Saturday, June 27, 2015

A NEW Permanent Thread to Talk or Ask or Post Information about Specific Jobs (6/27/15)

[REDUX] A lot of people in the comments seem interested in having space to discuss or request information about specific jobs. If providing information and if possible, please provide the source of your information.

Here's a permanent thread for this. Perhaps we can use the other open threads for people to trade horror or success or weird stories, any hints that they might think are helpful, strategies for dealing with stress of the job market, etc. [I'll try to get an open thread up soon.]

In the future, after this isn't at the top of the page, you can find this thread in the sidebar. Here's a picture, with the place to find this thread in the future.


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zombie said...

Toronto's job ad was pretty straightforward for that position:

"Candidates must hold a PhD by the date of appointment, or shortly thereafter. They must have a record of excellence in both research and teaching as demonstrated through letters of reference and the research and teaching dossiers submitted as part of the application. They must also show a clear commitment to ongoing development in both teaching and research. The successful candidate must be able to teach a wide range of courses in philosophy from the introductory to advanced levels, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The ability to teach courses in applied ethics will be a positive asset. The candidate’s research will focus on Ethics/Practical Philosophy broadly conceived."

There must have been a super-secret handshake, like "graduate of Oxford" required.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, it's not mysterious or complicated. They just didn't think anyone who applied was good enough. Toronto has high standards. They aren't making any secret about this either. (I applied.)

Anonymous said...

Rumor on the street has it that Toronto did have some very disappointing on-campus job talks. But to me that reveals a systematic failure in their interviewing process.

Anonymous said...

It's not just Toronto. Sacred Heart's PFO (For a one-year position teaching logic to freshmen):

"On behalf of the Department of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies at Sacred Heart, I would like to thank you for your interest in our term-contract position. I am sorry to
inform you that the search proceeded to a final round but ended without a hire.

The department anticipates hiring for at least one position next year, so please feel free to re-apply if you believe that any changes in the job description or your application might strengthen your candidacy. We will do our best to retain all hard copies that have been submitted. Electronic applications will need to be resent.

We wish you the best of luck in your search for a suitable position."

Hey, if you suck less next year, feel free to apply again!

Anonymous said...

"But to me that reveals a systematic failure in their interviewing process."

Not necessarily. It's astonishing how poorly some well-qualified applicants can do once advanced to the campus interview. It's rare for everyone to blow it, bu certainly not impossible. And they could have blown the interview for different reasons.

One thing we need to remember about the market is that the market does not exist to provide jobs for graduate students. It exists to provide new faculty for departments. If a department chooses not to hire anyone for a job - if they go through the process and are not happy with what they get as finalists - they should not be blamed for not hiring someone.

Think of it like dating. You put up a profile on OKCupid and people contact you. After a few emails with a few potential partners, you realize that none of them are what you are looking for. But you certainly feel no obligation to partner up with one of them just because you put out the "ad," or because people "applied." Similarly, maybe they did have some "secret" thing they wanted, but chose not advertise. I prefer gingers. But that does not mean I'm putting it in my online dating profile. I don't want to limit my potential pool because of a preference, in the event I find someone wonderful who does not have red hair.

That said, I wonder why they did not go back through the short list or the long list to identify other potential finalists. But then again, they are under no obligation to do so. If they feel they may have better luck canceling the search and running it again in the future, that's their call. It's their program.

Does it suck? Absolutely, for the applicants. But the market isn't about us, so we shouldn't expect anything less. The market exists for department, and there's no reason they should be expected to hire anything less than exactly what they want.

The Sacred Heart PFO is more disturbing, given that one-year positions do not require the same level of commitment from either the department or the applicant, and it's a bad sign if departments are becoming overly-demanding in their requirements for such positions.

Anonymous said...

I think the last several commenters have sort of missed the point. There's nothing wrong or weird about a search failing. What's wrong and weird is the justification given in the PFO, which says that "regardless of the very meritorious pool of applicants, [the committee] was unable to identify anyone who fully corresponded to the expectations of the Committee."

It might be strictly true that they were unable to identify any such people, but there's an implicature in there to the effect that no applicants were good enough, and they don't exactly work hard to cancel it and take responsibility for their failed search. It's certainly not a big deal, but it's also not especially kind or considerate towards their hundreds of applicants. The problem people have here is not with the failed search, but with the way in which the PFO was written.

-NSGSIDA (Not Sour Grapes Since I Didn't Apply)

Anonymous said...

Sure, that was conveyed by some kind of implicature, I agree.
But, it's true. And yes, it's unpleasant for us who applied to find out. It's more polite to convey unpleasant information by implicature than by assertion.
So it doesn't seem weird, and I definitely don't see anything *wrong* with it.

Anonymous said...

I don't get the impression that anyone commenting above thinks there was any wrong committed by Toronto--it's more shock that they would have such "high standards" that no one in THIS job market was thought to meet. If that was the case, then maybe for Toronto's sake, they should lower their standards. Note: I said for Toronto's sake, not for the marketeers' sakes.

2:48 said...


Oh, someone definitely thinks there was a wrong committed by Toronto:
"What's wrong and weird is the justification given in the PFO..."

You may be right about what's in Toronto's interests, but of course they can just search again next year, and they will, and then they can search again the next year... and it's hard to believe that they'll have to settle for someone not as good (in their estimation) as the people they go this year. So it's quite possibly a good strategy. Why lower your standards when there's a decent chance of finding someone over the next few years who meets all of them?
It's different for departments (I actually have one in mind) who have been searching for over a decade without managing to find someone to fill a certain line. They should re-examine their standards. (It might not be a matter of 'lowering' so much as realizing that at least one of their desiderata is not so important after all.)

casey woodling said...

Any word on the visiting position at Flagler College in Florida?

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