Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Old Market Advice

326 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From previous thread: "But what about the "damaged goods" issue?"

What are you going to do? You can only control what you can control. Write. Network. Teach well. I'd also recommend addressing it (though not by the "damaged goods" label) in cover letters - something to the effect that you have accomplished what you have "the hard way", demonstrating that you are now ready to jump into ______________ (fill-in-the-situation). But that's just my view, others might disagree.

12/19/2006 7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Supposed that I fail to get a TT position this year, which one is better? Post-doc or Visiting Prof.?

12/19/2006 4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whichever one comes with less teaching. You need the year to crank and get some pubs.

12/19/2006 4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Post-doc or Visiting Prof.?

If research job is your goal then just choose a higher ranked school.

12/19/2006 7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A possible suggestion for FiFC?

I'm not sure in what ways the market might consider you to be 'damaged.' If you fear that prospective employers might think there's something wrong with you that explains why your one-year places didn't hire you (e.g., obnoxious attitude, etc.), might you get the Chair or the highest ranked Americanist in your *current* position to write a letter?

For others who have sat on committees longer than I: Would a strong letter from the current institution praising his/her great attitude, teaching, and research do much to overcome your worries about why he/she hasn't been snatched up recently?

My inclination is to let trusted letter writers address awkwardness in your application.

12/20/2006 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Address the awkwardness yourself. If you leave it to letter writers, people looking at the file will never see it. They will see the awkwardness and stop reading.

You have to think about this from the POV of people reading the file. They don't think, "Hello, what's this? Some awkwardness in a file: I shall keep reading and get to the bottom of it." They think, "What the sam hill is this? Looks weird. Sigh. Searching...searching...no immediate explanation...don't call us, we'll call you. Next!"

12/20/2006 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With respect to FiFC, I really think, as stated, the key is to publish. Everyone recognizes that the marketplace has a high random component and lots of good scholars wind up underplaced. Publications can signal to committees that your lack of a T-T job is a result of this random component and not some other issue related to you.

I was on a search this fall that had some candidates like you describe yourself. One candidate that I remember had held several visiting positions and had letters from people at those visiting positions that spoke favorably of the candidate (these reissured us that the candidate was probably not a jerk). The candidate was either a 2002 or 2003 Ph.D. but only had one peer-reviewed pub. In all likelihood, this limited publication track-record was due in no small part to the high teaching demands of visiting positions and the difficulty of publishing in them. Committees with many candidate choices are going to have a tough time giving the benefit of the doubt to such candidates, hoping that if they are hired on a T-T line that they will become more productive. As a result, the consensus on the committee was one that questioned the wisdom of bringing in someone for an interview with one pub 3-4 years after finishing the Ph.D. when we had ABD applicants with equal or better publication records.

12/20/2006 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FiFC here. I definitely agree that I need some work on the publications front. Like I mentioned before, I have one solo piece at a decent journal coming soon, and more stuff in the pipeline. But that helps me more in terms of getting out of my next job (whether it's a suboptimal TT or a visiting/postdoc); realistically I'm not going to have another pub before this hiring season ends.

Anyway, I suppose I'll deal with the elephant in the room by dressing it up a bit ("hey, I'm flexible"). Thanks for the advice all-around.

I'm not 4:17, by the way. But after thinking things over and being in the same boat, I'd say getting pubs out > teaching experience once you have enough of the latter. So I'd take the best tradeoff of teaching load and pay you can find... unfortunately a lot of postdocs don't pay all that well; you may need the $40k visiting salary to live on.

12/20/2006 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of the impact of publications on hiring committees: is there a rough metric for weighing different types of publications beyond the obvious preference for pubs in AJPS over, say, the JEAAH (Journal of Experimental Agriculture and Animal Husbandry), especially for job prospects further down the road?

I have a few acquisitions editors of second-tier university presses both asking for a book (NOT my dissertation) adressing my own area of rather esoteric political research for a more general reading audience; and I am trying to decide whether my job prospects would be better served by concentrating my efforts on a book from a second-tier UP, or redouble efforts to place articles in a top-tier political science journal.

Thoughts?

12/20/2006 8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have to ask you're already lost.

12/20/2006 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Er, I don't think 9:21 is being particularly helpful.

To my mind, an APSR/AJPS/JoP would be more impressive than a book from a second-tier press. But the odds of you hitting one of those aren't great. So realistically you'd need 2-3 articles at good-but-not-top-tier journals (BJPS, APR, PRQ, LSQ, other top subfield journals).

This may also be a field issue... I'd tell an Americanist to concentrate on articles since books really aren't expected for tenure in most subfields, but in other fields there's more book stuff going on.

So my semi-naive advice: if you're an Americanist, do the articles route and forget about the book (or at least drag it out... nobody has ever met a manuscript deadline). If you're not, ask someone who's in your field what they'd do.

12/20/2006 10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:21 - While that was a very valuable contribution to the discussion, isn't it time for you to put on your Spiderman pajamas, kiss your Darth Vader poster goodnight, and head to sleep in the basement of your parents' house?

8:58 - If your aim is a R1 job, then I think top tier journals are absolutely the place to direct your energies at your stage. Books at an early stage seem like more of a risky bet, primarily due to their higher startup costs and longer time lag to acceptance and publication. This is not to say that books can't payoff, but if the choice is between pursuing a second-tier book or several top-tier articles, the latter seems to have a higher probability of payoff. Your mileage may vary.

12/20/2006 10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:21 here. Point was, the words "2nd tier press" and "more general readership" (and heck I'll throw in "acquisitions editor") do not belong in a sentence about good junior career moves.

Now you yutzes go back to mulling over all the angles as if there's really something to think about.

12/20/2006 10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, it might matter to what extent the 2nd tier UP book is "in the hand" while the top-3 journal articles are "in the bush." In other words, there is the risk that if you work hard on placing articles--but with no luck--you'll miss out on the good pubs *and* the UP book.

Keep in mind "yutz" that there is life beyond Ohio State, and for people who are currently or prospectively in lower-tier jobs looking to move up (or just to succeed at that level) there are tough choices to be made. Put differently, not everyone's work can be published in the top 3.

12/21/2006 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad that "you're lost" qualifies as advice. Well done. Give that guy an endowed chair. And a lollipop.

Look, you may get better traction out of articles, but there's no need to play by 9:21's dictates of "good junior career moves." If you were to consistently follow that kind of "advice," you'd probably use the US News department rankings and scores as your only roadmap for career advancement, hold-off having kids until after tenure, and end-up using a walker and oxygen tank by the time your kids want to play catch in the backyard.

...Or missing out on life all together, ending up sad and alone with your list of journal publications, like our good friend here...

12/21/2006 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you're first on the job market, search committees are looking for evidence that you know how to write publishable work that other political scientists are likely to find useful and cite. Though you are not likely to have work that is cited yet, you definitely should be looking to publish in credible places. The range of credible places stretches far beyond the so-called "big 3." The point is to publish in refereed journals, to publish stuff that you have authored (co-authored is OK but it's less credible if your co-author is your mentor/faculty member), and to show that you have more than one idea.

12/21/2006 6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you get interviews at pretty good schools the first time you are on the market, but no offers, should you feel relatively confident that things will work out in the long run?

12/21/2006 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not necessary, but the information content depends on has many offers you didn't get.

12/21/2006 9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you get interviews at pretty good schools, then it is reasonable to infer that you probably look good on paper and committees see your potential. That may help get your foot through the door again next year.

If it's possible, try to find out through your adviser or committee why you didn't get any offers. There might be something about the visit that you could improve (the talk, handling Q&A, one on ones) or it could be something out of your control like whether you "fit" the department.

You might be lucky enough to get another interview this year where that extra work would pay off. If not, then keep up your productivity and get some papers out so that your file next year doesn't look the same as it does now.

12/22/2006 5:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you get interviews at pretty good schools the first time you are on the market, but no offers, should you feel relatively confident that things will work out in the long run?

I don't want to repeat what I wrote on the previous thread about what is needed to be ready to go on the market, but many factors could be involved. One that I would emphasize is that if you get an interview, then aside from the obvious fact that it's a competitive world out there, it's your job talk that is often the make-or-break factor in choosing between candidates. That's likely to be the only evidence that most of the faculty will look at (aside from your CV). You want to present research on a problem that is interesting and important.

When I first started out in the profession of my senior colleagues used to ask after each presentation, "Did you learn anything from that?" My initial thought was, "That's a pretty simple-minded question. I want to know whether the candidate is going research that could, in principle at least, be published in the APSR." After a year or two of hearing job talks, it finally dawned on me that my senior colleague had a point: if our faculty collective "learned anything" (worth learning) from a job talk, then the candidate probably was presenting research that could in principle be published in the APSR.

So it's important to have a research question that people think is important (for any number of reasons). Even better to have a research question about something that people never thought about much. In that case, the answer to my senior colleague's question "Did you learn anything from that" might end up being "Yes. I got an answer to a question that I didn't know I didn't know, and that I learned we ought to have an answer to."

When I invited people for an interview here, I would usually end by telling them this:

"Now I'm going to sound pedantic, but here goes anyway. Your presentation should be 35 minutes long. Much longer and you tick off faculty who want to ask questions; much shorter and you may not give faculty enough to chew on, or some of them will be out the door to teach their next class before you finish."

Your talk should have a beginning, a middle, and and end. The beginning should motivate your research, state the problem, place it in the literature, and describe the research design (if you jump too quickly to the analysis withouth sufficient motivation, you're dead). The middle should show and explain your main results (if you're still at the design stage, you're dead). The end should discuss the implications for the theory, possible extensions and further work.

You may be surprised how many job talks lack one of these three basic elements."


It's extremely important that you practice your talk before a live audience, get a critique of your presentation including your Powerpoint slides, and spend time improving it.

If you give a good presentation, you're likely still in the hunt. If you give a poor or mediocre one, your candidacy is likely over -- regardless of your record on paper, or whatever else got you invited for the interview in the first place.

12/22/2006 6:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's very helpful, thanks!

12/22/2006 7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're welcome. One small screw-up. It's if you go on too long (more than 40 minutes) that faculty may get especially frustrated or start skipping out the door before getting their questions asked.

12/22/2006 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All that is good advice. On the original question of predicting the future based on good interviews the first time out, I'd just note that candidates often come in with a tentative ranking and the question to some degree is whether anyone upsets that ranking -- usually by the favored candidate screwing up. Since everyone pretty much invites in three candidates per slot, it is possible to get good invitations and still be perceived, even on paper, as being close but under the bar. As time goes by, the sense of promise will be replaced by a sense of actual performance, which also means that in order to repeat the success of the first year on the interview market you may well need to disproportionally improve your record on paper and not just tweak your interview skills. Depending on the market, it may also be the case that the places that were going to be interested had a look the first year. I've certainly seen people be popular "runners up" the first time out and then drop completely off the radar the next year.

12/22/2006 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with your last assessment, and noted this risk in an earlier post in a different context: going on the market too early. You may get an "early" interview once, but if it proves that you're not ready or not competitive, then in the short run you've essentially spent the opportunity at the places that have interviewed you.

12/22/2006 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi All. I'm not on the market yet, but I have an odd question for your guys on the market. When you apply for jobs (especially those more methodology oriented jobs), do schools want your transcripts? My fields are methodology and comparative politics, but my focus is more on formal theory than on comparative politics. I'm asking the above question because I've taken and am still taking quite a few math and econ courses, but because I don't need course credits anymore, for some of the courses, I just sit in and do the homework myself (no exams though), without registering for the couses, and so there will be no record of my taking such courses in the transcript, although I've been very serious about those courses and I think my understanding of those subjects is at least as good as the average math/econ students in those courses. Would hiring committees believe that I have taken those courses and am not too bad at them, if they don't see they listed in my transcripts. Of course, something about my math/econ training can be reflected in my papers/working papers, but not all. For example, I've been taking Ph.D. econometrics courses, but since I focus on formal theory, my (working) papers would not reflect much of my training in econometrics. Courses like real analysis will be similar (although I can use a little bit of it in my papers, but not much).

So the question is, for future courses should I at least register as "auditing", or is sitting in without registering ok?

Sorry for the length of the question. Happy holidays to you all.

12/25/2006 12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the most part transcripts are irrelevant because people infer what you do and can teach from your thesis, statements, and letters. But if your thesis is all formal and you want to show credibility in a methods job, it can be helpful to point to 7 stats/metrics classes on your transcript.

It will certainly never hurt to have them on though it often won't help. That's known as weakly dominant to you.

12/25/2006 1:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:51, my training is similar to yours. What I did was audit formally. This combined the advantage of attending lectures and doing the assignments without the hassle of taking exams. I was on the job market this year and I could see that the ability to point and say "as you an see from my transcript..." did give me some credibility despite no published papers using those skills. I asked my letter writers to mention them too, I don't know if they did. Hope that helps.

12/25/2006 7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ive only transcripts to disqualify people in that they provide independent verification of ability.... We've had candidates for methods positions who were under serious consideration until I pointed out that they pulled a B or B+ in their advanced stats courses....for most people that isnt a problem, but there are few few of you out there....

12/25/2006 11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actual transcripts are only rarely submitted with applications. But summaries of relevant courses/training are often put on the CV that's submitted with the job application.

Transcripts are more often requested of those who have accepted a job as proof of completion of the degree.

12/25/2006 3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems that the best idea would be to make sure your letter-writers vouch for all the methods courses you've taken. And it's better if at least one of your references is someone who's qualified to comment on methods skills.

12/25/2006 6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It will certainly never hurt to have them on though it often won't help. That's known as weakly dominant to you."

I'm not sure I agree -- some committee members get suspicious of students who took a lot of courses (particularly outside the department) late in a PhD program. Some students "never know when to let go," and this can be a particular problem with quantitatively oriented grad students.

12/26/2006 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best evidence of your methods skills is often your use of them in published research. While credentials in terms of courses taken are relevant, we often want to see your methodological work to evaluate your credentials. (And probably it would be better for you to spend your time writing papers than sitting in on courses to build your resume.)

12/26/2006 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you are like most ABDs, you will not have published work in formal methods by the time you are on the job market. Whether you want to demonstrate your skills in working papers or transcripts I think depends on how well the search committee members can evaluate formal /quantitative skills. In departments with few faculty with formal training consulting a transcript can be more informative than a paper with "some Greek letters." In my experience, the LACs asked for transcripts the R1 schools were happy with just seeing the papers.

12/26/2006 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2006/12/27/graying_of_us_academia_stirs_debate/

December 27, 2006

Boston Globe: Graying of US academia stirs debate

Now there's a subject that ought to interest those working their way into and upward in the market. As one of those who's in the gray category but not about to retire, nonetheless I think about the shape of the job market. And I think it's partly driven by the stock market, viz. how well those who are nearing "federal" retirement age (65 or 66) are doing in their 401K retirement funds. But many factors are involved.

12/27/2006 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note, the url was cut off, in the above post. You'll have to go to the Globe online to find the piece.

12/27/2006 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think the "graying" of academia is a real problem outside of Top 10 schools. At lower-tier R1s, most scholars are happy to take retirement when they hit their early 70s (and most scholars in those places have stopped publishing years before that).

12/27/2006 10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note, the Boston Globe url is fine.

12/27/2006 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for all the great comments on transcripts. I think I'll try to formally audit those courses besides trying to publish a paper or two. Again, thanks. Good luck with the market, and Happy New Year!

12/27/2006 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At lower-tier R1s, most scholars are happy to take retirement when they hit their early 70s (and most scholars in those places have stopped publishing years before that).

12/27/2006 10:16 AM


Why would you think this is true? If a scholar has stopped publishing and is still pulling down a good salary, isn't that a reason they'd stay?

12/28/2006 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If a scholar has stopped publishing and is still pulling down a good salary, isn't that a reason they'd stay?

Work demands haven't necessarily lessened with reduced research, they may well have just shifted. These people might well be teaching increased loads and be doing lots, and I mean *lots* of service work, especially outside the department.

When the choice is another year of teaching the same dumb undergrads as always except that you have even less in common with them than last year and chairing another thrice-damned assessment committee at one level or another for full pay, versus golfing and listening to old-people-music all day for whatever your retirement package works out to, then...

12/28/2006 9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...versus golfing and listening to old-people-music all day for whatever your retirement package works out to, then....

A lot of faculty can't think of anything better to do than what they're doing now. (Golf? Old-people music? Get real! These were people whose music tastes were honed in the 1960's.)

But I put up the original story earlier to make a point about financial considerations. A LOT depends on that. I have a couple of older colleagues who have figured that by maintaining a modicum of research productivity, and not adding any teaching, and continuing to avoid major service loads, they have no financial incentive to retire. Even with modest adjustments to their teaching and service activities, there's still no financial incentive.

This has been especially true after the stock market went into the dumps in 2001. That said, my prediction is that retirements will accelerate a bit not just because of the aging of the work force but because the bull market over recent years has brought many people's pension funds back to a point where they can retire. (Of course, tomorrow it can all come tumbling down.)

A bit of an incentive package from their employers (negative actions end up in court, and in many universities unions also deter them) can encourage the transition, e.g., retirement but part-time employment, which essentially fills a financial gap for a couple of years.

Otherwise, for many faculty retirement is enough of a cut in pay that they will hold onto their jobs longer than they would really like to.

12/29/2006 6:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only way to [legally] remedy this problem is to make tenure a very long-term, rather than lifetime, contract. Say 30 years? Or even 35? After this, faculty could be retained on shorter-term contracts by mutual agreement. The danger would be schools might shy away from retaining even great people to save money and hire younger ones. But the cost of giving up a real star in exchange for a risky newbie would likely deter this...

12/31/2006 3:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we have to keep in mind the original purpose of tenure, which was to provide faculty the freedom to pursue ideas and express ideas without being subject to administrative sanction. Based on my experience in academic, I truly believe that tenure as we know it protects faculty against an enormous amount of mischieve by administrators and, within public institutions, by politicians and would be crusaders at all points of the political spectrum.

And the previous poster is surely right that if there were a term limit on tenure (and surely if there were, say, 5-year tenure contracts) some mischief would occur. But perhaps an altered performance review process would help in such cases. I've never worked in a union shop as a professor (though I've been a member of unions in other employment), and haven't favored this approach to protecting faculty rights. So I'm not sure what will work.

I am aware of efforts at some universities to provide buy-outs or other more limited incentives for "early retirement" (whatever age that might be). At my university, the administration doesn't like to take that approach because it sometimes leads to losing their most valuable and marketable senior profs who take the "buyout" and then move on to a post at another university -- sticking our university with providing some fringe benefits (e.g., extended health benefits) to faculty who have taken the money and run to another place. Watching buy-outs in other contexts (e.g., state government) I can see a similar phenomenon going on, with another aspect. Downsize government by providing buyouts to administrators, and those same administrators end up going to work for "nonprofits" or "for profits" that get contracts from the state to do the very work that those people were doing as state employees.

It may well be that any likely intervention to increase retirement rates will produce more bad than good outcomes, and so we have to just tolerate the current situation.



But if neither of these

12/31/2006 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for tenure discussion I find it rather amusing that people who argue for more democratic control of politics and more transparency, accountability, and regulation of the private sector, namely liberal or left-leaning academics are also the same people who vehemently oppose any "democratic" control over their jobs by the people who pay their salaries for life, namely taxpayers. Don't you think, for example, that government bureacrats also have the right to do what is "right" without interference from the public? But then again perhaps deep down even post-positivist scholars are rational actors who maximize their self-interests...

1/06/2007 12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is accountability for performance in academia, mainly in the merit salary system. But think just for a moment about what politics within universities might have been like the past 5 years if that "democratic" control that you seem to exalt had allowed the Bill Bennetts and Lynn Cheneys of the world to conduct witch hunts of professors who uttered doubts about the current administration's policies in the "war on terrorism."

Their "American Council of Trustees and Alumni" fortunately never got far off the ground because it couldn't move its declarations into action. Although it "named names" in the first release of its report in 2001 it had no teeth in significant measure because of the protections of academic freedom. And this wouldn't have been the worst of it, not by a long shot.

1/06/2007 6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Academic freedom and open debate are not at issue - the open-ended time horizon of tenure perhaps ought to be. It is still not completely clear to me why it would harm the discipline, departments, or academia as a whole to replace "lifetime tenure" with "30-35 year tenure". ...

1/06/2007 6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you just want to put 30-35 year cap on tenure, it would probably fly. I'd guess the typical person earns tenure in his or her mid-30's (I got mine at age 33). The difficulty would be what would you do after that?

In any case, while tenure is "job security," the job security is just instrumental for protecting academic freedom, IMO.

1/06/2007 7:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there was a 35-year cap on tenure, what would happen afterwards? You'd have to retire? You'd suddenly be subject to getting fired?

1/08/2007 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Golf? Old-people music? Get real! These were people whose music tastes were honed in the 1960's.)

Right. "Old-people music" =

Beatles
CCR
Doors
Springsteen
U2
Elton John
Billy Joel

etc.


(Yes, U2. Deal with it...).

1/08/2007 6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You missed quite a few (Dillon, etc.). Music has really gone down hill since then. But you appear to deal with it by lowering your expectations in life.

1/08/2007 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, they say that you never really progress past the music that you listened to as an undergrad. Perhaps that is because people find it hard to seriously engage the music made people with a more limited repertoire of experiences. Or maybe it is all just different tastes.

For what its worth, I've never really advanced past the skate-punk of my undergrad days. Ironically, I find the music made by people who hold a Ph.D. tend to be more enduring than others--i.e.: Milo Auckerman and the Descendents (Microbiology/Genetics UCSD), Greg Graffin of Bad Religion (Biology, Cornell), etc. BTW, Graffin's new bluegrass album is quite worth a good listen.

Are there any polisci Ph.D.s out there who are engaged musically in anything beyond their local scene?

1/08/2007 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is this "Dillon" guy anyway? Does he sound at all like John Lenin?

1/08/2007 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I have been taking singing lessons for two months. I want to be Def Leppard. And Im not kidding.

1/08/2007 11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff Mondak writes a lot of cool songs. His website has links to bands that have made them including some faculty that sing at FSU (Cherie Maestas).

1/09/2007 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.songramp.com/homepage.php?userid=12630

1/09/2007 3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does he sound at all like John Lenin?

---------

It's "Jon Lennyn," dumbass.

1/09/2007 7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's married to Christie Brinkley, right? Or is that Jack Dillon?

1/10/2007 5:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, you're thinking of Corey Dillon, running back for the Patriots.

1/10/2007 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Krosnick plays a mean set of drums.

1/11/2007 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find the music made by people who hold a Ph.D. tend to be more enduring than others--i.e.: Milo Auckerman and the Descendents

Are there any polisci Ph.D.s out there who are engaged musically in anything beyond their local scene?

Wawro. I bet he likes the Descendents, too.

1/11/2007 6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Name the only Political Scientist to win a Grammy.

Hint: he beat out the Beatles!

1/12/2007 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Maltese at UGA won one in 1996.

1/12/2007 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Name all the presidents and vice presidents of the U.S. who published in the APSR. The total N is 4 (that I know of). Good luck.

1/12/2007 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm... Dickie Cheney, Woody Wilson, Billy Howie Taft, Huey Humphrey, Hank Wallace. Hmmm... that's N=5. Is there extra credit?

1/12/2007 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dang! You're good. A+. I didn't know about Billy Howie.

And only one of those (WW) was president of the APSA (his only paper in APSR was his APSA presidential address).

It doesn't appear that publishing in our main journal is a stepping stone to the White House. But it can help your academic career, so never give up, never give up.

Thanks much.

1/13/2007 6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When in the interview process is it generally appropriate to ask about salary and other compensation--even in terms of ballpark numbers? When I've raised it as part of the on-campus interview in the past, chairs/deans have often seemed to act as if I was jumping the gun by asking about such things.

I'm aware of the AAUP numbers, but I've found them highly unreliable as a guide (for example, last year I got an offer of $42k from a place listing a median assistant pay of $52k... I'd have pegged the likely pay as $47k or so based on AAUP).

1/14/2007 3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No wonder.

Convention (you may like it, you may not like it, but it IS a convention) is to ALWAYS ask AFTER an offer has been extended to you.

Your advisor, or fellow grad students, or... should have let you know.

1/14/2007 5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AAUP numbers are almost useless for many reasons. The chief one is that salaries vary greatly by discipline. Another one is that the average salary at any institution (even within ranks) is strongly influenced by the age of the faculty.

As to your question about when do you pop the question, I agree with the preceding poster: don't ask. If they want to hire you you'll find out soon enough.

Similarly, don't ask about the pension plan, since it leaves you open to the charge that you're interested in retiring rather than being hired. (You can find out about this on the school's website in many cases, or else the dept. will send you a brochure.)

1/14/2007 6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:25 here; that's what I'd sensed, but I'm glad to hear some corroboration. Thanks.

1/14/2007 7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you get offers, salary will be mentioned. Sometimes, during an interview salary will come up. I wouldn't ask at the interview. You will find out soon enough if you are truly in the mix for the job.

1/14/2007 8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see why asking about pension plans would be bad. At least at state universities, it seems well worth asking whether the school runs a "normal" 403b system or whether you'd be forced into the state's teacher-pension pool, or whether the alternative to the state teacher-pension pool is a realistic choice. Hell, some state schools still don't participate in social security.

At least for a new phd, anyone thinking that you're planning on retiring instead of being hired is just plain crazy. Not hiring someone because he asked about pension plans is like not hiring someone because he salted his food before tasting it.

1/14/2007 9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I mention the pension plan issue because I've seen it come up several times in my career. It's job a taboo, that's all. Just stay away from it during your interview. Nobody ever turns down a good first job because of the pension plan. Yes, some plans are better than others, but as I mentioned at state schools you can find out all you need to know (prior to a job offer) on the web.

1/14/2007 10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, now that people are talking about pension plans, do all UC schools have the same plan? If not, which ones are better?

1/15/2007 7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What normally happens when an assistant prof changes jobs? Does their publication record follow them? Or, does the tenure clock begin again? Do schools handle this differently?

1/15/2007 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All UC campuses-from Berkeley to Merced-have the same retiremenet system/benefits.

1/15/2007 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What normally happens when an assistant prof changes jobs?

This is usually a matter of negotiation between the prof and the new department. Some departments are known for requiring a new 6-year clock.

I'd guess that the modal method of dealing with this is to hire the prof on a new full clock and then bring him/her up for tenure early at when the timing seems good.

1/15/2007 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rather, some departments or universities are known for requiring a new 6-year clock with little/no chance of coming up early. ISTR that Texas Tech is one, but I don't know whether that's a department, college, or university thing assuming it's even true.

1/15/2007 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What "normally" happens to the tenure clock when an Asst. Prof. switches jobs?

In my experience, there are two aspects. One is the formal contract, the other is the expectation about when the individual might be eligible for promotion and tenure. Often the formal initial contract is a standard, say 3 year contract to be followed by 3 year renewal.

But the second aspect is that typically the individual is told (often in writing) that he or she could come up earlier, sometimes as early as the second year. A significant aspect of the calculation involved is the total time in grade -- years since PhD and/or years in a tenure-earning position. So if an individual has taught at a prior institution for 3 years, for example, hr or she can usually expect (and often be promised) to be reviewed for promotion at their new school in 2 to 3 years.

The new employer can almost never (in my observation) offer to put someone up the very first year of their appointment there. Usually the dean and tenure committees want to see something significantly new after the person arrives at the current school, including teaching evaluations. But coming up in the second year of the new appointment is not that unusual, again depending on the length of previous time in grade. And sometimes the Chair will say that the individual can come up in the second year but could also wait if more time is needed.

On the whole, if someone has a chance to make a significant move to a better job (not talking about rankings here, just a job that's a better fit for one reason or another), he or she shouldn't be deterred by the possibility that the tenure clock may be set back a year or two. I've known some conservative-minded folks who prefer the virtual certainty of tenure at a (to them) inferior place to the greater uncertainty of tenure at a new but better place. That's not my own mental frame, but it happens.

1/15/2007 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Berkeley and Merced are actually pretty close together.

Wouldn't "Berkeley to UCSD" be better?

1/15/2007 4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't "Berkeley to UCSD" be better?

________________________

Yes, it would be better if referring to space but if referring to time, Berkeley to Merced makes sense.

1/15/2007 5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Berkeley and Merced may be geographically close, but I think it was rather obvious that the poster was referring to the fact that one is the oldest, and the other the newest, UC.

1/15/2007 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or rank them as most appealing and least appealing places to live?

1/15/2007 7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I gotta think Riverside has Merced beaten in that regard, but I could well be wrong, not having spent much time in either place.

1/15/2007 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never been to Merced, but Riverside is the arm pit of California. Nicest place to live? San Diego or Santa Barbara.

1/16/2007 3:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Riverside isn't all that bad. There are some lovely mountains nearby and LA and SD aren't too far. Merced is a bit more isolated, but good if you like outdoors stuff. As far as armpits go Riverside, it is a pretty decent one.

Source: a California native.

1/16/2007 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't been to Riverside, but it's hard to imagine it being worse than Ridgecrest. Unless you really REALLY like jet noise and jarheads.

1/16/2007 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never been to Merced, but Riverside is the arm pit of California. Nicest place to live? San Diego or Santa Barbara.

1/16/2007 3:42 AM

=======================

If you can afford a house within 30 minutes of UCSD or UCSB - most faculty in the Social Sciences can't.

1/16/2007 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yet all of the political scientists in the UCSD department do live within 30 minutes of UCSD. If your assertion about affordibility is correct, how is this possible? Are Cox and McCubbins sharing a studio apartment? Are Peter Gourevitch and Keith Pool living in the dorms? Is David Lake a homeless vagabond?

1/17/2007 5:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read "most faculty" as "most junior faculty." If UCSD pays as well as I've heard, no one should have trouble finding something within 30 minutes.

1/17/2007 6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MOST faculty at UCSD = Pool, Cox, McCubbins and Lake?

Ha, now that is funny.

Ever heard about measures of centrality?

LOL

1/17/2007 6:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do know that junior faculty at UCSB struggle big time to find something they can afford near SB. Don't know if La Jolla is the same, but I wouldn't be surprised. After all, starting salaries at UCSD and UCSB must fluctuate between 65k and 80k. Maybe some junior faculty get housing packages, but in all likelihood not all.

1/17/2007 6:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geography may be part of the problem. SB is pretty isolated -- no nearby suburbs like SD. Also, if the average junior faculty member at UCSD makes about $10k more than his peer at UCSB (which seems about right), that nets out to around $6.5k, which could be the difference between finding a house or not.

1/17/2007 7:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The folks that bought houses in SoCal 6-7(+) years ago are doing just fine. In fact, they are filthy rich. In the last 5 years or so, housing prices have nearly tripled. Condos in decent areas (eg, not Compton) run for 400K+. As a starting salary, 65-70K per year, unless you've saved up big for a down payment as a graduate student (unlikely), will not really put you in the housing market. Something to consider when you are deciding between a job in CA and, say, Missouri. For the price of a closet in CA, you can afford a deluxe ranch, complete with alpacas, in much of the country. And, a little red Corvette if that's what you want.

1/17/2007 7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And where are you going to drive that Corvette in Columbia, MO? To the Piggly Wiggly? To the gun shop? To the Old Country Buffet?

1/17/2007 7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is such a stereotype about the Midwest/South. There are plenty of real cities with lots to do and see. St. Louis, Denver, Austin, Atlanta, Raleigh, Dallas, Columbus, and more... These are all decent places to live, work and raise a family. No, we don't all wear overalls and ride to work in tractors.

1/17/2007 7:31 AM  
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1/17/2007 7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drive the Corvette to a tractor pull! Or the shooting range! Or a rodeo!

1/17/2007 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure, but most of the big Southern cities are incredibly dull and homogeneous sprawl cities. They're great, if your idea of great is endless suburbs full of strip malls, chain restaurants (shall we go to O'Charley's or Applebee's tonight, honey?), subdivisions with faux-English names (Olde Loch Manor Estates), and downtowns that become ghost towns after sunset.

I'd rather live in a studio apartment in Boston than have a 5 BR McMansion in Houston.

1/17/2007 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> I'd rather live in a studio apartment in Boston than have a 5 BR McMansion in Houston.

While I would love to argue this point, I will instead drink to your good health at Applebee's, happy about the fact that so many people are not interested in great jobs in the majority of the country. As a matter of fact, I shall make my fifth bedroom a shrine to those holding out for the opportunity to sleep in a cardboard box on one of the coasts, longing for the day that they may be able to afford the many enjoyable activities that surround them.

Cheers.

1/17/2007 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, so people have differnt utility functions with regards to where they live?

Crazy!

1/17/2007 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think Houston is about Charlie's or Appleby's, you are effing clueless.

Work a bit harder when trying to badmouth a city, please.

1/17/2007 1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think I was just badmouthing Houston, you are missing the effing point.

Work a bit harder when reading my posts, please.

PS: I've been to Houston several times. It's no different than Atlanta, Dallas, Charlotte, Nashville, Orlando, etc, only hotter.

PPS: I'm a native of the Deep South and have lived in several of the aforementioned Southern cities.

PPPS: I've never been to Charlie's or Appleby's. Are they any good?

1/17/2007 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'd rather live in a studio apartment in Boston than have a 5 BR McMansion in Houston."

I might have said that 10 years ago when I was an undergraduate. I went to college in the Boston area, and I have been to Houston several times. Uh, I'll take the 5 bedroom mansion in H-town.

1/17/2007 3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sure, but most of the big Southern cities are incredibly dull and homogeneous sprawl cities. They're great, if your idea of great is endless suburbs full of strip malls, chain restaurants..."
__________________
Oh my god, you've just described Orange County, CA.

This thread is becoming silly. Why are we bickering over personal tastes?

1/17/2007 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beyond bickering over tastes, the differences in the cost of living can have a large bearing on where people can and do go, especially for those people who have family considerations. I can only imagine what it must be like to raise a family in a shoebox apartment in the Northeast or West coast, but I bet it wouldn't be very enjoyable. Likewise, while commuting an hour each way to work every day sounds like bliss, I can only think those hours could be more effectively spent... I don't know... at work? With the family? What's more, your 2000 sq.' "McMansion" might be necessary for kids' rooms, and heaven forbid, an office or study. The point is, I would have a hard time returning to a big city due to these cost- and quality- of life issues, beyond simple matters of personal tase.

As for geographic tastes, I'll take the rolling hills and lakeside serenity over all of your bi-coastal bullshit any day.

1/17/2007 6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are all pathetic. Hell, we are, as I made the mistake to come back here.

1/17/2007 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well for all the smack about Riverside, its come a long way. (Way better than the 80's when it was LA's crack den suburb that was a stopoff for truckers looking for "full-service" massage).

An hour to the beach, 45 minutes to the ski slopes, 90 minutes to San Diego, and a 4 bedroom house in a safe neighborhood for about $400k. Not a bad compromise.

1/17/2007 11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm Ron Burgundy?

1/17/2007 11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surely you jest about those travel times in and out of Riverside!

Unless... aha! You travel at 2 AM.

1/18/2007 12:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Second you. Ha on those travel times. Poster must have left SO CA 25 years ago.

1/18/2007 6:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to mention, it's always a bit curious to tout a place based on its distant proximity to places a person would much rather visit.

Kind of reminds me of the old (apocryphal) promo for the University of Wisconsin School of Oceanography: "Ideally situated halfway between two oceans."

1/18/2007 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right...because there's no difference at all between a 2 hour drive and a 2 day drive.

1/18/2007 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right...because there's no difference at all between a 2 hour drive and a 2 day drive.

1/18/2007 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ive done Riverside to Newport Beach in an hour mid-day Saturday before. Its only about 55 miles. Not like Im hitting the beach mid week anyway...

Must be westsiders on the board--there are beaches outside of Santa Monica you know!

1/18/2007 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why drive all the way to Newport Beach when San Bernardino is so close?

1/19/2007 5:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why drive all the way to Newport Beach when San Bernardino is so close?
_________________

Ummmm... Newport = beach. San Bernardino = mountains.

Beach does not equal mountains.

QED

1/19/2007 6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bunch of California losers.

1/19/2007 6:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:39 here.

Newport: Beach.

SB: Murder, gang-banging, and meth.

Be sure to turn your sarcasm filter on.

1/19/2007 6:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This isn't market advice. I am a new faculty member at a mid-level regional school. I have a grad student who is currently doing a Masters here and would like to go on to do a Ph.D. somewhere reputable. She has a relatively low undergrad gpa, but a good gre score and has done well in our grad classes. From what I gather from her, she had difficulty her first two years in college adjusting to being away from school, etc. and tried to clean up her grades the last two years. My question is whether it would help her in a Ph.D admission to complete our Masters program (write a thesis) or would it be equivalent in an admissions committee's eyes to taking some grad classes. I want to give her reasonable advice but I have no experience on an admissions committee.

1/19/2007 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of schools really look closely at the master's thesis itself. Some places believe that the master's thesis is a better indicator (versus GRE scores or undergrad grades) of a student's ability to do research. So, yes, a master's degree and a master's thesis should help the student overcome her undergrad problems -- more so than if she just took some grad classes.

1/19/2007 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely worth finishing the MA - I was in the same boat (mediocre undergrad GPA) and did an MA at an OK department. Did very well and ended up with a PHD from a top 10 department. Everything I heard told me that the MA grades and the MA thesis were the key to my admission.

1/19/2007 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some departments that have lacked PhD programs are known as excellent sources of MA students (e.g., Iowa State). So a good record in an MA program is indeed a route to a good doctoral program, whether a thesis is involved or not. But as usual, and perhaps more so in this kind of situation, excellent letters from reasonably well respected faculty at the MA institution are important.

1/19/2007 7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A question for the the seasoned: How could I get feedback about my interviews from departments that rejected me? I would love to know what went wrong and what I can improve! Could I ask some of the faculty for their feedback? How could I phrase that?

1/19/2007 7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would ask your advisor to contact people he/she knows at those schools. That way, you'll be able to get feedback indirectly. And people at those schools will feel more comfortable talking to your advisor than they will to you.

1/19/2007 7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two things about the MA students.

First, some PhD programs actively look for successful students from MA programs (we do).

Second, at the UC system, the GPA is calculated using the last 60 Semester units or 90 quarter units. So, if you bombed the first couple of years of undergrad, you can essentially replace those grades with grades from an MA program.

I'll bet other schools do something similar.

1/19/2007 9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We don't do anything formally with a counting of credits. We would look at the undergrad GPA and the grad (MA) GPA, as well as the specific courses of study. And we would look hard at the personal statement and the leters of rec and GRE. A sucky undergrad GPA (even a 2-something) followed by a 4.0 MA might make a strong candidate if that individual showed real potential.

1/20/2007 6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is an understanding on lots of admissions committees that people often do MA programs to rehabilitate their GPA, and to show that they are serious about the subject. If she performs well and writes a good Masters thesis, her lower undergrad GPA will not be a large problem (unless perhaps combined with abyssmal GRE scores).

As always, this assumes she has a good statement of purpose, good fit, and great letters.

I for one often prefer someone who enjoyed their undergrad years, took some time off, and then went and did an MA program, and learned some methods, over a student just finishing undergrad with a great GPA.

1/20/2007 1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"enjoyed their undergrad years"

Does this mean screwed off and got bad grades?

1/20/2007 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I for one often prefer someone who enjoyed their undergrad years, took some time off, and then went and did an MA program"

You mean like George W. Bush?

1/20/2007 2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha!

1/20/2007 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

A question for the the seasoned: How could I get feedback about my interviews from departments that rejected me? I would love to know what went wrong and what I can improve! Could I ask some of the faculty for their feedback? How could I phrase that?

1/19/2007 7:37 PM


Forget it. Unless you have a friend or inside contact, you'll hear nothing. It's endlessly frustrating about the academy, but true. All you'll do is come off sounding desperate, and you won't get an honest comment from anyone.

1/21/2007 9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree. If you ask for feedback, it showsyou are committed to improving your performance. Ask for feedback, by all means. You do have friends in the department - they flew you out, didn't they? You just need to figure out who the persons cheering for you was and ask him/her. Good luck next time round!

1/22/2007 1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or you could be seen as the poorly trained arrogant prick who demanded to know why he wasn't hired.

If you have a friend (i.e. someone who you knew well before you applied), then ask. If not, don't.

1/23/2007 10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I asked my advisor to see why I didn't get a job.

Two days later, I had a nice faculty member call and explain to me why they didn't hire me. That was pretty cool.

1/24/2007 7:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, this stuff is no fun to hear, but it's necessary.

1/24/2007 7:25 AM  
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1/24/2007 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it always that there was something the candidate could have done better? In the searches I have been involved with, we have had multiple candidates that were "above the bar" and would have been fine choices and our selection was then based on specific needs. Frankly, we have tried to tell the other candidates when this was the case but how often is this the norm for the second choice candidate rather than "there was something you could have done better"?

1/24/2007 1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:13, I think that depends on how truly open the search is from the outset. If the needs were known at the outset (say "institutions person who can cover Congress and interest groups"), then I'd think the rank ordering of candidates would be clearer than if your search is for a "generic Americanist who can teach methods," which nominally any non-presidency PhD can do, and you only later in the process decide that a Congess/interest groups person is the best fit (versus say a behavior person).

1/24/2007 1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it always that there was something the candidate could have done better?

I am the 1/24/2007 7:16 AM commenter. In my experience, it was nice to hear that there was nothing else I could have done better, but that they were able to hire one person, I was the second, they made the offer to the other person based on graduate student advising needs, and that was that. Nice to hear that I would have easily gotten the job if the other had not accepted, although just a bit more annoying to hear it was such a trivial reason.

That's my experience. N=1. I'm sure there are times when they can call you and say, "well, if you hadn't bombed the job talk/picked your nose/been such a jerk, we would have hired you."

1/24/2007 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the point that it's not always the case that a "losing" candidate did anything wrong. It's just a competitive world out there, that's all; moreover, committees and departments don't always make the best choices.

When I was chair, I always wrote a special letter to the losing "finalists" (those who were interviewed), in which I would tell them that they were a strong candidate and that faculty are fallible and that candor compelled me to say that we may have made a mistake in preferring another candidate. But we did the best we could and he (she) also made a strong case, and we wished the unsuccessful candidate well in the future.

Of course that wasn't always a "true" letter but I think it was an appropriate letter. Had anyone ever followed up and asked for more information on how they could have made a stronger case, I would have told them. But that never happened during my chairmanship, and we must have interviewed a few dozen candidates during that time.

1/24/2007 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I "came in second" for a job I was up for four years ago.

Last year I saw the chair of that department at a conference and he told me that the department should have hired me instead. It turns out that the person they hired wasn't bolted down real tight.

1/24/2007 6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:43 - That is really a classy way to handle the interview process that speaks well of both you and your department.

1/24/2007 8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. I got a few acknowledgments to that effect at that time, too.

1/24/2007 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Closing the Deal.

One of the least well known aspects of the market is how the negotiation process goes (for junior faculty in particular) once a department has decided to extend an offer. Some departments -- generally not the ones that are higher on the food chain -- may tend to make a take-it-or-leave it offer, at least on salary and fringe benefits (much of which the department has no control over). But there's still usually a fair amount of wiggle room, and certain a lot for the candidate to try to get down in writing before accepting such an offer.

Teaching load (may be negotiable), names of courses to be taught, number of preparations (and new preparations) per year.

Start-up package (research, travel, IT) is often negotiable, esp. at R1 institutions.

Moving expense (amoung) and costs of pre-move visit to look for housing are also negotiable at most institutions.

Tenure clock (your placement on it, especially if you're already in a tenure-stream appointment) may also be negotiable.

All of these are things that you should try to get in writing prior to accepting an offer.

1/27/2007 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And all of this should be in writing?

1/27/2007 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, if at all possible. Second best is having it in an email from the Dept. chair.

Anything that's not in the letter of offer that you've agree on and you consider important to your decision should be put into an amended letter, supplemental letter, or email. And then when you accept you should do so in writing and you should explicitly refer to the offer, amended offer, emails (even attach them) and any verbal commitments.

This is important for many reasons, not least of which is that some chairs mumble, some make promises that aren't promises, and chairs change!

1/27/2007 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a grad student debating whether to focus on IR or Comparative. Are there differences in these job markets? My impression is that IR tends to recruit more broadly-- CP jobs tend focus on specific regions. I don't know for sure since I'm new to this. Any thoughts?

1/29/2007 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My suggestion is not to take any suggestions from this blog. Except this one of course.

1/29/2007 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are surely more jobs in IR than in CP, and the jobs that there are are sliced up in fewer ways. So yeah, there are more jobs.

Then again, do IR only if you enjoy it - and not exclusively because the job market sucks a bit less than for CP.

1/29/2007 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Early on, I'd have a broad mix of both IR and CP classes... I'd put off giving primacy to one or the other until institutional rules force you to decide (maybe as early as comps, where you may have to designate one "major" field; perhaps as late as the dissertation). If you don't have to choose a major field (i.e. all your exams are equal), all the better.

Broadly speaking, IR jobs are easier to come by, unless you're in a sexy CP area (Middle East, possibly China)--but four-to-seven years from now, the "sexy" areas may be overloaded and a new high-demand area in CP may emerge. Outside the R1 world, the bulk of jobs are an IR/comparative mix, and there a broad background and teaching experience will outweigh your "major" field choice.

1/29/2007 12:49 PM  
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1/30/2007 2:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say, there was a discussion about the Gabriel Almond CP Disseration Award a while back on the comparative thread. Do such dissetation awards give the author a "free pass" to a book deal?

1/30/2007 8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. there are no "free passes"

1/31/2007 3:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I believe the ECPR has a dissertation prize that comes with an offer to publish the dissertation. Prizes like that are very rare, however; none of the APSA prizes have such guarantees.

1/31/2007 3:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still believe prize-winning dissertations have a much higher probability of attracting soliciting editors' eyes.

BTW, if you submit book proposals to academic presses, do they inform you if they are NOT interested? Or, does it just depend on the institutional culture of the specific presses? Many thanks.

1/31/2007 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone else asked this earlier, but nobody seems to have replied. For the more seasoned here, what is the average turnaround time for article submission at the journal Comparative Politics? Thanks a bundle.

1/31/2007 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: 11:56 AM

The press where used to work did send out rejection letters to everyone, but they were done by the intern, sometimes long after the editor had tossed them aside. Talk about a depressing internship.

That, of course, is for unsolicited manuscripts.

1/31/2007 12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re article submissions to CP, four months from submission to first reply. A year from acceptance to publication. ... But you may want to be careful with CP, as I and another recent author had unapproved rewrites in the final version (mangled, ugly prose in my case, but his final version had errors that weren't in the final draft he submitted). They don't give page proofs. So I'd just be very firm with them upfront.

1/31/2007 3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my experience (4 books, maybe 12 presses), you hear right away from presses that are interested in your book, while the no answers can take some time to dribble in (although I always heard eventually from the negatives). Also, the CP numbers just given are right, and I haven't had the mangling problem.

1/31/2007 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've spent the last five years in visiting positions, all of them at quality schools, four of them at some of the nation's top-rated LACs. I should note that, for idiosyncratic reasons, my first two years of teaching took place when I had not yet received my Ph.D.

Everywhere I've gone, I have received top-notch evaluations. Students get upset when they find out that I'm not coming back next year. As far as I know, I'm considered an affable, low-maintenance colleague.

I've also published a book with a well-regarded commercial press. One weakness: I haven't published an article in a top peer-reviewed journal. I've published, but not in JoP/APSR/AJPS, etc. I'm working on this.

I'm told that my recommendations are excellent.

Yet I still can't get a TT position. I've had a few campus visits over the years, but nothing has come of them.

Any thoughts? Suggestions?

2/02/2007 5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did you get your PhD?

2/02/2007 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A good, but not top-notch, program. Some of my colleagues have gone on to excellent jobs, some had to drop out of academia. So not Harvard, but not Podunk State either.

2/02/2007 6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What kind of places have you been applying to? LAC's? R1? Teaching-focused or research-focused jobs?

That you've received interviews is very promising, and it could be that what you need just as much as a couple of well placed journal articles is some good luck.

2/02/2007 10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:23 -- I've applied for all sorts of jobs. Ideally, I'd like a place where I could balance research and teaching -- maybe a really good LAC or a smaller university. I don't think I'm cut out for a R1, but I don't want to be stuck with a 4-4 at an obscure little college either.

2/02/2007 10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a thought (and it's just an idea...so others please say so if you think it's bad advice). Would it be a good idea to expunge those years of visiting positions that you held while still ABD from you vita? This way it would look like you've "only" been out on the market 2-3 years (which isn't so bad or unusual). The reason I suggest this is that having 5 years of visiting positions on your CV might cause search committees to think that you're damaged goods. I'm afraid that this is one example of a herd mentality at work in our profession ("if everybody else declined to hire him for 5 years, then there *must* be something wrong with him"). If your teaching record is as strong as you describe, then it would still be a plus even with the briefer record.

The other thing to consider is some way of addressing your record candidly. Is there some way you can demonstrate that you are clearly a better candidate now than you were 2-3 years ago (other than just being older and wiser)? I say this because it took me 3 years on the market to land a job (again, not that unusual!) and there were honestly some things that I didn't figure out until that final (successful) year.

Good luck, and as with all advice, take this for what it's worth!

2/03/2007 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My semi-advice as someone in a not dissimilar boat is to pick one of two routes:

* Try to get a renewable visiting position (2+ years) to crank out that Top 3 piece that will get you a desirable (from your POV) TT. Summer is research time... and you can't do research if you're spending a month dealing with moving bullshit and another month earning the money you need to afford to move.

* Take an "obscure 4-4" with the mindset of trying to meet the tenure requirements at a better institution and NOT being worried about getting tenure there (i.e. do more research and put less emphasis than your colleagues might like on teaching and service). Don't do so little you get fired - but don't try to be teacher of the year either.

No matter which you choose, seek to minimize your effective teaching load by minimizing preps, sections, and days on campus, as much as possible in the institutional framework. Get these things in your contract/offer letter up front. Don't teach completely new classes if you can avoid it - you have enough teaching experience already. Strip out things that are hard/time-consuming to grade from your syllabi. Try to get as many mindless/low-prep classes as you can like intro to American.

Maximize your research time by only applying for ideal jobs your first year - not just jobs that are better than the one you have. (You'd be surprised how much time you waste working on cover letters and fighting with Interfolio.)

Focus on getting articles out, rather than starting new stuff. Don't go to conferences except possibly APSA (and then only if the meat market has previously gotten you interviews).

Luck, of course, is also a component.

Note that this is a very Machiavellian approach and not for everyone - my inner moral compass has problems with some of these things. But if you want that tenure-track 3-3 or less job, you need to make the sale of saying "I can do serious research while teaching a higher load than you require - so imagine what I could do with a 3-3."

2/03/2007 2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Possibly worth reading, for those thinking about going to grad school:

http://orgtheory.wordpress.com/
2007/01/30/grad-skool-rulz-3-choosing-the-grad-skool/

2/04/2007 4:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re the idea of stripping out the ABD years spent in temp post, I don't think it will work. You either have a long time to completion with no explanation why it took that long, or you have a record that shows more teaching experience to demonstrate (and testimonial letters from that phase).

While many people don't do a great job constructing their CV's, I think I'd play this one straight on the CV and follow the other good advice you've been offered here.

2/04/2007 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A related question: which will get you more looks later on down the road, two years as a visiting professor at an R1 or two years in a TT assistant professor position at "Lesser" State?

2/04/2007 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:45 --

Beats me. I'm wrestling with that question myself.

2/04/2007 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to everyone for their comments.

9:27 --

Agreed on the CV. I'm a little too well-known to pretend that a year or two of my professional life didn't occur. I think people would catch on.

2:53 --

The "obscure 4-4" places tend to look at my CV and tell me I've already published too much, and have too much planned for the future.

Not to present myself as more noble than I am, but I suspect that I'm too conscientious a teacher to ever carry out your plan. I'd probably spend too much time on my classes, and get stuck at the 4-4 forever.

10:31 --

Wouldn't publishing a book have made me a stronger candidate than I was 2-3 years ago?

2/04/2007 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:27: 2:53 here; yes, agreed on all points. Frankly I'm surprised I've gotten interviews at some 4-4s with my non-negligible methods background.

2/04/2007 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since I'm not on the market now, I don't understand the distinctions being made here. You can't divide the academic world into just three parts: 4-4, R1, and LAC's. There are middle grounds, including universities with 3-3 or similar (e.g, the CalStates and the lesser Suny's, right?)

It seems to me that some of the 3-3's have aspirations that their faculty develop research profiles and that they will also stick around as their careers develop. Most do not want a staff that is forever turning over or temporary.

2/04/2007 1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To amplify my previous post about the classification system, we've had fair success in placing students at the CalStates and the Suny's at different levels over the years (as well as at major research departments). Most good doctoral departments only place a few of their graduates at top-ranked schools; the majority go elsewhere, many quite willingly based on their interests and tastes.

2/04/2007 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if you don't want to stay at a 3-3 forever? What if rural life is not for you?

2/04/2007 2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What "interests and tastes" would make people want to teach at a 3-3? This isn't an attempt at snark or sarcasm, I'm just curious. If the answer is "family-friendly environment," that wouldn't apply to me becuase I don't have one and don't expect to.

2/04/2007 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few that occur to me:
1. A more laid-back lifestyle (lower tenure expectations).
2. Wanting to teach less-privileged or first-generation college students.
3. Location (which doesn't have anything to do with the teaching load per se but may constrain your options about where you can get a job). And 3-3s can be in rural or urban settings, of course.
4. Wanting to be a big fish in a small pond.

I'm sure there are plenty of other reasons; these are just ones that occur to me. You may think they're stupid, but that just means there's one less person competing for the R1 job you want, right?

2/04/2007 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My personal feeling is that many 3-3s that aren't LACs combine the worst of both worlds: an increasing expectation for research with little/none of the support that R1 faculty get (but an expectation your pubs get published at the places R1 faculty will get into), and mediocre-to-remedial students that are a real time-sink for faculty.

The one thing 3-3s (aka Directional/Historical Figure State) have in their favor is that they're pretty ubiquitous. If you want to live in a particular region of the country, there are quite a few 3-3s around. That isn't the case for R1s (1-2 per state in many places) and LACs (largely concentrated in the northeast and midwest, reflecting 19th century population patterns - how many new LACs have been built since WW2?).

2/04/2007 3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope, don't think those reasons are stupid. Some of them might appeal to me, others not at all. Different people have different needs.

Most of the 3-3 (or 4-3) jobs I've encountered have been in what I see as rural areas, but I'm from a big-city background, so most places seem rural to me.

2/04/2007 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if a 3-3 is not what you want, but it's what you can get?

2/04/2007 3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 3-3's that 3:25 PM describes would be a pretty bad deal. I wonder how many places are really like that.

Keep in mind the same thing can be said about some lower-tier R1s and LACs (i.e., unreasonably high publication expectations for the support provided).

2/04/2007 6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you really care about your job and want to swim up the tenure stream, you will end up working 60 hr weeks almost no matter what type of institution you end up in. It's just a question of what mix of activities you'll have to (or be able to) engage in to keep your job and move up.

The overwhelming majority of academic jobs involve more than 2-2 teaching loads. Only a small number involve less than that (unless you've got an admin assignment or other duties that release you from teaching).

If you have ambitions to do research (or are expected to do so) and you have more than a 2-2 or 2-3 load it becomes very important to limit the number of separate preparations each year, the types of writing assignments you give, your involvement in student advising, and so on. Sometimes you even trade off by taking on a humongous section that might count for 2 courses. There are some other work-arounds.

Not mentioned so far on this thread is what you do during your summers. You try to get paid during them, and also to work on research mainly. But sometimes those two don't go together. I've been fortunate over an extended career to have had summer money every summer from teaching, grants, or admin assignments. It's meant that my de facto income has typically been 22 to 33 percent higher than my official one. But some summer teaching appointments aren't worth the opportunity costs, so you need to keep focused on your longer-term interests.

2/05/2007 1:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in a 2-2 teaching position and the research expectations are relatively low (at least compared to my colleagues from grad school who are at r1 schools with a 2-2). Even with such low expectations, I have found it really difficult to get research done this first year. I have had to do four new preps because we don't teach Intros as part of that 2-2. I am not complaining about that given that I know there are a lot of people doing six new preps their first year. I would suggest that anyone on the market find out a bit about research support (and I do not mean in terms of money). I would find out what is available in terms of grad students or undergrads to help out, facilities if you do surveys or experiments, etc. Of course, you will be told that all of this is easily available. It usually isn't if you are not at a R1. Do some research if you can and see about getting these things spelled out for you before signing the contract.

2/05/2007 5:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My personal feeling is that many 3-3s that aren't LACs combine the worst of both worlds: an increasing expectation for research with little/none of the support that R1 faculty get (but an expectation your pubs get published at the places R1 faculty will get into), and mediocre-to-remedial students that are a real time-sink for faculty.


Maybe it's a half-empty/half-full thing, but to me it seems to be the best of both worlds - The 3-3 state university position I just accepted offers considerable research support (money, research assistance, course releases, etc.) with relatively low publishing expectations (at least as far as press/journal prestige is concerned).
As for the students - they might have "mediocre-to-remedial" academic skills (although it sure didn't seem that way from the teaching demo class and MA students I met with), but seem to be a lot more dedicated and interesting than the vast majority I've taught at the R-1 I attended as a grad student.

2/05/2007 8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, here's a new nomination for unprofessional behavior by a search committee.

Two or three weeks ago, Western Illinois University sent an email to me saying they had drawn up a short list, that phone interviews would take place in early February, and to let them know if I was still interested in the position. I responded in the affirmative right away.

I hadn't heard anything since then, so I just emailed to ask if there was any news, and I was told, that the short list had been drawn up and phone interviews conducted already.

To my mind, that original email was a nearly ideal combination of misleading and rude.

2/05/2007 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go to the REP blog. One story detailed there probably beats yours.

2/05/2007 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The REP blog? What's that?

2/05/2007 11:39 AM  
Blogger Paul Gronke said...

To 2/02/2007 5:39 PM

Email me if you'd like and I can share some thoughts off-blog.

I can tell you that five years of visiting gigs can hurt, but a few while ABD provides some cover.

2/05/2007 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you guys can give me some advice on this. I've been admitted into several Ph.D. programs. But I'm a foreign student and I have an obligation to go back home for two years. Therein lies a dilemma. I would like to get a teaching job in the U.S. when I finish. Does the inability to be on the market immediately after graduation seriously injures your chances of getting employment? Should I go back now, "do my time" and then start the program with that obligation taken care of? Is it possible to go back for a couple of year as an ABD and then come back to defend and get on the market? Sorry for asking too many questions, but I would greatly appreciate your advice.

2/06/2007 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many people who have this requirement can manage to fit it in during the dissertation writing stage, and then come back to finish up and go on the job market. As long as you will be able to work form your home country (access to whatever research resources you need) I think that is not a bad solution.

2/06/2007 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best thing is probably to go back to your home country as an ABD, and finish your dissertation from there. Once you are ready to defend (and the two years have elapsed) return to the US and go on the market.

2/06/2007 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is possible to take time off as an ABD (or new PhD) and still get a job, but it probably would hurt your chances.

I would say that the answer depends on the nature of your obligation (I'm guessing it's military service, but perhaps not). If this obligation is going to keep you from doing any research for those two years, then I would suggest fulfilling your obligation now so that you can start your academic career afterwards and work continuously on it. If you would still be able to work on your dissertation while fulfilling this obligation (but be realistic!), then you could probably go ahead and start now.

Have you discussed the possibility of deferring your enrollment with the programs that have admitted you?

2/06/2007 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Use a combination of home country dissertation writing and delayed start date of job.

2/06/2007 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would say that the answer depends on the nature of your obligation (I'm guessing it's military service, but perhaps not)

I'm pretty sure the poster is referring to USCIS / ICE home-return-requirements surrounding some student visas.

Of course, the quickest way to deal with this would probably be to marry an American and file for AOS if there are any Americans that interest you.

2/06/2007 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry about that. I'm not familiar with that rule (and what's amazing is that my wife's foreign...does that say anything about the state of our current immigration policy?). Does this rule mean that the poster wouldn't have any sort of student visa during those two years? And, if so, can a student stay enrolled in a graduate program without a visa?

2/06/2007 12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In terms of the way that one's publishing record is considered down the line for tenure purposes, what is the significance of, say, an article or edited volume being co-authored, rather than single-authored? (That is, does a co-authored work "count" for much less?) Also, if one has done most or all of the work on a project before receiving one's Ph.D., but the publication "comes out" after one has already begun a tenure-track position, would that publication "count"?

While I'm sure this varies somewhat by place, and that naturally one would ask people in the know at the institution, any thoughts here would be much appreciated.

2/07/2007 5:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. On co-authorship, how it "counts" depends in part on whether one author is clearly the lead-author. In my experience, the lead-author can get as much as 75-100% "credit" for a paper. But the other author can still get close to 50% (yes, more than 100% total), i.e., it's a half-article, if their contribution was clearly significant. If there's no lead author, in my experience when there is a simple counting going on then two authors each get ca. 75% -- again, more than 100%.

(Not going into how lead authorship is determined--conventions differ across disciplines.)

2. I'm currently sitting on a college-level promotion committee and as I read the letters from chairs and outside reviewers, it's clear that having several lead-authored or (even better) sole-authored pieces is very important to the candidate's credibility. This doesn't have to be a majority of your work, but enough to establish your own professional persona and that you can be the creator/initiator of significant work, not just a helper-bee.

If you do that often enough to establish your credibility, then for the "simple coauthored" piece with no identified lead-author (e.g., in polisci where the authors are listed alphabetically without a footnote about who is the lead author) you're like to receive more credit than otherwise (50-75% as I mentioned before); it's believable that you are coauthoring with somebody in that case because you're both bringing something important to the table.

3. When stuff counts also depends on the purpose of the counting. If you're coming up for promotion and tenure, then the totality of your publication record from grad school through your academic career is looked at; also, if reviewers take a look at citation counts, it's going to be your earlier stuff that has a greater chance to be cited.

However, many departments and colleges also take a look at what you have done at your current job or since you entered a tenure-stream position. On the forms that I'm reviewing now, the department chairs have to indicate both total number of publications (of various types) and total within the tenure-stream years or last 6 years. (And they refer to when published, or accepted if it's still forthcoming or in press.)

Personally, I don't cut things that finely. I'm interested in the total record, the rate, and the momentum, but more importantly I'm looking for evidence of the impact of the research.

Counting also may differ a bit for articles and books. While people may credit you for a forthcoming paper (accepted but not yet in print), they're often justifiably skeptical about a forthcoming book. One reason is that forthcoming books are often still being heavily revised, so what's to read? Another is that forthcoming books, i.e., books under contract, often never get published either because the author never really finishes it or because the editor has the right to publish only an "acceptable manuscript," and the editor defines that's acceptable. So book contracts, and forthcoming books, are often discounted for "credit."

Another factor is that revisions and preparation of book manuscripts can go on and on -- even take years. And thus a "forthcoming" book or a book "under contract" really doesn't have a fixed publication date yet, even if it has a target date for submission of the final manuscript. However, a book that's "in press" means something very specific: the final manuscript has been submitted. So if your book is at that stage, and is being edited or in the printing process, you should use the stronger "in press" term and the date of publication rather than "forthcoming," or "under contract."

Some people go even further than that. Not only must a book be out and in print but it must have been reviewed before it can be evaluated. (This is where external tenure reviewers may come in, to help give advanced "reviews" of recently accepted or published work. Sometimes such a reviewer's sole assignment is to assess the most recent book, ora a book manuscript -- and not to do the whole tenure review. I've played that role a couple of times.)

4. Counting within your own department, for purposes of annual merit review, may follow different rules. I tell our PhD's that the last thing they should do after accepting a job is to send in another copy of their CV -- that is, the CV that got them their job. And be sure to put a date on it.

That way, anything that's added later, e.g., journal acceptance of a previously listed but unpublished paper, will be "new." BTW/ it's not so much the date of publication but the date of acceptance that matters, since articles can be "forthcoming" (accepted but not yet published) for quite a while sometimes, even a year or longer.

Thus when you come around to your first annual review, you can indicate "accepted since hired." And at each successive annual review, you can indicate "accepted since last annual report."

2/07/2007 6:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When would people say it's fair to say a book is "in press"? I've always been very conservative on this one and gone with "when you can find it on the publisher's web site," but the above excellent post would seem to suggest that once the final manuscript is in the hands of the copy editors, it's a fair claim to make.

Ooooo!! Maybe I'm hotter than I thought I was!

2/07/2007 6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys, I have a question: Suppose you are already on the 2nd or 3rd year of your Ph.D.; have developed a relatively good research agenda (attend conferences, you are on your way of getting published, etc.); got good grades and references, but your department has been going downhill in the last two years. How recommendable is it to change to another Ph.D. program when you are on the verge of starting the dissertation path? Should I instead stick to my guns, and try to get a pre or post doctoral appointment elsewhere? My institution has a good ranking, but it's not top 20.

2/07/2007 10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you can transfer into a top 15 Dept you should do so.

2/07/2007 10:21 AM  

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