Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Comparative Job Rumors Aug 2008>

Please keep your posts to job rumors or job discussions only. Discussions of individual faculty, for whatever reason, are strongly discouraged.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will the faltering U.S. economy affect the ability of R-1 public universities to match offers from R-1 private universities, especially for new assistant professors?

8/12/2008 6:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not really. The problem will be frozen lines/hires.

8/12/2008 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's more likely that the faltering US economy will just result in fewer job postings from R1 public universities, which means that they won't even be there to match.

8/13/2008 6:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that a senior faculty member has been arrested and charged for bribery at the University of Iowa, will there be a job opening.

8/14/2008 2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any idea what the U-Washington (Seattle) CP position is looking for?

8/14/2008 5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am curious too. Any info on UW would be appreciated. I assume they may try to replace Erick Wibbels?

8/14/2008 6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8/14/2008 2:40 PM: Not this year, and I'll give you 4 reasons why.

1. Because he is, like all people charged with a crime in this country (military bases on Cuba notwithstanding), presumed innocent until proven guilty.

2. Because he was placed on paid leave for this AY.

3. Considering that the department did not offer funding to any new grad students this year, it sounds like the university may be a little tight on cash.

4. Any dean will tell you that departments do not "own" salary lines. There may never be a replacement hire.

8/14/2008 6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8/14/2008/6:21 p.m. is correct about points 1, 3, and 4. That the faculty member in question is on paid leave for AY 2008-08 is not relevant if he or she is gone by 2009-10.

8/14/2008 7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8/14/2008 7:20 PM: titcr.

8/14/2008 6:19 PM: I second this question. Somewhat similar, Princeton's Wilson School has a comparative job opening and it concedes (at least in the public ad) no special regional or methodological preference.

Such vagueness in job postings could mean that a) there really is no preference; or b) there is, and it is hidden.

Either way it will take somebody from the inside to divulge

8/14/2008 7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Princeton is in all likelihood truly open, i.e. best athlete.

8/15/2008 5:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While Princeton's position is probably open, `best athlete' is still defined by the committee. Comparativists at NYU and Princeton likely define `best athlete' very differently.

8/15/2008 6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would it be a faux pas to contact schools (contact person listed on public ad) to potentially meet in Boston to discuss a position even if that school is not interviewing at APSA?

8/15/2008 7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UW wont be hiring- budget shortfall and hiring freeze there

8/15/2008 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought I saw a general comparative job at Cornell listed on E-Jobs a few weeks ago, but I can't find it anymore. Is my memory wrong?

8/15/2008 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is 10:51AM correct? UWashington has three jobs listed on E-Jobs!

8/15/2008 2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re 8/15 7:30AM. No, it's not a faux pas. But keep in mind that contact people are often department chairs, who are invariably senior professors and often are busy. Also keep in mind that better schools often don't set up formal interviews because they don't need to sell themselves as a good place to work. Status matters to some people. If you're a hotshot ABD from a top school and think they'd be lucky to get you, tone it down. Think about why you want to meet with them. If it's for basic info you can get elsewhere (web, HR dept, etc) don't bother. If it's to make a good impression, think about how many applications they're likely to get. An open search at an Ivy League school will get so many applicants that you don't want to waste their time. Regardless, it doesn't hurt to ask nicely. But be nice and don't be offended if they say no.

8/16/2008 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone mentioned on this blog that Cornell would be hiring in general comparative, but I'm almost certain it's never been posted on e-jobs.

8/16/2008 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cornell did post but it was deleted. Same thing with Harvard. Strange.

8/19/2008 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any advice on sending writing samples? What is the acceptable length? Is it better to send one chapter, or two, each demonstrating a different part of the dissertation?

8/19/2008 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MIT will be doing a CP/IR search this year, but Methods oriented.

8/19/2008 12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean qualitative methods? Process tracing skills, for example?

8/19/2008 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sending two articles/chapters is usually a good idea. It's nice if you can send two different things (i.e., a dissertation chapter and a paper you've written that is not a part of the dissertation). It's also nice if you can send an empirical chapter from your dissertation rather than just the theory chapter. But you should send whatever solo-authored work represents your best research.

8/19/2008 12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the Yale post still on ejobs? For some reason, that is missing too.

8/19/2008 2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How useful is it to interview at APSA? Is it a disadvantage not to?

8/19/2008 2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With Ansolabehere leaving for Harvard, MIT needs someone to teach basic research design, basic and advanced quant. Discipline/region/question should be truly open.

8/19/2008 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it baffles me why people get so worked up about MIT. they made Saumitra Jha an offer last year; he didn't take it and went to Stanford GSB instead. so they're trying again. very simple.

8/19/2008 2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not baffled why people "get worked up about MIT", and it has has nothing to do with Jha. In the past several years they lost Kanchan Chandra, Joshua Cohen, Ansolabehere, etc. When Chandra left, people said "they still have Rodden" in CP. When Rodden left the next year, people said "they still have Peterson" in CP. If Peterson leaves, I wonder who will be left.

Very simple - good places lose good people, but MIT has hemorrhaged good people recently. The exodus reminds me of what happened at Chicago 10 years ago, with Stanford being a popular relocation spot in both cases.

8/19/2008 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peterson isn't going anywhere, and they are in the process of hiring Thalen and Schnider.

8/19/2008 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I count seven comparativists: China (Steinfeld, Tsai), Japan (Samuels), Mexico (Lawson), Eastern Europe (Petersen), Western Europe (Berger), European Union (Kedar).

Add Thelen (Western Europe, Japan) and Schneider (Latin America) and it's a respectable group.

Bigger weakness seems to be political theory.

8/19/2008 5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How useful is it to interview at APSA? Is it a disadvantage not to?"

It can be useful in a few ways:
1. To make a positive impression that helps you get an interview.
2. To get some insight on the position that helps you craft your application.
3. To get some useful practice answering the sorts of questions that you will face in on-campus interviews.
4. It may help that the committee members can put a face to a name.

A few downsides:
1. Bad or "wrong" answers could take you out of consideration.
2. The individual(s) you meet with at APSA may give you a misleading impression of the job, causing you to cast your application the wrong way.
3. There may be a "grass is greener" effect whereby the search committee is more intrigued by the applicants they haven't met than the ones they have.
4. You waste a bunch of time sitting through these meetings, with no particular benefit.

8/19/2008 6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

question about the uwashington post. they have what, one or two TT listings on e-jobs. is it true what 8/15/2008 10:51 AM said? the university has hiring freeze, postings are wrong/dead?

8/19/2008 8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

American U. is announcing a spot for "transnational crime". Is that a common field of comparative political science?

8/20/2008 7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are reading this blog, surely you know the answer to be "no", so why waste your own and others' time with such an idiotic question?

8/20/2008 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK. Back to rumors: are there lots of new listings to come or not? In the recent past, there was a final burst of listings right around APSA, but very little after that. Is this likely to continue? Will that burst not be there? Or might ads come out in dribs and drabs throughout the fall? Just curious...

8/20/2008 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that any of us know. I can say for my part that my department is still waiting to hear on our hiring requests, but we have no idea what the outcome will be. The same is probably true of many other departments.

Having said that, I would expect to see much less hiring this year. This is a very uncertain economic time, so administrators are probably quite reluctant to make big financial commitments.

8/20/2008 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shoot. There was an economic slowdown when I applied to grad school and there is one when I'm on the market. What luck.

8/20/2008 6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MIT job posted today

8/20/2008 8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8/20/2008 11:30 AM wrote: "If you are reading this blog, surely you know the answer to be "no", so why waste your own and others' time with such an idiotic question?"

Dear 11:30 AM: I am terribly sorry to waste your precious time (spent surfing the job rumors site) with such an inane question.

In the hopes that you have consumed a slightly smaller dose of pretentious-obnoxious potion today, though, let me attempt to justify the post.

Given how few comparative jobs are actually opening up this year, it struck me as interesting that this narrowly defined position was listed as joint comparative/IR. Further, it appears to be a particularly targeted job announcement.

Hence, it poses at least one question of interest for readers of this blog who are not as worldly and sophisticated as you. Namely, to what extent are jobs being announced with a clear "target" in mind -- that is, a candidate that fits a certain narrow set of criteria that very few would match? And what does this tell us about the market prospects for the year ahead? More parochially, and seeing as this is a **job rumors blog**, who is American looking for -- who are the transnational criminologists in comparative politics?

Again, I apologize for trying to extend debate here beyond the methodology position at MIT, and for expanding the discussion here in ways that did not meet with your precious approval. But that's what I figured an anonymous public blog was all about...occasionally posing "idiotic" questions in ways that allow and perhaps spur uncensored debate.

All best wishes,
The Idiotic Questioner

8/21/2008 7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: 7:07 AM. Who knows what the intentions of AU are, but it is no secret that demand is down among 2nd and 3rd tier departments. Schools can afford to be a bit pickier than usual in their hiring.

Unless you have something like an APSR article under your belt, it is obviously a tough year to be on the junior CP market. Best guess is that AU realizes there is no harm in trying to shoot the moon on this one.

8/21/2008 7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or this could be one of those "inside track" searches, where they basically already have someone they want to hire, but need to do a national search for EO reasons. So the ad is written with the person in mind that they want to hire, knowing that there are only a handful of people out there doing work like this.

But this is, to be clear, purely speculation.

8/21/2008 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geez. SIS at AU is going on a hiring spree. Given that there are several listings, some of which are more general, I'm guessing this transnational crime position is a line that might stay open until filled. Does anyone know if SIS just recently got a lot of money? I know they're building a new building.

To put in my two cents, if you work on third-party actors in IR, or if your work deals with violence and civil wars, I'd think you could come up with a compelling justification for fit. AU SIS might be willing to bend the specialization a bit if someone top-notch applied.

8/21/2008 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE AU transnational crime position -- This in all likelihood is actually about the security and political impact of organized crime, e.g. human smugglers, drugs/weapons, money laundering, intellectual property theft, and fencing stolen luxury goods, not to mention a nice tie-in for terrorism. No, general work related to third party actors, violence, and civil war is probably NOT adequate. Welcome to the intersection of academic and applied scholarship, my friends, all of the issues I've listed above are not unusual discussions in DC or policy-oriented research orgs in other places. AU may or may not have someone particular in mind, but they do have an idea of what is needed in the policy world -- and what could turn into USG-funded research and consulting! -- and what kind of person would fit the bill. I would even venture a strong guess that viable candidates would have to have relevant consulting/security experience, all others need not apply.

8/21/2008 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE 11:58 am -- Quick follow-up, there is also likely actual or perceived demand for courses in transnational crime from students in MA programs at SIS. Such people tend to be either full-time students with an eye on the policy world or full-time workers with an eye on burnishing their credentials. These sorts of MA programs are big moneymakers.

8/21/2008 12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have heard of people applying for 60 to 70 jobs in past years, but I'm only seeing about 40-45 that I can seriously apply. Will there be more jobs listed in the next few weeks or is this really just a depressed market?

8/22/2008 6:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, 60-70 serious possibilities. I think most people can never go above 30.

8/22/2008 6:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone who crosses the traditional CP-IR split, I found myself applying to a wide variety of jobs last year as part of the traditional "ABD clusterbomb." Looking back, I applied to about 35 in the fall, and 15 in the spring (4 TT, 11 visiting), of which I eventually landed a visiting position. I am accordingly back out on the market again, and while my tastes haven't changed, I've got about 35 jobs on my list, which is (to this point) pretty similar to last year. (My two cents)

8/22/2008 7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And if 7:11 also works on the Middle East (especially if his/her research has to do with either security or ethnic politics), I'd bet there are likely to be at least 50 jobs by the end of the season that she/he could reasonably apply for...

8/22/2008 7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cross the IR/CP line, and applied for about 90 jobs last year.

(Checks records.)

OK, actually, 95 if you count post docs and different positions at the same schools (i.e., count comparative and IR at UCLA separately).

8/22/2008 7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question: what do you do if you get an early offer from a school that you like, but you want to wait to hear from other schools you like more? Especially if the early school gives you two weeks to accept or reject their offer and the other schools are taking their sweet time. This hasn't happened to me yet, but I'm just sayin.

8/22/2008 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once you get the offer you should be relatively straight forward about your other options and where they are in their timeline. I found that if you had already interviewed someplace else or had an interview scheduled someplace else, you could use that to buy some time. But depending on the situation maybe one or two extra weeks, not one or two extra months and some people definitely turn down offers because other schools will take too long to decide and they feel they have a good chance of getting those undecided jobs.

You should also use your existing offer to pressure the undecided school to hurry up, and if you are one of their favored candidates they will usually try to do their best.

As far as applying to 90 jobs, wow, must make the head spin as far as potential options, living arrangements, etc. I applied to about 25 jobs and in the end interviewed at the 3 places where the job description most closely suited my profile. Seems logical afterall (although don't count on that logic replicating itself elsewhere:)).

8/23/2008 2:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should definitely call the schools you like to ask them to speed things up. Use whatever leverage you have while you can. But, "a bird in the hand" and all that...I would caution against turning down a job offer on the basis of an assurance from a department chair.

8/23/2008 7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if the school you like is bullying you with the job "take it or else" they may turn out to bully you on everything else too - tell them you have another interview lined up that you feel you should go to (family reasons, chair helped get the interview, etc) and hope they will accommodate you. You can always accept it, go on the other interviews adn if you get a job you'd prefer, try to defer it for a year -

8/25/2008 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^^ Seriously? Sounds like a pretty risky strategy there.

8/25/2008 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the "bullying" advice may not be helpful this year. I suspect that budgets to actually hire are pretty slim. THe few places that are lucky enough to keep their lines may want to move quickly to beat other departments at their home institution. I think this is going to be a very bad job market year. My state system has even threatened laying off untenured faculty if the gov/legislature ask for cuts that are too large.

No, I won' tell you which state.

8/25/2008 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my grad school cohort had 2 people that got bullied and took early jobs, both regretted it very quickly and went back on the market the fall after arriving at Bully U and Bully State - worked out great for one,not so good for another - the point being, you shouldn't accept a job lightly - it's (I think) a bigger deal than staying in grad school one more year - the wrong job will make you miserable and you might get stuck

8/25/2008 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not think that most two-week 'take it or leave it' offers are bullying. Many depts fear not hiring because searches cost money and faculty time and lines can disappear if left unfilled. They do not like being strung along. Some universities or depts have a policy not to interview additional candidates for a position if an offer has been made. As someone who has served on search committees, please realize that asking for more time has a cost to a dept that is watching other quality candidates slip off their board. If you are seriously considering the offer, you need to demonstrate that to the dept before asking for additional time. Be honest. This is a small world.

8/25/2008 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can people who were given the strict and early 2 week time frames share their experiences? did you take or leave it? did you continue to interview? are you glad in retrospect you did what you did?

8/25/2008 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had 2-week deadlines on two different occasions now. (On one occasion, I was entertaining multiple offers that came within days of one another. On the other occasion I had one offer with a deadline, and I was waiting for other offers that never came through because there simply wasn't enough time for another school to get its act together.) Every 2-week deadline I have had came with a hard deadline that was non-negotiable and not extendable. In both cases, I accepted the job. In neither case did I have regrets.

The philosophy here that everyone should keep in mind is that "one in the hand is worth two in the bush." You can ask for an extension on a 2-week deadline, but my experience is that schools do not extend them for anything except for senior hires (or Neil Malhotras). If you are neither Neil Malhotra nor a senior hire, I'm afraid you just have to get used to it. It's not particularly unfair of schools to do this, and there are lots of other candidates who would be happy to have the job that you're not sure you want.

8/25/2008 5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


That is fair enough, as long as your school has not intentionally placed itself early in the calendar in order to "get the jump" on schools ranked slightly higher and attempt to force candidates with legitimate shots at those other jobs to make a decision with incomplete information.

If the latter is true, then the school is intentionally working against the interests of the candidate, at an absolutely critical point in his or her career, and the candidate owes them very little in return.

Just my two cents.

8/25/2008 6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bullying and short deadlines are really only effective with candidates that do not already have TT jobs (e.g. ABDs, people in postdocs, etc). If you already have a job, even if you don't yet have tenure, the incentives to cave to pressure of this kind are very weak - unless you're unbearably unhappy in your current post or unless the rankings differential between you current job and the job on offer is really huge (but in both these instances, most candidates would say 'yes' almost immediately I'd have to think).

8/25/2008 6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a twist on bullying at a lower tier national univ. After the dean called to make an offer, she absolutely banned my contacting the dept. chair. who had agreed to discuss courses/load in the first semester. Is that typical?

8/26/2008 4:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. Not typical and seems to imply toxic division and discord between the department and administration.

8/26/2008 5:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the toxic environment thing seems like a really important point, the nastiness that underlies a hard deadline backed by a threat suggests problems. Did you contact the chair anyway?

8/26/2008 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stanford's IR job no longer appears on e-jobs. Does anyone know if it has been cancelled?

8/26/2008 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, you weren't going to get it anyway.

(And, you picked the wrong blog.)

8/26/2008 4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, don't assume that all people posting on this blog are third-rate hackers like yourself.

8/26/2008 11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guilty as charged.

But s/he still picked the wrong blog.

8/27/2008 4:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, don't assume that all people posting on this blog are third-rate hackers like yourself.

Well, actually, if we assume about 150 applicants, and a .8 probability that Stanford hires (could be higher--just a guess), then the probability that this particular anonymous poster gets the job is about .005. So we don't need to assume that the person is a third-rate hacker, all we need is to assume that s/he is no better/worse than the average Stanford applicant.

8/27/2008 8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:22, there is a lot you need to learn about statistics. Not everything comes from a uniform distribution.

8/27/2008 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK. Let's cool it here.

Back on the subject of rumors, there was a post a while ago that speculated we may be done for the season in terms of new listings. APSA has not posted anything this week (no doubt because their staff are all in Boston etc.). But it raises the question again. With most deadlines now no later than October 1, just how much longer can the listing process draw out? Anyone care to offer leads or inside dope on which places might or might not still list?

8/27/2008 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

E-jobs just posted a number of new IR positions today. So there is still hope for new positions.

8/27/2008 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is the *comparative* rumors section.

On E-jobs's new listings: yes, this does signal hope, but is the the first lapping of a rising tide or the last gasp of a dying fire?

8/27/2008 11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bring hope and good tidings of new jobs and I get shunned as an outsider? Typical comparativists.

8/27/2008 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comparativists may be parochial, but IR people can be boorish. ;)

Anyway, news of many new IR jobs being posted does indeed bode well. We'll just have to see how much that translates to in terms of new comparative positions.

8/27/2008 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

University of Calgary Position: Comparative Politics Asia

The Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary invites applications for a tenure track position in Comparative Politics with a focus on Asia . We welcome applications from all areas of this subfield, but preference will be given to candidates who can contribute to university programs in public policy. The position will be at the rank of Assistant Professor and commence 1 July 2009. The successful applicant is expected to teach introductory, upper-level undergraduate courses and graduate courses in the area and must be able to teach courses on China . Applicants must have a PhD or be near completion and have demonstrated promise in research and teaching.

Consideration of applications will commence on 20 October 2008. Applications will be considered until the position is filled. Applicants should ask 3 referees to send a letter of recommendation under separate cover to the address below. Applicants should also send a curriculum vitae, writing sample, postgraduate transcripts, information on teaching experience, and statement of research interest.

You may apply to:

Professor David Stewart
Head, Department of Political Science
University of Calgary , 2500 University Drive NW
Calgary , Alberta , Canada
T2N 1N4.

FAX: 403 282-4773
Phone: 403 220-6727

Email: dstewart@ucalgary.ca

The University of Calgary is one of Canada ’s leading research universities. There are over 30,000 full-time and part-time students, 17,000 continuing education students, and 5,000 faculty and staff, in a comprehensive set of undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate and continuing education programs. The U of C is located in the fastest growing city in Canada and is nestled in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Further information about the Department of Political Science and the
University is available at www.poli.ucalgary.ca and www.ucalgary.ca.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. The University of Calgary respects, appreciates, and encourages diversity.

8/27/2008 5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are the risks of going on the market again for those who already are starting tenure track jobs? I am underplaced and think I can do better, but considering how thin the market is this year, should I take this risk? Any advice will be appreciated.

8/27/2008 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in the same boat, struggling with the questions of whether to look again, and would also like advice.


8/27/2008 9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is funny, but like the both of you, I'm experiencing the same dilemma! I'd like to ask if there is a way to go on the market without your current department knowing-- just in case the market is unfavorable to us. Obviously, we'd like to keep our current jobs despite the underplacement (and being underpaid.)

8/27/2008 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Advice from someone who has been on four search committees the last nine years:

If you back go on the market as a first year asst prof, your department will find out -- there is no getting around this fact. In my experience, if we are going to short-list someone who is currently a first-year asst prof, then the first thing we do is call someone we know from your department and find out what the unofficial story about your situation is. Your chair may not (and probably will not) confront you about it, but they will know about it.

Given all of this, there is a definite cost/benefit tradeoff to all of this. My advice is to on the market only if your CV has very significantly improved since last year. The job market this year is much tighter than it was last year. If you felt you were underplaced last year, then odds are that you will be even more underplaced this year.

If, on the other hand, you have two new APSR/AJPS articles in the pipeline, then it may well be worth going for it. But you will have to suck up the fact that your current department will know about it.

8/27/2008 11:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: 8/27/2008 11:30 PM

And think of the added burden you are placing on your letter writers.

PS from what I've read on the blogs many new profs think they are underplaced but that may not be the case.

8/28/2008 6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:22, there is a lot you need to learn about statistics. Not everything comes from a uniform distribution.

Um, yeah, sure. And you think that a uniform distribution is necessary to get the result from 8:22? Really?

Take a random draw from [insert your favorite distribution here]. What would be the expected value? Since we don't know anything about the OP, we can only randomly select from the distribution of applicants, no? If so, then 8:22 is correct and doesn't need to make any distributional assumptions.

8/28/2008 7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In my experience, if we are going to short-list someone who is currently a first-year asst prof, then the first thing we do is call someone we know from your department and find out what the unofficial story about your situation is."

What? I find that to be reckless and inconsiderate. Don't applicants enjoy any protection of their privacy, at least in principle? It's one thing to ask around a little bit among people you know, it's another to go to a first year Assistant's home department and possibly create trouble for him or her.

I actually agree that home department will almost invariably find out anyway, but there it strikes me really wrong for a department to make inquiries at a first year assistant's current placement.

So, my advice to first year assistants: think it over very, very carefully. Unless it's a "dream job" or one that you think you have a very good shot at, I'd actually discourage you from applying widely in your first year. Mostly, and IMO happily, things have become much more market driven, where there's no sense that you "owe" your department anything. One of the few exceptions to that is when you go on the market again within a month or two of arriving. It suggests that you never had any intention of staying and thus probably shouldn't have accepted the offer in the first place. It's one of the things that really generates resentment, for right or wrong.

8/28/2008 7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What 11:30PM describes sounds pretty typical of how many search committees would handle an application from a 1st year assistant. 7:30AM may have a case that this is reckless and inconsiderate, but that`s how the world works.

Think about it this way: Suppose you are a hiring manager at McDonalds, and an applicant`s resume tells you that she just started working at Burger King last week, but now she wants to switch to McDonald`s. Don`t you think you might call up Burger King and find out why things didn`t work out with her? (did she just not get along with other employees? did she resent working there?)

Like it or not, that`s the way the labor market works.

(Caveat: I have been on a few search committees, but never on one that interviewed a 1st year assistant going back on the job market. So I don`t have firsthand experience here.)

8/28/2008 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or you could be honest in your letter (like "my family lives in City X, so that's why I'm applying" or "I don't mind my current job but think your department would be a better fit") and hope the hiring department asks your advisors rather than your current department.

8/28/2008 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dare say that the market looks pretty good for Africanists this year. We know that Asia and the Middle East are hot, but is Africa getting hotter these days too?

8/29/2008 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's more a function of a large cohort of Africanists who are nearing (or at) retirement age, and beginning to leave departments. I know of no reason why African politics would suddenly be "hot." Do you?

8/29/2008 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I remember my "Inconvenient Truth" correctly, Al Gore says that Africa is getting hotter due to increased concentrations of CO2.

8/29/2008 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I think if you are going back on the market in your first year, you should offer some explanation as to why. Otherwise, it does raise questions as to whether you're a malcontent, hard to get along with, etc.

Of course, if your vita is good enough, you'll still get interviews anyway.

8/30/2008 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

News, at least to me:

Margarita Estevez Abe ==> Syracuse.

8/31/2008 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a mpp degree from another institution before I began my phd in polisci. Should I send transcripts from both institutions or just the phd transcript?

8/31/2008 12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Transcripts are usually juts a formality to prevent lying on CVs. Since the PhD transcript will probably list the earlier degrees as having been received and verified when you began the PhD program, this is all that should be needed. I'd spare the expense and hassle of sending both and only send the MPP one when and if you are specifically asked to do so.

8/31/2008 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Schrad said...

This seems to be a question on which there is little agreement (see discussion on the Market Advice thread a few weeks back). Some view it as a formality, some view it as a necessity (such as when the ad specifically requests transcripts for all graduate work). Some even suggest that if all of your official transcripts are not present as part of your application packet, then your entire application may be considered "incomplete" by the department/HR staffer in charge, and thus may never make it to the search committee. Better safe than sorry, I suppose.

8/31/2008 1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> 8:22, there is a lot you need to learn about statistics. Not everything comes from a uniform distribution.

While both these statements are doubtless true, there is a lot *you,* dear 8:48, need to learn about arithmetic. With 150 applicants and .8 probability of success to go around, the average success probability among 150 candidates must be .005 with functional form having nothing to do with it. If you want the point to be about probability that is fine too; the law of iterated expectations would tell you the same thing.

9/01/2008 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll try this once again. When a place like Stanford has on opening, regardless of how many applications they get, maybe one candidate has a 70% of getting the offer, maybe another has 30%, and everyone else has 0 probability.

The original post said: "Well, actually, if we assume about 150 applicants, and a .8 probability that Stanford hires (could be higher--just a guess), then the probability that this particular anonymous poster gets the job is about .005."

My point is that the job market does *not* work like this.

9/01/2008 5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your assumption, which is not justified by the statement, is that the OP intended that everyone has the same chance of getting a job.

If there's an .8 chance that someone in a pool of 150 gets a job, on average they must each have .005 chance. That is the only way for 150 numbers to add to .8.

Now you might say, well how do you know if you're dealing with the market star with say .5 of that .8, or one of the usual plebes with .0001 chance?

The OP's only possible functional form assumption is that each of the 150 candidates is equally likely to have made the comment above in this thread. If that is so, then there is a small chance that the comment was made by the big tuna, a large chance it was made by one of the little minnows, and on average (again, iterated expectations) it was made by someone with a chance of .005.

There is no assumption whatsoever about the distribution of chances on the job market. It can be whatever you like and the OP's point could still be true.

9/02/2008 2:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are hereby off my short list.

9/02/2008 7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I can say is that if I ever find out who you two are, both of you will have a 0% chance of getting a job in my department - no confidence intervals needed.

9/02/2008 7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michigan has taken down their Chinese politics ad.

9/02/2008 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: 9/02/2008 8:58 AM

Does anyone know why this happened? Michigan still has a general comparative politics listing.

9/02/2008 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harvard did the same thing a while back. Clearly this is not the banner year for Chinese politics that many seem to assume.

9/02/2008 10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two positions at Notre Dame:

The Department of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame invites applications for two positions, rank open, in Comparative Politics with a specialization in Latin American politics. Junior candidates must show promise of excellence in research and teaching. Senior candidates should have high visibility in the field, a significant research record, and a strong commitment to teaching. The successful applicant/s will join a community of Latin Americanists across the College of Arts and Letters and will enjoy the resources of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies [http://kellogg.nd.edu/]. We seek applicants who are interested in being active and productive colleagues among a strong cohort of faculty with diverse substantive and methodological orientations. The Department particularly seeks applications from minorities, women, and those who are attracted to a university with a Catholic identity. Further information is available at Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters website http://al.nd.edu/resources-for/faculty-and-staff/prospective-faculty-faq/. Notre Dame is an AA/EO employer. Junior applicants should send a CV and letter of interest, writing sample(s), three letters of recommendations, and teaching evaluations to: Chair, Comparative Politics Search Committee, Department of Political Science, 217 O’Shaughnessy Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Senior applicants should send a letter of interest and CV to the same address. Review of applications will begin by September 25, 2008, and continue until the positions are filled.

9/02/2008 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does ND really need TWO new Latin Americanists?

9/02/2008 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lotsa Catholics in LatAm.

9/02/2008 4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe some of their LatAm people are about to retire (some of them are quite senior) and they are anticipating that?

9/02/2008 10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Building on strength is a strategy.

9/03/2008 6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My point is that the job market does *not* work like this.

No one said the job market worked like this. But if one candidate has a .7 chance and another has a .3 chance and everyone else has a probability of 0 of getting the job; if we don't know who the OP is, then the expectation is about .005. You do not need to assume that all applicants have the same probability to arrive at an expected value.

And the point that was being made was in response to someone who go offended at a post that dismissed someone's chances of getting the job. Since the two sides seem to be arguing that the chances are either about .005 or 0, aren't we all in agreement about the substance of the post (i.e., that the person who asked the question will likely not get the job)?

9/03/2008 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any job rumors?

9/04/2008 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah. Though season is not technically over, we're basically done. Some places have pulled ads, my bet is that few others will post new ones. This is probably just about all we're going to see this year. Let's just hope not too many places close down searches or have lines cut for budget reasons midway through the year.

9/04/2008 8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

season's basically done? wow. it ended early this year... you don't think many institutions will post with nov/dec closing dates?

9/04/2008 11:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. October 15 is usually the latest closing date for most places. Dec closing date would mean interviews after Winter Break. By then, all the candidates with offers from earlier schools would be off the market and the late-comers would be selecting from a much smaller and weaker pool.

9/05/2008 5:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What 11:29 means, is we've seen all the jobs come out that we're likely to see.

9/05/2008 6:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's not entirely true. There will be more jobs posted with November deadlines and beyond, as some departments move slowly (my dept. always has a 11/15 deadline, for example, even in good years). However, it is true that the bulk of all job ads have been posted, and there will probably will be a number of searches canceled due to the current fiscal situation.

Good luck to everyone on the market!

9/05/2008 7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It should be noted that there is a real difference between senior and junior searches. Senior searches can happen anytime and deadlines like 11/15 are fine. But I just can't see how one could run a junior search with a deadline of any later than 10/15 or so and be confident of landing the most competitive candidate (or even of getting the most competitive slate of jobtalk invitees to come out if the talks are held after Thanksgiving).

9/05/2008 8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I sit waiting for Hurricane Ike to hit South Florida I am left wondering what ever happened to the Professors from New Orleans after Katrina. Where they taken in by other univesities like students were, or left without home and job?

9/05/2008 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. October 15 is usually the latest closing date for most places. Dec closing date would mean interviews after Winter Break. By then, all the candidates with offers from earlier schools would be off the market and the late-comers would be selecting from a much smaller and weaker pool.

Is this your first year on the market? I still have a list of at least 20 schools from last year with post-Oct.15 deadlines. Are they as 'good'--on average--as the ones who post early? No. Are they jobs that many people here would love to get? You bet.

9/05/2008 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yale has pulled their Comparative ad off eJobs. Or am I missing something?

9/05/2008 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Answer: I'm missing something.

9/05/2008 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yale has an omnibus search committee across the subfields. They look at all applicants, decide who to invite out, and make offers to as many as are "above the bar".

9/06/2008 6:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I prepare to go out on the market, I think back to last year when several friends of mine, in the same field, went out and did not find a job. They applied to many positions, they were good students from programs ranked 25-35, with several conference presentations (perhaps only one or no publications), but they ended up having to take one-year teaching positions at various places. Anyone else have this experience? Was this because of a bad market last year? If so, I'm not too excited about my prospects in this market.

9/06/2008 9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are several objective dichotomous distinctions committees can make:

1) PhD finished and in hand or not
2) PhD from top 5 or top 10 department or not
3) Publications or none
4) Book out or under contract or not

These dichotomies cannot be easily disputed by rival factions within committees (the way the relative tone of a rec letter or reputation of a journal can, for example). They can often trump other considerations when determining who gets job talks if not always in deciding who gets offers. If you are on the wrong side of numbers 1, 2, and 4, your chances would be hampered I'd think.

9/06/2008 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, meant numbers 1, 2, and 3. Number 4 does not usually come into play in assessing the merits of ABDs (but it can definitely matter for people a couple years out).

9/06/2008 10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm one of the few lucky ones who got a tenure track position in the 07-08 hiring season. It was a tough year to be on the market. Even then, I'm not happy with my placement. The teaching load is heavy,the departmental environment is not at all up to par with my training, there are old guard folks in administration who insist on equity based salary (not merit based). There is virtually no compensation for productivity. Further, the place is in the middle of nowhere.

I'm so tempted to go on the market again. Looking at the job listing at APSA's site-- there are a few positions where I'd be a perfect fit. However, I know about the risks of going on the market again. I'd appreciate any advice. I went on the market ABD with solid publications. I'm anticipating two more publications for 2009 and I've sent out a book manuscript for review at a university press. So, what should I do--wait till my third year review or go on the market this year? Any advice will be appreciated.

9/07/2008 12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some people go on the market after their first year and get better jobs. This definitely happens, but it is not particularly common.

I'd recommend that if you apply, you apply only for jobs that would be unambiguously better (in both your eyes and your current department's eyes) and only to the two or three jobs that are clearly better fits for your substantive interest. So, if you're a rational choice legislative studies person at Southeast Central Arkansas State Tech and there's a job for you at Rochester, it might make sense.

9/07/2008 6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, if you're a rational choice legislative studies person at Southeast Central Arkansas State Tech, there's a reason that happened. And the likelihood that you'll end up at a place like Rochester is effectively nil.

9/07/2008 8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's certainly a good point. SWCAST was a joke to make a point--you could imagine more reasonable horizontal moves such as New Mexico State to Texas-Austin. People do trade up jobs after a year.

But you're right. As I said in my email (and you seem keen on underscoring) it is not particularly common.

9/07/2008 8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9/06/2008 9:02pm: Yes, there others out there in the same situation. The sad truth is that this is becoming more of the norm rather than the exception. I remember reading somewhere that, at a given state university, over the past 25 years, the number of visiting, one-year, non-permanent positions increased 57%, while the number of tenure-track positions increased only 2%!

These are the realities, and also the reason why I find people in TT jobs complaining about being "underplaced" so off-putting. You've got a heavy teaching load? Oh no! The intellectual environment is not on par with your training?! What would be!? There's no compensation for productivity? Is that what publishing is all about? It is in the middle of nowhere? Well then why did you even apply? Plus, look at the bright side: you can probably buy a bigger house for cheap in this market.

Listen: as someone in a non-TT role, I would LOVE to have these "problems." Heavy teaching load? I've got a 3-3 with 300 students per semester (and I don't complain, because I figure at least it is not a 4-4). Compensation? I teach twice as many classes as my TT-colleagues, and make 1/2 as much money. No research budget, no office amenities, not even a cost-of-living raise.

So, if you are considering going back out on the market, thing long and hard about what you DO have--and with a market that is shaping-up to be one of the WORST in recent memory, I'd want to be pretty sure that someone at your ideal school will be there to catch you as you leap from your current one, because I think you'll find that your present department won't take too kindly to it. My two cents.

9/07/2008 11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fact is, this is an open market. The only way to get a raise or other perks is to bring an outside offer. There also may indeed be better places for one to work than wherever one currently is (even if you're tenured at an Ivy League school). The phenomenon a a dual-track academic labor market is sad and disgusting. But do not hold their being there against people in the TT tenure track just because you're on the adjunct track. It isn't their fault and most of them would hopefully change the system if they could.

All that said, it would be a failure to look out for one's self-interest if a junior person always stayed totally off the market for fear of looking disloyal (only a truly insecure department would worry too much about that anyway). But if you apply for everything under the sun every single year, people will start to assume you are either going to leave sooner or later (and therefore not worth investing in) or that you are not terribly competitive in the market (if you don't land many offer every year) and thus not particularly worth being granted tenure.

Just my 2 cents.

9/07/2008 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody got change for a nickel?

9/07/2008 2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spent far too much effort my first couple of years out of grad school trying to get out of whwere I was. In retrospect, I should have focused on just getting work done, rather than wasting time, energy, sanity on the job market.

I would recommend waiting at least one year, if not two-three to build a record.

9/07/2008 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure if this has been discussed yet, but applying for jobs again as a 1st or 2nd year asst is almost always a lose-lose for the candidate. In my dept, anytime we are seriously thinking about interviewing a 1st year, someone will usually call a trusted source at the candidates school and essentially ask: Is there something we should know about this candidate that is not apparent? Sometimes, the source is shocked to learn the candidate is going back on the market so quickly - and the ensuing answer is usually not too positive for the candidate. Other times, the source will admit that the candidate simply does not fit well with the dept, which may be a subtle way of implying the candidate is not a team player. Now whether the source is saying this candidly, or just because the dept wishes not to lose the candidate, is unclear. Either way, though, it does not make the best impression on the candidate in either dept.

Never has a source in this situation simply said: Yes, candidate X is a terrific colleague and I really hope he or she doesn`t leave, but we can support a move if that is what he or she chooses. I have simply never heard this being the answer when a 1st or 2nd year asst is back on the market. And so, not coincidentally, we have never actually interviewed a candidate who was already a 1st or 2nd year asst somewhere else.

In the overwhelming majority of cases, I cannot recommend that an underplaced asst prof go back out in the 1st or 2nd year. It is a move with near-certain negative consequences and very low probability of gain. You are essentially placing yourself in a catch-22 by applying for jobs again so quickly.

9/07/2008 11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of moves for new TT assistants, what are the perils of moving, say, after 3-4 years? Besides a delayed tenure clock and 6 more years of uncertainty, what else should people be careful about? Many thanks.

9/08/2008 3:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just my two cents on the moving in early years question (as someone who's done it). I think applying widely in your first year in a job really does not look good, so I would suggest waiting until the 2nd or 3rd year.

First off, you have to let your chair know you're applying for jobs. This involves explicitly laying out why. If it's an issue of a dream job you've always wanted (e.g., this dept specializes in public opinion / pol psychology / interpretivism, and I'm the only person who does that here), or if it's a geographic or personal issue (my parents are ill, and I need to be closer; my spouse can't get a job here), most chairs will be gracious. This defuses the potential for bad feelings and lingering resentment if you do end up staying. And they're also less likely to do the back-stabbing the commenter above suggests (though how often does that actually happen?).

Secondly, always be gracious about the dept you're leaving and the reasons why. I can't imagine ever wanting to hire someone who framed the issue in 'trading-up' or ranking terms. And if you have had serious disputes with people in your dept, don't mention them. Practice saying 'It's a great department, and I'm sorry it wasn't a better fit for me.'

9/08/2008 4:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone who as a new assistant actually did change from one TT job to another after one year, let me chime in here.

The most important thing as a new assistant is that you are going to apply for a job, make sure that it is a job that fits you *perfectly.* If you study Uruguay and Harvard has an ad for a Uruguay scholar, you're on the right track.

The second most important thing is that you are honest with yourself about why you're moving. The grass is always greener on the other side. You'll still have onerous committee work, you'll still have some colleagues who don't like you, you'll still have annoying students, etc. Don't start applying to other jobs if your complaint about the school is any of the previous, because changing jobs will not fix it.

Third, apply SELECTIVELY. After one year, one or two or three jobs is probably right. After three years, more may be right.

That said, I moved after one year, and I can't see that I have suffered any consequences for having done so. I have no regrets at all.

Of course, the job market may be different now. I did this more than a decade ago, so in today's market your mileage may vary.

9/08/2008 5:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another two cents: my medium-ranked RUVH institution gets at least half of its junior TT appointments from individuals who have degrees from top-ranked institutions but who have been teaching at SLACs for one or two years. My sense is that if you expected to have a research-oriented position and are currently at a teaching institution, no one questions the fact that you are still looking.

9/08/2008 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's 'RUVH' stand for?

9/08/2008 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The advice I've always been given is to wait for your first book or first couple of articles to come out. Two years is a good time to start searching selectively. Three is a good time to start searching generally.

When you leave after one year, unless for personal reasons (spouse, kids, parents), you are probably the same candidate you were the year before (except that those "forthcoming" articles are now listed as published). If you wait 2-3 years, your stock might be significantly higher (WP article; CUP book) and the opportunity ripe for addressing "underplacement."

9/08/2008 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

University of Maryland Comparative Position: Africa

The Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland invites applications for scholars in African politics specializing in development, with expertise in general comparative politics. We are looking for someone who employs mixed quantitative and qualitative methodologies. One or more junior positions at the assistant professor level are to be filled but tenured candidates may also be considered. Minorities and women are particularly encouraged to apply. The University of Maryland is an Affirmative/Equal Opportunity Employer. Candidates should send a vitae, samples of written work, three letters of recommendation, and a letter of interest to Professor Mark Lichbach, Chair, Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland, 3140 Tydings Hall, College Park, Maryland 20742. For best consideration, applications should be received no later than October 10, 2008. The University of Maryland is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

9/09/2008 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am entering my 4th year. I have 4 articles in some 2nd-3rd tier outlets (ISQ, CPS, BJPS etc.) and 1 book from a 3rd-tier university press (Kansas). If I change jobs (say, moving to a higher-ranking R1 from a 4th-tier R1), in general what would be the expectations for tenure at the new place about 3-4 years later? Is it common to expect another book or 4-5 more articles? There is a good chance that I will get tenure at my current place with my current publications. I am just a little concerned that I might not be able to keep up with the immediately-post-graduate-school level of productivity after I change jobs. Any insights/advice? Many thanks.

9/10/2008 7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RUVH = "Research University, Very High" [expectations]. Current (post 2004) Carnegie terminology for what used to be called "Research I." Google "Carnegie RUVH" and the first link will give you a list of those so classified; there are about 100. This applies to all research at the university, so not all are research oriented in the social sciences.

9/10/2008 8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, is CPS a 2-nd, 3-rd tier journal? I thought it's a top comparative journal... I actually struggle to think of a single important comparative article that has come out recently in APSR or AJPS or JOP (if those are the 1-st tier journals 7:56 has in mind).

9/10/2008 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:56: a book and four articles or chapters is on the thin side for tenure at some R1s, unless they're good. (Have a look at recent tenure decisions of the schools you're targeting.) Your new colleagues will judge you on the basis of your existing work but also on work you do over the next few years. It might be safer to wait until you get tenure at your current job, then apply...?

9/10/2008 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am applying for a job at a third-tier university. Will it hurt my application if I send a statement of research interests even though it is not required?

9/12/2008 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How could it help?

Don't send what isn't asked for.

9/12/2008 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really? Isn't it helpful to explain more about one's research? They don't have to read it, but if they are interested, it's available.

I'm not 8:34 AM.

9/12/2008 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you read back on the job market thread, it has been frequently posted by current and ex- members of search committees that, if you can't even follow the simple application instructions, then that somehow reflects negatively on your character/application. Now, I'm with you guys... if you don't want to read an extra statement or additional writing sample, just toss 'em out! Of course, I'm not on a hiring committee.

Maybe think about it in terms of your own undergrad students: say you've got a class of 100, and you give them an assignment for a five-page paper, which means you have 500 pages of reading ahead of you. Then suppose that you have a student who adds a couple of extra pages, because (s)he has something so important to say, it couldn't possibly fit in five pages. Since this is a very competitive class, soon everyone is writing papers that are 8, 9, 10+ pages of mostly undesired information. Next thing you know, your workload has doubled from 500 pages of reading to 1000 or more, and now you're really pissed off at your students. I'd think that if you'd had that experience even once, you'd be really ticked at any of your students who couldn't adhere to even the simplest of guidelines.

9/12/2008 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks. So if a school asks for three recommendation letters, I shouldn't send a fourth one?

9/12/2008 2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's well and good in the 8 page paper example, but most of "extras" in a job packet are "opt out." If I send a clearly marked teaching statement that wasn't solicited, it's no additional cost on the committee's part to ignore it.

9/12/2008 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^^ 1:23 pm here... Like I said, I completely agree with you, but again, I've never been on a committee, so I don't know what it is like. All I have learned from three go-rounds on the market is that, for any number of reasons, committees only like to receive what they explicitly ask for... no more, no less.

9/12/2008 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Extra letter, no problem.

Statement of research interests. Generally belongs in the cover letter, but follow instructions.

Extra writing sample(s). Annoying. It makes your file harder to scan and makes clear you can't focus on what's important. It's sort of like a talk that goes too long. It takes up space in the drawer, it's harder to carry to your office in a stack, it annoys the staff that has to make copies or scan. Put all your papers / chapters on your website and make it easy to pull more if we want it.

9/13/2008 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another thing that I would worry about in sending a statement of research interests that is not requested is the possibility of overselling yourself as a researcher when applying to a department that might be more teaching-intensive. For right or wrong, it runs the risk of a committee concluding that you are not a good fit because you emphasize research more than the department does.

9/13/2008 12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I saw a job ad that didn't ask for a statement of research interests, I would take that as a pretty strong signal that research isn't going to get you tenure, and if you want the job, you should focus on teaching and service. And if that's not what you want to do, maybe you shouldn't apply.

9/13/2008 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Yale or Havard requires a separate research statement. Does that make them teaching intensive?

9/13/2008 7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, for those research universities that do not require a research statement, how much should I write about my (future) research plan/projects other than the dissertation in the cover letter? I cannot simply put whatever is in my research statement document into the cover letter, as that will make it too long.

9/13/2008 7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your research interests should be described in a cover letter (which should be no more than 2 pages). If you have more detailed descriptions or other additional materials (additional writing samples, etc), put them up on your website and signal that in the cover letter. Then put an invisible tracker on your website and you get the additional extra of knowing which schools have a bit of interest in you.

9/14/2008 6:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for the above who said cover letter got too long, this is the breakdown: one paragraph on who you are, one paragraph on the diss (only!), one paragraph on other research plans, one paragraph on teaching, and (optional) one paragraph on why XU is the best place ever. That should keep it under two pages. ... Really, we don't want to read a long diss description for everyone; if you can't get it in one paragraph, you need to devote some work to that.

9/14/2008 6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been on a lot of search committees at several different institutions, and I have never heard anyone complain that an applicant sent too many writing samples or something we did not request. The analogy to students exceeding the page limit on a paper assignment doesn't work, because you don't have to read the things you think are irrelevant in a job packet.

If you're in doubt about sending something, send it. If search committee members aren't interested in it, they will just ignore it.

9/14/2008 6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What sorts of things do people typically say in their job letters when saying XU is the greatest place ever?

I know one can research the faculty that you might want to work with, but I have a hard time not feeling totally disingenuous, and I also don't want to cite some faculty and run the risk of offending others I didn't mention...

9/14/2008 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But bear in mind that the committee members will likely pick up one random item out of the pile of writing samples you might send and read a few pages on the first cut -- it better all be good. In my experience, most of those applying for junior faculty positions are not well served by sending more than a few papers/chapters/articles b/c quality starts dropping off somewhere in there. You want to guide the committee to your best work.

And 6:09 am is exactly right on the cover letter.

9/14/2008 9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phone interviews have begun. I don't want to say which school, for fear I was the first one and they'll know who I am.

9/14/2008 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what if someone has a paper that is more polished than any of his/her dissertation chapters, as it was written earlier? Should s/he send a dissertation chapter or the more polished paper? The paper and the diss are on different subjects.

9/14/2008 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phone interviews have begun and I'm still getting my materials ready. Yikes! Do places start processing apps before the deadlines?

9/14/2008 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Magloni and Diaz (Stanford) will move to Notre Dame? Or did they get tenure at Stanford?

9/14/2008 7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are the first one, they will know who you are anyway--Doh!

9/14/2008 7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's start updating the wiki. That is the most efficient way to convey a lot of this information once searches start to move.

9/15/2008 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nah, I don't feel like it. You do it.

9/15/2008 11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's my first year on the job market, and I have sent only a dozen of applications. I wonder how many applications people looking for their first academic job tend to submit.

9/17/2008 7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The market is like a lottery. The more tickets you buy, the more chances you have. You could get lucky with one, or you could end up with nothing no matter how many applications you submit.

9/17/2008 8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have talked to graduate students in my department who submitted 60-70 last year and did not find anything. I suspect that this may be related to the weakness of the economy over the last 12 months because in previous years students from my department were able to find great jobs. So, in a tough market, I would recommend applying to more rather than less, but don't be surprised if you still don't get anything.

9/17/2008 8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wondering what you mean by "great jobs" and where is your department roughly ranked in the country?

9/17/2008 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When a job posting says..

"please send a cover letter and the names and contact information of at least three references"

Does that mean they don't need letters of recommendation sent to them?

9/17/2008 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it means if the school is interested they will ask for letter later. Less paper to deal with.

9/17/2008 3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, does that mean that the schools can be turned on/off without looking at the reference letters first? I had thought the reference letters themselves are a great turn-on/off.

9/17/2008 7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have misspellings in your cover letter, it's probably going to be canned.

If the department can see from your cover letter that you're not working on just what it needs, you're going to be canned.

Seems obvious to me, and seems a good way to save paper.

9/17/2008 7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Importance of reference letters diminish rapidly post-PhD. Soon, what counts is what you've published as where, as well as what your overall reputation in the field is.

9/17/2008 8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And you'd be amazed at how uninformative many (most?) reference letters are. Everyone is the best student the advisor had in the last 5-10 years. Everyone is a delight to work with. Everyone will almost surely be finished with the dissertation within the next 6 months. Etc.

Reference letters are usually good to give predisposed committee members more ammo to suppport a candidate.

Having said this, the old guard is generally more impressed with letters from big names (perhaps because they think of themselves as big names). I cannot tell you how many times I have heard senior faculty say "so and so is good, AND has a letter from Mr. Big Shot" as if somehow it was impressive to get a letter from your advisor. Or even to have Mr. Big Shot as your advisor (since Mr. BS, as the big name, will be the first choice of every student in the field).

The bottom line is, I don't think letters help you--though a bad letter kills you.

9/18/2008 6:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reference letters, like ties and academic gowns, are hold-overs from an earlier, information-poor, old-boy-network [and yes, I do mean "old boys"] age. At the new Ph.D. level, they sometimes do provide useful information, probably the most important being when faculty co-authors have a chance to indicate the candidate's contribution to a project (assuming, of course, that is positive, as opposed to "brought donuts to our meetings").

But in general the currency has been devalued: relatively early in my career, my top-twenty institution brought in a candidate from a top-ten institution who had glowing letters from big names. The candidate was so bad we canceled their meetings with the deans, one of only a couple times I can remember that happening. And of course never again believed a thing we got from that institution. Also I have seen cases where almost identical letters have been "written" for multiple candidates -- there are probably some nice MS-Word templates circulating out there somewhere.

In the 21st century, with cheap airfares and instant availability of information off the web, any institution that pays attention to letters -- again, new Ph.D.s possibly excepted -- deserves what they get.

9/18/2008 7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have served on search committees for the last nine years since starting my first job. I can attest to the fact that reference letters have dramatically decreased in importance during that time, even for ABD candidates. Conversely, the factor that has increased in importance is whether the ABD candidate has a job talk paper or other work that could potentially become a top peer-reviewed journal article.

It is not so much that every big-shot reference letter basically says the same thing about every candidate (even though that is usually true). Rather, we simply don`t care too much what Prof. Big Shot has to say about a candidate, given that there is now much more direct communication between candidates and hiring committees now in the internet age than just 15 years ago.

I would say these days, for most ABD candidates, having an additional working paper posted on your website is much more helpful than having an extra letter from Prof. Big Shot, provided of course that it is a polished working paper. Candidate websites have become highly important for virtually every search committee, so make sure yours is good and thorough.

9/18/2008 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a faculty member with grad students, letters serve an important role: They stop students from applying without consultation. It is bad enough that I have students going to conferences without consultation and presenting crap (looks bad for the school and advisor, as well as the student). I don't want them wasting the time of search committees, claiming they are finished, when they are nowhere close.

9/18/2008 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're already on the short list if anyone is bothering to check your webpage - moreover, many of the older faculty are not - let's say - net savvy, so I find all this greatly overstated. we (top 20 RUVH w/ phd program)might check out the candidate's website after the interview, but certainly not before -

9/18/2008 11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:40 AM is correct about one thing: Certainly more important to have an interesting, compelling job market paper than to worry about whether some big name in your dept has written a letter for you.

I cannot count how many times we have received a job packet with glowing letters from big names, only to scratch our heads after reading the candidate`s (boring and narrow) job market paper, leading us to wonder whether the letter writers were even writing about the same candidate as the one who submitted the application.

Put another way, make sure your research is interesting, and everything else (letters, job offers, etc) will take care of itself.

9/18/2008 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's fine advise for those whose research is interesting. But what about the rest of us?

9/18/2008 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL! Well played.

9/18/2008 1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's your take on sending writing samples? Just one? Or the more the better? Especially if each one is fairly publishable?

9/18/2008 11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are the appropriate things to say in the first paragraph of a letter saying, I am applying to your institution for X special reasons? Is it appropriate to note personal reasons, proximity to family, etc?

9/18/2008 11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That's fine advise for those whose research is interesting. But what about the rest of us?"

But why would someone spend 5-7 years doing research that is not interesting in the first place? Every research has got to be interesting in some way, no?

9/18/2008 11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


9/19/2008 12:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My problem is that my research may be "too interesting," if you know what I mean.

9/19/2008 6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No-please explain...

9/19/2008 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:14, you would be best served by dropping your interesting research and working full-time on your sense of humor.

9/19/2008 8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are multiple reasons for big shots writing generic rec. letters. I know of one who would rank his students (as in, X is better than Y, that student you interviewed three years ago, but not as good a scholar as Z, the student who got a job at Institution Q).
Then, when Y (the worst of the three) found out about this ranking from a friend at the institution receiving the letter, he/she told X, then got drunk at a conference and confronted Big Shot. Awkward.

9/20/2008 12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, point being that after that Big Shot just wrote generic letters.

9/20/2008 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quote: "Then, when Y (the worst of the three) found out about this ranking from a friend at the institution receiving the letter, he/she told X, then got drunk at a conference and confronted Big Shot. Awkward."

Awkward perhaps...but still funny!

9/21/2008 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is anyone going to update the job wiki?

9/22/2008 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would think so... just not much updating to do quite yet.

9/22/2008 7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So if a job was advertised a few months ago but now isn't, does that mean it's no longer available. I printed out a few postings a while back, but now I can't find them at any of the various websites. Who took down the advertisement? The websites or the departments? Should I still apply these places?

9/23/2008 5:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd contact the person listed in the ad to see if the search is still ongoing. They will tell you whether it is or isn't, and if not, why not. I've had to do that a few times this year with jobs that have "evaporated." I'd say who, but the department contacts, in each case, said that they would prefer to handle such cases, rather than by broadcasting anonymously to blogs like this.

9/23/2008 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When should we expect to hear from schools after we send in an application?

9/24/2008 12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't expect to hear from schools - be surprised if you do, one way or the other.

9/24/2008 4:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, so to rephrase 12:04's question: how soon after the deadline do schools contact their shortlisted candidates? From what I saw last year, sometimes as little as a week, sometimes a month or so.

9/24/2008 8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Okay, so to rephrase 12:04's question: how soon after the deadline do schools contact their shortlisted candidates? From what I saw last year, sometimes as little as a week, sometimes a month or so."

Yes, that's what I meant. Thank you.

One question -- How is possible to review all the files in a week?

9/24/2008 9:32 AM  

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