Monday, September 1, 2008

Job Search Updates

Until we figure out how to deal most effectively with the wiki vandalism, feel free to provide updates in the comments here.

A new wiki has also been established. See the post above for directions and password.

In your comment please note exactly which position(s) you are updating, if possible just cut and paste from the job-search page.

535 comments:

1 – 200 of 535   Newer›   Newest»
DOA said...

We will probably hear about the first APA interviews this week, next week at the latest. You ladies and gents out there ready to rock n roll?!

Rodney D said...

Did anyone else get what I think is the weakest acknowledgment letter I've ever received? First of all, it was printed on an inkjet printer. In the closing, it's simply typed out "The Classics Search Committee," no name. It would have almost reflected better on them if they didn't sent out letters. And yes, I am pathetic enough to say I would accept a job from them if offered.

Anonymous said...

On the plus side, I found the letter from Cornell College professional and even kind.

Anonymous said...

Agreed - personal, yet practical. FWIW, it was also printed on a laserjet and signed by an individual. I like how they included a sheet that gave the basic facts about the school.

SCs can make fun of candidate letters, but it's a two-way street. There are definitely good and bad acknowledgment letters out there.

Anonymous said...

First Rejection Letter!!

A big thanks goes out to Temple University!

Go Owls!!!

Anonymous said...

Better rejected now than to see the position go up in flames as you stand at the door.

Anonymous said...

Got a suggestion - it's around the time when everyone starts checking the wiki several times a day. When you edit the wiki, could you add in the comment box briefly what you're changing (e.g., McMaster(+) means McMaster acknowledged your applications, or School X, interview/more materials/offer), please? Folks can then see the comments when they click on "history," and know where to look. It is really incredibly annoying to log on, check history, and scroll down the wiki to find that someone has only added a comma to a line, or put something in a prettier typeface, etc.

Tiger Tree said...

NEW POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT

AMERICAN PHILOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION
Supported by a Generous Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

The American Philological Association invites applications for a one-year Fellowship, tenable from July 2009 through June 2010, which will enable an American scholar to completely re-haul the American Philological Association’s Placement Service. Fellows at the APA/PS develop a broadened perspective of the range and complexity of the Classics hiring process by employing technology from the early 1980s through the early 1990s, contribute individually authored carbon triplicate forms, have the opportunity to participate in a collaborative international bureaucratic project, and work with senior scholars in the field of Classical Jobology. The Fellowship carries a stipend in the amount of $15,400 (please note the new, increased, amount of this stipend) and is made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The incumbent Fellow may re-apply for a second year, but all applications will be judged on an equal footing.

Applicants must (i) be United States citizens or permanent residents (NO CANADIANS!) and (ii) already have the Ph.D. or anticipate the award of the degree by July 1, 2009. The opportunity to be trained in mimeographical techniques and contribute articles to be published in the Placement Service Bulletin may be of special interest to scholars who have already begun stocking up on Fancy Feast, Kibbles ‘n’ Bits and Night Train Express, as well as those who are just now realizing that the raft is leaking. The Fellowship offers valuable experience for scholars in a variety of specialties (e.g., MS-WORD 2.0, Oregon Trail for the Apple IIE, MacPaint, Netscape Navigator 1.1); although it is not limited to individuals working in Classical Jobology, applicants should possess a thorough familiarity with and a special interest in the discology of Rick Astley and/or The Vapors, as well as advanced competence in Break Dancing and Rubik’s Cubes. It is anticipated that applicants will already have a working knowledge of IBM Selectric typewriters and will be willing to work toward proficiency in the Commodore 64 and Amiga computing systems. Women and members of minority groups underrepresented in Classics are particularly encouraged to apply.

Applications should include a curriculum vitae, a statement of what benefits the applicant expects to derive from the Fellowship for his/her research and teaching, and the names of three referees, whom the applicant should ask to send supporting letters to the Executive Director without further notice. It will be in the candidate’s interest if at least one letter can specifically address the candidate’s suitability for the Fellowship. Candidates will be considered by the APA’s PS Fellowship Committee, which serves as the selection committee. The committee will choose a short-list of candidates to be invited for interview at the Annual Meeting in January 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the name of the successful candidate will be announced shortly thereafter. Applications must be received by the deadline of Monday, December 8th, 2008.

Applications should be sent to: Dr. Adam D. Blistein, Executive Director, American Philological Association, 292 Logan Hall, University of Pennsylvania, 249 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6304.

Anonymous said...

Tiger Tree, you have done it again.

blog WIN.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant ad. Anyone want to send it on to the powers-that-be at the APA? (on paper, of course, as email is too new)

Anonymous said...

Maybe I should apply. I've always wanted to learn how to use MacPaint.

Anonymous said...

I will apply, but only if I get trained on Mosaic and an Atari 5200. Do you think anyone would catch on that I'm masquerading as an expert in Oregon Trail when my speciality is actually Lode Runner?

Anonymous said...

Though the ad doesn't mention this particular specialty, I'm sure the committee will be deeply impressed by my expertise in Number Munchers.

Anonymous said...

So, any word from Florida State yet? If (as they said) they are going to do phone interviews before the end of November, they are running out of time! And my weight is up 5 lbs from medicating with chocolate.

Anonymous said...

Anecdotal evidence that one should pay attention to FV: I didn't apply to Florida State because of the supposed hiring freeze. I later saw a post here saying one should apply anyway, which I ought to have heeded. And lo and behold the search still seems to be on. I'm kicking myself. I wonder if they lost other applications too...

Anonymous said...

I didn't apply to Florida State because of the supposed hiring freeze.

This is why other people kept screaming (if you can scream in type) to apply until you have heard officially from the university itself--like Penn State's announcement in the placement service (or letters after you have applied from places like South Carolina).

Anonymous said...

You can most certainly SCREAM in type.

Not going to Florida said...

Okay, okay, but that was the point of my post. No need to rub it in, I feel bad enough already.

Anonymous said...

No, Anon. 1:08 means that all caps is the INTERNET VERSION OF YELLING!!! DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW?!?!?!?

:)

Anonymous said...

re: hiring freezes (for example, in the state of Florida). From someone who has been on the job market far too many times but is now on the other side of things, I strongly agree with Anon 10:25 that you should pursue positions until you have official word about the status of a given search. Even if that search doesn't go forward, you can never know in advance. (A number of searches are canceled every year because funding doesn't come through. Some are canceled early on, others later.)

I will reiterate here a point that has been made before on these boards in some fashion: faculty are at the mercy of the money and the money is controlled at higher levels than individual departments. What is probably happening is that the university says "hiring freeze" and then all the departments who were approved to hire have to push their case that theirs is an absolutely essential hire. (I imagine it proceeds thusly: Administrative type: "We've got huge deficits, Prof. Buzzkill. Why should we fund your search. The legislature is cutting all our money." Prof. Buzzkill: "You understand of course that this isn't just an Assistant Professor in neo-Nicandrian studies that we're looking for, don't you? It's an emergency hire! This junior faculty person will manually push the blood through the bodies of all the senior faculty. You understand I'm sure that their blood simply does not flow quickly enough to sustain them anymore. The department cannot go on without young strong bodies to perform this vital departmental function!")

In any case, the university decides which of the originally approved searches is really really super especially must-do and then nixes all the rest. Given that Florida's budget is still somewhat up in the air (there have been a number of reports on state budget shortfalls in the Chronicle over the past month or so I think), faculty are probably waiting for an answer from further up the food chain. That also throws off schedule any plan to do interviews quickly. It most likely has little to do with you as a candidate and little even to do with the department itself. Extracting money from tight-fisted Deans and higher-ups takes time and nothing moves until those decisions are made. (No offense intended towards Deans who may be lurking around here.)

Incidentally, I suppose medicating with chocolate in the meantime is better than medicating with cigarettes and booze. but others may disagree.

Anonymous said...

Send FSU an email and ask if it's too late. I messed up reading a job ad and asked (past the deadline) if it was too late to apply, and they allowed me to. Worth a shot.

Anonymous said...

I have no empirical data to support my hunch, but it seems that SCs are slow this year to meet and shortlist for the APA. I've always received a verdict for a handful of searches by now.

Is this purely chance or does anyone think the economic situation is giving universities pause as they verify that their search still has a pulse?

Anonymous said...

Hmm, not sure. I recall the two weeks after Thanksgiving being the busy time.

Anonymous said...

That's the peak time, of course, but I've always received notice of 2-3 by now. It's probably just a fluke, or maybe my shelf life has expired! Damn boomers, ABDs, [insert your own group].

elpis said...

I agree, while December is usually the busy time, I often hear from 1-2 schools by now (positively or negatively). Going by the wiki, of schools interviewing at the APA one has sent rejections and one has sent interview requests. (And I applied to both, and have received no communication from either.)

Anonymous said...

Off topic but interesting:

Florida State student wins Rhodes Scholarship:

http://fsu.edu/indexBOFStory.html?lead.car.rolle.rhodes

Great story. Makes me root for FSU getting that line approved. Go 'Noles!

Anonymous said...

fyi, the deadline for search committees to get their list of candidates to the APA placement service is Dec. 8. What happens if you miss that deadline? not sure.

Anonymous said...

fyi, the deadline for search committees to get their list of candidates to the APA placement service is Dec. 8. What happens if you miss that deadline? not sure.

Based on past experience? Nada.

Anonymous said...

Of course, the reason it's so early is that the scheduling is done with scraps of paper on a kitchen table rather than by a piece of software. There's really no good reason why the deadline should be that early, especially when it certainly is difficult on departments with late approval for new positions.

My guess is that despite the obviousness of the types of changes that could be made in the placement service, it's going to take a few years for that to happen.

elpis said...

"A few years"? I thought I was a hopeful type!

Anonymous said...

The deadline is for departments to get their lists in so that candidates can be emailed in advance with all of the specifics.

If that doesn't happen it will be the fault of search committees, not the APA office.

Anonymous said...

The form for submitting lists and availability has not yet made it to searching departments (at least some of them), so the APA is not exactly making it easy to make that deadline.

Falernian 166 said...

Whether it is the fault of the APA, the searching departments, or the Bush Administration, candidates do deserve a bit more forewarning of APA interviews.

Being called a few days after Christmas and offered an interview is a nice thing, except when it is your only one and you hadn't bothered to buy a plane ticket, book a hotel, or otherwise considered Chicago a January destination.

I think Dec. 15th is a reasonable deadline for departments to contact their interviewees. Whether they should have to inform the APA by that time, I don't know.

Anonymous said...

I just sent two job applications due Dec. 15. So that is not a good cut-off date for notifications, either.

Look, in this system the SCs have almost all the power. The Placement Service has some power. Until a job is offered, candidates typically have very little power.

Falernian 166 said...

I just sent two job applications due Dec. 15. So that is not a good cut-off date for notifications, either.

Well, I'd say that SCs have to be better about setting earlier deadlines. Yes, I know these are sometimes dictated by Deans, but often a late date indicates tardiness on the part of the dept.

If you can't get a job ad out in time to have a Dec. 1st deadline for applicants then don't do the APA. Use phone interviews (or "Green" interviews like Oregon last year) and then fly-outs.

I suspect that, given the state of the economy and the rising costs associated with conferences like the APA, the phone or video interview will gain more prominence. As much as I hate phone interviews, I look forward to the APA being less meat-market and more scholarly conference. Pipe dreams, I am sure!

Anonymous said...

Well, I'd say that SCs have to be better about setting earlier deadlines. Yes, I know these are sometimes dictated by Deans, but often a late date indicates tardiness on the part of the dept.

We once had a position approved in July but the Dean's office didn't give us the final ad approval until November. Deans are evil. Departments often put in their requests for a position the moment they know someone is retiring or going on sabbatical. What happens with it then is admin's fault. Departments often have very little control.

Anonymous said...

And candidates could not wait, en masse, to the last minute to file their applications.

The late avalanche really does slow down the review process, substantially.

Anonymous said...

To continue with that last comment from the other side of the fence...

...and schools could get their ads into the Placement Service as early as possible, and the Placement Service could get those ads out asap, so we don't (as we did earlier this month) have a job advertised on November 3 through the Placement Service that was due November 21.

Most candidates are either writing dissertations or teaching heavier loads than SC members - who are thus given time to read last-minute applications.

It's a two-way street.

Anonymous said...

Part of the problem is that the APA's policy requires schools to set a deadline no sooner than a month after an ad appears. This made sense back in the days when the United States Postal Service was the means of communication, but with the internet at last a week could be shaved off that time. Thus Dec. 15 deadlines would become Dec. 8 deadlines.

Anonymous said...

This made sense back in the days when the United States Postal Service was the means of communication, but with the internet at last a week could be shaved off that time. Thus Dec. 15 deadlines would become Dec. 8 deadlines.

That's true, but many schools - including the December 15 jobs I applied for - don't take electronic applications. So we're still stuck with the US Postal Service.

Also, the APA may have the rule of the month-long period, but they don't enforce it. There was an episode last spring where a job was announced that was due three days after the ads came out (late, as ever).

Anonymous said...

That's true, but many schools - including the December 15 jobs I applied for - don't take electronic applications. So we're still stuck with the US Postal Service.

I think that what was meant was that it took time for the dead tree listings to be delivered to candidates. No e-mail or websites back in the day.

Anonymous said...

We all know this by now, but it's BAD. There are more rumblings of cancelled searches and I'm guessing at least a quarter of the advertised searches are on shaky ground but will not say anything until they hear something definitive in the new year. At least we have the holidays before the other shoe drops. Drink up, my friends, before the party ends.

Anonymous said...

What I heard is that there aren't going to be ANY jobs AT ALL this year and that if you got a job last year they are going to take it back from you and that if your great-grandfather had a job they are going to make you pay back RIGHT NOW all the wages he was ever paid and that everyone will be so broke that the only thing they'll have to drink will be their own bitter tears.

So I'm pretty worried.

Anonymous said...

*snort*

moros said...

I'm glad some people are confident of their chances.

Anonymous said...

I'm shocked that 2:07 didn't mention that if your partner/spouse has an academic job, they have to give that up as well. You're allowed to keep any children that may have resulted, however.

Anonymous said...

That's true, but many schools - including the December 15 jobs I applied for - don't take electronic applications. So we're still stuck with the US Postal Service.

I think that what was meant was that it took time for the dead tree listings to be delivered to candidates. No e-mail or websites back in the day.


Yes, that's what I meant.

We're all busy with teaching, dissertations, what-have-you, but none of us needs a full month to respond to an ad, no matter how busy.

Anonymous said...

Moros, I don't think it's confidence as much as cynicism after several go arounds on the market with no luck...

Anonymous said...

Mad Propz to the McMaster search committee for keeping us all well-informed. To be updated is to be appreciated.

Word to yo muthas!

Anonymous said...

Seconded! I [heart] the McMaster Search Committee. Boo-yah!!

wilfred laurier question said...

Why does the Wilfred Laurier history job say interviews requested already? The ad I got on the WCC list says the due date isn't till Jan. 30, 2009. Could someone have meant that info for WLU's Roman archaeology position? If anyone knows, please correct the wiki.

Anonymous said...

I recommend that anyone applying to Wilfrid Laurier spell it correctly -- even though it's not right on the Wiki, getting it wrong on a cover letter could be a fatal flaw.

Anonymous said...

WLU is correct on the Wiki now, so no excuses.

Anonymous said...

How were the WLU candidates notified? On a Sunday?

Anonymous said...

December 2nd and only a few schools have interviews set up? This is crazy.

Nemo said...

December 2nd and only a few schools have interviews set up? This is crazy.

I was thinking the same thing, but was afraid to say it out loud. Does this mean that many of those jobs are on hold until word from on high? Yikes!

Anonymous said...

No, it means that members of search committees are teaching hundreds of students and dealing with various crises.

12/2 is NOT late.

Anonymous said...

12/2 is still very early. Take a look at last year's wiki. And then remember that Thanksgiving was 5 days later this year. And then go gnaw on a Xanax.

Anonymous said...

Right, everybody stop freaking out. It's still early. Here at least the committee is still hard at work on the files and does not have an interview list yet.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Temple promise to send out APA notifications by today? Anyone hear anything from there?

Anonymous said...

I thought the Temple search was cancelled?

Anonymous said...

Temple's been in touch with an interview request. See the wiki.

Anonymous said...

I'm new to this site and am trying to access the wiki--but can't seem to login. I followed the instructions given in the first blog post (and I think I have the password figured out), but no luck--I keep getting the message "the login and password do not match" from wikidot. It seems as though no one here has had any problems with this...any ideas as to what I'm missing? Many thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

The first time I tried to put in the password, I put in too many words. Does that help?

Anonymous said...

Got it, thanks.

Anonymous said...

So UT SC members (we know you're out there), how many apps did you receive this year? 400? 500? Inquiring minds want to know.

Anonymous said...

So UT SC members (we know you're out there), how many apps did you receive this year? 400? 500? Inquiring minds want to know.

666

Anonymous said...

666? The question is, will their number of applications be higher or lower than the amount of hours the UT faculty spend fighting over whom to hire? I'm guessing lower.

Anonymous said...

Yep, they've got some big personalities. I would hate to be the chair of the SC or even the department. It would be like herding cats with a couple sabre-toothed tigers thrown in.

Anonymous said...

Yep, they've got some big personalities. I would hate to be the chair of the SC or even the department. It would be like herding cats with a couple sabre-toothed tigers thrown in.

UT alum here...that last sentence is the most perfect description I've ever heard of the faculty at my alma mater. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Yep, fantastic department but young kittens beware lest you become a regurgitated hairball (or exiled to a remote part of Canada).

Anonymous said...

Texas Classics

It's a whole other country!

Anonymous said...

Someone is reporting on the wiki that he or she has two *fly outs* scheduled already. This must be an error...

Anonymous said...

Error as in the person doesn't know what a flyback is or put the number in the wrong row? I think you mean that the person is fibbing but how pointless is that?

Anonymous said...

well, apparently Carleton University and Colorado College all want to interview the same people. Or someone's screwing around. One or the other.

anon 6.37 said...

apologies - was reading the wiki wrong.

Anonymous said...

I would think the wiki counter is indicating that someone has two interviews in Canada (Carleton and W.L. perhaps) where the APA cattle call interviews are often eschewed and a short-list of 3-4 invited directly to campus.

Anonymous said...

Newbie here: when did UT become Univ. of Texas? I thought it was Univ. of Toronto, a much bigger outfit than U. Texas, yes? Last I checked Toronto had 50+ FTEs in classics, must check again.

Anonymous said...

I knew someone who had three flyouts scheduled at this point in the game in a previous year.

Anonymous said...

Newbie here: when did UT become Univ. of Texas?

Since 1) most people here are from the US (I'm not) and 2) Texas' budget outmuscles Toronto's by 6:1 (there are things bigger than Classics in this world).

Anonymous said...

The Universities of Tampa, Tennessee, Tokyo and Twente will not be happy about this.

Anonymous said...

Have we urged all of our friends, colleagues, students, family, etc. to get on the Wiki-Wagon? Only 28 people have claimed to be on the market. That is way too small. So long as our sample size is weak, so too will our information!

C'mon folks, let's buzz this sucker and get it moving! Spread the word!!

Anonymous said...

The main weakness I see with the counter is that you will not get the superstars chiming in for fear of retribution, evil villian persona or not. I will bet you a case of Fancy Feast that there are several P-ford villians out there with at least five interviews.

Colpennkley Chiprinstamich said...

I will bet you a case of Fancy Feast that there are several P-ford villians out there with at least five interviews.

Very, very unlikely. I ended up with 16 APA interviews last year. But by this point in the semester I had only been notified of 2. Next week, and the week after it, are when most invites will go out. Since this year is significantly worse than last only a few candidates will crack double digits, and nobody will get more than 15.

Agreed, though, that some might be unwilling to throw up a high number on the wiki for fear of sparking an outbreak of teeth-gnashing.

FWIW, I am a villain, just not one from Princeford.

Anonymous said...

Most Princeton grad students I know don't bother with Famae Volent or the ClassicsWiki. To be honest -- if I went to PU, I probably wouldn't bother with these sites either. I mean, who wants to read all these snarky, spiteful, and often misleading comments about them and their candidacy - especially when "only" 3 or 4 out of the 15 or so Princeton candidates on the market last year got any jobs at all. Would you as one of the 11 Princetonians who did NOT get a job want to read all these comments about yourself and your school and your apparent overratedness?

Then again, perhaps I am just expressing sympathy for the devil(s).

Anonymous said...

"Princeton 2008 Grad PHIL Colgate University 1-year
Princeton 2008 Grad GL University of London - Birkbeck 1-year
Princeton 2008 Grad RH Cal State - Chico Assistant
Princeton 2008 Grad LL Amherst College Assistant
Princeton 2008 Grad LL University of Texas - Austin 1-year
Princeton 2008 Grad GL Yale University Assistant
Princeton 2008 Grad PHIL Freie University of Berlin Post-Doc
Princeton 2008 Grad RH Rhodes College 3-year"

Three or four?

Nestor said...

As people have pointed out, I wouldn't put too much stock in the number of flybacks and interviews until mid-December. It's how you finish that matters. We've been over this in previous years, but it's typically the smaller schools that jump the gun and offer flybacks and, gulp, offers in December.

If anyone gets 5-6 interviews this year, they're doing pretty darn good in my book considering the crummy circumstances. 2-3 would be nothing to sniff at either. The real panic will set in when the VAP positions, or lack thereof, become clearer in the spring. We should really encourage departments to beg, borrow, and steal approvals for VAP positions this spring because it's going to be a long winter for many young pups.

UT Faculty Member said...

The Texas SC is currently reviewing applications. We will meet several times over the next week to come up with our APA interview list (this might not be finalized until the 19th or so because the SC presents a shortened list but the entire department makes the final decision). In other words, it's still very early to be hearing about APA interviews. As for herding cats and sabre toothed tigers, let's just say that there's been a distinct climate change here in Austin, very kitten-friendly.

Anonymous said...

We should really encourage departments to beg, borrow, and steal approvals for VAP positions this spring because it's going to be a long winter for many young pups.

I am on a multi-year VAP and applied for a couple of jobs anyway but I was told by my Chair the other day that if I leave, they likely won't be allowed to replace me. I have a feeling the same might happen in a number of places this year.

UT Applicant said...

Dear UT Faculty member,

Thank you very much for the update! It is much appreciated, and quite helpful. Good luck with the stacks of files, and I look forward to talking with all of you in Philadelphia! :-)

--UT Applicant

UT Applicant said...

p.s -- I am a mature, but still kittenish, tuxedo cat. I play well with others; kittens, sabre-tooth tigers, and long-horn cattle alike. I enjoy long naps in the sun, but am quite productive at night. I am a good mouser, and will gladly teach your grad-litters excellent tactics. And of course I am house-trained and well-groomed.

Anonymous said...

"As for herding cats and sabre toothed tigers, let's just say that there's been a distinct climate change here in Austin, very kitten-friendly."

The sabre-toothed tigers all appear to be present and accounted for on the list of faculty...

D-Bar Denizen said...

Most Princeton grad students I know don't bother with Famae Volent or the ClassicsWiki. To be honest -- if I went to PU, I probably wouldn't bother with these sites either. I mean, who wants to read all these snarky, spiteful, and often misleading comments about them and their candidacy - especially when "only" 3 or 4 out of the 15 or so Princeton candidates on the market last year got any jobs at all. Would you as one of the 11 Princetonians who did NOT get a job want to read all these comments about yourself and your school and your apparent overratedness?

I check the wiki and Famae Volent regularly, actually, and mind neither the snark nor the assumptions that I am getting thousands of interviews. It's pretty funny. Granted, at this point I think I'd trade one real interview for the current assumption that I have five. But, in the end, that assumption might end up burnishing my applications a little bit, so I hope you all keep rubbing diligently. More misleading info, please!

//:=)

Anonymous said...

"I hope you all keep rubbing diligently"

Watch out, now. This is a family blog.

Not a UT applicant but curious nonetheless said...

As an archaeologist, my only question about UT has nothing to do with felines, but with how the department didn't advertise for MC people when their two latest emeritae are in fact archaeologists.

UT alum said...

Yes, but Etruscan and Aegean archaeologists. Very few US departments actually go out there looking for these sub-disciplines unless maybe the department has a long history in the field (e.g. Cincinnati).

Etruscologists and Aegeanists usually get hired as generalists, historians, or art historians and when they retire, they're not specifically replaced.

Texas Faculty Member said...

In response to the question about why UT didn't advertise for MC people this time around: in the past 6 years we have hired 4 assistant professors. Three of them are archaeologists or art historians. The single Greek literature hire recently took another job in his native Canada. During this same period, we have also experienced several departures and retirements in the fields of Greek and Roman history and Greek and Latin literature. While we are conducting a very open search and are open-minded about field of specialization, we are in need of colleagues whose research and teaching has a strong textual component. We'd love to have our dean give us permission to hire for all the 7 or so lines that we've lost to retirement or departure in recent years but that's not likely to happen anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

Let me say I doubt very, very much whether UTexas has become more "kitten-friendly," except insofar as the kittens provide meals for the sabre-tooth tigers.

Anonymous said...

Certain places are notoriously hostile environments for junior faculty. And for associate professors, for that matter.

In order even to become persuadable that such a place had changed, I would at a minimum need to see that some more problematic figures had moved on.

Which is just to say that, despite assurances to the contrary (what else are they going to say?), those who go to certain places should remember to pack a hazmat suit.

Anonymous said...

UT's departmental battles go back well into the 1960's. With them, it's not just a matter of personnel, it's a departmental culture. Some groups suffer more than others under that culture.

Anonymous said...

Lest the UT SC members blame FV, I knew about the legendary culture of the classics department, but I'm glad it's spelled out here for those who don't have a senior mentor holding their hand and whispering in their ear.

Anonymous said...

There is no reason why a departmental culture should remain a secret. It's only when a department's top choices avoid it (if they can) or leave and the department clearly understands why its top choices have avoided it or left (if they have) that there can be any spur to set things right. Otherwise, it's too easy to pretend that a problem doesn't really exist, or doesn't really matter.

Even then, it may not be possible to make any headway before malign tenured influences have retired.

Another UT alum said...

I understand the concern re: UT and its sabre-toothed tigers (some of whom are still around). But let's just say that recent events have demonstrated that the kittens -- as kittens inevitably do -- have become cats, that the zookeeper has moved the handful of tigers into a separate cage, and that said tigers can only snarl at/lick each other. It may still be a bit premature to assert that the cats now -- as cats sometimes do -- lie luxuriously in front of the tigers' cage and pointedly ignore them. I am also not trying to cover up the multitude of dead kittens along the way (perhaps buried in shoeboxes in the backyard i.e. more congenial departments?). Instead, my point is that UT may in fact be the cat's meow now.

Next challenge: explain recent changes in UT dept culture in terms of "The Lion King." Go!

Anonymous said...

Toronto is known as the U of T, not UT.

Dead Kitten said...

To Another UT alum:

I suppose you could call me one of the dead kittens. UT has some good points - there are some great cats there - but the cats I'm still in touch with do not share your rosy view of the department at all.

To job seekers:

At this APA interview stage, you shouldn't worry about whether school X is a good place to work. Worry about that after you get a job offer from them. But if you do happen to get an offer from a place that is known to have problems (UT is only one of many) think loooong and hard and explore alternatives. I wish I had.

Anonymous said...

the zookeeper has moved the handful of tigers into a separate cage

If they have literally put the persons in question into a cage, that might make a difference. Apart from that, it's hard to see what metaphorical "cage" of administrative solutions could cause prominent full professors to behave themselves when they don't want to. Once you've advanced to full professor, the only checks on your conduct are your benevolence and your sense of shame. If you're a bully who doesn't care what anybody thinks of you, then you can do a lot of damage with no real consequences.

Anonymous said...

for those of you who heard from wesleyan for interviews, how were you contacted?

Tonto said...

Passenger pigeon - they tried smoke signals at first but it was a bit too windy.

Anonymous said...

What's with the 2-2/3-2 teaching load for UT-San Antonio? I'm assuming that the first year is 2-2 but the regular load is 3-2? If so, we should put 3-2 since we agreed to put down the standard load lest it get too messy.

Garfield said...

Am I the only one who's thinking that you're damned if you don't get a job, and often damned if you do? Abu Dhabi is looking better with each passing day.

meatsey said...

for those of you who heard from wesleyan for interviews, how were you contacted?

Yes, I am wondering if they sent out letters or emails. I understand now why the family of murder victims refuse to give up hope until they are shown a body.

Stephen Trzaskoma said...

This will in the coming days be announced more widely, but it is official as of today:

The University of New Hampshire seeks to fill a definite, full-time, benefits eligible position for a Lecturer in the Classics Program of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures to begin in August 2009. This is a one-year position, but it may be renewed for an additional two years, contingent on performance and available funding. PhD in hand by start of appointment is preferred. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications.

We seek a classicist who is trained broadly enough to contribute courses in both Greek and Latin languages, as well as in Greek and Roman literature in translation, mythology, civilization, or material culture. The teaching load is three courses per semester, with the precise course assignments determined based upon the qualifications of the successful applicant and the program's needs.

Interested candidates should send a letter of application detailing their qualifications, CV, and, if the PhD has not yet been conferred, graduate transcripts. They should also arrange for at least two, but no more than four, letters of reference to be sent. The address for applications and letters is: R. Scott Smith, Chair of the Classics Search Committee, University of New Hampshire, 301 Murkland Hall, 15 Library Way, Durham NH 03824. Application materials or questions may also be sent to classics.search@unh.edu [please note that this email address will not be functional until later this week, hopefully by the 10th--I'll update with another address if this does not happen].

Review of applications will begin December 15, 2008, and interviews will be conducted at the APA. Potential candidates should be aware, however, that applications will continue to be accepted until January 23, 2009, and a final decision is unlikely before the middle of February.

The University of New Hampshire is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access/Affirmative Action institution. The University seeks excellence through diversity among its administrators, faculty, staff, and students. The university prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, or marital status. Application by members of all underrepresented groups is encouraged.


Some further info:

Classics at UNH is a small but thriving program with three full-time tenured faculty, several non-tenured adjunct faculty members, and over forty undergraduate majors. It places a high priority on excellence of instruction. The faculty is committed as well to high-quality research, and the successful candidate will benefit from UNH’s membership in the Boston Library Consortium and its excellent Interlibrary Loan Service.

UNH is a land-, sea- and space-grant university located in Durham, in New Hampshire’s Seacoast region, with easy road and rail access to Boston, MA and Portland, ME. Its beautiful New England campus is located minutes from the Great Bay and an hour from the White Mountains, and is close to many other wonderful natural attractions, with opportunities for skiing, hiking, kayaking, swimming, and skating.

Best,
Stephen Trzaskoma
Assoc. Prof. of Classics at UNH

Anonymous said...

Shazam! With one swift post, more proof that the APA Placement Service is an obsolete relic. Thanks for the heads-up, Prof. Trzaskoma.

Anonymous said...

I just checked, and the one viable anagram for Trzaskoma is "Amok tsars."

Anonymous said...

Seems appropriate that the first SC member to place a job ad on FV would be from NH!

Many thanks, and perhaps other SC members who read this blog could consider this path as well (in addition to the usual places).

Anonymous said...

Wesleyan interview request came via phone.

Fox Mulder said...

There's the body.

Anonymous said...

There's the body.

Was it Professor Princeford in the lecture hall with a dose of deadly boredom?

Dirk Diggler said...

No, it was Ms. Chipenn Brownkley (ABD), by means of excessively glowing recommendation letters.

Chest Rockwell said...

I thought it was Dr. Sabre-tooth Stanton in the conference room with a no-vote for tenure?

Anonymous said...

Any news on the TT at Loyola College in Maryland?

Anonymous said...

Was the Texas Tech interview request for the Hellenist position or the classical arch position?

Anonymous said...

Was the request for more materials at Loyola in Maryland teaching evals and syllabi?

Anonymous said...

re: Loyola.

Yes.

Hook 'em said...

Was the Texas Tech interview request for the Hellenist position or the classical arch position?

I wasn't the original poster, but on the wiki somebody underlined the Hellenist Texas Tech position, which is the one that has the interview request.

The evidence of the wiki strongly suggests that interviews have gone out for the Hellenist position, but not yet for the Clarch position.

I also removed the underlining as someone might have freaked out at the supposed hidden meaning of the wiki.

I applied to neither job so I have no dog in this fight, fwiw.

Anonymous said...

Re Texas Tech:

Yes, it was the Hellenist position.

Anonymous said...

when it rains it pours

Anonymous said...

When it rains what it pours what?

Anonymous said...

It pours wiki rejections.

Anonymous said...

0:9
1:10
2:7
3:1
4:3

It looks to me like there is some credibility to the Princeford/superstar/sleeping-with-your-sister theory.

Amok tzars said...

The email address in the position announcement above, classics.search@unh.edu, is now active.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon. 6:42,

I'm a recent Princeford product, currently in the VAP purgatory, and so far, I'm in the 1 interview club. But maybe I didn't drink enough Cool-aid to develop super-powers.

Dr. Sabre-tooth said...

Well, all 100 of you on the market this year can't be superstars. Survivors, yes, superstars, no.

Little Boots said...

It looks to me like there is some credibility to the Princeford/superstar/sleeping-with-your-sister theory.

I've been trying to convince my sister to sleep with me for years! No luck so far. Now, however, if I tell her that it will help me get an APA interview she might just go for it. Thanks for the tip Anonymous 6:42!

Anonymous said...

Could the folks who have 4, 5 and 6 interviews say whether they are Latinists, Hellenists, Historians, Clarchs, etc.? I am curious, and I am sure others around here are as well, what fields are having success this year.

I extend to you all the sincerest congratulations on doing so well so far, and hope you can shed some light on the system as it currently stands. Thank you in advance!

Anonymous said...

Latinist

Anonymous said...

Latinist/Roman historian

(insert cultural historian jokes here)

Anonymous said...

One can predict how the disciplinary demographics will fall out.

-----------Latinist-------Hellenist

Lit


History


Archaeology



On this chart, the further down and to the right you go, the tougher it will be.

Anonymous said...

Question from a rookie: if a rejection letter states that the SC doesn't intend at this point to interview me for the APA, but that should there be a change in circumstance they may contact me later, is this just a formula for letting me down gently? Or does it actually happen sometimes that SCs re-tap "rejects" for interviews (and if so, at what stage does this tend to happen -- post-APA?).

Anonymous said...

Anon. 3:09 a.m.:
It's not that they're letting you down gently; they officially keep your file open until the search is complete, just in case. But in my four years on the job market, no, no one has ever contacted me later. It's a rejection letter. Sorry. I hope you have some good news too.

Anonymous said...

I know of only one person who got a rejection letter from an institution which later called them back and hired them (for a t-t job). So it's technically possible, but I wouldn't hold your breath.

Anonymous said...

(insert cultural historian jokes here)

Something about people who can't read texts and don't know facts?

Anonymous said...

Since I can remember, in grad school and on the market - a period of 10+ years - jobs have always favored Latinists. The only good year for Hellenists and Greek historians I can recall is the heady days of 2006-07.

I have been rejected after an APA interview and then called back later for a campus visit. It's possible, but don't hold your breath, especially for a pre-APA rejection.

Anonymous said...

RE: I have been rejected after an APA interview and then called back later for a campus visit.

My personal experience is that this is more likely to happen with "lesser institutions," as the candidates scheduled for campus visits drop out because they have gotten a job offer from somewhere else, and the SC has to go further down its list. It could be, of course, that the SC is deeply unhappy with the ones that have already come to campus, and wants to re-examine its options. Both are not good situations for the SC, so a prompt response on your part, if you are asked to come for a visit, could pay off big time.

Servius said...

I received a "call back" last year after being rejected for an APA invite. They did a phone interview first, and then an on-campus, so it does happen. I didn't get the job, but it was a nice surprise to be given a second life in January.

Good luck to all!

Anonymous said...

"(insert cultural historian jokes here)"

Something about people who can't read texts and don't know facts?


Apparently, it's cool to know nothing. In Britain, anyway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wz40P1hFvWs

Anonymous said...

Good-natured banter about cultural history aside, it's probably worth noting that the success of such types means the field doesn't just care about Vergilian philologists and economic historians of the Hellenistic world. That's at least a little bit of good news, right? (And I'm not a cultural studies type).

Anonymous said...

Thing is, though, "cultural studies" is surpassing the traditional areas of study in which candidates also excel. I've got a friend who's a traditional, source/text-based historian, does excellent work and has the resume to prove it, who is always getting beaten out for history jobs by the folks who do history via the lens of speech theory, or something like that, and not very well at that.

Anonymous said...

Sure, but that's a traditional and broad gripe that we shouldn't level exclusively at cultural historians (even if there's been a bit of fun at their expense). The gripe being that someone is a better salesperson than scholar. We see that everywhere: philologists complaining about poor theorists, historians complaining about poor economists, and art historians complaining about poor anthropologists. Just as there are good and bad traditional scholars so there are good and bad non-traditional scholars. No revelation there. I just try to keep an eye out for what's genuinely exciting and what's overhyped. I think we all do that, don't we?

Anonymous said...

The wiki is like heroin for me. I had someone in my office just now, and I was just praying for them to shut up and leave so I could check for the billionth time whether there have been any updates for the jobs I care about!

Anonymous said...

Except the thousandth hit is as bad as the first. Plus there's no rehab. Is the postdoc wiki like methadone?

Anonymous said...

-Swarthmore: Anyone know if this search (1-year VAP in Greek/Latin lit listed as "possible" opening in the ad) is still on?

-UMiami: Anyone have insights into what's going on with this one, after "phone interview requested" on Nov 24? Did that represent the first cut? A substitute for APA interviews? Essentially, I am wondering if that ship has sailed.

Anonymous said...

Re: UMiami, the phone interviews were a way to take some of the pressure off the schedule at the meetings, but conference interviews will still be held.

Confused Newbie said...

Re: UMiami, the phone interviews were a way to take some of the pressure off the schedule at the meetings, but conference interviews will still be held.

If we did not get a telephone interview, should we still expect a possible APA invite, or will the conference interviews be for a short-list from the telephone interviews?

Anonymous said...

It sounds like the phone interviews were the "play-ins" to get an APA interview. In other words, the "definites" were invited straight to the APA but there were still slots open. They then phone interviewed a bunch of "maybes" to fill these remaining slots. If you weren't given an APA invite or a phone invite, I think you're out of luck - sorry. If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone close to the searc will clarify.

Anonymous said...

'It sounds like the phone interviews were the "play-ins" to get an APA interview. In other words, the "definites" were invited straight to the APA but there were still slots open. They then phone interviewed a bunch of "maybes" to fill these remaining slots.'

Hmm...if this is the case, why is there no indication of APA invites on the wiki? And that's awfully early if the APA invites were extended *before* the phone interview(s) on Nov 24. Well, no doubt it will all become clear in time. Or not. Onward!

Anonymous said...

In case you weren't aware, they do have the youngest department in the country. So they have that going for them.

Anonymous said...

'So they have that going for them.'

Is that a Caddyshack reference I detect? If so, I salute you! In any case your post gave me a welcome smile in the midst of the stress.

Anonymous said...

UMiami -

Has anyone reading this received a CONFERENCE interview from them? If so,

(a) were you contacted by email or by phone about the APA/AIA interview?

and

(b) did you have a preliminary phone interview?

Anon 3:59 said...

My quick post was not clear enough... some clarifications (as the process was explained to me, so take it with a grain of salt):

Miami conducted some telephone interviews early. The telephone interviews replaced, or at least reduced the number of, conference interviews for ONE of the TWO generalist jobs that they are seeking to fill. Those interviewed by telephone are not expecting conference interview invitations.

People will be interviewed at the meetings who were not interviewed by phone.

I cannot imagine being on a small search committee faced with the prospect of conducting interviews at the meetings for two different positions. Spending three days talking to 24 or so freaked out candidates, some of whom obviously need to be sedated in order to make it through the next month... well, I understand the appeal of conducting phone interviews.

And while I'm typing... what an awesome U. We should all be so lucky to land in a place where the president is so completely supportive of Classics and is throwing buckets of money at a department to expand.

Anonymous said...

Temple Question:

I was asked for additional materials, which I sent and for which I received confirmation. I haven't received a follow-up: neither a rejection nor news of an interview. Has this happened to anyone else? The wiki suggests they're sorted. Any ideas? Anyone else sitting in this same boat?

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you should contact the Temple chair. Mistakes happen sometimes, even with the best of intentions.

Anonymous said...

If you received confirmation, I would leave it alone. You're probably unofficially waitlisted in the rare event they burn through their list and find no match.

Anonymous said...

Re: Temple.

I disagree with Anon. 8:24, if only because it's Temple. I interviewed with them once and applied for a job a second time. In my experience, the faculty members there were very fair-minded, helpful people. I feel that I always received an honest, non-judgmental response to an inquiry. If you are in doubt as to your standing, I wouldn't hesitate to contact them.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, who's the 'youngest department in the country'?

Anonymous said...

I've got an award nomination: Trinity University in San Antonio for a very nice rejection email. It was subject-lined "Regrets from Trinity" and got better from there.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, who's the 'youngest department in the country'?

From the Univ of Miami advertisement: "The Department of Classics announces 2 T-T appointments...in this, the nation's youngest Classics Department."

Anonymous said...

Oh, I see. I'd envisaged a faculty of Doogie Howsers. How disappointing.

Kittens are friends not food said...

I've never been more happy to receive a rejection email than the one I got from Texas.

Anonymous said...

Are you sick? Are you in a position to turn down a good job? Must be nice.

Anonymous said...

I'm not happy about the rejection, for the record (ie if any of you on the UT SC are reading this and want to reconsider)! To "Kittens are friends," why did you apply in the first place if you're glad to get the rejection??

KAFNF said...

I applied because I figured a large department like Texas' was somewhat healthy. Call me crazy, but I would rather be at a SLAC or a lesser research institution with a heavier teaching load if it means that I don't have to deal with departmental bs.

Again, call me crazy, but I would rather not go through the motions of interviewing if I'm uncomfortable about a job. Life goes on. When I'm thirsty, I'll rather drink from the tap then the purest mountain spring water with a poison pill in it.

Anonymous said...

Through the decades, were Classics departments always filled with these malignant senior scholars, or is this a recent phenomenon with the most recent generation? In other words, is the BS just rolling downhill or did a bunch of people recently take a big crap?

Anonymous said...

In UT's case, it's been going on for decades. Who knows about the other problem departments?

Hungry Tiger said...

Here, kitty, kitty...

(can opener noise)

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who got an interview with UT. They want this job irrespective of what it's like there (they're smart and professional and would take the heat just about anywhere). So since there are alums from UT on this board (who are presumably not applying), would they mind passing on some tips? Obviously they shouldn't refer to any predators by name, but some info on how to tame said beasts would be appreciated, e.g., wet bread stuffed in mouth, etc.

UT alum said...

1) What does your friend work on? I happen to have some knowledge of what (the saner members of) the department want. In general, to appeal to the older faculty, present one's work as traditionally as possible. To appeal to the younger ones, talk up theory a bit.

2) Anyone who is older and male, or strange-looking and male (sorry, can't be more precise without giving names) should be dealt with pleasantly and otherwise not be allowed to rattle one's cage. (Your friend will have fewer problems if they are male, frankly.)

Anonymous said...

Dear helpful UT alum,
I heard (from other sources) that gender has been an issue in the past. From what you say I assume that's still the case. Thanks for your advice.

Anonymous said...

"Could the folks who have 4, 5 and 6 interviews say whether they are Latinists, Hellenists, Historians, Clarchs, etc.?"

Latinist/Roman historian

(insert cultural historian jokes here)


Add another Latinist/Roman historian to the list. Apparently we're in vogue this year. Let's hope we don't screw this up. Good luck to all.

Anonymous said...

KAFNF, why apply for a job you don't want? Either you're offered it, in which case either you take a job you hate or you turn down a job offered in good faith, which tees off the dept. and wastes everyone's time (and makes you look bad). Or you're not offered it, in which case you've wasted a fair bit of your own time. It's one thing to apply for a job you're not sure about - a fly-out might change your mind. But if you really don't want it going in, what's the point?

Anonymous said...

It would be useful (or at least illuminating) to know more about what the UT SC is looking for...like many on this board I was a little disappointed not to receive an interview with them (regardless of the dept's problematic history).

Anonymous said...

KAFNF, why apply for a job you don't want?

I think the point was that this person has only been made aware of the extent of the problem after submitting the application.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain to me this: what is the egregious problem of a difficult senior colleague at a large institution? In interviews I get it. In a small institution I get it. But at a large institution, when you're already hired, when your tenure letters will be written by externals, and where there are more than likely to be at least some senior colleagues on your side, why whould the presence of some sociopaths matter? Awkward meetings in the hall? I doubt they want to speak with you. Extra administrative burden? Still probably smaller than elsewhere. Disrespect for your scholarship? They're going to die soon. Etc. I'm not saying it's nice to lie down and take it, and perhaps one shouldn't, but I'm sure there are a lot of Classicists in tougher jobs than at Texas (any 4-4 job for instance, any institution where somebody's being sued, etc.).

Anonymous said...

UT, though it's a second tier public university, prides itself in having a top ten-ish classics department. What does this mean? The same thing it does for classics departments at Berkeley, Michigan, Princeford, Brown, Chicago, Penn, etc. It will be a very traditional department at its core. Yes, for the sake of being PC they will hired a bunch of female faculty and maybe an african or asian american if they're lucky enough to find one, but the fact remains that the overall culture will remain waspy male. Yes, there will be a couple people who do gender studies and cross-cultural contacts, but think of the most traditional aspects of literature, history, archaeology, etc., and that's what will be favored. Hopefully, this will change (and it has at lesser departments by necessity), but it likely won't fully happen for another 50 years.

Anonymous said...

We all want a job. But allow me to indulge in some fantasy employment for a minute. What would your favorite Classics job be and why? I reckon a place like Cornell or Texas or even Brown, which are pretty good but aren't quite at the top. That way you might actually have a role in realizing a department's potential. I'm not saying I'd turn down a job at Princeford, I'm just not sure my contribution could be as valuable. Okay, back to my distinctly more depressing chances in the real world...

helpful UT alum said...

Can someone explain to me this: what is the egregious problem of a difficult senior colleague at a large institution?

When, as at UT, there are several difficult senior colleagues, who wage almost continuous campaigns against other faculty, who scheme with each other, and who know that most of the "normal" people in the department are too nice/too ostrich-like to oppose them, everything about a department can become fraught, including faculty meetings. Imagine a toddler who always throws tantrums at the store, but who always has to be taken to the store for lack of child-care or something, and you'll get the idea. I should also say it is unlikely the major problem people at UT will retire anytime soon.

I believe UT really wants, as the SC member above indicated, people who work very closely with ancient texts (not necessarily textual critics, though some SC members may want that). In particular they need people who can teach the languages. Of their last three hires still in place, all MC, one can't teach the languages and the other two refuse to to do so, which has put an enormous strain on the rest of the department. They are probably looking for a Homerist (maybe Hellenistic poetry or tragedy) and someone who does Latin prose.

Anonymous said...

Dear helpful UT alum,
You really do live up to your moniker. I hope you have or get the job that you want.
Thanks.

Anonymous said...

My doctoral institution had only one sociopath, yet he was remarkably successful in restricting the breadth of courses offered, the grad reading list, the fields of all visiting scholars, and so on. No one wanted to cross him lest their funding or salaries be cut, their classes all moved to 8 am, etc. He did eventually retire/die, but he did a great deal of damage in the meantime. And there was only one of him.

Anonymous said...

That's astonishing. Isn't that something deans are supposed to something about? Rather than all the useless stuff they do.

Anonymous said...

Also, depending on the department and institution, just one senior colleague can either effectively exercise veto power over your tenure or make him- or herself such an obstacle to tenure that you have to have a much stronger tenure file than you otherwise would.

Now, if you have a senior colleague who not only plans to do this but takes every opportunity to remind you that s/he plans to do this, that can make for an unpleasant half dozen years.

Anonymous said...

RE: I would rather be at a SLAC or a lesser research institution with a heavier teaching load if it means that I don't have to deal with departmental bs.

Given the amount of concern voiced about the supposed unfair advantage that Princeford grads may have on the job market, I find it interesting that it is taken for granted that of course WORKING at Princeford is the best option. If Princeford is the best place to work, then it must also have the best grad students, and their dept of origin SHOULD weigh heavily in the SC's decision on who to interview, right?

Also, I don't think the poster meant to cast aspersions on SLACs, but as someone employed at a LAC,
I think it is worth pointing out that at the best SLACs the teaching load is comparable to that of R1 institutions, sabbaticals are frequent and money is flowing for travel and other research expenses. The publication records of faculty at such institutions are just as good as those at R1 institutions.

At my institution our load is 3-3, and money is tight, but all my classes are small (not more than 25) and discussion-based, my students show up consistently prepared and ready to learn, and I find my teaching very meaningful (and not very time-consuming). Everyone at the institution, from the custodians and grounds workers, to the administrative assistants and librarians, the coaches, the professors, and administration are on the same page about making the institution the best it can be by promoting both teaching and research.

On the other hand I went to Princeford-type institutions for undergrad and grad, and they are both miserable places to work for entry-level faculty. My college simply did not tenure junior faculty, and they were treated like second-class citizens, while my grad school had extremely stringent tenure requirements (2 books to tenure, and quality was more important than quantity). There was little to no transparency on the process of tenure, and given the subjective nature of rating quality and the number of times faculty were not granted tenure for what seemed to be arbitrary or vindictive reasons, junior faculty could never be sure that their work was good enough. Secondly, with the two-level system for granting tenure, in which first depts said yes, but the dean had the final say, a dept could pass the buck and blame the dean by giving a less than enthusiastic yes that the dean would read as no. Again, people were occasionally denied tenure under these circumstances. A recipe for paranoia! Indeed, I witnessed a good friend of mine (not in classics) succumb to a panic attack the day her tenure file was due and require sedation. This is a person who had met all the requirements and is a rock star in her field. (She got tenure, by the way, and has been trying to leave ever since.)

So, there is more to worry about than difficult senior colleagues when looking at an institution.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Regarding that last post...having visited at least one of the much-maligned institutions several times in the past decade (i.e., Stanford), and knowing several of the faculty there fairly well, for the most part, they are really nice folks, and they wouldn't pull any of the type of crap you are suggesting. So while I'm sure you are right that this stuff happens at R1s, and it is wrong to paint SLACs with a negative brush, it is equally dumb to imply that most R1s are horrid, thorny, miserable places to work.

Anonymous said...

I work at a prominent R1. I love my job and my colleagues. It is however an R1 at which junior faculty have a good chance of being promoted to tenure. I think that can make a big difference.

LMAO said...

In particular they need people who can teach the languages. Of their last three hires still in place, all MC, one can't teach the languages and the other two refuse to to do so, which has put an enormous strain on the rest of the department.

Helpful UT, you've been a mensch, but as a clarch, I have to point out how ridiculous your statement sounds to anyone but the traditional classicist. So UT has 25 faculty (4 clarchs) and 5 lecturers (1 clarch) and it's two MCers refusing to teach languages that's putting an enormous strain on the other 20 faculty who specialize in using the LANGUAGES...right. What are these dastardly MCers teaching instead? Intro to classical civ with 800 students in them? How dare they.

Anonymous said...

"What are these dastardly MCers teaching instead? Intro to classical civ with 800 students in them?"

Well, according to their course listings, this term and next their Greek Civ, Roman Civ, and Myth classes are all being taught by literature people (though the instructor for Myth in Spring is listed as "TBA").

Really, I don't see what the problem is with teaching language courses. It's the lightest teaching assignment there is, if you can read Latin faster than a Classics undergraduate, which I would assume anyone dealing with the ancient world can. Seriously: people should be falling all over themselves to get an intermediate Greek class of 15 instead of an "Intro to Archaeology" course of 250. I don't care how well you know your Greek sanctuaries, it's a lot less work to look over a page of Plato before class than it is to put together an hour-long lecture on Epidauros or something.

Sure, I can understand not wanting to teach a graduate seminar on Pindar, but that's not usually the sort of language-teaching burden an archaeologist would be asked to assume.

Anonymous said...

Really, I don't see what the problem is with teaching language courses. It's the lightest teaching assignment there is, if you can read Latin faster than a Classics undergraduate, which I would assume anyone dealing with the ancient world can. Seriously: people should be falling all over themselves to get an intermediate Greek class of 15 instead of an "Intro to Archaeology" course of 250. I don't care how well you know your Greek sanctuaries, it's a lot less work to look over a page of Plato before class than it is to put together an hour-long lecture on Epidauros or something.

Maybe they want to teach archaeology because they have Ph.D.s in archaeology?

I've had to learn French for my research, and I could probably get away with teaching beginning or possibly intermediate French if I had to, and it would certainly be less work than teaching any number of classes in my area of concentration, but, um, why would I want to?

But I do appreciate the acknowledgment that language classes are less work than lecture courses in archaeology, at least on the initial prep. Seems like a good reason to stop sniping at the archaeologists who like archaeology enough to go the extra mile.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe they want to teach archaeology because they have Ph.D.s in archaeology?"

Sure. And people who have Ph.D.s in Greek might want to teach Aeschylus in Greek all the time, and not Augustine in English translation to 200 freshmen. That's about as far from what a Hellenist spends their time doing in graduate school as teaching undergraduate Latin is from what a Roman archaeologist does in graduate school. You get to teach what you have specific expertise in every once in a while if you are lucky; the rest of the time, you (and the rest of your colleagues) teach what needs to be taught.

"language classes are less work than lecture courses in archaeology, at least on the initial prep."

No hour-long lecture is ever going to be easier than helping a handful of undergraduates battle through a few paragraphs of Greek or Latin. Undergraduate language courses are a blessing: they give you time to write all of those books and articles about archaeology that you've been dying to write! And those books and articles allow you to keep your job, so that you can teach in your field of greatest expertise every once in a while until you retire.

Anonymous said...

One of the hot topics at the ASCSA is that your average classicist (read: text-focused) rarely attends the school these days, even for one summer. One can literally plot the percentage of text-focused students drop (then plummet) over the past 100 years.

So what? Classical archaeology really needs to get out of classics departments and call itself Mediterranean archaeology, or something similar. It's obvious that classics has not made nearly the same strides as Near Eastern studies in getting rid of a Western-biased, text-as-divining-rod archaeology (i.e. they no longer hire scholars with the central goal of illuminating the Bible). I don't know of one Near Eastern archaeologist who has to teach Hebrew or Koine Greek.

The days of the big dig and looking for sculpture are dead. Other than the languages, which are of secondary important these days, classics departments do not train archaeologists. The best archaeologists who study the classical period become so by taking classes in anthro, geology, etc.

Unfortunately, classics is such a stench to anthropology, a clarch can't get a job as a mediterranean archaeologist but must be proficient in European prehistory. Art history really isn't the solution because it emphasizes everything that's wrong about traditional classical archaeology.

It's obvious that classics is not going to change. Why stay in it? Give me one good reason.

Future Dr. Sabretooth, aka Evil Villian said...

Good riddance.

And for those keeping track, 11 interviews and counting. You hatin SC chairs, let's see if you refuse me a flyback as you boldly say you will.

Anonymous said...

Would Princeton, Stanford, or Texas just fucking give this guy a job already so we don't have to ever hear from him again.

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