Monday, January 1, 2007

... And There Was Much Rejoicing

Whether announcing a job offered, or a job accepted, feel free to let the world (or at least the few hundred readers of this blog) know. Once again, please don't name names, even your own.

357 comments:

1 – 200 of 357   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Duke University

Visiting Latinist position.

Accepted

**Yaaaaayyyy**

Anonymous said...

UCLA (Open Field)
Offered and Accepted

Anonymous said...

Union College
Visiting position

Anonymous said...

Dartmouth College

Job offer

Anonymous said...

CSU-Sacramento
Ancient History
Job Offered

Anonymous said...

New College of Florida
Greek Literature
Job Offered and Accepted

Anonymous said...

UPenn jobs offered.

Anonymous said...

U Colorado - Boulder
T-T Hellenist
Job offered

Anonymous said...

Tulane job (T-T Greek History) offered

Anonymous said...

University of Oregon Greek lit job offered

Anonymous said...

Georgetown - offered and accepted

Anonymous said...

Gettysburg College
Classics/Women's Studies (LGBTQ)
Job offered

Anonymous said...

Re: Gettysburg.
Do you mind saying what subfield you're in, ooc?

Anonymous said...

Re: Gettysburg.
Do you mind saying what subfield you're in, ooc?

Drama

Anonymous said...

Dartmouth T-T Latinist

Offer accepted

Anonymous said...

New York University

T-T Greek History

Offer accepted

Anonymous said...

University of Toronto Greek history/material culture

Accepted

Warren Zevon said...

Rumor has it that the University of Alabama history job has been offered, but no clue whether it has been officially accepted or not.

Anonymous said...

Gettysburg College (Classics/Women's Studies)
Job Accepted

Anonymous said...

Union College
Visiting Position
Accepted

Go Big Blue said...

Ohio State University (T-T Latinist)

Offered and Accepted

Anonymous said...

Stanford (TT Latin)
Offer made

Anonymous said...

UWashington (archaeology)
Offered, provisional acceptance

Anonymous said...

Washington University, too, just for symmetry.

Anonymous said...

Re. 9:17:

The UWashington job was accepted (not provisionally).

Anonymous said...

I've been told that the ancient history position at CSU-Chico has been offered and accepted.

Anonymous said...

Informed by SC that McGill Latinist position - offered and accepted.

Anonymous said...

Princeton University (T-T Hellenist)

offered and accepted (so I hear)

Anonymous said...

According to the wiki:

UNC Greensboro has made an offer for their TT Latin position.

Anonymous said...

I've been informed that Tony Blair has been offered and has accepted a position at Yale...

Anonymous said...

Man, I totally thought Putin had that job in a bag! Guess Tony out-sassed him yet again.

Anonymous said...

Well, he's not really doing so well in the Middle East now is he...

Anonymous said...

Any one have any ideas on the Chicago searches?

Anonymous said...

Chicago Greek offered (accepted?).
No idea re Chicago History.

Anonymous said...

I believe the Chicago History position has been offered to an alum - not sure if accepted.

Anonymous said...

Well, their alumni are sooo good... and it's a natural choice to replace Saller with a Saller alum.

Anonymous said...

We SHOULD NOT be discussing individuals, as we all learned when discussing the Penn position.

That said, it's been more than a month since some position were accepted (as reported by the wiki), and there is NO reason why those names can't be posted on the wiki. If someone ACCEPTED a job 3-4 weeks ago there is no expectation of privacy, as there would be for the first week or two, when they're still notifying other institutions, friends, etc., and posting that information would not be "outing" them, especially if it's done only in the password-protect wiki (which Google can't penetrate). N.B.: We should not be discussing those people here once they're posted, but their names SHOULD be in the wiki, as they were last year, and as they will be a few months from now in the APA newsletter.

Anonymous said...

Good luck getting the names.

Not to rain on anyone's parade, but I see several searches on the wiki that are listed as 'job offered' rather than 'job accepted,' which is in fact the state of things. Should I post both 'job accepted' and their names? Somehow I feel dirty doing it. I quit updating way back when we were just adding a plus sign to indicate that materials had been received.

But I encourage others who don't have such hang-ups to start posting names. I hear that one particular graduate program did really well this year...honestly, I wish we could post finalists for positions too...but that would be snarky.

Congrats to all whose names are about to appear in bright lights!

Anonymous said...

About getting names.

If you're really, really curious, you can always look up the courses for the fall semester and look for names. Not all schools have this info posted yet. But one that starts with P- and ends with -ton does. I'm just saying.

Anonymous said...

It's far healthier for people to be posting this information freely than for people to be spending time looking at course listings of schools that didn't hire them in order to see if they can glean information...

Next thing you know, people will be searching through departmental trash to find out where certain searches stand.

Anonymous said...

Drinks with grad advisers = searching through departmental trash

Oh, they are only too happy to gossip.

Anonymous said...

The way I see it, if it's posted by the university, it's fair game to be posted here. Hearing it through word of mouth, it's up to each individual's judgment.

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with Anon. 11:52. Again naming no names, I've known schools to put this sort of information about Fall courses up on their websites before informing the unsuccessful finalists, so it will be very useful to have any gleanings posted here.

Anonymous said...

I've noticed that there are some names showing up - Dartmouth, Purdue, etc.

Servius said...

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please. Please. No names on this site. I know it seems a little overbearing, especially if a school announces whom they just hired in a rejection letter (yeah, I got that one, too.) Even if the new hire is posted to the school's website. Even if it is you.

I don't want to play Caracalla, and you don't play Geta, so let's all place nice.

Anonymous said...

Servius:

By 'this site', I take it you mean the blog. We can still post names taken from school websites on the password-protected wiki, right? After all, the third 'sample posting' on the wiki includes a name. Or is the policy more draconian than I thought?

Anonymous said...

Well, Famae is Servius' blog so it's his prerogative.

On the other hand a wiki whose contents are dictated by an individual kind of flies in the face of what a wiki is, eh?

Servius said...

I am not the keeper of the wiki, and as noted just above, it is a wiki, so undirected, open editing is the whole point. %~)

I, personally, will not name names on the wiki, even my own (an easy choice since it looks like I'm coming up empty on the market this year!). But that is a decision each individual should make, and is none of my business.

I'd hoped that keeping names out of the blog would encourage people to discuss the process itself, rather than those involved. That has proven overly-optimistic, unfortunately. But I'll leave that for a later post.

Anonymous said...

I've known schools to put this sort of information about Fall courses up on their websites before informing the unsuccessful finalists

Wow, that is so not classy. How hard is it to send out an email to your rejects beforehand? Crikey, institutions, get a frickin' clue.

Servius said...

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please. Please. Please. Do not name names on this site. I know it seems a little overbearing, especially when you have just gotten a rejection letter that names the new hire within. Even if the new hire is posted to the school's website. Or even if it is you!

I don't want to play Caracalla, and you don't want to play Geta, so let's all play nice.

--Servius

Servius said...

Oops! Sorry for the doubled up comments, everybody. I have no idea how that happened.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:27pm wrote:

"But I encourage others who don't have such hang-ups to start posting names. I hear that one particular graduate program did really well this year...honestly, I wish we could post finalists for positions too...but that would be snarky."


Over on the Philosophy side of the fence there is a blog written by a professor at UT Austin that acts as a sort of clearinghouse for this information. Google "Leiter Reports Blog" and you can see what I am talking about. People write in and post which jobs have gone to which people. Sometimes they also include info such as multiple offers (one guy had offers at NYU, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and he chose Michigan). Since it is moderated those offering the information cannot be anonymous, and it looks like the hires themselves, the hiring institutions, and even the graduate directors write in and post the news.

I think this information is useful, and this approach is healthy. Why shouldn't placement announcements go as deep into the records as possible? Who was offered what job, what other places did they have fly-outs for? Heck, why not also who did they interview with, etc.?

As long as there is a way to vet the information so that it cannot be anonymous, what is the harm?

Anonymous said...

Without divulging any personal information, can someone explain what the asterisks on the wiki are supposed to signify?

Anonymous said...

Without divulging any personal information, can someone explain what the asterisks on the wiki are supposed to signify?

Depends. Some of them are simply failed attempts at coding for bold lettering.

Anonymous said...

A brief aside that will be of interest to few:

Remember a month or so ago when there was speculation about why someone had turned down a certain high-profile job, and then I, Mr./Ms. Anonymous, wrote that the reason seemed quite clear based on something just posted on another thread, and then someone else got all snarky over that claim and wrote that I didn't know anything about the matter, and even wrote that the blog contained no such clue? Well, having just perused the wiki again, I can say that my educated guess was right after all and that the other thread did indeed shed light on the matter, and that the good name of "Anonymous" (as well as the original, pre-Ellis Island Polish name Anonymotzki) was needlessly sullied.

Don't worry, I'm not looking for an apology: I just thought we all desperately needed some closure on this.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who gets all excited/depressed when there's a new post on this thread because I expect it to actually be an announcement of a job offered or accepted, and then am a bit peeved when it's just more gossip?

Don't get me wrong; the gossip and the speculation are great. But we've got other threads for that; could we keep this one more for the Big News?

Incidentally, any ideas (perhaps best on friendly skies or job updates) on why there hasn't been any Big News of late? Come on, people with offers, accept or reject them so the wheels can start turning again!

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymotzki,

Here is your cookie. !-)

Sincerely,
Your adoring fans

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:11,

I am totally with you. I am excited to see movement on the Big Board, and then get disappointed by the gossip. Here I am now contributing to fake movement, but yes, let's keep this one clean - job announcements only. Not that Anon 1:02's announcement wasn't newsworthy. Yes, Ms. 1:02, you nailed that one!

Anonymous said...

FWIW, 99.99% of the "gossip" tidbits so far seem to be accurate. Let's me honest folks, you'll have to be a total fool to believe that certain schools "searches" were more than just going through the motions for propiety sake. So enough of the snarky, "how dare you insinuate" responses from the guilty parties. You've been nailed, simple as that - come clean and stop patronizing us.

Anonymous said...

Come to think of it, why WAS the wiki reference to the now proven gossip on Famae under Berkeley's search discretely deleted instead of crossed out? Curiously, it ocurred at the same time the hire's name was posted. Chance? I think not...

Nobody's Fool said...

Yo,

1:30/1:34

Take this crap over to the No Tell Motel, or a different thread, whichever is closer. And on your way, try placing a colander on your head and wrap it in tin-foil. Those voices will get a little more clear. I promise.

Anonymous said...

A riddle: what school, who we suspected of having an inside (note: not "internal") candidate, who then quite publically interviewed 19 people at the APA - and some of theirs bitched and moaned on this list - then offered the job to the insider within ten days of the APA?

Anonymous said...

Bingo, anon. 1:50. And what school went to great lengths to "hide" their insider to the point of not listing them on their speaker list, which was promptly followed by a scolding post on here? Then, voila, the insider shows up on their list the week of the talk, which happens to be the last one. Within days, the person is offered the position.

SCs, express your incredulity all you want, the truth is plain, tin-foiled colander or not.

And no, I do admit to there being honest searches with internal candidates. I can name at least two or three this year, but the ones referenced above definitely do not fall in this category.

Anonymous said...

University of Victoria t-t Latinist has been offered, accepted, amen.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Anon 2:18. That is just the kind of news we want to hear here!

Anonymous said...

Anon. 2:00,

The answer to my riddle is not the school you think (I think).

Another clue: the name of the school rhymes with Rutgers

Sincerely, Anon. 1:50

anon2:00 said...

No, I guessed right. I was just pointing out another school that rhymes with Bezerkeley.

Anonymous said...

I think we need to remind ourselves of the difference between internal and inside candidates before we jump to make judgments about people, schools and searches. Labeling someone an inside candidate could be taken as a slur (or sour grapes) and making assumptions about the conduct of a search can also be insulting to the person who got the job.

Servius said...

I think we need to remind ourselves of the difference between internal and inside candidates before we jump to make judgments about people, schools and searches. Labeling someone an inside candidate could be taken as a slur (or sour grapes) and making assumptions about the conduct of a search can also be insulting to the person who got the job.

STRONGLY SECONDED!

You may think you KNOW what went on. You may be right, I may be crazy, but it just may be a lunat-- wait, wrong blog.

You may be right, you may be wrong. C'mon, be charitable in your interpretations and conservative in your speculation. Really.

Let's say YOU, dear tin-foil-hat crowd member, are in a one-year visiting position next year. If all goes well this spring, then maybe, just maybe, you are gonna get that priceless VAP at uber-cool college.

Then, holy cats, in September the Dean goes craaaaazy. He confirms that your position is going to turn into a tenure-track line. Cool beans. You talk to the chair, ask if you should give it a try. Mild encouragement, but the usual caveats. You apply. Along with about 120 other hopefuls.

Meanwhile, as your application winds its way through the machinery, you work like a dog. You bite your fingernails and your toenails and your dog's toenails, everything with an edge, down to the quick. You slave away at your courses, publish, present, drive the local Eta Sigma Phi chapter to Chuck E. Cheese every Thursday night.

Oh, and that application? No word. A few other APA invites from less-cool unis trickle in. Here it is December 15th and nothing from uber-cool college. Nada. Zip. Zero. But you don't dare ask any questions, of anybody. Then, miracle of miracles, you get an APA interview on the 21st! By email, just like everybody else. Formal processes suck, don't they?

It is tough, much tougher than your other APA interviews because you know your interviewers so well. And why are you hanging out in this lame-ass hotel suite anyway? But you have to be the picture of professionalism. You answer questions with words which you've answered a thousand times by your deeds, back home. At uber-cool college. But apparently your friends can't smell fear very well, it works out, you score a "campus visit"!!

But then you think, well, no duh, it's just a courtesy interview, and you are the cheapest flyout in history. Dean-pleasing and easy as pie. But you have to give it a go since it is your only callback. The day comes. Your so-called campus visit. You deliver the job talk of your life!!! You kicked ass!!!! You get a free dinner at the nicest restaurant in town. The next day you come back and teach your Myth class in the same room, look out at the same faces, except you are just you -- not the guest lecturer from out of town. Buzz-kill. Totally.

Then you have to wait another few weeks as three young studs and studettes are paraded around, wined and dined. They try to seduce YOUR students, they chat-up your deans, your friends, even chat-up the funky lady who runs the campus bistro. Who do they think they are? Then, they are gone. The faculty is meeting Saturday morning so you decide to hit the road for that weekend and hang out with your kid sister in San Antonio. Lots of margaritas and honky-tonk line-dancing. Maybe other things you'd prefer to forget. Anything to take your mind off the fact that your friends and colleagues are deciding your future. Back home.

You stumble into your apartment at 3am on Sunday. The light is blinking on your cheap Japanese answering machine. It's the chair. Please stop by his office as soon as you get a chance. No sleep that night. A John Wayne marathon on AMC. Lots of Doritos and Oreos.

9am the next day, no breakfast for fear of tossing it up, you walk into the department. Knock knock! Smiles, congratulations, wonderful news! You got the job!!!!! Your mom is happy, your kid brother is happy, and your husband can finally begin to dream about getting rid of his ulcer. Peaches, cream, Yes!!

And then, then some anonymous commenter on some random blog trashes you. Implies you don't deserve the job. The fix was in. Calls bullshit on the whole process. Basically calls bullshit on your own personal piece of hell.

Well?

How do ya like them apples?

Anonymous said...

No one is implicating the insiders, AFAIK. No one is saying they don't deserve it. People are implicating the system (and maybe the SC as its agent) for putting up with a sham. C'mon, an offer 10 days after the APA? Hiding the inside candidate and pointing fingers on here, only to discretely put the insider on the docket at the last minute? Who's engaging in intrigue here? Not us, despite what is said by Servius.

Anonymous said...

Hey, but you get to practice!

[insert comments here by Allen Iverson concerning practice]

Servius said...

Hiding the inside candidate and pointing fingers on here, only to discretely put the insider on the docket at the last minute?

That's just it. You can't know that they were an inside candidate. you only know that they were an internal candidate. Big difference.

Your outrage is plainly directed at the system and at the SCs as potential/probably enablers of the system. But can't you see that the individual, internal hires (your friends and colleagues!) are sustaining serious collateral damage from the manner in which you are expressing your outrage?

Second, you are assuming that the SCs are acting in bad faith. Again, you may be right, you may be wrong. In some cases you no doubt are right. But in some cases you no doubt are wrong. Seriously, ineffably, wrong.

Pointing out the problem of "inside hires" as a general phenomenon is fine, and I definitely agree that it needs to be pointed out. Pointing to particular searches, and thus to particular people is, in my opinion, mis-guided. Simply because you can't KNOW for a fact.

I am quite seriously suggesting that everybody show more charity and generosity here. Openness and group intelligence will win out, over time, but only if it is accompanied by fair-mindedness and some serious humility with respect to individual knowledge.

The wiki. The blog. This whole system. It is a work in progress, and an experiment, so let's not short-circuit it by completely gunking-up the wheels of information exchange through bad assumptions and bad-faith storytelling.

Anonymous said...

According to the Berkeley classics placement news page (which, yes, lists names which one has to presume the people involved are okay with- http://classics.berkeley.edu/news/articles/story.php?id=42 ) (and my deep apologies if you weren't, but you should talk to your dept. about that), the Wellesley Latinist position has been offered.

Anonymous said...

If I may be excused for adding to the "inside candidate" conversation... none of this really helps anyone. If you don't have an interview at an institution who was an inside candidate, then it doesn't affect you. If you do, it doesn't really help to know about it, since you should apply anyway (if only because the insider in question may take another job), and that knowledge doesn't really help you at all in the interview (and it may actually hurt you). You just have to go in there and do the best that you can in any case and hope you make a good impression. And it certainly doesn't help after the hire's been made, either.

Anonymous said...

It should not be a great surprise when an internal candidate is offered a tenure-track position. Very often the person was hired initially with an eye to her/his suitability for such a job, and s/he has had a year or more in which to justify or disprove that assessment.

It is very wrong to think of this as a sweetheart deal, or as basically unfair. After all, what's in it for these departments to give a position to someone they don't think should be in it? What status-conscious department would even hesitate to dismiss a VAP if it didn't think that s/he was good for the department, or if it thought it had found somebody better? If you think there's one that would, Lord, do you have another thing coming. After all, it's not as though these candidates are typically the *product* of the institution in question; usually they've been educated elsewhere, sometimes have worked elsewhere as well, and have only been in town for a couple of years at most. These are typically candidates without longstanding ties to the institution and community they find themselves in. Under those circumstances, SCs and departments are free to go for people they think are the shit, and given that the new appointment is tenure-track they're pretty likely to stay away from people they think aren't the shit, including perhaps the internal candidate. After all, if you turn down the internal candidate, s/he's gone and forgotten in a few months, even if s/he steals all the pens and pees in the coffee maker on the way out.

Also to be considered is that neither candidate nor SC has guarantees. Even supposing an SC loves an internal candidate so abjectly, so heedlessly, that it cannot even bear to think of hiring another (which, as I've suggested, happens more or less never) what if the beloved one takes another job? Whom does it serve for the SC not to have run a search and not to have a second choice ready to go? Who here would turn down a job for which you were second choice?

In sum, it's not rare that an internal candidate should be offered a permanent position if s/he's done a good job while in it on temporary terms, but there is also no serious and widespread incentive for departments to offer a position in the face of merit, and it doesn't help anyone, SCs or candidates, if SCs just assume they can hire whomever they want and so don't bother to search, because quite often they can't hire whomever they want.

Anonymous said...

Arizona State (T-T Hellenist)

Offered, Accepted, Amen

Anonymous said...

...even if s/he steals all the pens and pees in the coffee maker on the way out.

So that's why the office coffee tastes so damn strange. I thought the administrator said it was Tanazania PEABERRY.

Crap.

Anonymous said...

Dear ASU Hire,

За Ваш успех! Желаю счастья

3 years of Russian in high school, 2 in college said...

Ya tozje govoryu po-ruski (no ya slishkom mnogo zabil). So don't think you can write secret message in Russian on this forum!

Anonymous said...

C'mon 10:40, what did they say?

Anonymous said...

I know that several positions listed as 'job offered' on the wiki should be changed to 'job accepted,' but I am hesitant to change the wiki until I know the name/affiliation(s) of s/he who accepted, because I don't think my information is air-tight, contract signed, sealed, and delivered, etc. I updated the wiki in one case where a friend of mine told me s/he had mailed back the contract. Could others do the same if you know a friend/peer in your department has accepted a position? There are a lot of false hopes floating around out there, as well as a lot of people interested in what departments were looking for. If everyone just updates one or two positions, I think we can fill in the missing information pretty quickly.

Anonymous said...

And for you, Servius -- I mean wiki ONLY, and no names here! I promise!

Anonymous said...

I think more important than names is the change in status from offered to accepted. Some of us on here are riding shotgun and would appreciate any info about what the person in the driver's seat is doing. This will allow us to move on to other opportunities, and presumably free up even more opportunities for others.

Anonymous said...

Here are the jobs listed as "job offered" -- if you have any reliable information that the job has been accepted, please change the wiki to reflect this:

Butler: Latinist
Cal State Sacramento: History
Columbia: History and Senior Hellenist
Denver: History
Eastern Kentucky: History
Fordham: Latinist
Middle Tennessee State: History
More than one Stanford Humanities Fellowship offered in Classics?
SUNY Brockport: History
Tulane: History
Alabama: History
Arizona: Latinist
Buffalo: History
Chicago: Hellenist and History
Miami: Generalist
Michigan: Latinist
UNC: Archaeology and Hellenist
UNC-Greensboro: Generalist
Oregon: Hellenist
Penn: History – second offer made?
Rochester: Archaeology
Toronto Scarborough: History
Wash U: Hellenist
Wellesley: Archaeology

This list does not include entries where the job is listed as "accepted" but no name/affiliation of the accepter is listed, but as the last poster pointed out, it is more important to change status than to name names, so if you do not feel comfortable naming names, but you do know that the job has been accepted, please update, so that those of us without jobs yet are operating with a little more information.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to change the wiki for these because I'm not the one accepting the offer. They may not be 100% correct, but I am pretty confident. Some of them are friends, others acquaintances, and others I am basing them on the fact that I have been officially rejected. I'll list them here in the hopes that somebody else can second me, or correct me.

Butler: Latinist - Accepted

Tulane: History - Accepted

Alabama: History - Accepted

Chicago: Hellenist - Accepted

Michigan: Latinist - Accepted

UNC: Hellenist - Accepted

Oregon: Hellenist - Accepted

Wash U: Hellenist - Accepted

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I meant to ask Anon 4:02 and others to do the same if they are comfortable. And if we have overlapping info then that will be helpful

Anonymous said...

75% certain we can add:

UNC Archaeology -- accepted
Wellesley Archaeology -- accepted

Also Toronto Greek Art and Bryn Mawr Archaeology are at least in their final stages, although I do not have any information about whether offers have been extended.

That's the extent of my information, and although I am not prepared to update the wiki with this info, perhaps someone with better information can.

Anonymous said...

Just saw on the wiki that the Grand Valley State ancient philosophy position has been offered and accepted.

Anonymous said...

I see several searches on the wiki that are listed as 'job offered' rather than 'job accepted,' which is in fact the state of things. Should I post both 'job accepted' and their names?

Post "job accepted" if you are positive that is the real deal.

Why can't SCs tell you that they have offered the job to somebody else and are awaiting an acceptance?! I don't mind knowing that I am second or third on the list. Can any current or former SC members comment on this?

I am glad the wiki exists, otherwise I'd be tearing my hair out waiting for news.

Anonymous said...

"Why can't SCs tell you that they have offered the job to somebody else and are awaiting an acceptance?!"

SCs want the signed acceptance in hand before proceeding. Candidates have been known to back out from a verbal acceptance.

Anonymous said...

Search committees don't want to tell Choice #2 that they are Choice #2, because if Choice #1 turns them down, they want Choice #2 to feel wanted. The exception to this rule is that if Choice #2 needs to know where s/he stands because s/he has an offer that is about to expire, it would be kind of the search committee to get back to him/her ASAP to say, "You are a strong second choice, and if Choice #1 turns us down, which we should know by next Friday, we will offer the job to you immediately," or something of the sort. But there is no need to do this unless candidates inquire due to a pressing need, such as an offer that is about to expire, and candidates in that situation should not feel shy about politely telling the search committee that they have an offer from another school that is about to expire.

Anonymous said...

Happy weekend, all. Drink heavily and don't check the wiki.

Anonymous said...

Columbia's 3-year Roman history position was accepted a while back. By an archaeologist.

jealoushistorian said...

Aha! Score one for the grubby archaeologists!

Anonymous said...

"Search committees don't want to tell Choice #2 that they are Choice #2, because if Choice #1 turns them down, they want Choice #2 to feel wanted.?

This seems downright silly. We all understand how hard this process is, and how little can separate candidates during the final stages. If you tell me the truth I respect you more, especially in the morning.

If you offer me a job, even if I know that I am your back-up pick, I will feel wanted. Don't worry SCs, an offer is an offer. Nobody remembers down the line if somebody was the second or third or fourth choice.

No offense 8:23, but this reason smells like a red herring to me. If a school is willing to say "You are a strong second choice, and if Choice #1 turns us down, which we should know by next Friday, we will offer the job to you immediately," when I have an other offer, then they should be willing to say that even when I don't. Right?

Running this gauntlet is ego-bruising enough that SCs should hardly worry about limiting the buffeting at the very end. Give us the straight dope and let us take it standing up.

Anonymous said...

Though I can see where SCs are coming from, I do agree with anon 9:18 to a certain degree. I'm the poster with a biologist roommate and I just asked him about candidates riding shotgun in biology. He says it might be scientific objectivity, but they usually state clearly where you stand. I guess we are a bunch of catty, thin-skinned pansies tiptoeing around...

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what you mean by a red herring. Whether or not you like the logic, that is what some search committees are thinking in not telling #2 until #1 has declined. I don't think they have some underlying, sneaky reason for not keeping #2 informed. You can still argue that they are handling the situation poorly and should tell #2 what is going on, but red herring? What exactly do you have in mind? Why else would the search committees hold off on updating #2?

Anonymous said...

What exactly do you have in mind? Why else would the search committees hold off on updating #2?

I don't mean to suggest that YOU are being disingenuous, and I believe that many SCs SAY (and think) that this is their reasoning. Here is why I think it could be a red herring.

Perhaps they avoid telling #2 that they are #2 because the bargaining position of #2 (or #3 or #4) could be stronger if they knew the SC is running out of options. Searches are expensive and time-consuming, so much so that it might be much less expensive to give #2 an extra 5k in start-up funds or a bump in salary rather than run the risk of having the search fail. If I know that I am the last chance for the SC then maybe I will bargain a bit harder. After all, this is my last chance before tenure review, so I have to make it count. Keeping everybody in the dark is a way to maintain a stronger hand for the negotiation phase.

Anyway, I'd prefer that Classics behave like Biology, although I can see how this behavior might be an institutional phenomenon and not a discipline phenomenon.

Anonymous said...

"Columbia's 3-year Roman history position was accepted a while back. By an archaeologist."

Again, no naming names here, but this is a great example of where wiki updating with name/affiliation would help those of us in archaeology territory to get a better idea of how an archaeologist was successful on the history market. It is a compliment to the person who got the job and informative and helpful for the rest of us archaeologists who might want to see if we could be competitive on the history market, which was WAY BETTER this year (and usually is).

Anonymous said...

The history hire is already part of the Columbia community. (Words carefully chosen.) There is little for archaeologists to learn from this that would help them to market themselves.

If no one else posts the name, I'll do so a week or so from now.

starvin'archaeologist said...

In my observation, archaeologists need kick@$& letters from philology or history advisors to have a real chance. Or you need to have on your CV that you found the Ark...MacArthur grant doesn't hurt either...

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Good to know about the details so I don't get my hopes up about the history market, and there was nothing malicious about your sharing that information, so I think no harm done.

Anonymous said...

"The history hire is already part of the Columbia community."

That's strange, Columbia has archaeologists? Do you mean papyrologist? I'm not sure if their vaunted anthro department would even admit to having someone who primarily studies material culture like a Neanderthal scholar.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I could write more without "outing" the candidate -- whom I believe to have a right of privacy for another week or so -- or at least making comments that would represent a discussion of a specific individual, which is a no-no. And also, if I wrote anything more there's a good chance that others would engage in pointless and potentially harmful discussion. I'll just say that it's pointless to speculate, so those who want to know more should just wait a bit longer.

Philo said...

Or you need to have on your CV that you found the Ark..

... or the One Ring.

I'm not sure if their vaunted anthro department would even admit to having someone who primarily studies material culture like a Neanderthal scholar.

Damn, so not only are Archaeologists alcoholic nymphomaniacs, but they are Neanderthals as well? No wonder they can't get jobs

Anonymous said...

"In my observation, archaeologists need kick@$& letters from philology or history advisors to have a real chance."

I agree, when trying to cross disciplinary lines, stellar letters often help since SCs will lean on them more to gauge the candidate's worth, valid as this approach may be or not.

Anonymous said...

"Damn, so not only are Archaeologists alcoholic nymphomaniacs, but they are Neanderthals as well? No wonder they can't get jobs"

Yep, I'm afraid materiality is not in vogue these days unless one is criticizing it.

grumpygnostichater said...

Yep, I'm afraid materiality is not in vogue these days unless one is criticizing it.

Yes, but then one would be an Art Historian or maybe a socio-cultural anthropologist? Or a gnostic? I suppose a gnostic has a better chance than an archaeologist these days of snagging a job as a "late antique," "early Christian," or "medieval" scholar.

Anonymous said...

"The history hire is already part of the Columbia community. (Words carefully chosen.) There is little for archaeologists to learn from this that would help them to market themselves."

Seconded. Further clarification:

(1) The Columbia hire was not from the history department at Columbia, but on a "New York Prize" which is awarded to artists, scientists, and humanists and is administered through the University.
(1b) The Columbia history professors apparently warned their recent PhDs not to bother applying because the Columbia history dept has a well-established history of not hiring its own.

(2) He is an "archaeologist" in that, yes, he is the assistant director of an excavation, but he has also been trained as a (yes, albeit somewhat traditional) "historian."

(3) I am sure he knows nothing of this site or the wiki. Believe it or not, there are a lot of candidates who still haven't a clue about the sites -- particularly candidates who aren't based in the USA.

Anonymous said...

I am *fairly* certain (but not wiki-certain) of the following:

Loyola New Orleans conducted campus visits, no idea about search outcome

Tulane's Greek History position has been accepted

Davis has made an offer

UNC's Archaeology position has been accepted

USC conducted campus interviews and has made an offer

Wellesley's Archaeology position has been accepted

Whitman has made an offer

Again, I'm not wiki-certain of any of these, so if someone else can confirm any of the above, please change the wiki accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Anon. 4:05 for putting some of us out of our misery.

On a related note, anyone know if Whitman's offer has been accepted?

Signed,
An idiot who should know better, but is still hoping for a miracle

Anonymous said...

No clue about Whitman's offer. Again, my info is not first-hand, or really even second-hand (more like through the grapevine), so take it with a grain of salt. I am just passing along what I've heard, hoping that this will spur someone who has better information out there to update the wiki. I know there are a bunch of lurkers who aren't updating, and I completely understand if you don't feel comfortable naming names or if you don't want to post "offer made" if your roommate/friend/colleague wants "offer made" to be under wraps until it becomes "offer accepted" or "offer turned down." But if you know that a job has been accepted, please post/update so that those of us who are waiting can move along mentally/emotionally.

Anonymous said...

For those of you waiting to hear about specific positions, out of curiosity, are you waiting to hear from places where you interviewed on campus, or are they APA-only interviews, and you're hoping the schools in question didn't fill the position with their first three campus visits? I know this is an anxious time, so I apologize for asking, but I am interested in whether schools are slow to update campus visitors or APA interviewees or both.

Anonymous said...

Campus visits on my end. I do have several APA interviews that did not result in flybacks which are still outstanding, but I would say only one or two have a real shot of getting back to me.

Anonymous said...

Willamette job offered and accepted.

Anonymous said...

I do have several APA interviews that did not result in flybacks which are still outstanding

Was in the same situation as you until a few days ago - just got request for campus interview from a place that interviewed me in Chicago. So the chance of a second round is still there.

Anonymous said...

It is still out there, but I would say the chances are less than 5% for a given year. At this late stage with the majority of TT jobs filled, I would say it's closer to 1%.

hope dies last said...

10:32,
Congratulations on the late fly-out!

Anonymous said...

USC conducted campus interviews and has made an offer

So did they end up going the Latin Lit or the Hellenist History route?

Anonymous said...

I think I heard about Hellenists being interviewed at USC -- **think** = heard from a friend from a friend.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I believe was leaning toward Hellenist as the position was left open by an Aegean Bronze Age scholar.

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming this wasn't a Linear B scholar - great, another archaeology position bites the dust, likely filled by a pseudo-archaeologist hellenist.

Curly the Historian said...

likely filled by a pseudo-archaeologist hellenist.

Hey! I resemble that remark!

Anonymous said...

Penn State Hellenist

offered and accepted

Anonymous said...

I have a question about the Willamette and Whitman ancient history positions.

Does anybody know in which area each (or either) school chose to hire? Was it a Roman or Greek historian (or none of the above)? I interviewed in Chicago for both, but I was a finalist for neither, so this is really just idle curiosity.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I think Whitman may even have interviewed an Egyptologist (gasp!), and that Willamette was very open to specialty. Both schools were very conscious of fit.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone put the nail in the coffin regarding the Buffalo and Tulane Greek History searches (i.e., you know for a fact that they have been accepted)?

Anonymous said...

Similarly, can anyone put the nail in the coffin re: Whitman search? Has the offer been accepted?

Anonymous said...

"Can anyone put the nail in the coffin regarding the Buffalo and Tulane Greek History searches (i.e., you know for a fact that they have been accepted)?"

Tulane Greek History has been accepted.

Anonymous said...

"Tulane Greek History has been accepted."

Thanks.

Anyone on Buffalo?

Anonymous said...

Not that I'm in the immediate running for either Tulane or Buffalo, but you never know when a search will fail and a VAP-position will rise from the ashes....

Not that I want searches to fail, but can't a girl hope for a paycheck, any sort of paycheck, a chance to prove herself in the big city....

Not that I'm even a girl.

Sigh.

Anonymous said...

U Rochester status update? Has the job been accepted?

Anonymous said...

Grinnell has made offers on their TWO VAP slots, for those of you still interested.

Anonymous said...

all ur blogz haz bin outed

Anonymous said...

Hey, we get good press!

Anonymous said...

Ha, I love what one of you Roman archaeologists posted!

The best analogy I can conjure off the top of my head is visiting an automobile repair shop and finding 10 mechanics who specialize in engines, two people who specialize in the exhaust systems, and 1 person who does everything else - suspension, windows, sound system, transmission, a/c, coolant, upholstery, water pumps, etc. - and still does engines and exhausts. The 10 engine specialists will have two subgroups - half will work on overhead cam engines while the other half work on pushrods. Then these two groups will be even finer tuned - one person will work on piston rings while another will work on timing belts. A person working on piston rings will not work on timing belts. They will work on the overall engine if pushed, but this will be the job of the one do-it-all. Muffler? They will look at you like you're crazy. But what if the timing belt guy is sick? You call on the do-it-all guy to fill in. You get the picture...

Anonymous said...

Naw, you're being too nice - most engine mechanics wouldn't even know where the muffler or transmission were located. ;-b

moldy said...

What a perfect analogy - the "do-it-all" works on what the public really sees and the overall mechanics while the ten engine guys work on what drives the car with little regard for anthing else. Genius.

Anonymous said...

Then these two groups will be even finer tuned - one person will work on piston rings while another will work on timing belts. A person working on piston rings will not work on timing belts. They will work on the overall engine if pushed, but this will be the job of the one do-it-all.

Hah!

So instead of telling my family that I got a job teaching Greek Tragedy, I can tell them I specialize in timing belts! This'll make my uncles much happier.

Anonymous said...

But you have to tell them that there are 10 jobs for someone who changes timing belts for every one job for someone who can do everthing else. Sounds like a pretty good gig to me!

mufflerguy(akaGreekHistorian) said...

That has to be just about the best analogy for classics, ever.

Heinrich_Fordman said...

You'll have a fine-tuned engine, but you'll either have an overworked do-it-all mechanic or a car that doesn't move, i.e. it's irrelevant. It doesn't matter what condition your engine is if your car doesn't get you anywhere - at least it won't for the general public. I guess it explains the state of classics today as a discipline.

Anonymous said...

While I appreciate the strong feelings that have gone into the recent posts (and the imaginative analogies), the only logical conclusion I can draw is that there should be two distinct systems for the teaching of Classics. The more traditional universities would have programs that attempted to preserve the privileged status of Classics (in suitably modified 21st century terms), while the less conservative universities would have programs that could fight more competitively with other humanities disciplines (places where there was no pre-existing institutional or undergraduate cachet to Classics). At the moment I've seen few good arguments for the more traditional universities to change tack: their enrollments are good (compared to national languages), their resources remain strong, and accusations of poor scholarship tend to sound like sour grapes. Extrapolating anxiety from one kind of institution to another requires argument not assumption. Rather more pertinently, however, we SHOULD be asking ourselves what impact this difference between kinds of institution has on our discipline as a whole. Bitching, while personally satisfying, has a tendency to generate facile, one-sided answers to the more important questions.

Bigger_Thomas said...

Wow, classics does make white people sound smarter.

Anonymous said...

Dear 6:34pm,

Isn't it the case that every classicist out there has been trained at one of the "more traditional universities" but very few find jobs in similar institutions? Just because an elite few are doing great doesn't mean that they can survive like that for long. Maybe short-term and limited-view thinking would have them think that they have no incentive for change, but surely more interaction with the rest of the field would convince them otherwise.

I'm not sure what you are driving at. Can you give an example of what you consider to be one these "facile, one-sided answers to the more important questions"?

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the provocation; I'm not sure I believe what I said but I think it was one way to incite good counterarguments.

On the last question: correct me if I'm wrong, but the implication of most of the previous posts is that ALL institutions should employ fewer philologists (no matter how outdated the posters' conception of philology) and more archaeologists. ON ITS OWN that sounds to me like some people just wanting others' jobs and dressing it up with reactionary/progressive rhetoric.

It seems much more likely that some institutions need to change more than others for a variety of different reasons and in a variety of different ways. Simply applying one solution wholesale (material culture hooray! Text boo!)is unlikely to work equally well in all places. No one's suggesting that the most conservative institutions don't need to change (though several posters here clearly love a straw man), just that one institution's mode of change might ideally be different from another's.

As for the training of graduate students: well, the make-up of the faculty is going to determine the training of the students. What would seem best here is a variety of compositions in different geographical regions with different resources and constituents in order to cater for different needs (sorry for the repetition - you get the idea). Harvard and Stanford, for instance, do very different things each in their own excellent way, but asking a particular kind of archaeologist or a particular kind of philologist to evaluate those institutions on the same scale is obviously not going to be a worthwhile exercise. Also pointless is any prescription for change that elides the differences between top private universities, state universities (of many different stripes), SLACs, and community colleges.

moldy said...

The sense I got was not so much that more archaeologists should be hired, but that there should be more balance in what everyone covers. Previous discussions have mentioned that classes should be more relevant and holistic, instead of dogmatically following some methodological and epistemological ideal invented decades ago and now precariously propped up by tradition. Yes, a superficial result might be more non-philologists hired, but it would also redefine what it means to be a philologist. Yeah, and get rid of the elitism.

Mario_Andretti said...

Anon 10:37 must work on early 20th century widgets from Bentley engines.

Anonymous said...

But "red-blooded" classicists have already been hired by supposedly "blue-blooded" institutions. Even to look at the field in those terms, however, rather than considering the quality of a candidate seems to be misleading. If, as one previous poster alleged, EVERYONE is in fact trained at the same well-known institutions anyway, the very notion of elitism belonging to one part of the academy alone would seem to be at least a little misplaced. As far as I can see, philologists at the top institutions already come in all shapes and sizes (some of them have even written books on MC subjects). In fact, and I'm sorry if this is old news to MC people, there is and has been a very real and present debate within philology and the broader literary community about the proper object and means of literary study. I wish someone would just spit it out and admit that what they're attacking is the privileged status of classical literature per se as much the philologists who study it. Basically, I already see the change happening that you seem so pessimistic about. I get that you want a revolution - I even sympathise - I just want some concrete suggestions what to do and why that might be a good idea over and above the good that is already happening.

Pompey_the_passenger_pigeon said...

"I just want some concrete suggestions what to do and why that might be a good idea over and above the good that is already happening."

Because if we don't redefine the field, deans and bean-counters will. I know you're content with a handful of elite programs holding out with their funding and status, but even they cannot do so forever if Average State University pulls the plug - and they are doing so progressively if not instantly. Name me more than a couple of non-elite classics programs that are growing. The only one I can think of is Grand Valley State University, and they do not take a traditional approach. They hired an archaeologist, historian and now a philosopher before even reaching six faculty. Yet they are not some mutt program that traditionalists would despise - among their number are fantastic philologists, but with open minds and broad interests. IMHO, THIS is the blueprint for a healthy program, not one driven by a traditional elitist mindset and composed of a lopsided ratio as already discussed.

You're delusional if you think classics is still playing a major role in literary studies. Back in the 19th century, the APA did play a major role and it showed in their membership. But why did the MLA, AHA, etc. all spin-off and eventually take members who would have originally been in the APA? Why is it in reality the American Classical Philological Association today? Now the APA is dwarfed by all these upstarts. Yeah, but the APA was founded in 1869 - whoop-de-fuckin-do. They will have all of 500 members by 2050. Perhaps they can merge with the American Sumerological Association at that point.

Anonymous said...

Pompey,
A lot of people working on post-classical literature these days have gone off the deep end, what with worthless theoretical studies, emphasis on inferior writers at the expense of the canon, etc. (From what I hear, art history is even more screwed up at many schools.) Our field has certainly been impacted by some rather silly scholarship, but apparently not as badly as other fields. So if classics isn't playing a major role in literary studies, that's not necessarily OUR fault, even if it's a problem for us.

So redefining the field might make sense in the abstract, but if the idea is trying to be more like these literary studies fools then our field will be destroyed anyway.

After all, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

Anonymous said...

"I know you're content with a handful of elite programs holding out with their funding and status, but even they cannot do so forever if Average State University pulls the plug - and they are doing so progressively if not instantly."

This mischaracterises my position. Which is that there is a difference between the two institutions and that what works for one may not work for the other. You imply something much more complacent on the part of certain institutions, which I for one don't see as starkly as you do (though I do see it somewhat - note the partial agreement).

"Name me more than a couple of non-elite classics programs that are growing. The only one I can think of is Grand Valley State University, and they do not take a traditional approach. They hired an archaeologist, historian and now a philosopher before even reaching six faculty."

That's just grist to my mill. Congratulations to them for doing what they needed to do. What precisely that has to do with Princeton or Chicago or similar I have yet to hear.

"Yet they are not some mutt program that traditionalists would despise - among their number are fantastic philologists, but with open minds and broad interests. IMHO, THIS is the blueprint for a healthy program, not one driven by a traditional elitist mindset and composed of a lopsided ratio as already discussed."

Much like everyone else who's spoken so far you're still conflating two different kinds of institution and have yet to offer a good reason for such a conflation.

"You're delusional if you think classics is still playing a major role in literary studies. Back in the 19th century, the APA did play a major role and it showed in their membership. But why did the MLA, AHA, etc. all spin-off and eventually take members who would have originally been in the APA? Why is it in reality the American Classical Philological Association today? Now the APA is dwarfed by all these upstarts. Yeah, but the APA was founded in 1869 - whoop-de-fuckin-do. They will have all of 500 members by 2050. Perhaps they can merge with the American Sumerological Association at that point."

You both misunderstood my point and strike the most conservative position stated thus far. Misunderstanding: my point was not the illusionary place of philology within literary criticism (as it happens I suspect I'm better placed to know that than most), but rather the overlap in all literary fields in discussions of canonicity and "what is literature?"-type questions. 2nd misunderstanding: I think it's a *good* thing that the APA has lost ground to other organisations (though not as drastically as it has). I'm a classicist, but I have a healthy sense of our importance in world literature (at least I can be honest about that rather than selling an unreflective conservativism in the guise of liberalism).

Anonymous said...

Fairfield (Ancient History) -

Anybody know if they've made an offer?

Anonymous said...

Re Fairfield:

Yes, Fairfield notified their other finalists on March 10 that they had filled the position.

Anonymous said...

Just got ph call from the dep chair that they are going to recommend me to the dean for their TT hire - going to keep my fingers crossed until the deal is clinched.

Anonymous said...

Just got ph call from the dep chair that they are going to recommend me to the dean for their TT hire - going to keep my fingers crossed until the deal is clinched.

Awesome! Congratulations, whoever you are!

Anonymous said...

Can someone help me make the two wikis match? The old wiki has a bunch of acceptances recorded on it that don't appear on the new wiki, and vice versa. I will do a short section of it today, starting at the beginning. If others have some free time, could you help? Just five minutes and a few changed entries will get us there.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Matched up A-C content on both wikis. Can someone else do D-H?

Anonymous said...

I've done D-H. Can someone do I-M?

And maybe we could all try to post on BOTH wikis in the future.

Anonymous said...

A-C here...thanks D-H!! Much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

This will no doubt re-ignite some flame wars, but those updating the (old)ClassicsWiki are now posting the names of those who have reportedly accepted offers in the open. It wasn't clear what the community consensus was on the appropriateness of this practice ...

Anonymous said...

As the one who suggested only putting names in the passworded wiki, I'll state with certainty that there was no consensus achieved -- just a suggestion on my part, which others followed. The reason for putting the names in one place and not the other was that one or two people during the big debate had expressed concern that some people who had gotten a job but wanted it kept secret from others in their life (e.g., a spouse's boss) would be "outed," and since Google can't penetrate the passworded site we could post names there without risk of their being seen by the wrong people.

To be honest, I think that the odds of anyone being harmed by having their name in the public wiki are absurdly small, so it probably doesn't matter. But that's the reason we're doing it.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the person who takes on I-M can delete the A-H names from the non-password protected wiki?

Anonymous said...

I don't want to start another institution war; but (perhaps to end the war) it seems worth observing that all major PhD granting institutions are fairly equally represented in this year's T-T hires. There are also a few non-American PhD's in good jobs.

Anonymous said...

All the major ones except Michigan - unless you don't consider it "major".

-A friend of UM

Anonymous said...

point taken. let's say "pretty much all major institutions are fairly equally represented". No offense was intended

Anonymous said...

Someone vehemently argued before that finances is a non-factor, but I don't know. Stanford and Princeton did exceptionally well and I find it unlikely that their faculty's legendary light teaching and service loads had little to do with it. Yes, it takes willingness on the faculty's part, but it's much more difficult even if you're willing when you're strapped with an exhorbitant amount of service.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Princeton and Stanford did exceptionally well. Stanford kicked ass, plain and simple. I think Princeton only did so-so.

Were we able to compare the total number of students "on the market" from all programs I would place good money that Stanford did far and away the best of any of them this year. It would be nice to get real placement info from the institutions (i.e total number of recent grads on the market, and where exactly they all found - or did not find - employment, but that doesn't seem to be the practice in Classics. Rather than a counter showing who is on the spring market we should publish actual, truthful data on an institution by institution basis. This would be far more useful than anything else. I'd have to ask around but I am sure that in a couple of months, after the hiring season is over, I could deliver the goods on my program (which is neither Princeton nor Stanford, btw). Any other takers out there? The APA should provide this info in addition to the hiring reports, but they never will.

Anonymous said...

Do you know something we don't? The wiki lists two Stanford grads and one post-grad and the same for Princeton. Those numbers, at least, don't justify your pretty extreme conclusions, even if the schools' total number of candidates varied. (I too am from neither Princeton nor Stanford).

Anonymous said...

PS Chicago did just as well.

As a candidate from another good school I am nevertheless quite happy to concede that Chicago, Stanford, and Princeton offer three excellent, if different, programs that train very well for the job market. My school is improving but won't be at that level for another three years or so.

Anonymous said...

One could add Berkeley to that list too. UCB alums a couple of years out did fairly well. Again, not much of a surprise there.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Stanford grads and recent grads filled several positions, as well as doing pretty well at the interview stage, but the names aren't yet listed on the wiki (I don't want to post them, either, since I am not 100% sure). I don't know that 'kicked ass' is the best description. I don't think they did any 'better' than Princeton or Chicago. I don't think we should think about things in that way.

Anonymous said...

What continues to surprise me is how slow certain programs are to copy the good practices of other schools. In this day and age the program and faculty info is right there on the web. Senior faculty out there - come on, you've heard of the internet - just plagiarise for god's sake! Someone please explain the laggard habits of certain schools. And I don't want any complaints about faculty inequality. Sure, to take over an earlier analogy, a lada isn't a lexus, but why does one nissan have to massively underperform a similar toyota? (I know nothing about cars, so excuse me if that made no sense - I hope you get the idea).

Anonymous said...

I don't like where this may be going. I am afraid it may lead to program-bashing. I'm all for informative discussion that can help our understanding of the field, but can we all agree to keep it nice? We just got good 'press' on the Chronicle Fora for being super-civil. Let's keep up the good reputation!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I had no intention of singling out any specific program for insult. (I have criticisms of my own program, despite its many virtues, but I'm not going to name and shame). I was just pointing out what I hope is obvious to us all - that despite the speed at which good quality information *should* be able to travel, it nevertheless seems not to. Surely other people are surprised by this too? Or am I the only one? Praising Stanford, Princeton and the others is a *good* thing - it provides several different but equally good models for the rest to follow. Isn't that how improvements are generalised?

Anonymous said...

Re: why some programs can't copy the good practices of other schools...sometimes it takes money.

Anonymous said...

Sure, in some cases that's true. But my school's rich as hell and has still taken its own sweet time paying any attention to why it might be less sucessful than other equally well-endowed institutions. Give me the goddamn purse strings and I'll show you how to spend a budget...

As for the more serious discrepancies you're talking about: yes, you're quite right, the same solutions aren't going to work for everyone. Can we take a leaf from the business-world? After all, boutique can beat conglomerate in the right sectors and under the right circumstances.

Anonymous said...

Stanford and Princeton are extremely well-endowed - Chicago and Berkeley not so much. I guess Chicago and Berkeley should be given extra praise for doing as well with less. BUT, Chicago grads ARE known to take close to ten years to graduate, which means they themselves should probably take some of the credit for having the patience and endurance to build up a CV.

Anonymous said...

Point taken about individual effort, but I think it's worth pointing out (against the carpers and generalizers) that those institutions are doing something right: good, comprehensive training in traditional as well as fresher approaches to the discipline. Let's make sure that their example is followed where practicable, and where impracticable (due to a lack of the relevant resources) that constructive alternatives are figured out so other candidates can compete on a less uneven playing field (though we all know it's never going to be completely level).

Anonymous said...

Ladies and gentlemen,

If you've consulted the wikis on a regular basis, please be a team player and help clean them up so they match. A-H has been done. It took 5-10 minutes to clean up the first chunk.

Anonymous said...

I think it's probably a mistake to deduce too much about the quality of a program from how well its graduates do in a particular year (or years). The sample sizes are VERY small and success is highly dependent on individual talents and initiative. A school with a terrible program but which attracts the best students may do better than a fantastic program with so-so students.

Anonymous said...

Besides talent, initiative and money no one has mentioned Lady Luck and The Name. Some people are very lucky, some aren't. Also, so many schools are blinded by The Name that they hire on the basis of that alone so their website looks better for prospective students and donors. You need a healthy mixture of all five (and there are no doubt more ingredients). I should add that graduates from schools such as Michigan, Texas, Virginia, and Minnesota come from excellent programs yet lack The Name and so they flounder on the market. I have friends from each program and few land TT jobs the first year out, and if they do, the jobs suck. Yet you'd be very hard-pressed to say how a school with The Name is "better" than, say, Michigan.

Watch out too for those pesky twins, Mr. Overqualified and Mr. Overspecialized, because they don't help you get jobs either.

Stanford Kicks Ass said...

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that this was a direct competition (although it might be seen as such) by my comments. I just meant to get across that I think Stanford, objectively speaking, did exceptionally well this year. I used "kick ass" in a purely positive/non-competitive sense, as in "they done real good". And yes, I think this will be made clear as the wiki is filled out, and when the APA newletter comes.

I do think, however, that placement records can be useful. They aren't useful in terms of figuring out intrinsic quality, nor individual talents. Nor are they useful if looked at in isolation. That is why we need comprehensive, diachronic data, in order to see trends and rates for all schools, over time. A sort of longue duree approach to professional issues, so to speak.

I also agree with the poster above who points out that programs like Michigan, Texas, etc. are EXCELLENT. The faculty are excellent, the students excellent, curricula excellent, etc. etc. etc. They really should, if things were fair, place students at the same rate as the "name" schools. But they don't, and we as a profession need to be more aware of this and figure out why. Having pretty names for the hiring school's roster is certainly part of it. Anything else operating here?

Anonymous said...

So here's the thing. By claiming that Stanford or any other school did well this year, you are inviting argument. You are inviting people to debate with you about whether a) they did do that well, and b) whether they 'deserved' it. This leads to wondering, perhaps publicly, whether certain students are overrated, whether certain jobs are overrated, that sort of thing. Then we are at risk both of insulting schools and of minimizing the achievements of those who got jobs, who in all likeliness are just glad to be employed and not sitting around smugly. Anyway, whoever posted that last post, you may be trying to be complimentary, but you are actually opening the door for others to attack Stanford's program and people. Which is not cool.

Anonymous said...

To the last poster: Oh dear. That was some tweaked reasoning. That's the kind of reasoning that Garrison Keillor makes fun of whenever academics/academic subjects come up in the Prairie Home Companion. I always avoid that kind of thing, because I don't like to be made fun of.

Anonymous said...

You people seem to know something about Stanford, Princeton, and Chicago grads that the wiki isn't showing...why don't you fill it out if you know something? Are you being coy about the wiki? You certainly aren't being coy here. Just fill out the wiki.

Looks to me like a Texas grad got the Toronto job.

Anonymous said...

"To the last poster: Oh dear. That was some tweaked reasoning. That's the kind of reasoning that Garrison Keillor makes fun of whenever academics/academic subjects come up in the Prairie Home Companion. I always avoid that kind of thing, because I don't like to be made fun of."

Except that people have already started to deconstruct the achievements of certain programs on this site...

And dude, what is with the uber-rude attitude? "Oh dear"? "I always avoid that kind of thing because I don't like to be made fun of"? I expressed a valid concern, and you replied with my grandmother's brand of honey-tongued, smug sarcasm...Let's keep our critiques to outright critiques and not resort to 'witty' (or not-so-witty, as the case may be) retorts.

I want Moo U to kick ass too said...

So here's the thing. By claiming that Stanford or any other school did well this year, you are inviting argument. You are inviting people to debate with you about whether a) they did do that well, and b) whether they 'deserved' it. This leads to wondering, perhaps publicly, whether certain students are overrated, whether certain jobs are overrated, that sort of thing. Then we are at risk both of insulting schools and of minimizing the achievements of those who got jobs, who in all likeliness are just glad to be employed and not sitting around smugly. Anyway, whoever posted that last post, you may be trying to be complimentary, but you are actually opening the door for others to attack Stanford's program and people. Which is not cool.

Ahem. No. I didn't open any such door, but if people want to bust through the wall, there isn't much I can do about that. I'm assuming that my readers will know what I am saying without twisting my words or meaning. I could argue now that your public mis-reading of my post has done much more to establish the sort of problem you imagine and decry, but I'll pass over that.

Look, this isn't about who's better, best, etc. It certainaly is not about whether they "deserve" it. It is about good practices. I am claiming (and my claim will be either verified or not in a few months) here that Stanford did well this year placing their students. They should be applauded. The students themselves should be applauded even more. They busted their butts, aced their interviews, delivered smashing job-talks, etc. Maybe this was a one-off year, maybe not, and I have no idea. So plaudits to them. To the extent that other programs can learn from Stanford if this is a trend, and useful information can in fact be gotten from it, great. But we need more comprehensive data before we can even begin to answer those questions.

Secondly, nowhere did I ever bring up the "quality" of placement. That is so subjective as to be silly. People want different jobs for different reasons. I may want an R1, you may want an isolated SLAC, she may want to be near family, status be damned. Take placement "quality" off the table.

Thirdly, taking up your concerns about program-bashing and questions of just rewards. Somebody earlier mentioned Lady Luck. We all need to remind ourselves that she plays a HUGE role in this process. Somebody can do their best in every respect and come up empty-handed simply because of questions of "fit". Bad luck that the schools sniffing you decided to go in a different direction. Not your fault, you didn't "deserve" that.

Fourthly, to address your concerns about students getting a reputation for being "overrated". Nope, my concern is for others being underrated, and as a result not being given the sort of attention on the market that their training and abilities warrant. I think we who are going through this understand this issue. My worry is that faculty partly, but mostly deans, get all starry-eyed about "name". So let's do something about that. Let's agree to recognize that there is, thankfully, a great deal of quality-parity among Phd programs in Classics. The problem is how to bring it about that hiring practices reflect that.

Pointing out that Stanford did great this year was nothing but a compliment, to the program, and especially to the students. That is all. My text is out there, and I've lost control of its reception, but hopefully this post makes it more difficult for someone else to steer it in a direction that I in no way planned or hoped for.

Back to the data. One year does not a reputation make, so let's figure out where the trends are, and how to correlate practices with trends, in order to bring other placement rates in-line with actual quality of production. I don't care about individual programs, per se, but rather the field as a whole. And of course, this is all early Saturday morning mulling with my coffee, so don't take me too seriously!

Anonymous said...

Stanford didn't just do well this year, they do well in every job cycle. Why? Don't know, but they do. Here's an anecdote:

A few years ago, two of my friends from Stanford were on the market; both had taught some, given a few papers, but neither had published anything. Each got 15+ interviews, both landed moderately good TT jobs the first time out.

That same year, another friend from one of the big state schools who had taught just as much, given as many papers, and had published two articles got two interviews, no job in the end.

Is it all in a name? Probably not. Did The Name matter? Obviously.

Anonymous said...

Looks to me like a Texas grad got the Toronto job."

Well, you also have to look at the circumstances. I am a friend of the hire, who is a fantastic scholar. He also happens to be the indisputed golden child and superstar of one Dr. Tom "MacArthur Fellowship" Palaima. You could argue he chose a dangerously specialized path as a Bronze Age Linear B scholar, but don't underestimate being top dog from a BIG, if not quite elite, program and getting its full support via big names. Michigan also falls into this category.

Anonymous said...

"Somebody earlier mentioned Lady Luck."

Here is an anecdote. The night before campus visit, I went to a Chinese restaurant. The fortune cookie oracle told me "Good fortune takes good preparation." I did some last-minute preparation (I had done a huge amount already, needless to say) looking at the department website yet again and tweaking my presentation material here and there. I just got word that I nailed it.

Anonymous said...

I can add the data point that, as the runner-up for a position, I have been explicitly told that the successful applicant's Stanford degree was more or less the tiebreaker.

As someone from a quite decent program, this is frustrating, of course - one's overall career success should not be dependent on undergrad performance and the people one's undergrad advisors happen to know.

But I'm not going to say that this was a totally irrational way for a SC to make a decision - it's entirely possible that candidate #1 did receive a better education than I did from faculty who had more time to spend with their grad students.

All the same, there's a large degree of "so what am I supposed to do about the fact that I didn't apply to Stanford or Chicago many years ago (geographical limitations) or happen to go to Princeton?" Mostly, it's a vain request for SCs to look beyond the first three lines on the CV.

Anonymous said...

I once read a quote attributed to Nixon, regarding White House staffing: "No more of these Harvard sonsofbitches! Get me somebody from Oklahoma state." (My guess is that he was alluding to Kissinger, but I prefer the quote out of context.)

I had a friend who got a Ph.D. in Sociology in Ohio State's very good program. He told me that he and fellow grads were warned that when on the market the SLAC's would have little interest, because the provosts and presidents there like to boast to parents about how they had hired faculty from Princeton, Yale, Harvard, etc. So his OSU faculty were telling their grads that they would sometimes lose out to inferior candidates simply because of the programs they come from. No one in our field has ever made this point to me, but I doubt the problem would be limited to sociology.

Anonymous said...

Brand recognition is ALWAYS going to be important, but a student can get that from their supervisor as well as their institution. There may be SCs out there who'd choose a bad candidate from Super-famous U. over a good candidate from Famous U., but it's not nearly as common as this blog suggests (anecdotal evidence and personal bias is always going to feed the paranoia monster). Now, if you're unknown in terms of institution as well as supervisor, well, you've really dug your own hole. There is not one good institution I know of, however, that doesn't have at least one well-known professor on its staff. How naive does one have to be not to realize that it may be a good idea to get a decent letter from this person?

And I'm astonished people think that being a student in a top program reduces to meaningless luck in a past life. Rather, we know that that candidate has been through a rigorous, well-designed program. But as at least one sensible person here has said, there are a *number of factors* involved in assessing a candidate's quality.

This debate is *not* the equivalent of the MC/philology debate, where biases and prejudices are much more ingrained and have a much greater impact on the shape of the field (I happen to be on the philology side, but I see that debate as being more important).

Anonymous said...

"Looks to me like a Texas grad got the Toronto job."

"Well, you also have to look at the circumstances. I am a friend of the hire, who is a fantastic scholar."

I can't tell if you are indignant or not, but I meant this as a compliment, because someone above had said the following:

"I should add that graduates from schools such as Michigan, Texas, Virginia, and Minnesota come from excellent programs yet lack The Name and so they flounder on the market."

Anonymous said...

"I can add the data point that, as the runner-up for a position, I have been explicitly told that the successful applicant's Stanford degree was more or less the tiebreaker.

As someone from a quite decent program, this is frustrating, of course - one's overall career success should not be dependent on undergrad performance and the people one's undergrad advisors happen to know."

A Stanford UNDERGRAD degree was the tie breaker?

Anonymous said...

Look, I'm from an Ivy but I find the slightly patronising attitude to Texas, Michigan, and Minnesota *extremely perplexing*, especially since it seems to come from people trying to speak up for those universities! How on earth did all the rhetorical exaggeration wind up casting those universities as underprivileged, poor cousins? My god - we're talking about Michigan as if it's Antarctic Technical College. Have some perspective. The only people who might not fully recognise their merits are academics from abroad, which is a quite different and much more understandable matter. We should know better.

As for the last comment - I quite agree. I cannot believe an SC would choose to reveal that as their tie-breaker. Just say you flipped a coin. Idiots.

Anonymous said...

"Look, I'm from an Ivy but I find the slightly patronising attitude to Texas, Michigan, and Minnesota *extremely perplexing*, especially since it seems to come from people trying to speak up for those universities!"

I didn't mean it that way, and I apologize if that's how it came out. If you had asked me ten years ago which were "THE" programs to go to, I would have said Texas, Berkeley, Michigan, with perhaps Harvard, UNC, and Princeton in there depending on what exactly you wanted to do. At that time, not Stanford. So Stanford should be congratulated for growing by leaps and bounds.

Anonymous said...

"I should add that graduates from schools such as Michigan, Texas, Virginia, and Minnesota come from excellent programs yet lack The Name and so they flounder on the market."

I am a PhD of one of the four schools named above and I have taught in temporary positions at two of the others mentioned, both of which involved teaching graduate students. The faculty at my school are by and large supportive, and very aggressive in helping students get APA interviews. After that, our candidacies tend to fizzle; I see this same pattern in the schools where I've taught. I don't know whether it's the Name; but I will say that most (not all) of the people I know from these programs who have been really successful have all been late-bloomers, people who took a few years, maybe even 6-7, to get that t-t position and to be recognized for the quality scholars and teachers they are. In my more cynical moments, I do think it's the Name, but I don't think it's only the Name. The Name is sort of a guarantee of worth when all else fails, like IBM used to be.

Anonymous said...

My last plea for some of you avid posters to take five minutes to help clean up the wikis! I-M is calling....

And maybe the Stanford Fan can update the wiki with what he/she knows but the rest of us don't...

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 357   Newer› Newest»