April 19, 2012, 3:00 pm
Recently, Michael Bérubé (current president of the Modern Language Association) announced the launch of the MLA’s Academic Workforce Data Center and Survey. The data center, he writes, “will present US Department of Education (DOE) data on the academic workforce in a convenient format that allows users to compare institutions for numbers of faculty members employed full- and part-time and in tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure-track positions. The MLA database will cover 4,246 degree-granting two- and four-year colleges and universities in the United States.” You can search the workforce data center for information about your own institution’s employment statistics, comparing the percentages of tenured & tenure-track faculty to full- & and part-time non-tenure track faculty (and tracking how those percentages may have changed between 1995 and 2009).
Bérubé points out that during…
March 23, 2012, 11:00 am
In February of this year, Josh Boldt, a Writing Instructor and EdTech Consultant at the University of Georgia, asked his blog’s readership to contribute to a crowdsourced document on adjunct labor working conditions in the United States, this in response to Michael Bérubé’s call, as the new president of the Modern Language Association, to address adjunct labor practices and conditions.This simple request exploded across social media resulting in thousands of people contributing to a current profile of adjunct labor in the United States. This simple document has morphed into The Adjunct Project, a place that, according to Boldt, promotes transparency in higher education employment practices, provides a quick reference for parents and teachers (et al) to gauge how much value a college or university places on education and human rights, recognizes schools that are treating faculty…
January 20, 2011, 3:00 pm
January is the time for clean slates, fresh starts, and new beginnings, but it can also be a time to take measure of where we are at present, professionally, personally, and financially. For many of us, that last one, the financial, can be rough. Previous ProfHacker posts have encouraged readers to explore different kinds of personal finance software and some of the many budgeting apps such as Personal Assistant that are on the market as ways to manage their finances. We’ve also discussed how to deal with irregular expenses, retirement plans, and Flexible Spending Accounts as ways of saving money for both the long-term and the short. In the spirit of these posts, I’ll make another financial suggestion: review your insurance coverage, in particular, your auto and home or renter’s insurance.
When I moved into my first apartment, my parents encouraged me to take out a…
October 29, 2010, 8:00 am
We’ve written before about the special challenges that faculty often deal with in managing money. Creating a budget and sticking with it is Personal Finance 101, and having a system set up to keep track of your money is important.
But what about all those irregular expenses that come up? Think about the bills you pay that come up once or twice a year: maybe it’s property taxes if you’re not using escrow, a lump membership payment to a community supported agriculture (CSA) group, or some kind of fee related to grad school or a child’s school fees. Even if your monthly budget is great, unless you allow for these miscellaneous expenses, you’re not really budgeting.
Consider setting up a separate monthly budget category that takes into account all these types of expenses. To do so, add up all these miscellaneous expenses you expect in a year and divide by 12.
For my household, over…
October 22, 2010, 8:00 am
When I began to write my last ProfHacker post, a review of the fantabulous Travel App TripIt. I had originally intended to review both TripIt and another app, Pageonce’s Personal Assistant, but as the review developed, it fractured with the recognition that these are two very different applications that just both happen to have travel functions. In what follows, I’ll introduce you to Personal Assistant, which I originally learned about in a Newsweek article which named it one of the “Best Apps for College Living.”
Personal Assistant is available for BlackBerry,
Droid Android, and iPhone, and it has both free and paid ($6.99—no advertisements) versions. Personal Assistant is a multi-purpose tool that allows you to monitor bank accounts, credit cards, cell phone usage, cable bills, mutual funds, and it also allows you to manage travel.
Perhaps because it supports so many…
August 24, 2010, 3:00 pm
Academia is characterized by a myriad of financial arrangements. You might receive your paycheck every two weeks while your household bills are due every month, and two two-week periods do not usually line up with a month. Maybe you earn some consultant income every now and then. Perhaps you’re a graduate student switching from an RA to a TA, each of which has a different pay schedule. Then there are of course bills to pay. Thankfully, there are a number of tools available to keep track of money coming in and going out of your personal accounts. This post will focus on digital tools, as opposed to pencil-and-paper methods.
I first started using personal finance software ten years ago as an undergraduate student who had a number of campus and summer jobs pooled together to help pay for my education. Back then the market was dominated by Microsoft Money, which I used and has since been…
August 13, 2010, 8:00 am
As the new academic year approaches, there are probably several things on your to-do list: finalizing new syllabi, straightening up the office, course prep, and putting the finishing touches on your summer writing projects. But whether you are still in graduate school, starting a shiny, new post-doc, out on the tenure-track, or further along in your career, this is a also a good time to take stock of your finances. Specifically, before you get into the throes of a new term, you should take a look at your retirement account(s) and make sure that you are where you need to be in saving for the future.
It can be disorienting and strange to think about retirement when you begin your academic career. Retirement seems like another lifetime from now, something in the far off distance that we can worry about later. But when I began my current position, I was determined to learn about financial…