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posted by American and Comparative Jobs at 6/16/2008 06:02:00 PM
How crucial is it that an ABD on the market gets a paper accepted at APSA? If I'm rejected, should I wait another year before I go out?
"How crucial is it that an ABD on the market gets a paper accepted at APSA? If I'm rejected, should I wait another year before I go out?"It is certainly helpful to have your paper accepted (for meeting people who might employ you etc), but it really should not be the critical factor in determining whether you go out in a given year. If your advisor is doing their job, s/he should be the primary source of information on when you are 'ready' (not somebody unknown to you making panel decisions at APSA).
Questions about letters of reference:1) If you didn't do as well on the job market as you would have liked this year, is there any diplomatic way to find-out whether a less-than-stellar letter of reference in your file might be the cause?2) Is there a limit to the number of reference letters that should be sent out under separate cover? I currently have three letters in my standard packet, but I have two additional colleagues at my current non-TT job who have offered to add references. Should I substitute recent letters for older ones, or just "add them to the pile?"
Within how much should I expect to hear from a Search Committee after they've interviewed all the applicants?When I interviewed at a R1 last month, they told me their last set of interviews would be 28 Feb. I'm getting antsy...
1) If you didn't do as well on the job market as you would have liked this year, is there any diplomatic way to find-out whether a less-than-stellar letter of reference in your file might be the cause?Man, this is a tricky issue (they are confidential etc), but I know how it burns to think you were let down here.Do you know anyone on search committees at other schools? If you applied for their job, they've read your letters.In another sense, your question answers itself: if you are really having doubts that the letter-writers are acting in your best interests, then they shouldn't be writing your letters. Is there a limit to the number of reference letters that should be sent out under separate cover?Not usually: at my school, we want at least three: four or five would be fine, but there are usually decreasing returns.I currently have three letters in my standard packet, but I have two additional colleagues at my current non-TT job who have offered to add references. Should I substitute recent letters for older ones, or just "add them to the pile?"I'm not sure what the best strategy is here, but I would say that letters should never be 'old': every year, as your CV grows longer, your previous letter writers should revise (and improve!) their recommendations.
Let me add a couple follow up questions regarding letters.I assume my situation is fairly typical for ABDs - four committee members, two of whom I have worked closely with and two of whom I rarely see (one from outside the department). Is it normal to get letters from these folks with whom I rarely interact? Will it hurt me that I've concentrated a lot of my interactions with faculty on two people? Is it worth going out of my way in the next year to ask the others for feedback on my dissertation or other work, even if I feel like both of us are ultimately most comfortable with them playing a more limited role?
Is it normal to get letters from these folks with whom I rarely interact?FWIW, I was pretty much in the same situ this year (and I got a job at a top 10). I had three members, one of whom I didn't have much interaction with. He wrote me a letter---but I'm guessing it wasn't very specific. Will it hurt me that I've concentrated a lot of my interactions with faculty on two people? No: many things can hurt you...but the situation you describe is not of itself problematic, I think.Is it worth going out of my way in the next year to ask the others for feedback on my dissertation or other work, even if I feel like both of us are ultimately most comfortable with them playing a more limited role?Again, I don't see the point, and my advisor vaguely advised against it. He is a 'big name' (I know, I know it's an anonymous blog, so that can't be verified) in my field, and I heard that his letter---because he knows me and my work best, and is taken most seriously---was the one that really mattered.Good luck.
OK--so the hiring season is for the most part over, and I am sure that there are others in my position: unplaced or under-placed, looking forward to next season, and wondering what we can constructively do in the next seven months to improve our chances of landing a better job.Beyond the typical, useless, anonymous responses one could expect with such a post ("get an article published in APSR," "transfer to a better school," "get over yourself: the market has spoken--your crappy job reflects your crappy performance/ potential," etc.), is there anyone willing to offer *constructive* criticisms for individuals in a non-anonymous setting? Maybe set-up a workshop-website for job market "untouchables"? Thoughts?
Re: letters. The only thing I can suggest is if you know anyone at ANY of the schools you applied to, you can ask generically "I didn't do as well in the market this year as I would have liked. Is there anything in my packet that I should be concerned with."Re: APSA. Almost irrelevant to making a job market decision. Far, far more important considerations such as how far along on the diss, other research materials, teaching record, etc. RE: Extra letters. Include them. And yes, try to get letter writers to update, even if nothing more than changing the year on the letter.
is there anyone willing to offer *constructive* criticisms for individuals in a non-anonymous setting? Maybe set-up a workshop-website for job market "untouchables"? Thoughts?I know you don't want to hear this (and certainly not anonymously), but did you think of sitting down and trying to work out why it didn't pan out? I mean a serious meeting with your committee (and others whose advice you value) with an open and frank discussion? They often have clearer ideas about your success/lack of success then they let on! I had a meeting like this, and, while it was a bit tough to swallow, some of their comments were very helpful.Also, don't get in a funk: you are not 'untouchable' (as you say, it's not an uncommon experience!)
2:32pm here--First of all, most sincere thanks for the input. Yes, I've had many a frank discussion with advisors and such, most of whom are equally as befuddled as I am. I have also spoken with search committee members at places where I have been short-listed, and they cite those aspects I mentioned above in a flippant manner: my institutional pedigree, and that my peer-reviewed publications mostly appear at more esoteric, second-tier venues rather than at APSR or AJPS. I really can't change where my degree comes from (nor would I want to), or that my research--while on a vital topic--doesn't apparently speak to the big debates in the discipline. I'm fine with that: I'm not going to change what I study based on its potential to get into a flagship journal, and even if I could, that would be such a long-term change of direction that it wouldn't help my prospects for next year anyway. I'm just looking for some help with things that might be changed before next season, and I was of the mind that there might be others in such a position.
What I realized going on the market this year is that institutional pedigree matters a lot. No matter how extensive your publication record is-- if your degree does not come from the ivy leagues or the top 30, there is no way in hell that any research one institution will invite you for an interview. Simply put, your application packet ends up in the trash bin.If you graduate from a Phd program that is not in the top 30, your best bet is an R2 or a liberal arts college. Even among R2's and liberal arts institutions the competition is intense. If you come from a low tirered program without any publications, you're pretty much screwed.
"No matter how extensive your publication record is-- if your degree does not come from the ivy leagues or the top 30, there is no way in hell that any research one institution will invite you for an interview."That's not true. Yes, it gets less likely, but the probability is still much higher than "no way in hell." As for the advice for the unsuccessful job seeker, I can think of a few points (as I was in your position a couple of years ago). These are based on the fact that you made short lists but did not get the offer (as did I), so they are mostly focused on what you can do to improve your interview experience:1. Work on your research presentation. It's a fine line finding that balance between showing the depth of your knowledge and technical ability and presenting it in a way that is interesting to an audience that is mostly not working in your subfield.2. Work on your one-on-one and small-group interactions. Did you prepare lots of good questions to ask that go beyond the obvious? (e.g., "how are junior faculty treated?" "what are the expectations for tenure?"). Did you study up on the faculty of the departments you were visiting? It's hard to see until you're on the other side, but it's hard to get excited about a candidate who doesn't show much evidence of being especially interested in this particular job.3. No, you can't get an APSR between now and the fall, but you can beef up your research profile in lesser ways. Can you get a couple of papers into the pipeline, or start on a couple of new projects that you can then include in your job packets next year?4. Beef up your teaching profile. Most departments do care that their faculty are interested and moderately capable teachers. Moreover, we all know how hard it is to do research while you're prepping 2 new courses each semester. Showing that you have teaching experience and - better yet - that you were able to do new work while teaching a full load, does increase your competitiveness.Okay, I realize maybe none of these apply to you. If so, don't take it personally. I'm just speculating without knowing any details of your own case.
2:32pm back again--And once again, thanks again for the thoughtful comments. The question of course is whether these suggestions do or do not apply without knowing the particulars of the individual situation, which is why I was floating the idea about a non-anonymous forum, so people could be open and frank about their particular circumstances, and get more constructive criticism. However, it doesn't look like anyone else is jumping on that train, so I'll just shut up. (PS--as for applicability, #4: done; #3: will do--thanks; #2: N/A--never got that far)
OK--so the hiring season is for the most part over, and I am sure that there are others in my position: unplaced or under-placed, looking forward to next season, and wondering what we can constructively do in the next seven months to improve our chances of landing a better job.I suppose unplaced and underplaced are really two different issues. The big thing that I found for myself this year is that a done dissertation is probably more important than anything. From what I could tell, I got short listed at a fair number of schools, but mostly couldn't move beyond. Self diagnosis: not done, and writing sample wasn't that hot. The institution on the vita was enough to get my stuff read, but frankly, what was there to read was not what it needed to be. I actually landed a TT in the end. One thing that helped- by the time the particular school did late interviews, thedissertation was further along, and Icould better speak to results in the phone interview and in a job talk. From what I have seen, at least in american, there seemed to be a fair number of Junior folks moving around. Several of my top choices went to people who already had jobs. I'm really happy with my placement, although it was stressful until the letter was signed. While not a top 10 or anything, it ended up being a very good fit with my interests. And its a job. For the "underplaced" I think a really important thing is to keep a positive attitude. People move around. A first job isn't forever. Beyond that, There is a real focus on these blogs about being at a high ranked department and all, but let's face it, these jobs are the minority. While the prestige is nice and all, there are plenty of other things that go into leading a happy life. Give a place a year or two. Maybe it will grow on you. Or if not, you can always move.
I was on the market 7 years ago. The competition was intense and I ended up in a not-so-prestigious program. I gave it a try. Now I'm an associate professor and I'm loving all aspects of my job. It is better to be in a not so good program where you can show your brilliance, than in a cut throat department where egomaniacal colleagues are always ready to go for the jugular. Jealousy, rage, and unhappiness is all you'll get at the top programs-- I've been told. I have graduate school colleagues who got more presitigious job in top departments, only to see them get denied tenure in protracted battles. Two of them have left the profession and joined the private sector. One came out of the experience with a bruised ego and a divorce. One became a drunkard.Further, I have a life here! So for those underplaced, enjoy it! You get to be a professor and still be productive. It will grow on you.
1. Work on your research presentation. It's a fine line finding that balance between showing the depth of your knowledge and technical ability and presenting it in a way that is interesting to an audience that is mostly not working in your subfield.I appreciate this might not apply to the original poster, but can I just say absolutely AMEN to this: once invited, a good presentation can win the day for you. It shows off your research, your ability to 'teach' and communicate more generally.It really does stun me how many presentations are sloppy, under-prepared and under-practiced. (Again: I NOT calling the original poster out for failing on this!)
re: 3/18/2008 11:25 PMOn the other hand, I'm tenured at a top 10 department, have (since grad school) almost never worked on weekends or holidays, have a happy marriage and kids, and get paid very well to do something I like a lot. So it's great that you are happy with your life path, but a top placement doesn't mean a life of misery.
One thing to consider--and this is something I learned the hard way--is that it is much easier to land a job if you have an "external coalition" in your favor.By this, I mean that you need to be getting your work out to as many people in the discipline as you can find, and this means especially from outside of your department. This largely means just emailing people cold, introducing yourself, and saying "I have a paper/project that I am circulating for comments, and am wondering if you'd be interested in taking a look given that your work is highly relevant..."Of course, this doesn't mean that you send emails to the entire profession. Only do this for people whose work really is highly relevant! But if you can find 10-12 people around the country who are "on your side" come application time, in my experience things are a lot easier. It especially helps if you're from a department that's not in the top 25 or so.I got my first TT job this way. Yes, it's networking, but with the internet, you can do it from the comfort of your own home!
"If your degree does not come from the ivy leagues or the top 30, there is no way in hell that any research one institution will invite you for an interview. Simply put, your application packet ends up in the trash bin."3/18/2008 4:19 PMI'm curious about this...I don't see all of the Ivies as automatically opening doors. Clearly, the 'Big 3' are in a class alone, but what about Cornell and Columbia? And then I think you could say there is a third tier too that may not impart a job market advantage at all. You can maybe make a case for Penn, but is Brown even a top-30 school in pol. sci.?
"One thing to consider--and this is something I learned the hard way--is that it is much easier to land a job if you have an "external coalition" in your favor."If you don't mind me asking, what was the process like by which this external coalition helped you out? I can understand why it would help if you actually applied to a school where one of these people taught. But if they helped you with other schools, how did that work? Did some of these people actually write recs for you or otherwise lobby on your behalf? This seems like something that is normal for junior faculty but maybe not so much for ABDs.
But if they helped you with other schools, how did that work? Did some of these people actually write recs for you or otherwise lobby on your behalf? This seems like something that is normal for junior faculty but maybe not so much for ABDs.I'm not the original poster of the advice, but I think he has a point---and it worked for me.I work on subdiscipline topic X, and I knew people at several schools (whose work I regularly cite) also working on X. I sent them my papers (hard copy actually) with a note explaining my work and how it relates to theirs. A couple of them had been on my panel at a conference, so they new my name a little.Come market time, some had read my work (and actually, they had the decency to give me comments), and were now either on the job committee, or were close enough to it such that they could suggest my name for the spot (especially if the school was looking for someone working on X!)Much of this game (IMHO) is getting your CV pulled from the pile of very similar looking documents---having someone (anyone!) familiar with your work (esp if it is good quality) is a real help.
If you don't mind me asking, what was the process like by which this external coalition helped you out? I can understand why it would help if you actually applied to a school where one of these people taught. But if they helped you with other schools, how did that work? Did some of these people actually write recs for you or otherwise lobby on your behalf? This seems like something that is normal for junior faculty but maybe not so much for ABDs.I'm the original poster. It helped me in a couple of ways--and note, I was an ABD when this all happened. One served on a committee where I ended up with an interview and an offer. Another one wrote me a recommendation letter. At least one more mentioned my name to a friend in another department, who then gave me the interview.In short, it can help in any number of ways. The previous poster had it exactly right, in fact: "Much of this game (IMHO) is getting your CV pulled from the pile of very similar looking documents." I concur.
Yes, networking is important. However, having a good advisor who opens doors, introduces you to people, and generates enthusiasm is important too. The people in my (top-tier) department who got good jobs had advisors who really went to bat for them. Some advisors, sadly, don't do squat other than read the occasional chapter.
If you graduate from a Phd program that is not in the top 30, your best bet is an R2 or a liberal arts college. Even among R2's and liberal arts institutions the competition is intense. If you come from a low tirered program without any publications, you're pretty much screwed.3/18/2008 4:19 PMSorry to burst your bubble on this one, but if you're out of the top 30 program you'll be hard pressed to make the cut at the top 50 LACs. The competition there is as intense as at the top 25 or so R1's.In some ways more so, as I've posted before, because some of these schools are more insular and thus less responsive to changes in the relative strength of schools and may be less sensitive to small pools of excellence in what may on the face of it seem a lower quality school. In addition, since they ostensibly hire primarily on teaching potential, but use as an indicator of this your graduate degree, they are even less likely to be impressed by a top 50 candidate who has a top 10 research pedigree.
I've been on the market four times in five years, so I have a lot of experience with failure and finally, now, success. My degree is from a top 10-15 program (depending on how you rank the program).Here's my record1. First year: I was ABD and not nearly far enough along. 55 applications. 1 interview for a visiting position at a solid liberal arts school, which I took.2. Second year: Finished. Had six interviews out of 23 apps. 1 job offer at a regional campus. I took it. 3. Third year: had book contract and lots of teaching experience. Sent out 8 apps, had three interviews, no offers.4. Fourth year: book in press, number of projects ongoing, doing lots of media outreach and even more teaching experience. Applied to 16 jobs. Received interest from 9 places, had 7 interview offers (probably two more had I not pulled out of the process), got an offer at an R1 that made me very happy.Here's what I've learned:1. PRACTICE THE RESEARCH PRESENTATION AND HAVE IT MEMORIZED. You should be able to do it in your sleep so you look comfortable and can easily field questions along the way.2. ANTICIPATE THE QUESTIONS. So you are prepared for them.3. Be energetic, sincere, and genuine.4. Get good sleep (I got a prescription for a sleep aid from my doctor to calm the nerves and it really made a difference).5. To GET the interview, carefully craft each letter of interest to match the institutions mission. I can't tell you how many times folks told me that my letter of interest was great and really showed that I understood the school. This is very important at LAC (I had six interviews scheduled at LACs; took the R1 because of where it was)6. Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions and MOST importantly ask folks about their work and interests. People like to talk about themselves--so let them.7. Teaching demonstration: don't lecture. Show them what you can really do. I essentially ran a crazy discussion section with in a lecture hall filled with 75 students. I had some key points to make, but I really like student discussion guide the 75 minute period.8. Send thank you notes afterwards that show the committee that you care and you really appreciated learning about them and their institution.
Regarding coalitions, I know that two of the interviews I got last year (including the one that led to my job) at least partially stemmed from people on the search committee asking their friends "do you know anyone good who does X and Y" and my name being given as the answer. More importantly, having the network of scholars in your subfield will increase the likelihood of getting comments on your work, create coauthor opportunities, and perhaps even the probability of getting "insiders" reviewing it favorably as it is sent out for publication.
5. To GET the interview, carefully craft each letter of interest to match the institutions mission. I can't tell you how many times folks told me that my letter of interest was great and really showed that I understood the school. This is very important at LAC (I had six interviews scheduled at LACs; took the R1 because of where it was)This is VERY good advice. I can't stress enough how small most LACs are, how distinctive each of them think their mission is, and how much you need to show you really want to be THERE. It really is a different job search process in many ways than at the R1/R2 world.
Could someone give an example of the variation and "distinctiveness of mission" of different LACs? Aside from traditional religious, racial, ethnic or gender affiliations, I am having a hard time thinking of how I would craft a cover letter to Grinnell differently from Swarthmore or Oberlin or Carleton or Bowdoin or (insert name of LAC here).
4:11 PM here.Look very closely at how the LAC pitches itself to perspective students. Some schools focus on service based learning. Some focus on internships. Others focus on multidisciplinary approaches and developing critical thinking skills. You need to demonstrate to the LAC that you understand their particular mission, are willing to internalize it, and have the teaching experiences or ideas to carry out that mission.
Um, or, supposedly, "prospective" students.
Right. Prospective. It's been a long day...
You don't quite get what I meant. I don't mean their missions really ARE different, but they BELIEVE they are different. Insularity can breed this pretense. Not all LACs are like this but many are. And because the gig is so good (pay, benefits, students, often lovely locations) and the teaching load heavy and the research demands historically (though not any more) light, people seldom leave, this only increases the inward-looking-ness.This means make sure you send an "LAC" letter and if possible, personally address it, not your boilerplate letter. If you really want that job, spend a bit of time looking at their website to see if they do anything special.
I just accepted a position in a TT position at a decent R1. While I'm happy with the school, the location is not ideal for my family. Does it damage my relationship w/ my new department to start applying to positions in the first year?
It is not "ideal"? You don't want it? I'll take it!
Applying for new jobs in your first year will likely damage relations with your department, but your personal circumstances may be more important. However, securing that job in the 'ideal' location is often not easy and it is unlikely that your CV will have improved that much by the fall. In the worst case scenario (which is not unlikely), you will apply to several 'ideal' jobs, perhaps get a few interviews, and not get any offers. Then you have pissed off people in your department, but you are still stuck there. Think really hard before you do this.
Also think hard before you accept any advice from an anonymous blog. If I were you, I'd ask my advisors and other real people I could trust.
Count your blessings. You have no idea how hard it is to get an R1 job. If you do not want it-- reliqnuish the post. It will open doors for most of us who are willing to work in rural/backward locations with strong PHD prgrams. It is people like you who are pedigreed and priviliged who make it hard for us underplaced people to secure R1 jobs. Stop whining! Your elitist attitude is sickening!
It is people like you who are pedigreed and priviliged who make it hard for us underplaced people to secure R1 jobs. Stop whining! Your elitist attitude is sickening!I very much doubt this dude's family issues are why you are underplaced. Indeed, there is now one more vacant job for you to apply to.It isn't elitist to worry about your wife/kids and where they will be happy.
In my experience, most people who whine about being "underplaced" are -- in fact -- quite properly placed.
Wow, getting an education obviously doesn't add to people's level of maturity. Posting an honest question shouldn't elicit a personal attack.
In terms of marketability, can anyone rank the following PhD programs for me (with justifications for your rankings, if possible)? I'm interested in studying comparative at:IndianaNorth Carolina - C. HillTexas - AustinWisconsinThanks.
i am not a comparativist, but i would encourage you to look the placements of these schools to see how well they place candidates. Beyond that, it would be best to be specific about what you would like to study comparatively (legislatures, behavior, etc.) and if you have any location specific interests. Without that, it is hard to say which program is 'best'.
Here's my thoughts:Indiana - not all students receive funding, which can cause acrimony that you don't want.UNC - generally good, haven't placed PHd's well recently however (don't know why)UT- good for Latin AmericaWisconsin - lost a lot of comparative faculty two or three years ago; may have rectified that situation.
http://www.wacotrib.com/news/content/news/stories/2008/03/24/03242008wacbaylortenure2.htmlWhat would you do in this situation?
Correction:UNC recently placed a student at Yale.
I would second the poster that said it depends on what you do, region and area (institutions or behavior). Do you have people in mind you want to work with?Indiana's had some decent comparative placement in the last few years. They also have good language training and a lot of centers around campus. I would ask directly about the funding situation, particularly given the problems with state government budgets this year.
CV question:I'll be going back out on the job market next year, and I think my chances of landing a good job are pretty decent. I've got a good list of peer-reviewed publications and a very strong teaching record. Admittedly, there is one aspect I don't particularly excel in, and that concerns conference presentations. Partly for family reasons, I only get to perhaps one conference a year, and even if that was not the case, I still dread large conferences. I'm sure this has probably stymied the growth of my "network," but I don't think that has made me any less of a colleague, instructor or researcher. So, in terms of a CV, should I list what few conference presentations I have given, or just get rid of that section all together, since you won't find me at APSA? Thanks in advance for the input--hopefully constructive.
I would list the conference attendances. If your publication list is strong, nobody will give a darn about conference presentations which are socializing venues anyway.
1:07 poster, here.Thanks for your comments, all. I'm interested more in behavior than institutions. My region of interest is Europe (West and East, both). Seems to me all 4 of my choices have decent area studies centers. If funding isn't a concern, is there anything else I should consider? I will ask about recent placements...Thanks, again -- I appreciate the input.
No one cares particularly about conferences except when they are needed to show professional involvement. You have that with the pubs.My one concern is this: if you're such a stellar teacher, why can't you do a good conference presentation?Or do you just dread the large conference? If the latter, I'd suggest in the future you continue to try to build your network by finding smaller more intimate conferences where you may feel more comfortable.
7:56 here...It is not that I don't present well--I love a good audience. I just prefer not to go--for the same reasons I prefer not to go to high school reunions. Add to that big-city hotel and travel expenses (esp. with no travel allowances first as a grad, then in a non-TT), and the time away from the family... it just doesn't add-up for me. You are right that smaller conferences have generally alleviate the first aspect of the "problem"--all simply in my opinion, of course.
That tenure denial story out of Baylor was a little frightening. What sort of questions should you ask if you interview at a school that's trying to transition into a research university? If all of the older faculty (who will be making up your tenure committee) were hired on 4-4's, and the new faculty are going to be hired on 2-2's, is that a huge problem? Whose expectations should you work toward, the teaching-centered faculty, or the research-centered administration?
this has been a great website, and i'm happy to say it has helped me as i navigated the job search this year, a search which led to that holiest of grails: the TT-job. so now i can begin to get paranoid about the new set of problems associated with this new game. which leads to my question: where is a good place to go to share advice & tips on this. all i can find is the chronicle of higher education, which is pretty useless.any ideas?
True comment: my wife describes my conference travel as "a vacation from me."See, you just need to be married long enough to get that sort of comment! - paul g.
Take my wife... please!
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What would be a reasonable length of time to wait for a decision after R&R at a journal, before authors can write to inquire without appearing overly anxious and rude? Many thanks.
What effect do recessions have on the academic job market? Is there a difference between state and private schools?
Why do you ask? Is there trouble afoot? Why, it seems like just yesterday that a famous economics professor/colleague told me that "stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." Looks like smooth sailing from here.
"What would be a reasonable length of time to wait for a decision after R&R at a journal, before authors can write to inquire without appearing overly anxious and rude?"One year.Love, - MS
"What would be a reasonable length of time to wait for a decision after R&R at a journal, before authors can write to inquire without appearing overly anxious and rude?"I see nothing wrong with inquiring about the status after a month or two. Don't be rude, be polite and appreciative, thankful, and nice.
The turnaround time for an R&R will depend on what the editor plans to do . S/he can: -Read it and decide to accept or reject.-Send it to one or more of the referees with explicit instructions for an up or down vote.-Send it to one or more of the original referees for another round of reviews.-Send it to one or more new referees for another round of reviews.If it is one of the latter two, then you should expect the turnaround time to approach that of the first submission.
Just out of curiosity, how many assistant profs out there do summer teaching? For those that do, how does it affect your productivity? I've been out a couple years, but have never done summer teaching. I am now pretty confident about getting tenure at my current school (R2), and am considering summer teaching (starting next summer) for the extra money. Thoughts for those who have done it?The positive is obviously the money. The negatives are less time for research and less schedule flexibility. I should say that my school has really severe salary compression for assistants and associates, and big raises from research productivity just are not likely. At the same time, I am somewhat tied geographically, so a big raise from going on the market isn't likely either. So, the only really way to get a "raise" is to do summer teaching (unless I score with some grant applications).Any general thoughts/reactions to summer teaching?
Visiting assistant here--I will be doing a summer gig, as will another friend of mine. If it is not a new prep, it should go pretty easily. Plus, if you arrange it as a more intensive four-week course, you can blast through your teaching and still have a month and a half to do your research.
Are there norms about the number of committee members? I'm sure this varies by program to some extent, but I'm particularly interested in whether there is a point at which the number starts to look odd. It seems to me I've seen anywhere from 3 to 6. How do outside members factor into this?
>Are there norms about the number of >committee members? This sort of stuff is irrelevant on the job market. Just like what fields in which you took your comprehensive exams.
but I'm particularly interested in whether there is a point at which the number starts to look odd.Here's my experience from the job market: your letters matter. The people who (a) are the 'biggest deal' in the field you are trying to enter, and (b) know your work the best, are the most important. The number of letters matter much less than (a) and (b).I would keep the number finite though. Or, if you can't manage that, countably infinite.
letters do matter, but i think the question was about committee members. in the case of committee members, they are potential veto players. keep the number low and predictable. non-committee members can also write you letters.
i agree that what fields you took your exams in is irrelevant, but not the number of committee members. it is indirectly relevant. the goal is to finish the dissertation, so you want to be sure you do not put obstacle lovers on the committee.
I don't know why you'd ever have more than 3 members on your committee. . . I suppose if there is some really well known scholar in your department who is outside of your subfield and you add him/her on the committee to make you more marketable, if he/she is nice enough to do so? Yes, you want smart people on your committee. And in some ways the more smart people the better-but that's more that you have to respond to to finish! Presumably the 3 smart people from your field who are on your committee-esp. your advisor-will help you write a good and marketable dissertation!
I just rejected a tt job for the sake of an extension on my present visiting position. I know it sounds odd because the tt job was in a good location, but the flip side is that its an overtly religious institution (though the faculty were of varied affiliations), the teaching load was a 4-4 against my present load of 3-3 and it doesnt figure in any ranking radar. So I'm now left with a visiting position, but one which I like, and the rankings better. I will be on the market the following year, and I guess being on a visiting for a second year isnt a good signal. Now that the decision is made, I'm wondering if I made the right decision. What do you think?
dude, just be happy with your choice. don't second guess. enjoy life. don't look for affirmation on a blog.
To answer the question RE summer teaching for an assistant professor...I suppose that all depends on the pay, really, and how well you've done with your research agenda.My department has similar compression issues and research requirements. I taught every summer for 9 years and had no problem getting tenure. Now, I could have avoided teaching summers, and focused entirely on research, and perhaps I would have been more productive (and have a better position). It depends on how much you want/need that money. You can maintain a level of productivity-- you just may have to forgo any decent vacation (and perhaps your sanity). Summer teaching can serve to get you to the office (to do work), which for some is a good thing if working at home isn't as good an option.
Re: 7:33pm---Except for the religious issue, I am in EXACTLY the same situation, but I see it as a positive rather than a negative: in short, a higher-ranking department has seen the value in my (teaching) work, and presumably the same situation holds for you as well. Going back on the market with additional teaching creds at a good university *can't* hurt, but if you are anything like me (which apparently, you might be), you might need to work on getting some more publications out there, even while you are doing twice the teaching work of your TT neighbors.Solidarity, brothers and sisters!!!
Second visiting year is not a negative. A set of one years can hurt after about three years, but we are typically seeing two years of visiting gigs, especially in more competitive fields (in theory, 4 years are common). Also, being renewed at your same institution is a good thing.It's tough to make these sort of decisions, but academia is not so important that it's worthwhile working in an institution where you'd feel daily uncomfortable and you're not proud of the institution where you work.
Interesting article in the Wisconsin State Journal on the proliferation of non-TT positions in academia: http://www.madison.com/wsj/topstories/277161 Bottom line stat: Over the past 20 years, TT positions have dropped 6% while visiting and non-TT positions have increased 54%. Thoughts?I also like the university representative who concludes that the two-tier system creates tensions that have to be resolved, but can't speculate about how to do that.
Here's some sage market advice:If, as a graduate student (or faculty, I guess), you are at a large conference (perhaps in a large midwestern city), and you consume alcohol, you should remove your name tag prior to lifting your shirt and rubbing your hairy nipple toward a table of possible employers sitting in a bar.Good times provided by IU!
Thank you all for the positive feedback on the TT, visiting dilemna
The IU reception was pretty great!
If, as a graduate student (or faculty, I guess), you are at a large conference (perhaps in a large midwestern city), and you consume alcohol, you should remove your name tag prior to lifting your shirt and rubbing your hairy nipple toward a table of possible employers sitting in a bar.Please god tell us more.
I second that emotion.
If, as a graduate student (or faculty, I guess), you are at a large conference (perhaps in a large midwestern city), and you consume alcohol, you should remove your name tag prior to lifting your shirt and rubbing your hairy nipple toward a table of possible employers sitting in a bar.Question: was this graduate student female or male?
Question: was this graduate student female or male?"hairy nipple" is probably a clue.
"hairy nipple" is probably a clue.Well, I guess you never know....
I'll be a post-doc next year. But I'll have to start looking for a job for the 2009-10 academic year soon. In case I don't get a TT job after the upcoming job search, what is better: to move into another post-doc position or accept a temporary position as an instructor? I would appreciate bloggers' comments.
Generally speaking, a post doc is preferable because you can continue to publish and burnish your record. However, there are adjustment costs. Would you consider a two-year instructorship? And what is your eventual job goal?
Did anyone catch last night's "Simpsons"? In brief, there was a tailgating feud between the alum of Springfield U and Springfield A&M that included the following insults: "Your professors don't care about student learning!!!" "Oh yeah? Well your school's tenuring process is HIGHLY politicized!"Classic.
I know this is less likely in the anonymous world of journal reviewing. However, if you feel that your book reviewers rendered an unfair negative review--your work is quantitative but one of the reviewers was recently rejected tenure for doing descriptive stuff, is it legitimate to raise this with the press editor? Thanks a million for sharing any insights.
Geez, you'd have to word that pretty carefully to avoid it coming off as sour grapes, I would think.
I'm curious if anyone can weigh-in on a question I have. If you teach at a Christian college, to what extent (if any), is it expected that you will incorporate scripture into your scholarship? I am sure this varies among institutions, but in your experience....Should a secular academic consider these private-religious jobs?
If you teach at a Christian college, to what extent (if any), is it expected that you will incorporate scripture into your scholarship? I am sure this varies among institutions, but in your experience....Should a secular academic consider these private-religious jobs?The answer to both of these will vary wildly from institution to institution. There is a continuum of religiously affiliated schools from those with merely historical affiliations to fundamentalist institutions. The best way to find out where a school fits it to talk to someone in the department there. Sometimes looking at the schools mission statement will help.
Do chapters in edited volumes (say, from top-tier university presses) count for anything when committees look at applicants for an appointment at the assistant professor level?
Re: chapters.I don't attach any importance to it when looking at a CV (public R1).I view writing a chapter as a chance to make good connections and expand your network (think tenure letters down the road). Usually editors of books at prestigious presses are pretty well-known senior scholars. If they become a letter writer, it's going to be more difficult for them to slam you ("he sucks, but we chose him to write a chapter in our prestigious book").
Thanks so much for the response--which in turn prompts another question (or potentially, series of questions) about why letter-writers would slam job applicants. Certainly there are strong recommendations and weaker ones, but what would be the motivation in writing a bad recommendation letter, or a "slam"? I mean, obviously the applicant would tend to pick advisors and committee members with whom (s)he probably has a good rapport, and who would want to see him/her succeed--both personally and in terms of reflecting well on the degree-granting institution.Also, does anyone on the "inside" in terms of hiring committees have a feel for how prevalent such bad recommendations are more generally?
I'm sorry, I meant tenure letters, not job letters. Though obviously getting someone from outside your committee (such as an editor who asked you to write a chapter) is beneficial.I was talking about tenure letters. My point was that it's easier to say nice things about people you know than about people you don't know.
Most schools solicit tenure letters from scholars not recommended by the tenure applicant.The letters that recommend against tenure are pretty easy to understand. "This scholar only writes with his advisor," "this scholar hasn't made an original contribution to the field yet," "this scholar is great but not great enough for Harvard," etc.
Ok, but I was talking about my department, which solicits letters from scholars suggested by the applicant (as well as from scholars not suggested by the applicant).Obviously, the applicant should check with his/her chair/dean/senior faculty. The point I was making is that there can be benefits to authoring chapters that aren't in terms of "pubs" but rather visibility and networking. but I think the original poster got that.
Original poster here--Yes, I got that, but since I am still working on just getting a TT job rather than getting tenure, my question was more about book chapters for ABDs and VAPs, rather than junior faculty. Does that change anything here?
Recommendation letters for prospective assistant professors are very seldom negative, but letters that damn with faint praise are actually pretty common. Hiring committees know how to read between the lines. If the recommendation letter from your dissertation supervisor is not particularly strong, then you are not going to get a job at my university.
Original poster here--Yes, I got that, but since I am still working on just getting a TT job rather than getting tenure, my question was more about book chapters for ABDs and VAPs, rather than junior faculty. Does that change anything here?Well, I wouldn't count it against you. But the question is: how much work do you need to do to publish this chapter? could that be redirected toward a peer-reviewed article instead? If the chapter is already written and you're only one click away from sending it, then by all means do it. But if it's one of your best chapters, you might be better served by sending it first to a journal.
How much can a recent PhD reasonably expect to make at an average 2-2 public university? How many such jobs start under $50K or over $60K?
Not so much a job market question--but does anyone have any (constructive) words of advice for dealing with a commercial press, rather than an academic press? Are the procedures for submitting a book prospectus similar, or is an agent necessary?
the procedures for submitting a book prospectus should be similar. if you are not writing a bestseller to make a lot of money, no agent will be necessary.
money: been discussed over and over again. Depends on "average" and depends on location. Maybe mid 60's is expectation, though there can be some suprises on the low and high end.
Anyone else read the "Professor X" article in the most recent Atlantic?http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200806/collegePerhaps the most depressing thing I've read all year. Has anyone on this board experienced this level of idiocy?
Maybe a milder form, mostly in my intro-level courses at my R1. Fortunately, most of the "nontraditional" students that I have had have been EXTREMELY dedicated to learning, and appreciably contribute to the learning environment, given their greater breadth of relevant experiences. That article really is an eye-opener, though. If I did not get my present position, I was looking at part-timing at local community colleges. From the sound of it, that'd be like a house of horrors!
Say... here's a topic for some discussion: one of the things we've got going for us as political scientists is demand. In my present department, the number of undergraduate majors has more than doubled in the past eight years. Same thing at my previous job. Anyone want to discuss reasons for this staggering increase in demand? 9/11? Subsequent political events? What of engaging programs like the Daily Show and the Colbert Report making politics more "hip" among the college- and high-school-age cohorts? And what trajectories are out there for future enrollment trends?
I've noticed a lot more students, but many of them appear to be pre-law. When I was an undergrad (15 years ago), the people I knew who wanted to go to law school were about evenly divided between history majors and poli.sci. majors. At my school, they seem to be all poli.sci. (we also had some visiting professors who were known as easy A's, which helped spur enrollment among the Greeks, I think)
I believe that enrollment in poli sci has ballooned becauseof a generational effect. The millenial generation, those in college now and since about 1998, like politics. Gen x, those in college about 1980 to 1998, hated and distrusted politics. Boomers liked politics. So, its not that kids nowadays like poli sci alot, its more that the Gen Xers are now gone.
Much of the spike is likely caused by more students wanting to become lawyers. Applications at law schools (even fourth tiers) have increased dramatically, and every year more law schools are opened to take advantage of the increased demand. Some 4th tiers are charging $40,000 in tuition per year. Unfortunately, the legal market has gotten worse in recent years (spouse is a lawyer) and there are no signs of a rebound any time soon.
Re: 5:08pm "those in college about 1980 to 1998, hated and distrusted politics. Boomers liked politics." Yeah, that makes sense, but the question is WHY? Is there anyone willing to agree that part of the explanation might lie with the rise of pop-culture tie-ins, like with the Daily Show? (Original poster, 1:10pm here)
Even if everyone's "willing to agree," that doesn't mean you've made your case.
Yes, you're right... "made my case" about asking the opinions of others.Case closed!
Arguably, the pop-culture stuff like the Daily Show are more consequences, rather than causes, of increased interest in politics among the younger generation.
This isn't market advice, but I'm looking for general advice from those with more experience than me.I'm an assistant prof at a small state college that values teaching foremost, but has been increasing research expectations a great deal - something I am in support of. However, the provost is a former political scientist and, while not saying so directly, seems to expect me to take on his research projects. To do so, I would have to drop most of my research program and/or do a poor job of teaching once the semester starts. Other administrators have suggested that it is expected of me to do the provost's projects if I am to get tenure, though, of course, he would never say it so directly himself. The projects are in my broad area of interests, though I have not done research on the specific topics before. I'll also note that none of this was discussed in the job ad, during my interview, or in my contract.Is this normal? Is it ethical? Is there anything I can do? Or am I pretty much stuck either doing his research or finding a new job?Thanks!
what do you mean by "to take on his projects"? are you doing his research so that he could publish without your name listed? are you forced to collaborate? please be more specific.
"what do you mean by "to take on his projects"? are you doing his research so that he could publish without your name listed? are you forced to collaborate? please be more specific."Sorry I wasn't clearer. I think forced collaboration is a great way to describe it.
So the provost gets to look productive, while Johnny Assistant does all the legwork? Sounds like a raw deal, but if this is a place you like and you want tenure there, do the forced collaboration. If you'd rather move on, research like crazy on your preferred topic, and then make the jump.
Act like you're honored to work with the provost and then go on the market. The forced collaboration would be okay if it was made clear to you that that was the expectation when you interviewed. Obviously, that was not the case. (Also, make sure you're corresponding author and after you get your new job take the provost off the pubs).
for those of you on the market this year, a bit of advice about e-jobs: if you always check e-jobs by listing all jobs posted in the past 2 days, you will miss some postings. i think this is because they back-date the posting date sometimes. in order to get around this issue, click on the "View all new jobs from the last 2 days" link, then change the date in the URL to an earlier date.
Any ideas about who will be looking to hire in American (specifically political behavior) this year?
So far, all I know & care* about:Birmingham-Southern College (in eJobs already)Likely searches for Fall 09 that seem likely to go behavior, same caveat:DePauw (failed search in 08)Randolph-Macon (failed search in 08)Sam Houston State (will probably replace Dunaway)St. Edwards (Austin, Texas; failed search in 08)I'd imagine the list will be bigger in about a month.* I'm only exerting brainpower on jobs I plan to apply for, which excludes about 90%+ of the market. So to make the list it's either a job I'm planning to apply for, or someone made a point of telling me about the job.
Walking aroundwith your head in the clouds,makes no sense at all.
St. Edwards (Austin, Texas; failed search in 08)Wants a person to teach four courses a semester, with four preps.
I didn't say SEU was an ideal job (or even above the median, which is somewhere in the 3-3/4-3, 2-3 preps/semester, high-40s range), and it's not for everyone, but if you're an Austin aficionado and UT won't hire you, it's not like there are a lot of other options. And I've interviewed for the equivalent or worse. If I didn't have a job, wanted to work at a LAC, and liked teaching and had no ambitions of having much of a high-impact-score research agenda (or "upward mobility" to somewhere a research agenda was expected), there are far worse places to be.Nor did I specify which list that was on, although if I said (a) I've never been to Austin and (b) my current job is above SEU on my personal desirability scale, you can probably figure it out.
Yes, but schools like that want you to not only be willing to teach that many courses, but to show that you'd be able. If you've never done such-and-such before, many--if not most--schools are not interested. This is the reality of the market. It's really terrible unless you're well connected or already somewhat established. The ball is in the corner of the employers, without question. They don't care if you're an aficionado of Austin or any other place, particularly, whether they say so or not.
"Wants a person to teach four courses a semester, with four preps."i think i'll keep my job driving a cab in a cool city. thanks anyway.
"So the provost gets to look productive, while Johnny Assistant does all the legwork? Sounds like a raw deal, but if this is a place you like and you want tenure there, do the forced collaboration."I've got a better idea. Do your work, do it well, and impress your colleagues. In the meantime, shop around for a good attorney to represent you. That way, your department will vote to give you tenure, the provost will overrule their decision, but you will get tenure after winning the subsequent lawsuit against the university.
Wait, why in the world would you want to get tenure through a scorched-earth policy like that?
Yeah, you're right. I should advised the person just be his provost's poodle for the next 6 years and do the provost's work instead of his own.Then again, he may discover to his horror that this still wouldn't earn him tenure. People who are willing to abuse their power in one way are often willing to abuse it another.Of course, the best advice would be to get out of this bad situation ASAP. However, that probably leads back to the original recommendation of doing his own work and doing it well.
"Of course, the best advice would be to get out of this bad situation ASAP. However, that probably leads back to the original recommendation of doing his own work and doing it well."thanks for the comments. i've decided to take this advice. if i can't get another job, then i'll take the other's advice.
When (assistant professor level) job postings ask for sample syllabi for courses the applicant has already taught, is there a (practical) limit to the number, or simply the more the better?
When (assistant professor level) job postings ask for sample syllabi for courses the applicant has already taught, is there a (practical) limit to the number, or simply the more the better?I would put one or two, but make sure they speak to the classes they would want you to teach. Including too many is just a waste, bc, most places arent going to spend too long looking at them (if they look at all).
When (assistant professor level) job postings ask for sample syllabi for courses the applicant has already taught, is there a (practical) limit to the number, or simply the more the better?I would include one, and put everything else on a website in case they want to look at more (although make it clear in your letter and maybe on your CV that these materials are available are your website).
When an AD says "evidence of teaching effectiveness" do they just want evals or a complete teaching portfolio with syllabi, philosophy etc?Please advise.
Do a full teaching portfolio with quantitative indicators of teaching effectiveness, some (preferably positive) student testimonials from your evaluations, department teaching reports and teaching awards (all "if any"). I have seen statements of teaching philosophy as part of the portfolio or as a stand-alone document--I think it is more important *that* you have one rather than whether or not it is submitted as part of the portfolio itself. To this, add your syllabi--though the number to submit will vary based on the courses you've taught and what the ad asks for (see previous discussion).
When an ad talks about requiring transcripts, are photocopies of the official transcripts acceptable? Otherwise, between Ph.D., M.A., and B.A.-granting institutions, it is going to cost me upwards of $30 per application just for copies of my official transcripts with the neat little watermarks and all that. If I apply to ~20 ads, that's quickly over $600 just in transcript fees, and that sounds a little rediculous!
Copies are acceptable. When I was on the market, I only submitted copies and only of my Phd, not of my masters or BA. If they are interested in you and want to hire you, they will ask for real ones.
XPNavigating the "two-body-problem"Does anyone have any tips/strategies for bringing your SO into the fold?At what point do you raise the issue: cover letter? Interview?Any good resources for this? Stories of how others made it happen?
When I was on the market, I was advised not to bring it up until interview, if not after I was hired.
Apply to institutions in big cities with lots of colleges, universities, or bureaucracies that your significant other could work at. Your odds of finding two political science-related jobs in New York, Washington, Boston etc. are much higher than in Flagstaff, Grinnell or Dover. But I assume you already figured that one... I was also initially given the advice not to mention it until late in the hiring process, but doing so made me feel like I would have been negotiating in bad faith. Ultimately, for my own peace of mind, I went into the hiring process with everything out on the table and nothing to hide. Fortunately, the place that I ended-up at was full of human beings that 1) realized that we live in a world of relationships and 2) valued that honesty. I am quite pleased with the results.
It depends in large part on whether you are both in the same field. My spouse and I are both in the same subfield. Like the others, we were advised to avoid bringing up our relationship until after one of us received an offer (unless we applied to one school with two openings--and that will occur a handful of times a year). That really didn't work--everyone seemed to know that we were married, even though we have different last names.In the end, the best advice I received: be patient and make yourselves as marketable as possible in the interim. It took two years for us to both find tenure track positions at the same institution. In the interim, we both worked non-stop so that when a position opened up, the trailing spouse was the best applicant in the pool.You also have to consider how flexible you are willing to be; for example, we refused to live apart, but there are several PS couples that do. Also, if you are unwilling to live apart, you need to consider whether the more marketable spouse is willing to work at the LCD.Finally, looking for jobs in large markets makes sense, but I was surprised at how rarely two jobs at different schools in the same city opened up at the same time. And coordinating that can be difficult because of the differences in timing (one person may get an interview or offer before the other spouse has even heard from the school).
When an ad talks about requiring transcripts, are photocopies of the official transcripts acceptable?It should certainly be acceptable to start with that, unless the ad specifically states "official transcript." Then, send that.When I was on the market, I only submitted copies and only of my Phd, not of my masters or BA. If they are interested in you and want to hire you, they will ask for real ones.That's one possibility.Another is that I on the search committee think that it's just another incomplete application for me to ignore. You'd be surprised how many incomplete applications departments get, and it makes a very easy first sort.Another is that under some HR processes the search committee won't even see your file until it's complete, and that the "Your file is incomplete, please send..." letter might either never get written, not get sent, or arrive late enough that you miss the early period when you could have become a talking-point."Graduate transcript" means transcripts from graduate schools. "Graduate and undergraduate transcripts" means just that. If you're too dumb to parse that, why would I want you in the office next to me? Or, if you're too busy or important to customize your packet for us even to the small extent of sending the transcripts that we're required to ask for, I'm probably too busy to look at your file.
"Graduate transcript" means transcripts from graduate schools. "Graduate and undergraduate transcripts" means just that. If you're too dumb to parse that, why would I want you in the office next to me? Or, if you're too busy or important to customize your packet for us even to the small extent of sending the transcripts that we're required to ask for, I'm probably too busy to look at your file.7/28/2008 10:03 AMI don't think the original question had anything to do with being too dumb, busy, or important--I think it was more about being too POOR as a grad-lackey, and whether it would be acceptable to not have to drop hundreds of dollars for pretty colored paper when cheaper black-and-white photocopies convey the same information. So sorry that such a question has thrown you into such a tizzy!
7/28/2008 10:03 AM sounds like an asshole. In sorting through hundreds of applications, it is so nesecary to have official transcripts. Because your department is so fucking important.
whether it would be acceptable to not have to drop hundreds of dollars for pretty colored paper when cheaper black-and-white photocopies convey the same informationIf the ad says official transcript, that's what it says. Sending anything else is risking having your application not given full consideration by the search committee.If the ad says official transcript, it is nearly certain that this is a university-level requirement about which the department has no control whatsoever. Likewise, much of the hiring process is often specified in internal regulations and out of the control of the search committee or department. Likewise, much of the hiring process is not run directly by faculty members or the search committee but by administrative staff.I am annoyed because this blog is filled with grad students and new assistants who've still never seen the hiring side of a search committee pontificating on what works. I have been on the hiring side more times than I care to think about, and I can tell you that the process is highly stochastic, and that you do not want to give anyone a reason to take your application less than fully seriously.This includes not giving the administrative assistant putting together the files a reason to put your file in the "incomplete applications" pile on his desk instead of in the filing cabinet with the completed ones the search committee will look through, all because you didn't send the transcript that the university requires you to have sent.And even if you get word and correct it, that's still a week or two that the search committee has been talking about other files, and not talking about yours. This does not improve your chances.
If you're really in the spot where official transcripts are $30 each, then take the step of calling the department and asking the administrative person attached to the search.They know whether a photocopy is good until hiring, or whether the asshole dean or provost insists that all files sent for interviews must have official transcripts, or whether union rules don't allow the search committee to consider incomplete files.Random bozos on the internet do not know that. 6:54 AM certainly does not know that.In sorting through hundreds of applications, it is so nesecary to have official transcripts. Because your department is so fucking important.Yeah, "I don't give a fuck" is a great message to send to people offering an income stream with a present value of a couple million dollars, with at least 50 people to pick from.
"If the ad says official transcript, that's what it says. Sending anything else is risking having your application not given full consideration by the search committee. ... you do not want to give anyone a reason to take your application less than fully seriously."Original poster here--You see, this is the useful kind of information that suggests that I should get the official paper, rather than the photocopy. Now, if we all just didn't have to go through all of the BS just to get there...PS--My thanks are sincere, since this will help me (and presumably others) not to make mistakes that could jeopardize my chances at one department or another.
I'm in the same boat as the OP; my PhD institution charges $5 a pop for transcripts, which is frankly obscene for three sheets of fancy paper, an envelope, a stamp, and about a minute of a work-study student's time.IMHO, the right answer depends on knowledge of the screening process at the institution, and also what is meant by "official transcript" - a photocopy of an official transcript may qualify as sufficiently official for some places, since what many institutions want is something more credible than just a printout from your institution's student information system.Unfortunately as a job candidate it's impossible to know what the screening process is (e.g. how "complete" does the file have to be before the committee is allowed to see it); if the committee sees the file and you're a candidate that will probably make the shortlist or interview list based on what they have already, they will ask for anything that's needed to make the file fully complete that's missing, but if there's someone screening the files before you get to the committee you're not going to get that benefit unless you have an "in" with the committee.Sensible ads ought to specify things like "photocopies acceptable" or "sent by registrar"/"sealed"/"original." But this is a battle to be fought after getting political scientists to use their institutions' existing applicant management systems or getting APSA to make eJobs worth my annual membership fee by adding online application management to it.
You see, this is the useful kind of information that suggests that I should get the official paper, rather than the photocopy.Cranky older person again:Iff the ad says "official transcript." If the ad just says "graduate transcript" or "transcript" and doesn't mention "official," I would feel safe sending a photocopy.
OP: Thank you.
Have any of the APSA Dissertation Awards been announced yet? (Officially or unofficially--this is a rumor blog, after all.)
Just to lighten things up, but maybe also exchange some useful information. What is the best profession to have a spouse in if you're a political scientist? And when would you volunteer that info during an interview?
What is the best profession to have a spouse in if you're a political scientist? Escort services. For real, the demand always outpaces the supply...
What is the best profession to have a spouse in if you're a political scientist?Padishah-Emperor of the Known Universe.And when would you volunteer that info during an interview?Yes. Yes, I would.
Best professions?Teacher (elementary or high school), police officer, firefighter, etc. Basically any job that's movable and in need no matter where you end up (small town or big city). Attorney and doctor work, too, if your spouse isn't extremely career-focused (in other words, if they don't mind working at a small clinic in Iowa versus a high-profile job in Boston).
My spouse is a nurse and that job got a very positive reaction during the interview process.
So remember in high school when your teacher told you that your resume should always be printed on fancy, high-quality paper?Does that go for your CV as well?Fancy paper, or straight out of the printer?
When I have served on search committees, fancy paper has always seemed like overkill to me. I would not hold it against a candidate who uses fancy paper, but as long as the vita is reasonably well put together and professionally presented then all that matters is the quality of what is described by the cv. After all, regardless of how much lipstick one puts on a pig, it is still a pig.
I agree. After going through 300 files last year, the paper really did nothing for me. I tend to look at the "Publications" section on the vita. Make sure that that section is highlighted and upfront....and forget the fancy paper.
I think last year, someone answered this question by saying: "if your cv is good enough, you could print it on a used cocktail napkin, and you'd still get calls." Problem being that used cocktail napkins tend to get stuck in the printer.
Does anyone have ballpark figures for how much elite liberal arts colleges pay at the assistant or early associate level? I'm currently at a research school but considering moving to a LAC. Thanks!
Depends on what level of school and in what area of the country. Check the Chronicle AAUP salary survey.
depends if you have competing offers. someone being sought after by both top R1s and top LACs will command top R1 salaries (those schools have the $$$).
Should the awards and fellowships part or the publications part come first on a CV (after education)?
it depends on your priorities and strengths/weakenesses. if you have been awarded prestigious awards/fellowships but haven't published at equally prestigious outlets, I would list the awards first. Otherwise, it's just a matter of taste.
Is it better to give or not to give the names of the journals where the paper is under review or invited for revise and resubmit (on the research statement or CV), or is it just a matter of taste? Thanks.
I would indicate which journals have offered you a revise & resubmit, because that actually indicates something about the quality of the paper.There's less value in listing journals where you have submitted an article, but there's nothing terribly wrong with doing so, IMO.(Ie, "Under review at APSR" does not impress me; "R&R at APSR" does).
elite slacs will pay about around upper 60's. To in the top ten quoted me 63ish during the interviews process, which I took to mean 65-67. Those in the top fifty rage probably max out around high 50's. Not much change regarding COL.
Does anyone have ballpark figures for how much elite liberal arts colleges pay at the assistant or early associate level? I'm currently at a research school but considering moving to a LAC. Thanks!Try Chronicle.com.
Not much action on this thread, so let's start a conversation: what is the best (or worst) cover design/art for a political science book? (Before you ask what this has to do with the job market: I am on the market this year with a book under contract, and I'd like advice as to what folks consider to be a *visually* appealing book.)I'll start--Yay: Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone.Nay: Robert Putnam, Making Democracy Work.
Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation (Linz and Stepan). What is that disembodied head doing? Why is it trying to break that red string? Why does the whole thing look like a high-school art project?http://www.amazon.com/Problems-Democratic-Transition-Consolidation-Post-Communist/dp/0801851580/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1218938960&sr=8-7
Yes, that one deserves a prize for hilarity... or something.
I like this conversation.Bad:-Shugart & Carey, Presidents and Assemblies. Green type on green background, with a marble border. Looks like a menu.-The Third Wave, and Patterns of Democracy. Both have the same problem, bolded title with lots of little words as the background. Not horrible, just kind of lame.Good:Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. Long-ass title, but I love the abstract orange arms raised in defiance.Stepan, ed. Authoritarian Brazil. Shadowy figures literally crossing the line. Always liked it.
Gary Bass: Stay the Hand of Vengeance. Great book, great title, great cover.
Bad: Evans, Embedded Autonomy.I understand what the designer was going for, but it looks like a computer threw up on it.
When I got an offer at a top five LAC a few years ago, they were not anywhere near mid to high 60s (though maybe they've been pushed up in the past two years?). More importantly, the LACs I interviewed at had a strong commitment to salary equity and were therefore not negotiable on salary (though were on other things). Competing offers didn't matter. I would caution anyone weighing an offer at a LAC against playing hardball on salary. When institutions say they believe in salary equity within a rank, they generally mean it.
Bad: Cheibub's Presidentialism, Parliamentarism, and Democracy.Appears to be an abstract rendering of a sunrise falling off of a cliff.
I posted the comment about mid 60's from top five SLACs. I was quoted 63 during my interview (in 2006), and, in my experience there is always a small bump (1000) from the interview to the offer and then a possible bump of 1500 after the offer. From what I have seen, 1500 over the offer has been the maximum from such colleges. Another SLAC, top 50, offered 57 (then went to 58) and this was in a much cheaper (rural) area. But 9:44 makes a very important point: these places are often proud (sometimes rightfully) and do not like to fool around with their pay scales.
What is the best way to sell yourself on the job market if you are at a top-5 department but have no peer-reviewed publications? I have a solid dissertation, and my big-name adviser will probably write a good letter on my behalf, but I feel intimidated looking at the CVs of some of the so-called \"superstar\" grad students I will be competing against.Is it still worth it for me to even apply to jobs at top-20 departments? If so, how do I sell myself to be competitive for these jobs? Is it just a waste of time? My adviser tells me to apply for a wide range of jobs - Does this mean I may not even have a shot at the top departments?FWIW, my main area is AP. Any advice would be much appreciated -- Thanks!
I think you need to demonstrate that you have work in the pipeline, even if you have no publications at the present time. There are several examples of people from Top 5 departments that got good jobs, then couldn't get tenure because their CVs were still razor-thin after several years. Top 20 departments obviously want to avoid that, and it's your job to show them that they won't run into that problem with you.
Dear 8/19/2008 1:41 AM,Don't second-guess things too much. For example, definitely don't *not* apply to jobs in top programs if they are in your area because you think that search committees will pass over your file. What if they don't? Sure, it's nice to see publications, but it's also nice to see a promising scholar with an interesting project and a good set of skills. Some top programs are known for not pushing their grad students to publish as much as others (I'm from a lower-ranked program and our students don't have such luxury - they won't be noticed if they don't publish). In your job packet (and eventual interviews), you should be able to demonstrate that you know how publishing works. That is, you have concrete plans to publish the diss as a book and have a prospectus ready, or have revised chapters to be sent out as articles, etc.. If you haven't published yet because you have some papers floating around that haven't 'hit' at a journal yet, include those because search committees can evaluate their quality. If they are good, then the search committee will expect that they *will* get published (and probably with their school listed for the author's affiliation, if they give you the job!).
Re: 5:46 amExcellent advice!!
A Hypothetical Question for the ILP:Lets say that your school had a job open this year. How does your strong skepticism of quantitative methods enter into you evaluation of job market candidates?
Does anyone know what it means if you email a school expressing interesting APSA pre-interviewing, they email back and say they will contact you to schedule something, and then over a week goes by and they don't follow up?
You're hosed. Better go into consulting.
Yeah, it means they know you're a furry, and have shared that information and the relevant photos with all of us too.You sicken us.Really: it might mean "Go away little applicant," or it might mean "I am busy and forgetful," or it might mean "I thought I did that already." I wouldn't bother re-emailing unless you actually know someone there.
Ugly book? Ken Waltz's Theory of International Politics. But to my mind, that has got to be the most profitable title in this discipline BY FAR. I just saw copies of it at the local university bookstore, assigned for a class: New-$97, Used-$73! So, ~$100 for 200 pages times everyone in the discipline and their students for the past 30 years. Cha-ching!
I am furry, but in a hot way. . . Anyway, do you really think they don't like me? When I'm with my intentional community on the Russian River in Guerneville, all the other guys go Hog (I mean Bear) wild for me!
8/19/2008 10:22 AM:I think some schools don't quite understand (or remember) what the APSA situation is like. I remember when I was on the market that some departments seemed to think that theirs was the only job for which I was interviewing, and they could dictate to me when we would meet. I ended up not doing an APSA interview (but getting a flyout, squadoosh!) for one school because they tried to schedule me two days before the conference and I was already booked.Hang tight, send in an app, and hope for the best. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be. And, sadly, the contrapositive.
Keep in mind jobseekers: search committees right now are scheduling 20-50 of these short interviews right now. It is a lot of work and coordination. Emails get lost, slots get booked, etc...Don't read too much into it.
I posted the comment about mid 60's from top five SLACs. I was quoted 63 during my interview (in 2006), and, in my experience there is always a small bump (1000) from the interview to the offer and then a possible bump of 1500 after the offer.This may be true but also keep in mind there is a dramatic drop off after the top 10 LACs. The endowments just don't compare and, as the other poster pointed out, salary equity is a strong norm in many of these schools so, unlike the R1 world, you can't assume schools can or will "compete" on salary.They often can be very competitive in other areas--travel, research funds, startup costs, etc--far superior to 20-50 ranked R1s.
a "visually appealing" book says cambridge or oxford or the equivalent on it somewhere
Yeah, but even many of those are ugly as shit. Look at the Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics. Some of the best work out there looks like someone vomited all over it: Cheibub, as above; Petersen 'Understanding Ethnic Violence,' Duane Swank 'Global Capital...', Iverson et. al. 'Unions, Employers & Central Banks,' and the worst... Kitschelt et. al. 'Post-Communist Party Systems.' I mean bright pink and grey? Really? Cambridge has a long history of ugly, ugly, ugly, ugly, ugly, ugly.... ugly books.
What, you don't like the "vomiting Pacman" theme of CSCP?
8/19 5:16 AM is right on. Lots of examples in recent years of PhDs from top 5 departments with no peer-reviewed pubs that have gotten good jobs, only to turn out to be flops. Departments are very wary now of hiring an ABD on the basis of nothing but a leter from a big-name adviser. The smartest advice I can give is to not try to ride on your advisers coattails. No one wants to see you exude that sense of entitlement. Instead, focus on convincing search committees that you will soon have the ability and material to publish at top-3 journals on your own, even if you are not quite at that point yet. Remember that committees are most interested in what you will do the next seven years, not necessarily what you have done in the last seven.
"Is it still worth it for me to even apply to jobs at top-20 departments? If so, how do I sell myself to be competitive for these jobs? Is it just a waste of time? My adviser tells me to apply for a wide range of jobs - Does this mean I may not even have a shot at the top departments?FWIW, my main area is AP. Any advice would be much appreciated"The best advice I can give you is to not apply for jobs at all.Best,Someone on the job market
"This may be true but also keep in mind there is a dramatic drop off after the top 10 LACs."I got an offer from a MUCH lower than top 10 LAC in 2006 of $56K. I also had an offer from a low ranked PhD-granting school for $60K. Based on location, I took a job at a very low ranked, 3-3 teaching small public school (no grad program) starting at $58K and now make $66K at the same school. So, there is a great deal of variation in salaries across schools at the same level. Some small LAC in the top 50 pay little and others pay a lot more. Also, there are some states where even the low ranked, unknown schools (where I am) pay very well. With my situation, I'm making more now at the unknown public school than I would be at the PhD-granting school or the top 40 LAC. (Cost of living, BTW, is not that different across states.)