Saturday, December 15, 2007

Old American Job Rumors Dec. 15>

710 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the Clark to Illinois rumor true?

12/15/2007 7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as you know

12/15/2007 7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, Clark is not going to Illinois.

12/15/2007 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where then?

12/15/2007 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given his interests, Emory makes the most sense.

12/15/2007 9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any news on Missouri State?

12/15/2007 9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Price is not doing mortgages. He's using his quant skills for the uber-rich, making himself uber-rich in the process. He left Washington largely because of these stupid salary numbers being thrown around here. Starting lawyers (and law school is much, much easier than the PhD) making $165, and we really care about the difference between $60 and $80?

12/15/2007 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some lawyers make over $100k starting, but that is certainly a small minority of lawyers...

12/15/2007 10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently this Price guy was so brilliant that it took him all of grad school and several years in a tenure-track position to figure out what most of knew by our sophomore year in high school: if you're in it for the money, don't become an academic.

12/15/2007 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any news on Wyoming's non-judicial search? U of Southern Cal?

12/15/2007 10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did Missouri State do on campus interviews yet for the American position?

12/15/2007 11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any news on SUNY-Brockport? Have they made any phone calls?

12/15/2007 11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How wed to Congress/Presidency is Northern Illinois? Have they made any calls?

12/15/2007 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has Harvard's KSG invited anyone out for talks? I realize the deadline just passed, but they indicated that candidates might be invited out prior to the deadline.

12/15/2007 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: UNO (from past thread). I don't think it is flooding that is putting people off, it is the daily tribulations of living in New O. Crime is rampant. Neighborhoods are deteriorating. Public schools are a disaster.

UNO, Tulane, etc are going to have a real struggle to rebuild. Best of luck to them, but don't minimize the challenge.

12/15/2007 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Missouri State has an offer out. Any more info?

12/15/2007 1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Platt has not accepted Harvard offer. Wiki has been corrected

12/15/2007 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any word about potential openings in Public Law for next year?

12/15/2007 9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever happened with the senior AP search at UC-Davis? Has an offer been extended?

What about the Wash U searches?

Is Nickerson leaving UND?

12/16/2007 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ferejohn now full time at NYU, no longer keeping an affiliation with Stanford.

12/17/2007 5:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NYU is becoming quite the power.

Who teaches Congress there?

12/17/2007 6:14 AM  
Anonymous Tom Clark said...

The wiki report that I have accepted the position at Emory is incorrect. I have not yet accepted any position.

12/17/2007 6:36 AM  
Anonymous Cool Hand Luke said...

I reassert my comment earlier why do we have to use names as we can see people have already made huge errors by saying people are off the market when they haven't even accepted a position. Naming names is just stupid and childish especially since some of it is by people who know they are lying when they do it in order to bolster their own position. There should be a new rule here if you name names you should not be able to remain anonymous. You should have to give your name as well. Let's just call it quality control or better yet personal responsibility.

12/17/2007 7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rich Rodriguez accepts UMich offer.

12/17/2007 7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool Hand Luke: I agree with you about naming names, and I've been arguing the same point myself. But it's clear that the only way this will actually happen is through comment moderation (as on the IR Rumor Mill) or some other system of enforcement. As political scientists, we'd be fools to expect anything different.

12/17/2007 9:15 AM  
Blogger American and Comparative Politics Job Blog said...

Please avoid posting anything derogatory or potentially derogatory about candidates. In addition, posting false information or non-verified information should also be avoided.

12/17/2007 10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rich: Great hire for Blue.

12/17/2007 2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Platt has acceptedd Harvard. Source: department email.

12/17/2007 7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thoughts on an APSA proposal from a graduate student for a paper that hasn't been started yet? Is this common? What should the abstract look like?

With an hour left to submit...

12/17/2007 7:50 PM  
Anonymous apsa section chair said...

"Thoughts on an APSA proposal from a graduate student for a paper that hasn't been started yet?"

wrong board/wrong tactic in so many ways...

12/17/2007 8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the poster was looking for advice, section chair...

Mine: Risky move. But you'll probably just get a poster anyway.

12/17/2007 8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rich: Great hire for Blue.

12/17/2007 2:31 PM

Um, "maize and blue..."

12/17/2007 8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I submitted anyway. Thanks for your thoughts 8:34, and for nothing 8:22.

And I know it's the wrong board, but thought someone would be looking given the traffic.

12/17/2007 8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any news on the UMASS search?

12/17/2007 9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Vikings beat the Bears.

12/17/2007 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UMASS offer accepted by Rhodes (Virginia ABD)

12/17/2007 10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Any news on the UMASS search?

Heard that they are still accepting applications and are looking for American candidates to fill remaining positions

12/18/2007 5:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's going on at Notre Dame? Do they have a short list?

12/18/2007 6:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anybody read Robert Brownstein's new book, The Second Civil War? It's a journalist's take on polarization in Washington. I'm usually skeptical of journalistic accounts, but this book has received pretty good reviews. Any thoughts from the board? If polisci people like it, maybe I'll pick it up.

12/18/2007 6:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just received it as a gift, and it's hard going. He has a premise that would have made a good op-ed piece but he's trying his darnedest to stretch it out. It reads, as do many journalistic books, as though he has an idea and looked for anything he could find to support his thesis, ignoring evidence to the contrary (as in some of Gladwell's work). All in all, I would not recommend purchase, although I'm glad to have received it as a gift.

12/18/2007 6:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the reference regarding Gladwell's work? Does he also ignore research that doesn't support his arguments?

12/18/2007 6:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's going on at SUNY-Buffalo? I see one decline; have they gone to their number two or not?

12/18/2007 6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're Mak, you should probably email their chair or something.

If you're Moyer, who I happen to know through friends was their other candidate, you already took a job at LSU.

If you're other, why do you care?

12/18/2007 7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it is someone on the short list hoping they move down the list...

12/18/2007 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it is someone on the short list hoping they move down the list...

12/18/2007 10:02 AM

Precisely...

12/18/2007 10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any word on SUNY-Brockport?

12/18/2007 11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Montana is planning on bringing people out for interviews in February. No word when they will be making calls.

12/18/2007 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quick question: I interviewed at a university earlier this fall. They made an offer to someone else, and notified another candidate that they would not receive an offer. The offer that they extended was accepted. I haven't heard anything from the school. Will they contact me to let me down or will I never hear from them again?

12/18/2007 4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, 4:59:

This is something that really irks me about the profession. If you are "good" enough to get invited to a campus interview, I should think that the hiring department would keep you in the loop about their plans.
Case in point: I had a job interview at an institution, and the department met to make its decision. I notified the chair that I had another offer that I was seriously considering. I was told that it was up the Dean to contact candidates...and a week later, I have heard zippo.

I think departments should call everyone up who they brought out and let them know their status as soon as it is decided. If you are the second choice, they should tell you that straight up. It is the right thing to do, and the tasty way to do it...

12/18/2007 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They should contact you but may not. It is typically a sin of omission.

12/18/2007 5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was on the job market, I interviewed at a Department and told the chair of another offer I had that I was considering. the chair told me the date the Department would be meeting and promised that I would at least have an update from them by a certain date. I subsequently kept the chair updated on developments on my end, including other offers I received (and declined).

To this day, I have never received any response from the chair. It has been a long time. I will never hear from the Department.

The moral of the story is that just because a Department thinks you are "good enough" to bring out for a job talk does not mean that you are "good enough" to invest additional resources to make a phone call and tell you that you did not get the job. This is why the blog has become useful to candidates over the past few years.

(Slightly tongue in cheek)

12/18/2007 5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In our case, we have in the past notified those that would not get offers (b/c were deemed below the bar or poor fits) and those that did get offers, but left those that were above the bar but not the first choice "hanging" in the event that our first choice turned us down (and in the interest of not letting the 2nd candidate know they were 2nd--of course, with the expansion of the blogs, this second point may become moot).

In another case, we didn't notify a 2nd choice right away b/c we were actively trying to lobby the Provost for another line based on the exceptional quality of that candidate (and the fact that we knew we were likely to get another line the next year anyway, so this was just like asking for our allowance a year earlier).

So, it could be that a school drops the ball or it could be that they are waiting on word from the 1st candidate or it could be that they are scrambling to put together a 2nd line or it could be that they are doing some other random thing entirely.

When in doubt, _if you interviewed at the place and have another offer deadline approaching but would be at the place you haven't heard from_ keep the lines of communication very open and email the campus contact to ask about the status of the search before you make final decisions.

12/18/2007 5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, this is 4:59,

Thanks for the insight and advice. This is an odd process to me. As misery loves company, it's nice to think that others have been in the same boat. The school I haven't heard from is where I would most like to be, hence my anxiety. I'll contact them with my options and see where it goes. My decisions don't have to be made until early January.

12/18/2007 6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:59 - I am in your position too. In my case, I am actually sitting on an offer that is my first choice, but I feel like I need to know what the second offer (should it come) looks like to be sure that I am making the right decision. I have told both schools of the situation, and can only wait to hear from the second. In some schools the lines of communication between chairs and deans are efficient, in others it is not. I do think that it is incumbent for all involved to be as honest as possible - that means candidate AND schools.

12/18/2007 6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:14

Don't be surprised if even though your second-choice school likes you it figures out that you prefer the school that's already given you an offer. While it may be incumbent on both candidates and employers to be as honest as possible, both candidates (e.g., you) and schools (e.g., your #2 choice) often act strategically in their decisions. At this stage in the recruiting season your #2 choice may decide to go directly to it's #2 choice rather than wait for you to reject them.

12/18/2007 7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:46 here again (to 6:14)

I guess what I'm suggesting is that if you are being as honest as possible, you might save your number #2 school from the risk that it would lose its #2 candidate if you were to accept the offer from your #1 school right away. You might even earn some good will from your #1 school that way.

This all depends, of course, on how strong your preference is for your #1. If it's pretty obvious to you now that you're going to accept the offer, then your most "honest" approach might be obvious at this time. You could have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, as could your new Department chair, as its recruiting task would be done. And you'd probably thereby also make your #2 happier as well by not wasting its time.

12/18/2007 7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if there is a wiki/blog for Criminal Justice?

12/19/2007 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's up with the Notre Dame search?

12/20/2007 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever happened with Greg Huber an the Harris School (Chicago)? Did that ever go anywhere?

Also, what's the over-under (in years) on how long EBDM stays at Harris?

12/20/2007 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did UC-Davis make a senior offer?

12/20/2007 7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Davis made a senior offer.

Source: UCD faculty member.

12/20/2007 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who got the offer? Something tells me that De Boef...

12/20/2007 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Odd if UC-Davis gets De Boef and two of her students in the same year.

12/20/2007 2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The University of New Orleans is going back to the applicant pool for their public law position.

12/20/2007 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought UNO's search was "open field" for multiple positions?

Rejection letter from College of Charleston today; unclear if this is just "you didn't make the shortlist" or "we've actually hired" or something in between.

Update letter from Randolph-Macon saying they plan to interview finalists in late January. Keeping applicants informed, what a novel concept!

12/20/2007 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wiki has Stokes-Brown (FSU) to Bucknell. FSU loses assistants to top schools, but Bucknell? Is something else going on there, or is this just a personal decision?

12/20/2007 11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently Burns is not leaving Michigan.

12/21/2007 7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wiki Correction: Portillo (Kansas, ABD) was not offered the public law position at George Mason. She is a Public Administration Ph.D. Wiki has been updated.

12/21/2007 7:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, Bucknell is a prestigious liberal arts university with a pretty big endowment. The teaching load is probably only slightly higher than a research one, the pay is probably comparable and the travel money is probably much better. PLUS schools like this sometimes have little pots of money for those who do research...since not all that many are really active at some LACs, this money is easier to get.

Last, some here like the whole job...teaching, research and service. Some schools only reward one of those...others like Bucknell likely reward all three if you excel in them.

12/21/2007 7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wiki reports an accepted offer at Delaware under public law. Since this is the end of the search, who was it?

12/21/2007 7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, please, let's not get into the whole teaching versus research, work versus family, R1 versus LAC... I think that equine carcass has been sufficiently bludgeoned, wouldn't you agree? Instead, those of you who have been sitting on various job rumors - it's the holidays! Spill the beans and tell us what you know! Think of it as an early Christmas present (for those readers who do celebrate Christmas, that is.)

12/21/2007 7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Word I'm hearing from Emory is that they're telling people Clark accepted (despite Clark's denials on this board)

12/21/2007 7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

California State U. Long Beach has made two hires. I don't know their names.

12/21/2007 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did UGA make an offer?

12/21/2007 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heard Georgia's offer was just declined.

12/21/2007 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did Mississippi ever make an offer?

12/21/2007 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mississippi did make an offer.

UI-Springfield is contacting references and will interview in late Jan. or early Feb.

UNO is hiring 4 positions, including a public position

12/21/2007 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clark turned down UIUC and NU, so by process of elimination...

12/21/2007 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any news on where Montana State is in the process?

12/21/2007 11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Missouri State?

12/21/2007 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who got the offer at Mississippi?

12/21/2007 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To revisit what seems to be an ongoing problem of lack of professionalism in academia, I entered the mkt believing that it was unethical to accept an offer then if a better one comes along take it. I don't anymore. If schools are not going to inform candidates in a professional and direct way, and rather use the entire force of the leverage they have throughout the process (by hiding that they've made an offer to #1), then they get what they have coming to them if in Feb a more desirable school offers to Candidate #2 who found out about being second.

12/21/2007 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huh?

12/21/2007 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In our dept. to my knowledge we've always been on the up and up in keeping candidates informed of their status. This doesn't mean they get hour by hour updates. But if, say, we make an offer to #1, and we really have an above-the-bar #2, we do our best to convince the #2 that we really like him or her and that if we eventually come their way with an offer it will be because of that. It's in our and #2 candidate's mutual interest to have that common understanding.

But of course our #2 has to take care of his or her own interests and if an offer comes along while their waiting for our #1 to make a decision, then it's their decision. And if our #2 takes an offer elsewhere, we're not going to poach or to look kindly on #2 for reneging on that acceptance. It's not in our interest or in #2's interest to sully our reputations by behaving like that.

12/21/2007 4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:00

I catch what you're pitching, and if communication is open, honest and direct, then no problems. However, it's when depts are clearly maximizing their leverage throughout the process (for example, by not sharing info, or by hiding that they've made an offer to another candidate to cover their bases) that problems begin. On the day a decision is made, let every candidate know where they stand and this should be, at least informally, institutionalized. Next day, send out a letter to all candidates. To do otherwise is not only unprofessional, but disrespectful. Particularly for ABDs, there is no pt in your entire career to date that one has leverage until the pt of an offer--and these common approaches by depts only serve to build on this form of alienation. I'm not saying that I personally would renege on an acceptance, but I clearly understand it now. Frankly, this process has altered my mindset from one of professional collegiality to one of solely looking out for my best interests. Clearly, it has undermined any sense of loyalty I had and may have in the future. I'm not sure this is good for me, any dept, univ and the profession.

12/21/2007 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Cool Hand Luke said...

Loyalty can always be leveraged don't forget that. Taking care of # 1 is the priority in any job search. However, if you accept an offer and sign the contract remember thats a legal binding agreement. So the university can go after you if they choose to. So don't pull a Petrino or a Houson Nutt. Because it may not be as easy for you to get away with it although i've seen people do it. It actually happened to us 2 years ago and i don't look favorable on the person who did it.

12/21/2007 6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure what you mean, Luke. What exactly did the person do?

12/21/2007 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mississippi offer to Deason.

12/21/2007 7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not in your interest to renege on an accepted offer. Not only does it break a legally binding contract, but it gives you a bad professional reputation. Obviously you can continue the search and consider other offers up until the moment you accept one, and schools take the risk that you will go elsewhere if they leave you out there without making an offer, but hard to see how a delay in receiving an offer affects your obligations once you've accepted one.

12/21/2007 7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any good rumors heading into the New Year?

12/22/2007 8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

um, you need to chat with your law school about a refund. In short, even after the contract is signed, the most any school could do is prohibit you from taking a comparable job in their neighborhood and even that is unlikley in most states. These contracts are aspirational in nature and the 14th amendment makes any involuntary servitude unconstitutional. A school could conceivabley sue for damages, but those would be slight and speculative

12/22/2007 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reputation costs can be pretty severe, however. At least in theory.

What is the half-life on this sort of reputational hit?

12/22/2007 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thirteenth Amendment.

12/22/2007 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On reneging: Regardless of whether there is an recourse for the dept, word gets around about those who've done it...it happened a couple of times last year and those names are likely circulating in the discipline.

12/22/2007 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Notre Dame Senior American Institutions search has an application deadline of January 15th. This is the first of three AP lines created through a recent $10 m endowment.

12/22/2007 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

$10 million endowment and 3 lines for American Politics. Wow. I wish my university had that type of cash floating around.

12/22/2007 9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does ND get to spend the endowment, or only interest off the endowment?

12/22/2007 10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re reneging, we had a case in my department some years ago when a faculty member from elsewhere negotiated a tenured appointment, for which we had to put together the money from two untenured posts. Then that faculty member deferred for a year. Then that faculty member reneged. We lost two positions as a result because his reneging coincided with a budget cutback.

I made a point of relating the story to others in the profession. I had more occasion to do this than some others might have because I was a department chair.

Did that person suffer any negative consequences? Who knows. But I did my best.

12/22/2007 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how much your reputation suffered for being thought of as a holder of grudges...fine to trash someone else, but doesn't the trashor pay a price too -

12/22/2007 11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The concern about ethics seems to be entirely one-sided. Hiring schools routinely act unethically but face no legal or reputational retaliation. Their infractions regularly include: giving candidates less than the required two weeks to decide, attempting to leverage a choice; misinforming or simply not informing candidates about their status, even after the search is concluded; and breaking federal laws in seeking diversity hiring (by excluding certain categories, often bringing in a candidate as a token whom they have no intention of hiring). I have personally witnessed each of these things occur, and the list is far from complete regarding unethical behavior on the hiring side.

I no longer believe that reneging or other market behavior by candidates is unethical, given the conduct of the other side and the asymmetry of power. I understand that the institutions control the norms and the ability to retaliate, so what is considered ethical serves their interests, but that so many individual members of the profession buy into it is a shame.

12/22/2007 12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the sins that you mention, I would add: (a) failing to put into writing what is promised verbally (candidates for jobs need to make sure all important promises are written down in the offer letter or acknowledged in emails or in response to acceptance letters); (b) failing to clarify the expected teaching assignments (with risk that the load and number of preps and actual courses to be offered may change with little or no notice). These are two things that I always try to get my own students to pin down once an offer comes: don't accept the offer til you get it in writing, clarify appointment conditions (starting time on budget, health care, etc.) and assignments. Though sometimes these require pulling teeth from the offering department, the offering departments eventually come through once they've settled on their candidate.

12/22/2007 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reneging on acceptances is very very rare, perhaps because of the general one-sidedness of the process. The case I mentioned above was not only rare but particularly egregious.

At the same time, I think the process isn't entirely one-sided, especially for appointments at advanced assistant or tenured levels, in which case the candidates often have a perfectly acceptable alternative to accepting an offer: they already have a job. Further, in many such cases, the candidates are not sincerely on the market but are mainly seeking to improve their situation at home (get a raise or a promotion or a reduced teaching load or research funds, etc.).

12/22/2007 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard that Rick Lau (Rutgers - NB) is heading to Vandy in fall 08. Can anyone confirm this?

12/22/2007 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oddly enough, I heard that Lau turned down Vandy, but was entertaining other offers. My source seemed in a position to know, but anything is possible.

12/22/2007 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard Vandy did not make an offer after courting Lau. I think he has another offer somewhere else (cant recall where, maybe Texas?)

12/22/2007 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Departments often suffer reputational hits if they engage in bad behavior, which may or may not deter them. In general, I think those who complain about departments or individuals look bad if their complaints seem unjustified or inappropriate, but do not if not.

12/22/2007 6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my understanding was that he did get an "offer". my guess is that they told him they want to hire him and he had to decide what he needed/wanted to come there.

12/22/2007 7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re reneging, we had a case in my department some years ago when a faculty member from elsewhere negotiated a tenured appointment, for which we had to put together the money from two untenured posts. Then that faculty member deferred for a year. Then that faculty member reneged. We lost two positions as a result because his reneging coincided with a budget cutback.

I made a point of relating the story to others in the profession. I had more occasion to do this than some others might have because I was a department chair.

Did that person suffer any negative consequences? Who knows. But I did my best.

---------

The question I would ask is why did the person renege? It's unethical to bash a reneger without providing context for the renege. There are many reasons a person may renege, and they aren't always malicious, even if the result is hurtful to departments.

Perhaps family reasons were in play with person who reneged. A colleague of mine reneged after a deferral (maybe the same case) because her partner decided, at the last minute, that she just wouldn't find adequate career-related work (the school wasn't very helpful for a non-academic spouse and the opportunities in surrounding areas were very limited) and the housing market was too pricey for the single salary where they intended and truly sought to move.

So, we should consider the circumstances that yield reneging rather than just cry to others that a candidate/contractor hurt our department. Also, talking bad about people to punish, even outright blackball, them in the discipline smacks of nothing short of outright vengeance, which isn't a virtue for any department, especially not its chair.

12/23/2007 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I respect people who decide to live THEIR lives, even via reneging an offer. My life is too short to worry about what a bunch of political scientists will/may think about me.

I once reneged on an offer. Frankly, it was painful and embarrassing. The stares I received at APSA were real and disheartening. Nonetheless, my action was liberating, too. I've been happy ever since.

12/23/2007 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You did your best to to try make another person suffer negative consequences? Are you proud of yourself? What did you hope would happen to the person? Did you really think you were doing good in the world by trying to blackball someone?

12/23/2007 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's start a list here of all the people we know who've reneged. Who wants to go first? The discipline needs to know who it can/can't trust.

12/23/2007 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, let's all praise selfishness and irresponsibility. I DO care about what political scientists think of me, as they are my colleagues and they are among my friends. And I also prefer not to think poorly of myself--which I would were I to fail to honor a commitment.

Hopefully I'll never find myself in a position in which I accepted a job and immediately regretted it. I've only applied for jobs I genuinely want, and I've contemplated the decisions carefully before signing the contract. But if I ever did find myself in such a position, I would contact the chair, explain what has changed, and offer to go ahead and make the move, if only for a year, if doing so would be helpful to the department. Better to defer, or take of leave of absence, at the preferred institution than to shamelessly stiff the department where I had the contract. Alternately, I'd try to get the institution where I wish to be to pay for adjuncts for a year at the other place to help ensure that their courses are covered.

What I'm so radically advocating is that we try to treat one another with some decency. Yes, departments and universities sometimes behave rather poorly, but we shouldn't view that as a free ticket to do the same.

12/23/2007 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE "The discipline needs to know who it can/can't trust."

Sometimes people make decisions they regret and/or cannot honor. Lighten up.

And please let's not have an anonymous spokesperson for "the discipline."

12/23/2007 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gee, wouldn't the discipline be BETTER served with a list of shady departments instead of shady candidates?

Y'all should relax. The reneging candidate is a rare beast and there is usually some compelling reason. This is not some widespread ubiquitous problem with lots of poor suffering deans and chairs paying the price. Far more common is the shady chair or dean who makes promises to a candidate that are then not quite actulaized. If we are going to start some blacklisting mechanisms (why do I feel like you must be republicans?) Let's start with shady chairs and shady departments.

12/23/2007 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding 8:40 AM, who said ...

"Let's start a list here of all the people we know who've reneged. Who wants to go first? The discipline needs to know who it can/can't trust."

I have been reading this "job rumor blog" for several months now. The above comment is the most shocking yet. I am glad you have never made a mistake in your life, that you can afford to be so unforgiving of others. This is true academia at work.

12/23/2007 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:40am was being facetious. I know because I'm 8:40am.

A friend of mine once reneged on a job because his wife decided that the new city wouldn't work for her for many reasons. My friend explained this to the chair of the department where he had accepted an offer. The chair told him that if he were my friend he'd "make his wife go." That approach and lack of understanding completely burned any good will or grace my friend might have shown the department he hurt by reneging.

12/23/2007 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think the poster was actually proposing a blacklist. Perhaps rather s/he wanted to point out how rare these incidents are. I've been in the discipline for more than two decades and can think of only one such case happening anywhere.

To the poster who pointed out that there can be extenuating circumstances (e.g., spousal hiring): true enough, but most of the time those circumstances come into play before someone accepts an offer, so there's no question of reneging on an initial acceptance, just a withdrawal of candidacy for a position.

12/23/2007 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A related issue of market strategy is when/whether applicants should disclose that their interest in a posted position is contingent on there being two jobs available (whether in the same department or in two different departments).

Formally, under state law, we cannot inquire about the marital status of the applicant or about any such contingencies. We try our best to consider each candidate on his or her own merits. But more than once we've been caught in the end by not being able to get the second position for the significant other of a candidate we wanted to hire; or an appropriate non-academic job proved to be unavailable in the area.

I recall one case in which after we'd decided to make an offer and then were told that there was a significant other, our candidate declared, "I thought the department knew when it invited me." Well it wasn't true in that case, and we couldn't come up with the second post, and thus the couple went elsewhere.

12/23/2007 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, an earlier poster raised the issue of a non-academic spouse being able to continue their career in the new town. There are plenty of good schools in not so great employment areas. Maybe after a year of searching and contacting prospective employers during the deferral period the spouse saw the true writing on the wall: employment or "would you like to supersize your order?"

Regardless, I think we can move on from the issue of reneging on contracts. It's not polite to renege but there may be good reasons for doing it. Also, it definitely isn't polite to blacklist anyone.

12/23/2007 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make that UNemployment!

Anyway, who were the big winners among department in hiring this year?

12/23/2007 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since something like 2% of searches are concluded at this point, it might be just a tiny bit early to declare winners and losers.

12/23/2007 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if specific schools will be going back to their candidate pools after the holidays?

12/23/2007 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I generally don't think there's a lot of value in going back to the pool if the first set of candidates don't pan out. We usually pick a set of finalists and one or two alternates from the pool, work those til we're done but do not go back to the "pool" if we don't find the quality we want or lose out to the competition.

Of course sometimes a candidate pops into view late for one reason or another, but that's pretty rare.

We generally don't have flexibility to move lines to different searches, so if, say, our American searches are finished and we haven't filled the slot we can't suddenly start looking in comparative or IR.

12/23/2007 5:23 PM  
Anonymous Lavrentiy Beria said...

"Let's start a list here of all the people we know who've reneged. Who wants to go first? The discipline needs to know who it can/can't trust."

--------------------------------

Excellent suggestion!

12/23/2007 8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beria's been dead for more than 50 years.

12/23/2007 9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old classics:

- What's up with Groseclose?

- What's up with Ting?

12/24/2007 5:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good job!

12/24/2007 3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bah! Humbug!

12/25/2007 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got the best Christmas present ever: my wife bought me a lifetime membership to the APSA!

12/25/2007 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, if you're not joking, then that's seriously sad.

12/25/2007 12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously, how much does a lifetime APSA membership cost?

12/25/2007 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, I'd be willing to bet that your APSA membership long outlives your marriage.

12/25/2007 2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jerk

12/25/2007 3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does the AJPS mean when their 2007 report says they will "hold" manuscripts?

12/25/2007 5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Earlier comment:

"um, you need to chat with your law school about a refund. In short, even after the contract is signed, the most any school could do is prohibit you from taking a comparable job in their neighborhood and even that is unlikley in most states. These contracts are aspirational in nature and the 14th amendment makes any involuntary servitude unconstitutional."

Um... at the risk of sounding confrontational, could we leave the analysis of contracts to attorneys, please? This sounds exactly like what the problem with Public Law has been over the last decade... social scientists who dabble with law-related subjects suddenly believing it qualifies them to practice.

There are many written agreements that are not contracts, and many oral ones that are. Each situation is different. Unless you actually see the alleged document or hear precisely what was allegedly said, there is no way you can responsibly assess (A) whether there's a contract in the first place, (B) whether one or both parties are in breach and/or (C) whether either party is entitled to remedies. And no, "involuntary servitude" and other wee constitutional gems have nothing to do with the average employment contract.

What IS an "aspirational contract," anyway?

On that note, what was this about UNO going back to their candidate pool? :)

12/25/2007 5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Probably wishful thinking... although you'd think with 4 positions to fill and 2 declined offers (one in PL, one in behavior/elections) you'd think there might be a need to go back to the pool.

12/25/2007 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:33

Good analysis. No "aspirational" aspect to letters of offer at my institution. They're approved all the way up to the top before they go out for a reason. If agreed to by the other party, you've got a contract.

When I was a chair I tried to get all details of understandings from conversations and emails into the initial letter of offer so that any promises that we made would be "enforceable" against a subsequent chair -- including not just salary and terms of appointment but also discussions and agreements about released time, research and travel funds, and specific teaching assignments. My letters of offer were typically 3 pages long.

12/25/2007 6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was there offer, acceptance, and consideration? If so, it is a contract.

12/25/2007 8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right, but what's the consideration in this case? Until the candidate has been paid by the university, or the university has received services from the candidate, no consideration has changed hands. Any damages from the employee backing out would surely be so small relative to the costs of enforcement that no university in its right mind would bother.

On a semi-related tangent: why aren't market stars able to secure signing bonuses? I mean, McDonald's is handing out cash on the spot to new burger flippers on the Gulf Coast, so you'd think Harvard could drop 10k up front to woo their #1 picks.

12/25/2007 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Was there offer, acceptance, and consideration? If so, it is a contract."

Wrong. There are plenty of exceptions here (promissory estoppel, merchant contracts under the UCC, etc.).

I'm sure offering unqualified legal opinions is not what is wrong with Public Law. It's not even in the top five.

How about job rumors? Novel idea, right?

And yes Virginia there are signing bonuses. We just call them "course releases," "start-up funds," etc.

12/26/2007 3:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Until the candidate has been paid by the university, or the university has received services from the candidate, no consideration has changed hands. Any damages from the employee backing out would surely be so small relative to the costs of enforcement that no university in its right mind would bother.

That's probably true, but what if the college renegs after the candidate has accepted the offer, taken herself the market, and shows up for the job? I think the candidate would likely be able to collect at least a year's salary and fringes.

12/26/2007 5:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That's probably true, but what if the college renegs after the candidate has accepted the offer, taken herself the market, and shows up for the job?"

Depending on the precise circumstances, this gets us a good way down the road of promissory estoppel, of which my colleague 3:57 AM spoke earlier. It works the other way too, of course-- if the candidate accepts and then backs out after the university or department has relied to their detriment on this characterization of the candidate's intent to come. But alas, probably better for a "legal issues in job searches" thread than "American Job Rumors," if you know what I mean.

3:57... OK, I'll agree it's not in the top five... but it's a pretty long list of "what's wrong" in the first place, so there's lots of good competition. But alas AGAIN, there are other threads.... ;)

12/26/2007 6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the prediction on where Malhotra goes? And when? His eventual acceptance will clear a good bit of the market.

12/26/2007 6:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

His eventual acceptance will clear a good bit of the market.

Doubt it. Most of the places that gave him offers are places that can offer as many jobs to candidates as they like. States schools would tend to be the exception (e.g. Berkeley). But I don't think that Yale is sitting around waiting to push another offer if Malhotra goes to Harvard. If they want to make an offer, they make it.

12/26/2007 7:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What departments will be interviewing in the New Year?

12/26/2007 7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:10 - while I admire your certitude,I wonder exactly how would those contracts be enforced. You will find the overwhleming body of caselaw suggests suppression of the provision of personal services is all but prohibited - you might keep the person from teaching in your neighborhood, but that's about it. Enough on this topic I suppose, but contracts for services are very special and difficult/impossible to enforce

12/26/2007 8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

an "aspirational contract" is one where the expectations of the parties are set forth but it is simply to establish their belief about the deal - it is the relationship they aspire to have - it is not enforceable through law or equity - so for instance, regardless of what any academic contract says, any job candidate could quit and go take that mcdonald's bonus - any time - and the school could not compell the job candidate to show up and teach or research etc...the school might be entitled to status quo ante relief (eg getting moving funds back) or possibly the prohibition of the candidate directly competing (that would be tough to show) but in essence the contract represents the intent of the parties, not binding obligations (as least not as to the personal services of the candidate) I agree tho that this isn't rumors of jobs

12/26/2007 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree that an "aspirational contract" is therefore not a contract known in any cognizable branch of law-- it sounds more like a negotiation.

8:12-- I don't even think you could keep the person from teaching in your neighborhood with most "letters of agreement" I've seen in my years; as the flow of the discussion has hinted at various points, however, all of this hinges on the suggestion that either a university or a candidate (depending on who's feeling screwed by whomever else's conduct) would actually be ready to claim and enforce a breach in court AND also assumes a well-drafted letter that's probably passed muster with the University Counsel's office. My estimate: chances are slim to none. Back in the 90s when I was at a "Kudzu League" school, I saw this in spades when a new senior hire called on the FIRST CLASS DAY of the new semester and said he wasn't coming after all. Talk about a bunch of wasted press releases and office redecorating monies!

Come to think of it, that was about as obvious a "detrimental reliance" situation as I've ever seen where no one got sued. Chalk it up to some combination of gentility, professional fear and/or departmental politics.

12/26/2007 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: signing bonuses. They are called summer ninths. And at the right school and with the right candidate, they can be negotiated to be cashed in the summer before the candidate starts teaching (since most appointments start July 1).

12/26/2007 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Signing Bonuses are fairly common.

(1) Research (including graduate RA) and travel funds, often a multi-year guarantee. If the appointment is to an endowed chair or endowed professorship, such funds are often built into the appointment.

(2) Start up package for labs, equipment, IT.

(3) Spousal hires or placements, especially common in the case of appointments of administrators but also in the case of well-known full profs or big money rainmakers with large-scale grants.

(4) Reduced teaching and/or guaranteed TA's.

(5) Housing subsidies, bridge loans, or shared appreciation mortgages.

(6) Return to the PI or else PI control over released funds or the indirect costs on grants (acts also as incentive to get external funding). Much more common in sciences.

(7) Guaranteed raises for N years.

12/26/2007 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the places that gave him [Malhotra] offers are places that can offer as many jobs to candidates as they like. States schools would tend to be the exception (e.g. Berkeley). But I don't think that Yale is sitting around waiting to push another offer if Malhotra goes to Harvard. If they want to make an offer, they make it.

That may be true for Harvard and Yale. It's not true for Penn, Northwestern, or Vanderbilt on the private school side, or obviously for Berkeley, Michigan, or Merced on the public.

Don't know if Wash U can make all the offers they like; they certainly talk like they have unlimited bank. But it seems to me that most schools in the Malhotra sweepstakes are constrained to make 1 offer at a time.

12/26/2007 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Probably wishful thinking... although you'd think with 4 positions to fill and 2 declined offers (one in PL, one in behavior/elections) you'd think there might be a need to go back to the pool."

I know for a fact that UNO will be conducting interviews for their PL position in January, so they are going back to the candidate pool for at least that position. I'm not sure about the others.

12/26/2007 12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only schools that have a chance are Harvard, Yale, and maybe Michigan. The other places should just cut him loose. They're just fooling themselves, and they risk losing other candidates they may want.

12/26/2007 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Right, but what's the consideration in this case?"

Consideration simply refers to the bargain for exchange. In this case, it is typically salary for teaching.

"Until the candidate has been paid by the university, or the university has received services from the candidate, no consideration has changed hands."

There does not have to be exchange at that moment to establish a contract. Your statement would basically mean that no contract is enforceable since almost all contracts are made well before the actually exchange of goods and/or services.

"Any damages from the employee backing out would surely be so small relative to the costs of enforcement that no university in its right mind would bother."

Now, you are probably right about this. Although the school may recover damages for having to hire a VAP to cover the courses and bringing in more candidates to interview among other things.

"merchant contracts under the UCC"

This has nothing to do with an employee contract...

12/26/2007 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:33: VAP salary + additional search costs are almost certainly less than the salary of the jilter, and they can probably get more labor from the VAP than the jilter, so I'm not sure you can make the case that the university actually suffered a real injury unless the notice was so untimely (say after May 1) that they were unable to secure a replacement.

12/26/2007 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would say Harvard has no chance, Berkeley might.

12/26/2007 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I trust many non-top-tier departments who made Malhotra an offer have already factored their low probability of success into decision making (e.g., Merced and Vanderbilt have made other offers while waiting).

As far as professional considerations go, someone like Malhotra probably wants to make the most of his career prospects by going to the place with the best combination of resources and relevant intellectual environment. Therefore, I suspect such a person would choose from one of the "top 5" departments. Berkeley, Michigan, and Yale seem most likely.

Harvard's chronic weakness in American politics (esp. political behavior) makes it a harder sell in this case. And, if one goes at all, it's much better to go to Harvard as a tenured professor than an assistant. Given Malhotra's trajectory presently, he's likely to have such options down the road.

Personal considerations could expand or further narrow that choice set, but that's something only the candidate (in this case, Malhotra) knows.

12/26/2007 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Open question for debate:

What do you think are the most important dimensions for junior faculty to expend capital negotiating on?

12/26/2007 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thoughts on the best departments for grad students in American politics?

In econ, Harvard is considered to have the best faculty, but MIT is the best place to get trained.

What are the analogs in poli sci?

12/26/2007 5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumor: Cornell is loosing a senior Amerianist.

12/26/2007 5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you think are the most important dimensions for junior faculty to expend capital negotiating on?

You mean when they're first on the market, when they've got an offer from another school and are negotiating a counter-offer, or when?

A partial answer is that some things aren't negotiable: e.g., standard fringe benefits, though if there's a special consideration such as disability or pregnancy, then you may be able to negotiate timing of beginning of medical coverage.

12/26/2007 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thoughts on the best departments for grad students in American politics?

In econ, Harvard is considered to have the best faculty, but MIT is the best place to get trained.

What are the analogs in poli sci?


In poli sci, I think probably that Harvard/Yale/Princeton/Stanford are considered to have the best faculty, but that Stanford is the best place to get trained.

12/26/2007 6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would guess that Malhotra has narrowed to Berkeley, Yale, and Harvard (and with Ansolabehere going to Harvard, it's hard to make the case that Yale is the east coast school with the advantage).

12/26/2007 6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the two important dimensions are salary and time off.

Your initial salary is what raises and competing offers down the line will be based on.

And time off to do research is invaluable. This can come in the form of leaves or course reductions.

12/26/2007 7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> In poli sci, I think probably that Harvard/Yale/Princeton/Stanford are considered to have the best faculty, but that Stanford is the best place to get trained.

Harvard and Yale are only on this list because of halo effect. Their faculty and their adaptability do not measure up to Princeton and Stanford. Edge goes to Stanford for training but I bet that will switch to Princeton within 5 years.

12/26/2007 8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ansolabehere is obviously a big score for Harvard and a big draw for a junior person, but he is just one person and Malhotra went to Yale for undergrad and is likely to be drawn to the experimental prominence there.

Both are equally abysmal tenure prospects.

12/26/2007 8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Harvard and Yale have some pretty strong methods and formal scholars. And by "pretty," I mean "more than halo." Also, both Yale and Harvard just tenured junior people from within this year (Levitsky and Huber), or so I hear at least.

12/26/2007 8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone explain what's made Malhotra such a success on the market? No disrespect at all, just a grad student looking for thoughts. Is it sheer numbers (publications, working papers)? If so that raises another question: Is it best just to get papers written and get them out there? He's landed stuff in the top journals, but also a few lower ranked ones.

Or here's another approach: It seems like we're taught to sit on papers, revise, revise, conference, comments, etc. Maybe it's best just to get stuff out there (not cutting revision out entirely, of course, just lessening it).

What's it like for most folks in terms of first draft until sending something out for publication?

12/26/2007 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yale has actually seemed to have turned a corner in terms of tenuring people recently. Even if you count the people who left before they came up, I think over 50% of the assistants hired since 1998 have been tenured from within. Obviously, Harvard has not had a similar record, but that may be changing now that they know how hard it is to move senior people (and their spouses).

12/26/2007 8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Malhotra already has a tenureable publication record for most schools outside the top 30 perhaps.

12/26/2007 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would say a strict majority of top 30 departments would tenure Malhotra's record. I mean Wisconsin, Iowa, Mich. St., TAMU...would be crazy not to.

Yes, the appeal is largely the pubs, placement and quantity. It must be 5 standard deviations above average.

12/26/2007 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet he is still an ABD, strictly speaking.

12/26/2007 11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My bet is that Malhotra could be a APSA President in the making if he chooses to stay in the discipline.

12/26/2007 11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any updates on potential senior moves (e.g. Sekhon)?

12/26/2007 11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: Lau @ Vandy, apparently the department wanted to make him an offer, but the Dean didn't go along.

As far as I know, Lau does not have an offer from Texas

12/27/2007 12:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: the Lau situation.

I think it had to do with how much it would take to move him from Rutgers, not whether they wanted him at Vandy. The department obviously had a higher reservation than the dean.

12/27/2007 1:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huber got tenure at Yale? If so, good for Greg!

12/27/2007 4:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harvard and Yale are only on this list because of halo effect.

Can't speak about Harvard. But for American politics, Green, Gerber, Mayhew, Dahl, Hacker, Huber, Rae, Marmor, Skowronek at the tenured level. At the untenured level, Brown-Dean, Butler, Cho, Hancock, and Washington. Plus people like Shapiro and Swenson who cross subfields with ease.

If you don't think that's an absolutely stellar faculty, I just don't know what to tell you.

12/27/2007 6:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: 12/26/2007 8:46 PM

From a tenured prof at a top-10. I would listen to the people who are telling you to slow down. There is a difference between getting a first job and establishing a successful career. Malhotra has an exceptional record for an ABD, but when you come up for tenure (and recruitment at other institutions) people will ask questions about "impact", "home runs" and "career trajectory." To score hight on these dimensions, you need to produce great work, not a lot of papers. Even the top journals sometimes publish work that isn't particularly novel, interesting, or even well done -- I've heard my peers dismiss certain APSR articles out of hand as "hack work."

This is by no means intended as a knock on Malhotra -- perhaps he has or will produce such work -- but in the top 10, and for most of the top 20, quality is more important than quantity (assuming that you can produce at an acceptable rate).

12/27/2007 6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quality is in the eye of the beholder, no?

12/27/2007 7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quality is in the eyes of many beholders. It has a systematic component and is NOT ramdom. Having an article in a top journal or a top press is probably a necessary condition to success, but hardly sufficient. Stellar work is rare in APSR, JOP, or AJPS and that is why the very top faculty are in such demand. It is easy to publish 10 or so articles in quality journals. It is VERY hard to publish 5 or so highly influential articles. The relationship between productivity and impact is surely non-linear. You have to produce some articles/books, but those who really long records tend not to be the best people. A lot of publications usually comes at the cost of quality. Look at someone like Chris Achen. A star by any standard and rightly so. But his c.v. is not particularly long. He only does good work.

Quality is what drives our business, not the length of one's c.v.

12/27/2007 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Malhotra has both quality and quantity. Even his "lower tier" publications are in solid outlets such as LSQ.

In general, quality matters much more than quantity. Four great articles is usually enough to get noticed by good departments. I have no idea what it takes to be noticed by the pinnacle of the profession (that ain't my strata).

12/27/2007 8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second these comments about quality. There are some folks who have very long CVs with no common thread connecting any of their work. In order to be at the top of the field, you have to write papers (or books) that are considered "home runs." You have to have an impact. I do not know Malhotra's work, so I am not writing about him (nor would I, were I to know his work). The point is that a long CV may be correlated with the quality of your work, but it is a very noisy relationship.

12/27/2007 8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is easy to publish 10 or so articles in quality journals.

=====

Really? Is this right? Sounds like this is coming from someone who doesn't have clue.

12/27/2007 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is a "great" or "influential" article is also in the eye of the beholder. You might use citation counts or appearance in graduate classes as a metric, but even those are noisy measures. A lot comes down to taste and general imprecision (so-and-so said person X was really smart, for example).

I also think "great" and "influential" are often correlated with PhD institution, whether warranted or not.

12/27/2007 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For every Achen you mention, I'll raise you a Krehbiel (someone who has a long c.v. and is very influential). In fact, I'd bet we'd find that most influential people are highly productive.

12/27/2007 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

productivity may be a necessary condition, but as many people here have pointed out it is not a sufficient condition. the larger point stands. If you are a grad student or an assistant professor, spend your time making your work the best it can be rather then sending out every publishable thought.

12/27/2007 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fair enough. But you don't want to go too far in that direction, where you become too timid or reluctant to send things out.

Productivity may not be a sufficient condition but non-productivity (and few pubs) is sure as hell not sufficient either.

12/27/2007 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's go back to the origional question

"Is it best just to get papers written and get them out there? He's landed stuff in the top journals, but also a few lower ranked ones.

Or here's another approach: It seems like we're taught to sit on papers, revise, revise, conference, comments, etc.

Maybe it's best just to get stuff out there (not cutting revision out entirely, of course, just lessening it)."

I argue that the revise, revise, revise approach is the correct one.

12/27/2007 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as you have intelligent feedback, so that you have a clear basis and direction for revision.

Some people use the journal review process to get semi-intelligent feedback. Sub-optimal but better than relying upon advisors who don't have the time.

12/27/2007 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is all somewhat subjective, but perhaps we can take a stab at quantifying it. Revision reaches a point of diminishing returns. If you revise one paper endlessly, you may never write the next paper.

So, assuming equal maximum quality for the papers, would you prefer to submit to journals two papers that you feel have reached 95% of their potential, or one that has reached 99% of its potential?

If you prefer the two at 95%, what about two at 80% vs. one at 99%?

Or, if you prefer one at 99% over two at 95%, what about one at 99% vs. three or four at 95%?

Personally, I use 95% as a rough guide--once I get a paper to what I feel is at least 95% of its potential, I'll consider sending it out.

12/27/2007 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a reasonable goal, but every article has a different potential audience and a range of journals in which it can be published.

While I do think too many papers are sent out for review that aren't ready -- have obvious flaws that almost any two or three randomly selected reviewers would find -- at some point you have to send the stuff out and stop seeking perfection. And when you do that, you still have to make a reasonable choice of journals based on the field, topic, methodology, literature/audience you're speaking to, and perhaps also who the current editor is.

12/27/2007 9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Rumor: Cornell is loosing a senior Americanist."

I can think of only two people who this could be. Care to spill the beans and say which one?

12/27/2007 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My guess is MJ-C

12/27/2007 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wiki never updated on Tom Clark, though it has been stated here that he accepted the Emory offer. Anyone have confirmation?

12/27/2007 12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the latest on Nickerson?

12/27/2007 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"My guess is MJ-C"

That's my thought as well.
Where to? Another Cornell export to Michigan?

12/27/2007 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Fowler really interviewing at stanford, per the Wiki?

12/27/2007 12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, fowler is interviewing at stanford

12/27/2007 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is interviewing at Notre Dame?

12/27/2007 12:48 PM  

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