Image of 15th-c. scribe Jean Miélot
Higher Education

Universities should be employing surplus PhDs–as administrative staff.

Of the many criticisms I hear levelled at the current state of higher education, I would say that the following four are among the most frequent: The current reliance on contingent faculty rather than full-time professors is both undermining educational quality and creating a permanent academic underclass of PhDs working …

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Empty stage with a stool and a mic stand; sign behind reads "Comedy"
Higher Education

Top Ten Ways Academia and Stand-Up Comedy are Secretly the Same Job

  10. You basically have to take any paid gig you can get (beggars can’t be choosers!) 9. Unusually high rates of anxiety and depression among your peers 8. Constant pressure to write new material 7. Sometimes you take a long trip just to end up talking to an empty room 6. Audiences are …

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Empty lecture auditorium at UC Berkeley
Higher Education

On the Market VI: Excellence in Teaching and Student Evaluations

This year’s academic job application season is drawing to a close, and, as ever, I find the compilation of the last few packets to be tinged with the kind of grim urgency that accompanies the knowledge that all of the searches I applied to earlier in the year have already …

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Higher Education

On the Market V: Diversity Statements

One of the (least) fun things about the academic job market is that every application asks for a different constellation of documents. This is especially onerous when putting together your first few applications, which can take several hours of (unpaid) labour to piece together. As time goes on, though, you …

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CultureHigher Education

God and Dan at BYU: (Discriminatingly) On the Market III

Dan refuses to honor Brigham Young University with his application for a position because of its required policy for faculty to be hostile to non-monogamous, non-heterosexual life choices. How ineffectual!  Here’s what he should do instead. Apply to BYU.  Get himself interviewed.  Wow the entire faculty and get the job …

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Higher Education

On the Market II: Digital Footprints

In the course of my usual social media browsing I came across this article in the Chronicle, which encourages (nay, demands!) that academics take control of their online presence through the creation of a personal website that links to and integrates all of their social media accounts and professional activities. …

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Higher Education

On the Market I: Brown M&M’s

Dan is doing an amazing service by documenting his process (to hopefully a well-deserved and intellectually stimulating tenure-track position). So, I thought I would add a counter-point to his. The view from across the table, as it were. What is it that a job search committee is looking for when …

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Image of a tweed sport coat
Higher Education

On the Market I: Bespoke Courses

This is the first installment of “On the Market,” a series in which Dan chronicles his experiences and observations as a new PhD on the academic job market. It will continue until he gets a job or dies trying. As many of us unfortunately know from experience, applying to tenure-track jobs is …

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Painting of Galileo facing the Roman Inquisition
Higher EducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Job Interviews

A colleague of mine (also on the job market) recently scored a Skype interview with a big-name institution, which has led to a lot of discussion ’round these parts about what sorts of questions to expect in such an interview, in order not to be caught off-guard by the interviewers …

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Growth of science and engineering Ph.Ds and new faculty positions, by Schillebeeckx et al. in Nature.
Higher EducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Is There a Doctor in the House?

In my field of astronomy, and all across academia, graduate students are fretting about post-Ph.D job opportunities. It’s become clear that finding a tenure-track position in the sciences is far less likely than it was in the “good old days.” The American Astronomical Society does some tracking and reports on …

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