Via friend and commenter ej, I learned that a job ad run by the English department at Baa Ram U. has raised some questions among job seekers and other academics. Sisyphus has a post about this, and so does Parezco y Digo, who industriously wrote to the Chair of the
English Department Search Committee to ask why they’re limiting their candidate pool to those with 2010-2013 Ph.D.s. (To his credit, the Chair wrote back and gave permission to print his reply in full.)
When we ran a search in the History department last year, we were instructed that we could not consider applicants who were either tenured or those who had the equivalent experience of a tenured Associate Professor, but we were not instructed to limit our applications pool otherwise. And indeed, our four campus finalists were people whose Ph.D.s ranged from 2006 to 2011, and they ranged in age from perhaps their mid-30s to their mid-50s. I don’t think English is interested in age discrimination. My guess is that English is looking to hire people with less experience instead of more experience, mostly because our salaries are so low and the pre-existing faculty had zero raises–we never get cost-of-living increases, so it was merely a suspension of our merit increases–from 2008 to our paltry raise in 2012.
(That said, I agree with Dr. Crazy’s point that the English department is being lazy and short-sighted here. If you don’t want to read 400 job applications, find another way of limiting the job pool. Maybe your ideal #1 candidate has a 2008 or 2009 Ph.D., but you’ll never know because you already pre-screened her out of the pool!)
Here’s a fun fact that will clue you in on the austerity now! Austerity forevah! feel of things around here: the Dean’s office is giving us just $1,000 for our search this year. A thousand bucks for everything! So unless we interview only Ph.Ds. who already live in the Metro Denver area and take them out to Hardees for their lunch and dinner, each department will have to spend a lot of its own money on the advertising, travel, local transportation, and hospitality costs inherent in any responsible international job search. (You know: the only kind of job searches we’re allowed to do if we want to remain AA/EEO compliant? Yeah.)
Friends, this is what you get if you try to run a research university like it’s a community college or the University of Phoenix. That’s right: we’re officially a Carnegie-1 institution! What a joke. But at least we’re not misrepresenting ourselves to our job candidates by pretending that their lives as faculty at Baa Ram U. will be anything like working for a real research university.
Speaking of which: maybe it’s time for a sit-down strike on the Tenure and Promotion Committee. Why should we enforce tenure and promotion standards like an R-1 when we’re staffed and funded like a community college?