfy them, only to discover that it won't?

(Ok, maybe one cannot make broad generalizations... I just wonder whether the more sympathetic reading of such situations is not only possible in some of these cases, but likely.)

Anonymous said...

@11:20 AM

I think a research person who takes a teaching job is likely just grabbing the bird in the hand. He/she may hoping to make it work -- at least for a while. A first job is just one step on the career ladder.

Anonymous said...

Just got a PFO for the Carnegie Mellon open job.

Derek Bowman said...

@11:14 and @9:48

Please show me the long list of schools who hired people in the last few years that match these descriptions.

"smaller programs don't give a shit about what privileged academics think of each other. They want good teachers..."

and "mission may be more important than how many pubs one has."

Where are all the adjuncts being hired to tenure-track positions on the strength of their teaching credentials?

Anonymous said...

PFO for Carnegie Mellon value theory. 240 apps.

Anonymous said...

Did Georgetown Business School schedule on-campus interviews today, as the wiki says? By phone or email?

Did they send PFOs to those they shortlisted?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

PFO from Carnegie Mellon value theory position. 240 applications.

zombie said...

11:20: Different possibilities.
When the market was better, and there were more jobs, applicants could be pickier, and didn't apply to jobs they were not interested in. So, the SCs didn't have to worry about flight risks.
The current market does not allow applicants, if they need to be employed, to be so picky. So, some might accept a job they are not wild about, and hope to do better in subsequent years. (I kinda fall in this camp. I like my job. I consider myself lucky to have it. I'd like to do better, so I look, selectively.)
And it's possible someone takes a job thinking they'll like it, and then hate it, for a variety of reasons.

Anonymous said...

@1:24pm

PFO from Cal Lutheran? I thought their deadline wasn't even until next month?

Anonymous said...

Anyone have any info about postdocs? Princeton Human Values? Brown PTP? Are those the sorts of places we should be expecting to hear from soon too?

Anonymous said...

It is, in fact, possible for people to take a job that they think they will like and then come to hate. That happened to me. I took a job at a SLAC that I thought I would like, but I came to loathe it. (I did eventually escape the SLAC.)

Anonymous said...

1:24

What was it about the SLAC that made you loathe being there?

Anonymous said...

Anyone know how many folks CMU is bringing in for campus interviews? 240 is a lot of applications, but that seems like par for the course for an open rank position at a research institution.

Anonymous said...

"What was it about the SLAC that made you loathe being there?"

It's a rather long list, but I'll be brief.

1. The workload was astronomically heavy, even for a SLAC.

2. I disliked the institutional culture. People found me to be cold and unfriendly. I found them to be unprofessional and inappropriately attention-seeking. Also, I did not want to make the college community the center of my life, which seemed to be expected of faculty.

3. I did not respect the administration and some of the people that I had to work with.

This much said, my first couple of years at the SLAC were productive and rewarding in certain ways. If I had been able leave when I wanted to leave, I probably would have looked back on the experience and said to myself, "That was a lot harder than it should have been, but it was productive."

Anonymous said...

Have any of the folks who were talking about the UM Flint email gotten a call from them since? I am assuming that since I did not get a call today, that bizarre, non-committal, email is basically now their PFO.

Anonymous said...

@12:37 PM,

I was (am?) also on the short list for Georgetown McDonough. I have not been invited to campus for an interview, nor I have received a PFO.

I will post here if I have any news.

Anonymous said...

How do you know that you are on the short list for Georgetown? I also haven't received a PFO from them.

Anonymous said...

10:32 AM,

Yes, NIU has informed about 13 people that they're on a short list, and a handful of them will be invited for an on-campus interview very soon.

NIU has also PFO-ed some (but not all) of those on the shortlist.

So if you haven't heard either way (like me, sadly) I'd resign yourself to this one not working out.

Anonymous said...

seems Yale has probably set up interviews by now. Anyone know?

Toronto, Arizona and UNC might have. Anyone know?

Anonymous said...

I, along with the other candidates, were given a couple questions a week before our Skype interviews that we should be prepared to answer.

Best. Search committee. Ever.

I don't see why more departments don't do some variation on this. Seems like search committees would acquire more, and better, information about how the candidates are as philosophers. I'm skeptical that you learn much that's interesting or relevant from the "gotch ya!" format our discipline currently practices.

Anonymous said...

@1:51 pm

We got 240 applicants for a non-open assistant professor position at a SLAC. I have several friends on search committees, and no one has received fewer applications than us. At least 100 of our candidates seemed like they'd be just fine in the position (at least on paper). I wish things were less dismal.

Anonymous said...

Georgetown e-mailed shortlisted candidates a few weeks ago to let them know they'd been shortlisted.

Anonymous said...

"How do you know that you are on the short list for Georgetown? I also haven't received a PFO from them."

I received an email on 11/19 telling me that I was on a shortened list from which candidates would be selected for on-campus interviews.

Anonymous said...

I'm on an SC at a state U, and we got fewer than 100 applications, for a very specific AOS/AOC, about 75% of which did not meet the minimal requirement of matching the AOS/AOC.

Anonymous said...

UNC has scheduled first-round interviews.

Anonymous said...

10:56AM,
For which job at UNC?

Anonymous said...

Anyone heard anything from Wellesley? It's still not up on the wiki as having scheduled interviews, but the application was due a month and a half ago. I'm wondering if I should give up hope now.

Anonymous said...

The wiki says Chap Hill.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know why some of the jobs that used Interfolio are designated "Submitted" and some are designated "Ready for Review"? When I click on one that's "Ready for Review, sent Oct 28, 2014", it says it's been submitted...

Anonymous said...

I see on the wiki that Victoria and Toronto have acknowledged applications. Not to me: maybe that's because I'm not in north america, and mail takes longer?

Also, Victoria acknowledged my app as soon as I sent it - well before deadline.

Why am I posting these meaningless thoughts? Because I told myself I would be nonchalant and self-assured this year. Failed.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Toronto, anyone have any news about their mind search?

Anonymous said...

Chapel Hill

Anonymous said...

The "Applications Acknowledged" category on the wiki should be updated to something less mysterious and more helpful. It seems like people can choose that update for very different reasons.. from mere acknowledgement that materials were received to PFO to notifications that one has made it beyond a cut of some sort, but not yet to first round interviews. As it stands the category is really just a "someone heard something" category.

Anonymous said...

Related to 8:54, 'applications acknowledged' also often makes me think 'shit... Did they not get mine?'. Totally unhelpful.

Anonymous said...

has anyone heard anything from juilliard or fit? does anyone know anything about when the harper schmidt fellowship at u chicago notifies people?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above and would add that the "applications acknowledged" section ought to be changed to a "PFO" section.

Anonymous said...

@11:11 Apparently Juilliard has scheduled first round interviews. I know someone who has one.

Anonymous said...

Are people usually notified by phone or by email?

Also, does anyone know whether Washington has scheduled interviews for the lectureship job in addition to the medical ethics job?

Anonymous said...

I'm also wondering about Julliard or FIT as well. Any news?

Anonymous said...

The next stage in the search for the Harper Schmidt fellowship at the U of Chicago is that they send out requests for more materials to some applicants (a writing sample and sample syllabi from what I remember). I can't remember when this happens but I *think* soonish...

Anonymous said...

Are people usually notified by phone or by email?

Also, does anyone know whether Washington has scheduled interviews for the lectureship job in addition to the medical ethics job?

Anonymous said...

FIT scheduled first round interviews several weeks ago.

Anonymous said...

U Chicago already sent out that request.

zombie said...

1:30:
PFOs arrive by email or mail. Never by phone, unless you were a fly-out.

Interview requests come by phone or email.

Requests for additional materials: I only ever got an email for this.

And sometimes, you are never notified of anything by anyone.

zombie said...

Agreed. Applications acknowledged is a completely vague and unhelpful category.

PFO would be better.

Anonymous said...

I got a PFO from FIT a while ago. So maybe you were shortlisted?

Anonymous said...

I didn't get a PFO yet from FIT, but neither have I been scheduled an interview. But if they already scheduled first-round interviews, I guess that means I'm out. (But nobody has posted it up on Phylo Wiki Jobs yet.)

Anonymous said...

Having a PFO category on the wiki would be great! As it is, the wiki can only bring bad news. You can only discover that you didn't get something that others got. But with a PFO category, the wiki could bring you good news! Others were rejected, but not you! There's hope!

Powers-that-be, please oh please institute this change for next year.

Anonymous said...

i applied to the washington lectureship -- haven't heard anything yet.

Anonymous said...

Re: Washington lectureship

I have it on good authority that this position received 328 applications. For a non-TT job? Jeez!

Anonymous said...

Any word on the McDonough Georgetown Ethics job?

Anonymous said...

I know McDonough sent out shortlist emails. Did they schedule interviews?

Anonymous said...

"I know McDonough sent out shortlist emails. Did they schedule interviews?"

The wiki shows them as having scheduled on-campus interviews.

Anonymous said...

"The wiki shows them as having scheduled on-campus interviews."

I can confirm this.

Anonymous said...


"I have it on good authority that this position received 328 applications. For a non-TT job? Jeez!"

wow, that really surprises me (even though I myself applied to washington). granted, it is a 3-year lectureship with a reasonable teaching load, the chance to teach grad students, open AOS, and it's a desirable place to live. so... it *sort of* makes sense but still.

is 330 candidates the number of *total* candidates? Counting all philosophers who applied to say, more than 10 jobs this year (so excluding very selective searchers), how many candidates are there? Does anyone collect data on this sort of thing?

Anonymous said...

@10:22 AM, ~330 is not the number of total candidates. Many places have received significantly more job applications.

For example, I know on good authority that U Miami (open/open, TT) received ~600 applications.

Anonymous said...

@10:22

I don't have any exact figures. But on the assumption that there are 75 phd programs in philosophy in the USA, and that each program produces (on average) 3 new PhDs a year, that's 225 new PhDs a year, and over the last 5 years there would have been 1125 new Phds (just in the USA). Now, conservatively, lets suppose that 1/3 of those new phds went into TT work in the five year period. That leaves 800 phds looking for TT work. I am sure that these numbers are conservative though. Given that there are likely more than 75 phd programs in the USA, and with the USA being the largest job market, there are likely philosophy job seekers from the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, and New Zealand in the mix, there are likely north of 1000 total job seekers on the market. I Would not at all be surprised if the actual number was closer to 1500. But this is all a guess.

Anonymous said...

I've lost 15 jobs on the wiki, but I still have 36 (and counting) left. Hope is still alive!

Anonymous said...

a very kind and nicely-worded Illinois, Urbana-Champaign PFO:

"Reading through the hundreds of applications we received was both a stimulating and humbling experience for the committee. There is clearly a great deal of exciting work being done by a host of excellent candidates – many more, unfortunately, than we can invite for campus visits."

Anonymous said...

PFO from UIUC. It seems they went straight to on-campus interviews.

Anonymous said...

U of Washington lecture job wasn't 327, but 347 for what it's worth. They haven't scheduled interviews yet.

Anonymous said...

anyone know anything about the status of the following?

Arizona
MIT
Pitt
Yale
UC-San Diego
Leeds
UC-Irvine

thanks!

Anonymous said...

Is the UIUC PFO for the open search (as indicated on the wiki) or the ethics search?

Anonymous said...

the UIUC PFO was for the open search, *not* the ethics search.

Anonymous said...

Does the following kind of profile even get a second look from search committees?

- PhD very nearly in hand
- 1ish pubs in Phil studies-like journals
- Average letters (no 'best student I've advised in last 10 years' kind of stuff) from professors in the top of the applicant's field
- Average teaching credentials (A few years of TAing in grad school, no special university teaching awards, no courses taught solo, etc.)
- Average professional service (e.g. organized a grad conference, initial journal referee, etc.)
- No special fellowships
- Pedigree from school ranked somewhere in 5 - 15

It's hard to imagine such a profile receiving any sort of attention in a stack of 600 applications. Really. If this could be in anyway construed as a stealth-brag, trust me, it's not. I'm genuinely clueless about what kind of applications stand a chance. And as bad as things seem, I'm strongly tempted not to even bother going on the market, in an effort to enjoy my remaining months in grad school and switch career tracks.

Anonymous said...

@3:48, the open search.

Anonymous said...

@4:18, interestingly, you don't mention the writing sample and other non-easily-quantifiable measures of merit: whether someone's research is actually interesting and doesn't just push numbers around a page, or doesn't just make a tiny point in response to someone else's tiny point, in response to someone else's tiny point... etc.

Also, the job market should never be mistaken for a straightforwardly meritocratic system. Other factors play a huge role: your "fit" in a dept, the likelihood that you're a flight risk, whether the search committee happens to be convinced that your project is worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

4:18,

I have served on 2 SCs at a small state school with no graduate program and a 4/4 teaching load. I would stop reading your application at "PhD very nearly in hand."

Some schools might be interested in reading the rest of the application and considering what you might have to offer (particularly research schools that ar excited by your research). But at my school, we don't want you burning out trying to finish your degree while also taking on a 4/4 load and jumping into department and service.

Anonymous said...

4:18 PM,

I've very recently seen several people with less impressive credentials than what you mention secure very desirable tenure-track positions. But in every such case, the candidate (i) was from an 'underrepresented' group and (ii) had connections with at least one search committee member.

For what it's worth.

zombie said...

4:18: to be brutally honest, the SC I'm on wouldn't have shortlisted you, if that's your profile. We didn't get a lot of applications, but the ones we got were from people who are very, very accomplished, with stellar letters, solo teaching, and pubs in the can.
We are considering ABDs, however, if their letters attest that they will be completing soon.

Anonymous said...

Anyone hear from Macalester College?

Anonymous said...

4:18. I was on a SC from a very strong terminal MA program in the past. I think you would have made the top 25 and might have been a candidate for an interview if the research was relevant for our needs.

Anonymous said...

This is 4:18pm.

@4:58 - Does that profile strike you as a “flight risk”? If so, why?

@5:02 - Really? You guys wouldn’t even look at such a candidate? Where did your search committee expect newly minted PhDs to work, then?

@zombie - Thanks for the brutal honestly. I trust you see the trend between your committee and 5:02, however. I guess newly minted PhDs should build their credentials while working at McDonalds for a year or two before applying to a good chunk of jobs?

Anonymous said...

"@5:02 - Really? You guys wouldn’t even look at such a candidate? Where did your search committee expect newly minted PhDs to work, then?"

5:02 here again.

"Newly minted" and "PhD very nearly in hand" are not the same. Close doesn't count; the degree in hand matters a great deal. Applicants who are not yet done with their degree are a risky gamble. They have to finish their degree while also starting their work on the tenure track. And at a small state school like mine, they will be finishing their degree while teaching a 4/4 load, engaging in service, and advising students. We've seen people break under this pressure before.

Another consideration is that, for many schools, if the applicant does not finish by the time of the start date, they cannot be offered the position. (At my university, ABDs who do not finish before the start date are hired as lecturers. If we list PhD as a requirement for the job, that person cannot hold the position until the degree is completed.) There are far too many well-qualified applicants who do have their degrees. We are looking at them. (In particular, we look very closely at adjuncts, who often have a great deal of teaching experience.)

Save your precious outrage for another cause. Complaining about not bothering with an applicant who hasn't finished his degree yet, while there are plenty of well-qualified adjuncts to consider, is not a fight you should be fighting.

zombie said...

4:18 -- It's not the newly minted PhD that's the issue. We're looking at several ABDs. And we don't care about pedigree. But the viable candidates all have teaching experience and research relevant to the department's needs. (I wanted to consider some candidates without the specific teaching experience, on the grounds that grad students and adjuncts don't have a lot of choice about what they teach, but I was outvoted.)

I totally get the problem here. I would not have been able to get a job straight out of grad school either, but a post doc helped me bridge grad school and a TT position. But I think the bar has gotten higher in the last couple of years.

But I'm at a research unversity. The fact that we wouldn't shortlist you doesn't mean other places wouldn't. I think your lack of teaching experience is a liability, but that's something you could possibly do something about, no?

Anonymous said...

4:18pm, again.

@5:02(now 7:38): I feel like we’re talking past one another. I’ll ask again. Where do you expect those entering their final year in graduate school to apply for jobs, if not your department? I get that this isn’t really your concern, but I’m sure you can see the problem here, as zombie has. It sounds like you’re suggesting that people first need to acquire their PhD, sit out a year, and then apply the following year.

@zombie: I’m all ears w/r/t meaningfully increasing teaching experience.

Anonymous said...

@4:18,

I'm also a little confused by your indignation. But I'll bite and respond to the profile you've provided. (I've been on several SCs for a SLAC, some recently.)

PhD very nearly in hand

That's not a problem for us. It's clearly not a problem for everyone. It's going to kill your application at many institutions. But they're not out to get you or force you to work at McDonalds.

1ish pubs in Phil studies-like journals

Great. Fine for a nearly-finished ABD.

Average letters (no 'best student I've advised in last 10 years' kind of stuff) from professors in the top of the applicant's field

Honestly, to my mind, this is the most problematic aspect of your profile description. There are too many candidates out there with positively radioactive letters. It's worth noting that I'm distinguishing between Really Strong letters and Superb letters. Most candidates get really strong letters. Superb letters set candidates apart. And for better or for worse, most of the information that (most) members of SCs are gathering about candidates, especially when making first-pass eliminations, come from letters. Reading over a 100 writing samples isn't gong to happen.

Average teaching credentials (A few years of TAing in grad school, no special university teaching awards, no courses taught solo, etc.)

This is not a deal breaker, but it's definitely not encouraging. But I'm speaking as a member of a department at an SLAC.

(I'm putting aside the rest of your list, since the features you mention there aren't as important as those discussed above.)

Speaking to a different thread of discussion here, I know of an Open position (not an R1 and not Miami) that also received 600+ applications. Terrifying. I've just never heard of such a thing. There are candidates out there who have crazy great letters, impressive pubs, charisma up the wazoo, teaching awards, etc etc, and who aren't going to get a TT job. It stinks.

Anonymous said...

Hi, @4:18

I'm on a SC for a SLAC this year. Given the profile you describe, you could potentially be an interview candidate depending on fit, where fit includes not just AOS/AOC, but also whether SC members are intrigued by your project.

We're mostly indifferent to teaching experience, and in fact, playing "moneyball," we as a school would be happy to grab a person without all that much experience if it seems other schools are overvaluing such experience, and so allowing good but unexperienced candidates to slip through the cracks.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if 5:02 understands that "PhD nearly in hand" means the candidate will be done by the job start date. Two students in my program are on the market for the first time this year and in just that situation: one advisors says his student could be done with the dissertation in two weeks if it were important.
Anyway, obviously, suit yourself. But it's just irrational to rule out every ABD without a glance.

Anonymous said...

I did not hear from Macalester College, although I wish I had.

Anonymous said...

@ 4:18: I was on an SC for a TT job at a large state school, undergrad dept, with a 2/3 teaching load. We had many qualified candidates, and hired someone who as close to finishing (with a very good pub and teaching experience), and for us the recommendation letters made the difference, since it was clear from the letters that the candidate was highly likely to defend the PhD several months before starting the position. So if you are in that position, make sure your referees comment on your ability to finish your doctorate before starting the job.

Anonymous said...

"I feel like we’re talking past one another."

No, you are misunderstanding.

"I’ll ask again. Where do you expect those entering their final year in graduate school to apply for jobs, if not your department?"

You can apply anywhere you want. I noted, for instance, that research programs often look at ABDs. Some schools *will* look at your application. I'm only telling you why you would not get a look by my department. We expect you to be done, for the reasons I noted above. Honestly, given the nature of the market, you probably shouldn't be applying in your final year, unless you have a teaching or research portfolio that is strong enough to overcome your lack of a degree in hand. And by your own admission, you don't. Let's go back to your application:

"1ish pubs in Phil studies-like journals"

Just the one? We are getting applications with much stronger research profiles.

"Average letters (no 'best student I've advised in last 10 years' kind of stuff) from professors in the top of the applicant's field"

We're getting applications with stronger letters.

"Average teaching credentials (A few years of TAing in grad school, no special university teaching awards, no courses taught solo, etc."

The adjuncts we are interviewing have ben the instructor of record for multiple courses, and given the nature of the job (4/4 load), that experience is very appealing. (And they have this experience in addition to the stronger letters and better research profile.)

I'm sure you are good at what you do. Based on the applications we see, however, there are those who are better, especially in the primary areas we use to judge applicants.

"I get that this isn’t really your concern, but I’m sure you can see the problem here, as zombie has."

The problem for the field is that there are vastly more PhDs than jobs for them. The problem for you is that you are applying for jobs before you finish, against a massive field of people who have more experience and a degree in hand. Let me put it this way: I teach in one of those departments that does not believe that PhDs "go stale" after graduation. Based solely on what you provide for your application, "freshness" may be the only thing you have going for you compared to the large number of qualified applicants you are applying against.

"It sounds like you’re suggesting that people first need to acquire their PhD, sit out a year, and then apply the following year."

I'm suggesting no such thing. I'm explicitly telling you that there are a great many people who have already finished, and have stronger teaching and research credentials. So I'll ask you directly: given the details you noted in your original comment, why do you think you deserve consideration over applicants with a degree in hand, and stronger applications?

For those readers who are a few years away from graduation, here is some advice:
1. "Teaching schools" want teachers. If you are not getting the experience you need from your PhD program, adjunct wherever you can while working on your degree.
2. "Teaching schools" also want researchers. The difference is that they have a much broader definition of "research" (including pubs aimed at popular audiences, conferences on pedagogy, etc.).
3. Despite the popular belief that PhDs go stale, many "teaching programs" simply don't believe this.

-5:02

Anonymous said...

"@zombie: I’m all ears w/r/t meaningfully increasing teaching experience."

One way I have been able to gain valuable teaching experience while working on the Ph.D. has been adjuncting at a local community college. Some of the local 4-year colleges where I live also hire adjuncts who are also graduate students.

Anonymous said...

@4:18: 5:02 never said you couldn't apply. 5:02's point is that you shouldn't be surprised when you don't get an interview. At my institution, we get a few hundred applications for every TT position we post. (I'm at a large state university.) We don't *ignore* ABD people for the reasons that 5:02 mentions, but the deck is heavily stacked against them. You'd have to shine very brightly to get a look. After all, the ABD folk are competing with 100-200 people with degrees, with lots of teaching experience, with some publications, etc.

So you should apply for everything, since this is a lottery, and you can't win if you don't play. But you should also be realistic, making peace with the fact that lots of great people get ignored *simply because of the numbers.* I'm four years out of a good PhD program; I have 8 good publications; I've done a lot of teaching and won awards for it; I've done significant service; I know my letters are strong. I applied to 25-30 jobs this year, almost all of which are gone (if we judge by the wiki), and haven't gotten any interviews. It's just a rough market.

Anonymous said...

"I’m all ears w/r/t meaningfully increasing teaching experience."

Common ways of doing this: summer teaching in your grad. program, applying to VAPs, adjuncting. Some of those are more attractive than others, I know.

Anonymous said...

4:18,

I've not done it, since my department gives grad students chances to teach on our own, but a lot of grad students and recent PhDs adjunct at nearby schools to get teaching experience. If you feel that teaching experience is your missing component, you might try emailing department heads and asking to teach a class or two a term. You'd be surprised how eager they are to let you.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone hear from Macalester College?"

Wiki says interviews scheduled.

Derek Bowman said...

@4:18: I'm with you. It shouldn't be so hard to get a job ABD. If ABDs can't get jobs, that means the only people who can be professional philosophers are those who can afford to be un/under employed for at least 1 year (and often 3 or more years) after their PhD.

Look, in the present market nobody should be surprised if they don't get a job, regardless of whether they have a degree in hand. The numbers are that bad. And 2:28 is right that your letter writers need to be able to say convincingly that you *will definitely* be finished by a specific date.

In short, you should go on the market if your letter writers can say you'll definitely be finished by the spring/summer. Some departments will hold the ABD against you; for others it will count in your favor, in the sense that your current qualifications will be seen as the promise of things to come rather than as the sum of what you can do.

But you should ALSO be thinking about switching career tracks.As the responses to your inquiry show, this is a deeply disfunctional profession, and all most philosophers can manage to do is cope with the insanity for themselves and their departments in ways that collectively serve to entrench the existing problems and allow them to grow. (If it's hard for ABDs to get hired, that means more people have to work as adjuncts, increasing the next year's applicant pool and making it easier to fill teaching need with adjuncts instead of full-time hires. Ditto for the pressure for ABDs to adjunct as grad students for teaching experience. And so the vicious cycle continues.)

Derek Bowman said...

@5:30: Yes, you'd be surprised how eager academics are to exploit other members of their own profession. You may not be surprised to learn that that same dynamic is why there are too few full-time jobs.

Anonymous said...

5:02 here again.

"I wonder if 5:02 understands that "PhD nearly in hand" means the candidate will be done by the job start date."

No, it means that the candidate plans to be done by the start date. I can assure you, this does not always mean the candidate will be done by the start date.

"Two students in my program are on the market for the first time this year and in just that situation: one advisors says his student could be done with the dissertation in two weeks if it were important."

If?

"Anyway, obviously, suit yourself. But it's just irrational to rule out every ABD without a glance."

No, it isn't. It's completely rational. We want someone with a degree in hand. As there are a great many qualified applicants who have a degree in hand, it is not at all irrational to rule out applicants who do not yet have the degree in hand. (That you may not like something does not make it irrational. We very clearly state the need for degree in hand in the job advertisement. It's not irrational to then hold applicants to the stated criteria in the ad.) And given the very real difficulties hiring someone ABD places on both the individual and the institution, it makes a great deal of sense to only consider those who have already finished the degree.

For every SC like mine, there will be others that don't care. That's the nature of the market. I'm not saying that all SCs should dismiss all ABD applicants. I'm simply explaining why my department chooses not to even consider them. And given the nature of the market, we know we can fill the position very well without considering such applicants.

Our goal is to find someone qualified for the job, who we believe will be a good fit, and who we believe will be successful. Our job is not to make sure that everybody gets a thorough review of their materials.

zombie said...

4:18:
I got my first adjunct job at a SLAC while I still had only a BA (nearly done with MA). My second adjunct job was at a small state school, when I was ABD. I was a TA in grad school, but did not teach there since I was already simultaneously teaching elsewhere.

In both cases, I got the jobs through referrals from the dept chair at my grad program. The chair of another school called, and asked if they had any students who could teach, and I was recommended.

I suggest that you talk to your advisors, and ask them to do the same for you. And tell them you need teaching experience, and ask for their assistance.

That's how you get teaching experience while you are in grad school. That's how people who understand the competition, and the level of experience other ABDs have, get teaching experience. We got lots of applications from ABDs who not only taught in grad school, but also taught elsewhere, by adjuncting, taking summer teaching jobs, and VAPs. We also got apps from more established scholars in non-TT jobs who have lots of teaching experience and many pubs.

I guess if you are geographically very isolated and there are no other schools around, and your grad school doesn't provide you with teaching opportunities, then you're screwed. Is that the case?

Anonymous said...

PFO from Keene State.

cogitated said...

"I'm all ears w/r/t meaningfully increasing teaching experience."

Others have recommended this, but I'll say it, too: teach as an adjunct somewhere.

I came from a very good program (somewhere in the top-10) and was deeply worried about getting a job, much more concerned than some of my peers in the Ph.D. program. So to gain experience I adjuncted 1-2 courses a year in my final 2-3 years of the Ph.D. program. The conventional wisdom in grad school is that one should devote as much time to "developing" and that time adjuncting detracts from this "development."

Here's my experience. It all comes down to time management. I got more accomplished than all of my peers even though I adjuncted so much. I went on the market with 4+ pubs in top-20 journals and had taught 3X as many courses. Could everyone do this? I don't know; I will say that I didn't socialize much since I was always working during grad school.

The end result: I got bites from both "teaching-heavy" schools and "research-heavy" schools. I had about 8 interviews from the former, and in every single interview there was some variant of the following leading into a question about my teaching: "You have a lot of teaching experience...." I also got offers from teaching-heavy schools.

So the view that only the way that philosophers can acquire teaching experience is by first getting the Ph.D. and then teaching for a year or two (or working at McDonald's, as some earlier posted) just isn't the way it needs to be. Teach some during your Ph.D. if your program doesn't give you a great deal of experience. Also, in today's market, be an excellent researcher.

Derek Bowman said...

@5:02:

What's irrational is a system of training and employment in which the normal wait time between completing professional training and being employed in a professional position is 15 months. (Assuming a May graduation date, followed by a Fall job market for a job the following Fall).

But that system is precisely the consequence of keeping graduate training and funding as it is while more and more schools screen out (most) ABDs in the way that yours does.

You say:
"Our goal is to find someone qualified for the job, who we believe will be a good fit, and who we believe will be successful."

Do you also think you and your department have obligations, as members of the philosophy profession, for contributing to the well-functioning of that profession, and to the well-being of fellow member of that profession? If not, why is this a profession anyone would want to be in?

Anonymous said...

Derek,

"What's irrational is a system of training and employment in which the normal wait time between completing professional training and being employed in a professional position is 15 months. (Assuming a May graduation date, followed by a Fall job market for a job the following Fall)."

No argument here. It's also irrational that full-time work is being assigned to armies of part-time instructors. My department recently hired a full-time Lecturer, instead of tenure track faculty. I vigorously opposed this, arguing that if we cannot hire to the tenure track (to fill full-time, renewable needs), we shouldn't hire at all. I was shouted down.

"But that system is precisely the consequence of keeping graduate training and funding as it is while more and more schools screen out (most) ABDs in the way that yours does."

You're not wrong. But I suspect if I wrote above that we don't consider adjuncts, and only want ABDs, ABDs would rejoice while adjuncts rightfully complain about yet another department ignoring "stale" applicants. Every department draws lines. This is one of ours. Others draw their lines based on pedigree, publications, or other factors. Our line in the sand is clear, it's stated in the job ads, and it's rooted in the fact that there are a great many people who have already been doing this job, and doing it successfully. (Honestly, I'm a little surprised that people are finding fault with my department's desire to hire to the TT from the large pool of available under-employed adjuncts. I find that position irrational.)

"Do you also think you and your department have obligations, as members of the philosophy profession, for contributing to the well-functioning of that profession, and to the well-being of fellow member of that profession?"

Yup. That's one reason why I only want to hire to the TT (see above). It's also why I don't want to hire ABDs. I've seen good young scholars burn out because they could not finish their dissertations while carrying an increased course load, service load, and advising, all while starting a new job very likely in a new location. I also firmly believe that hiring to the TT from the pool of qualified adjuncts *is* serving the profession at large, and perhaps even better than hiring ABDs.


-5:02

Anonymous said...

Anyone know if Wooster moving to "position filled" on the wiki is legit? That was fast.

Anonymous said...

Some of us, it turns out, had multiple mouths to feed in grad school all by ourselves, or had medical issues, or life issues, or any kind of hardship that people, generally, deal with. We got jobs to pay the bills. Jobs at technical colleges, community colleges, god-awful pretend colleges (okay, I did refuse the for-profit job I was offered, but barely). We taught all those freaking classes, along with our TA-ship classes, and we finished our PhD. And we continued working those jobs while on the market. And then some of us - not many cuz the market sucks - got TT jobs.

When you look like the above, as I did very recently, you have a more limited research profile than someone who has had the luxury of just being a grad student. And we bemoan our paucity of pubs. And then we get a job at a teaching school, cuz we worked our asses off, and it shows.

So stuff it, and get a freaking job. A crappy one that no one would want - unless they were starving (which you soon will be) - and learn something (because it's tangible knowledge, even if non-propositional and experiential). And then try again.

Different question here:

If one is on a 4/4 and has few pubs (none spectacular), many strong, distinct, conference presentations, excellent letters, and strong professional and campus service, teaching evals, etc., is it possible to get a looksy at an R1?

How about all of this with one strong pub (recently), in 3 years?





Anonymous said...

@5:02

"I suspect if I wrote above that we don't consider adjuncts, and only want ABDs, ABDs would rejoice while adjuncts rightfully complain about yet another department ignoring "stale" applicants."

No one is suggesting that you consider ABDs to the exclusion of adjuncts.

"Every department draws lines. This is one of ours."

That this is a line you've chosen doesn't justify anything, nor does the fact that others draw lines.

"I'm a little surprised that people are finding fault with my department's desire to hire to the TT from the large pool of available under-employed adjuncts."

Nobody is decrying the fact that you hire from this pool. What they decry is that you refuse to consider ABD applicants who are well-qualified.

"I've seen good young scholars burn out because they could not finish their dissertations while carrying an increased course load, service load, and advising, all while starting a new job very likely in a new location."

And yet the vast majority of people who now hold tenured jobs are people who were hired out ABD.

Anonymous said...

"If one is on a 4/4 and has few pubs (none spectacular), many strong, distinct, conference presentations, excellent letters, and strong professional and campus service, teaching evals, etc., is it possible to get a looksy at an R1?"

Yes, but the only thing that matters is the publication record. R1s don't really care about your teaching experience and campus service. It's nice, but if they are hiring someone from another institution, it's because of the publication record. (Here is where being ABD helps. If you are ABD, R1s are looking for research *potential*. If you are TT at another job, they are looking for research *production*.) You might get a look if thye like the research, but the record doesn't sound that strong.

"How about all of this with one strong pub (recently), in 3 years?"

No. Unless that publication is a game-changer.1 publication in 3 years is not productive by R1 standards.

Anonymous said...

PFO from Stirling.

Anonymous said...

"That this is a line you've chosen doesn't justify anything, nor does the fact that others draw lines."

If we didn't draw lines, we wouldn't be able to hire anyone. Nobody would. This is how you get from 200+ applications to 1 new hire.

"Nobody is decrying the fact that you hire from this pool. What they decry is that you refuse to consider ABD applicants who are well-qualified."

They are only well-qualified if you ignore the job ad, that specifies that the degree must be in-hand. A promise to be done by the start date is not the same thing. By definition, an applicant that does not fulfill the stated requirements for the job as is not well-qualified for that job.

"And yet the vast majority of people who now hold tenured jobs are people who were hired out ABD."

Not in my program, which is the only program I'm concerned about hiring for. (For instance, I was not hired ABD, and neither were our other 3 most recent hires.) Other programs can and will do what they think is best for them. We will do the same for us. We want someone who has finished the degree. We never have any problem getting 100+ applications from people with a degree in hand.

I still fail to see how our hiring practices are bad for our program or bad for the profession.

Anonymous said...

Less speculating about who has chances at what jobs and more rumor mongering about this year's market!

Anonymous said...

How about dividing the current thread into two separate threads, one for a discussion of prospects/hiring practices and another for PFOs?

Anonymous said...

A question related to PFOs: Do SC's send out rejections/you will not be invited out for a campus interview the same time that they send out requests for campus interviews? (from, sad about William&Mary)

Anonymous said...

PFO via e-mail from Michigan.

Anonymous said...

@10:01 depends on the school. I've definitely received notifications that my first round interview was the end and I wouldn't be invited to campus. I've also had first round interviews where I never heard from the school again. Not sure which way is more common.

Anonymous said...

"Do SC's send out rejections/you will not be invited out for a campus interview the same time that they send out requests for campus interviews?"

Not typically. If you had a first-round interview, but do not get a campus invite, SC's often (though not always) leave you hanging until they fill the position. On rare occasion, they do not like the candidates they brought to campus and will invite others with whom they conducted a first-round interview (a candidate from my program recently had this good fortune and ended up with the offer).

Anonymous said...

PFO from Seattle U.

Anonymous said...

3 PFOs today. Keene St, Seattle U, and Cabrini College. Rough day. Only 13 to go until I'm shut out.

Anonymous said...

I don't seem to have gotten PFOs from many of the places that have reputedly PFOed - Seattle U, Michigan, etc. Nor do I have interviews at these places, despite the fact that some report starting interviews on the wiki. What does this mean - that I am on some kind of 'reserve list'? Or are PFOs typically scattershot and unreliable?

Anonymous said...

2 PFOs today, so far (Seattle U and Stirling). Although, I applied to Keene St. and Cabrini as well, so I am expecting those PFOs momentarily.

Anonymous said...

@5:02

"They are only well-qualified if you ignore the job ad, that specifies that the degree must be in-hand. A promise to be done by the start date is not the same thing. By definition, an applicant that does not fulfill the stated requirements for the job as is not well-qualified for that job."

That your ad lists 'degree-in-hand' as a requirement does not mean that people who are ABD are not qualified any more than listing 'green eyes' as a requirement would mean that a brown eyed philosopher would not be qualified. (The relationship between advertised requirements and qualifications is only definitional by stipulation).

"Not in my program, which is the only program I'm concerned about hiring for. (For instance, I was not hired ABD, and neither were our other 3 most recent hires.)"

That is because you don't hire them. The fact that you're concerned about hiring for a program which provides little or no evidence that ABDs are qualified does not render moot evidence from outside your program.

"I still fail to see how our hiring practices are bad for our program or bad for the profession."

I'm not making this claim. What I (and I think others) are worried about is that failing to consider candidates for arbitrary reasons violates a norm that we should be concerned about. Sure, lines must be drawn for practical reasons, but we should try to draw those lines in ways that track merit or qualifications. What I (and others) are trying to convey is that a policy against considering ABD applications fails to do this and thereby leaves a pool of qualified applicants out of the running for an immensely important good which you are in a position to allocate.

I apologize if the tone of my reply comes across as adversarial. I do not mean it to come across that way. Instead I (and I suspect others) are merely expressing genuine concern that SCs observe reasonable hiring norms. I acknowledge that there may be room for reasonable disagreement on what these norms are. I also recognize that this may not be the place for such a disagreement, so will make this my final reply (at least in this thread).

Anonymous said...

Ah, scratch that, there's Seattle U ...

Anonymous said...

PFO from oxford, university college Junior Research Fellowship in Philosophy or Politics

Anonymous said...

10:33: Was the Cabrini PFO by mail or email? Haven't checked my dept. box in a few days and wondering whether I have unpleasant surprises waiting for me there.

And don't get discouraged yet. I've often had interviews pop up late when I'd pretty much given up all hope.

Anonymous said...

Is Cabrini really sending out PFOs? The application isn't even due for another month. Did I miss something here?

Anonymous said...

Were all those PFOs emailed?

Anonymous said...

No, it means that the candidate plans to be done by the start date. I can assure you, this does not always mean the candidate will be done by the start date.

Oh, no, I just meant: it’s a way of saying the candidate will be done. Of course, it may not be true. But it generally is true.

"Two students in my program are on the market for the first time this year and in just that situation: one advisors says his student could be done with the dissertation in two weeks if it were important."

If?


Right. (I’m not following you – are you trying to say that it *is* important?)


"Anyway, obviously, suit yourself. But it's just irrational to rule out every ABD without a glance."

No, it isn't. It's completely rational. We want someone with a degree in hand.


Right, but the fact that you want it doesn’t make it rational to ignore everyone else.

As there are a great many qualified applicants who have a degree in hand, it is not at all irrational to rule out applicants who do not yet have the degree in hand.

Yes it is. It’s such a trivial difference that you are VERY likely to be overlooking candidates who are a lot better in other respects.


(That you may not like something does not make it irrational. We very clearly state the need for degree in hand in the job advertisement. It's not irrational to then hold applicants to the stated criteria in the ad.)

It’s irrational to have that criterion. And I obviously didn’t say it was irrational because I don’t like it.

Derek Bowman said...

@5:02. Thanks for the reply. More importantly, thanks for doing what you can to stand up to the casualization of your school's instructional staff.

Look, I'm currently an adjunct so I certainly hope some schools are hiring adjuncts and not thinking we've all gone 'stale.'

But if adjuncts can't get jobs, that's a tragedy for those of us who have already fall into that rut. If ABDs can't get jobs, that means that everyone who wants to be a philosopher has to become an adjunct. Just look at the (strategically sound) advice 4:18 has been given.

What I objected to was not your school's hiring practices but your dismissiveness toward 4:18's concerns. You say, "Save your precious outrage for another cause." But 4:18 is right to be outraged - we all should be outrage and ashamed that this is the state of our discipline.

Anonymous said...

@ ANON 10:33am

So, I applied to the Cabrini College posting as well. But I did not receive a PFO today. I double checked my application online, it was complete, and the materials were received. I also look at the posting and it had a deadline of Jan 15. So, is there a chance that my not getting a PFO means that I have survived a cut or two? Just curious.

zombie said...

No one here has defended the position of excluding ABDs from all TT positions. No one. For example, I said explicitly that my SC did look at ABDs. We also interviewed some. Some are serious contenders. So are some VAPs.

Here are a couple of possible reasons SOME departments don't want to hire an ABD:

(1) Some ABDs are STILL ABDs when they start work. If the dept has a high teaching load, that will make it harder for the ABD to finish the PhD. Finishing the dissertation (or not) will take time away from other research. If the PhD is not finished by the tenure review (it happens), the ABD will obviously not get tenure. That's a failed search, and a dept that will either have to keep that ABD in a lecturer position longterm, or hire someone else. Losing that TT hire might mean losing the TT line forever for that dept.

(2) If you don't finish your PhD by the time you start work, you will NOT be hired as an Assistant professor, but as a lecturer or instructor. You won't get paid as much either. You fail to live up to your end of the contract, and the contract has to be renegotiated. Now, return to (1) and see why this is a problem for the dept.

So, SOME departments will not want to take the risk of having those things happen. Which they can easily avoid by hiring from the VAST pool of unemployed philosophers who already have their PhD, and who also need jobs.

Anonymous said...

"So, I applied to the Cabrini College posting as well. But I did not receive a PFO today. I double checked my application online, it was complete, and the materials were received. I also look at the posting and it had a deadline of Jan 15. So, is there a chance that my not getting a PFO means that I have survived a cut or two? Just curious."

Only Cabrini can answer this. But it is perhaps the case that Cabrini, like Benedictine, is screening as apps come in. No PFO now may just mean that your application will be considered against the others that come in closer to the deadline.

zombie said...

There are lots of professions and jobs where you cannot expect to be hired until you complete your training and have your degree/license/certificate, etc. Plumbers, electricians, commercial truck drivers. Doctors have to be licensed MDs before they get to practice medicine. Lawyers have to pass the bar exam. Granted, it generally takes a long time to earn a PhD, but I'm not sure that one should really be outraged by a requirement that one complete one's education before getting hired. If a young law school grad fails to pass the bar, they are not going to be hired to be a lawyer.

And, as I have noted, not everyone DOES require the PhD before hiring. So, academia would be the exception to the rule.

zombie said...

8:41:
IMO, the R1 secret handshake is that you have a degree from another R1. And if you're a few years out, as you are, you must be a very productive researcher, meaning multiple pubs per year. Or be a superstar.

Me, I have lots of pubs, but not a fancy degree. And I rather think I'm not a superstar. So I certainly don't make the cut.

Anonymous said...

PFO Wooster with confirmation the position is filled.

Inside hire?

zombie said...

"If ABDs can't get jobs, that means that everyone who wants to be a philosopher has to become an adjunct."

ABDs CAN get TT jobs. They can get jobs where what matters most is their shiny research. ABDs with lots of teaching experience can get jobs at teaching schools, even if their research isn't so shiny.

ABDs without shiny research or teaching experience will have a hard time competing against PhDs with shiny research and/or teaching experience. That's what happens when there are lots of unemployed, shiny people looking for jobs.

Also, you should apply for post docs, since those can give you either research or teaching opportunities. But you have to have a PhD to get those too, by definition.

Anonymous said...

10:33 here.

Yes, they all came via email. Also, I just got another from Wooster, so that's four so far today. I have no idea what to make of the fact that the Cabrini PFO came before the deadline other than maybe that I was on an "under-no-circumstances-should-we-hire-this-person" list.

Anonymous said...

@8:35 Wooster is done. Email excerpt:

"Nevertheless, through a diligent and collegial deliberative process, the search committee came to a unanimous decision and an offer was made on December 6th. The Provost received the signed contract from the candidate yesterday afternoon, and I was notified this morning. The search is now officially over."

I love that they call their own search "diligent" even though they stopped reading applications several weeks before their own posted deadline. That's preposterous even for search committee behavior.

Derek Bowman said...

zombie: Which of those other professions have hiring schedules that start 5-6 months after graduation and then take another 4-5 months to complete, followed by another few months before the jobs starts?

Anonymous said...

@12:28 I'd be shocked if Wooster weren't an inside hire.

Anonymous said...

Replying to a few different people here:

"What I (and I think others) are worried about is that failing to consider candidates for arbitrary reasons violates a norm that we should be concerned about."

And as I have tried to explain, this is not arbitrary. Eye color, as you give as an example, would be arbitrary. This is not. As I have pointed out, hiring someone ABD can be risky, if that applicant does not finish the degree on time. We wish to avoid that risk. We do avoid that risk. And we hire good people while doing so.

"Sure, lines must be drawn for practical reasons, but we should try to draw those lines in ways that track merit or qualifications."

One such qualification, I am reminding you, is holding the degree.

-

"Right. (I’m not following you – are you trying to say that it *is* important?)"

Yes, I believe defending the dissertation is important. I am surprised that this is a contentious point.

"Right, but the fact that you want it doesn’t make it rational to ignore everyone else."

It really does. We want a thing. We advertise for a thing. We base hiring decisions on that thing. We ignore people who do not have that thing. And this decision is based on actual experiences we wish not to duplicate.

"Yes it is. It’s such a trivial difference that you are VERY likely to be overlooking candidates who are a lot better in other respects."

It seems far less trivial when you are trying to finish your dissertation (while not in your program anymore), teaching at a new school, with a 4/4 load and service/advising expectations. I can assure you, the stress placed on the person is hardly trivial.

-

"But if adjuncts can't get jobs, that's a tragedy for those of us who have already fall into that rut. If ABDs can't get jobs, that means that everyone who wants to be a philosopher has to become an adjunct."

As others have noted, plenty of schools hire ABDs. Part of the objection seems to be that my department is not following an expected norm.

-5:02

Anonymous said...

Here's what I think would be helpful. The profession in general needs to come to some sort of agreement on a coded phrase that can make it past HR requirements, but that means in essence "we already have a candidate in mind." Those optimistic souls who hope they still might win the search committee over, or those whose departments pay for mailing applications and letters can still apply. Those of us with more limited time and financial resources can be spared the pain and expense of getting our hopes up. My suggestions for such a phrase: requested expertise in an imaginary philosopher. Something like "Preference will be given to candidates familiar with the work of Jean-Baptiste Botul." You throw that somewhere in the text of your ad and everyone knows what it means.

zombie said...

Derek, I don't think any of those professions guarantee anyone a job at the end of their education.

I understand the point you're making, which is that the hiring schedule for academic jobs is out of sync with the school year. Which is because both are dictated by the school year. Committee work ceases in the summer, even if the dept has summer courses, because MANY (maybe most) faculty are on a 9 month salary basis. They are not technically paid to work in the summer. I'm not, unless I do summer teaching. So, hiring has to be done before then. (Being on an SC is laborious and time consuming -- no one volunteers to do it without pay, whiile also losing all-too-precious research time.) The majority of PhDs get awarded in the spring, shortly after the hiring season ends. Out of sync for ABDs.

Not out of sync for VAPs and adjuncts, who have one contract begin shortly after the old contract ends. And like everyone else, they need job security and time to plan and move and all that.

So, whose schedule do we accommodate?

(In the old days, and even now, many programs advised their students not to defend until they had a job in hand, so they could maintain their funding/adjuncting. That advice looks bad if ABDs can't get hired. But ABDs can get hired, especially if their referees are explicit that they are really, truly ready to defend, and have an actual defense date scheduled.)

Anonymous said...

Hey, three PFOs from Wooster in 10 minutes? Way to drive the point home guys, I really appreciate it. One or two rejections alone might have left some lingering doubt in my mind. No more! :/

Anonymous said...

Three PFOs from Wooster in one day. At least it provides some reassurance that the incompetence is not on my end.

Anonymous said...

I've now gotten 3(!) PFOs from Wooster in the last hour. What the fuck are they doing up there? I get it, I get it. Sheesh!

Anonymous said...

10:21am:

which of the Michigan jobs sent out the PFO?

Anonymous said...

Holy shit! I just got my third Wooster PFO. WTF is going on over at Interfolio?

On a separate note, what, if anything, might it mean that several of us did not get the PFO from Cabrini College? Specifically, is there any chance that means we've survived some kind of intial cut(s)?

zombie said...

I am getting no PFOs.

The wiki brings nothing but bad news this week, however.

Not Shiny. Not at all.

Anonymous said...

There has been talk that teaching experience will turn heads, but how much teaching experience is "enough" or "a lot"?

For instance (indulge me please, I'm curious) Early in my graduate career I was able to solo teach 2 courses (but each course was taught twice... does that count as 4 courses taught or only 2?) and I imagine I will get 1 maybe 2 more solo teaching opportunities before I go out into the market. So 4 maybe 6 courses taught (depending how you count). Is that "good enough", "a lot" or, God forbid, do I need way more experience to be competitive?

Anonymous said...

@1:33 - FWIW I was on the market last year ABD. I had, at the time, been lead instructor on five courses (some overlapping preps). I received several interview requests from "teaching focused" schools. None of them indicated that my teaching experience was insufficient. That being said, The number of places where I applied and didn't get an interview far outnumbers the places where I did interview. It's possible that some of those schools wanted someone with more experience. I'll never know.

Anonymous said...

Would those who have received first round interviews please let us know when they are scheduled? I ask because now that it is so close to the holidays it seems like they must be either very soon or after January 1st (given the holidays and overlap with the APA).

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