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Author Topic: VAP Support Thread  (Read 239419 times)
magistra
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discolor unde auri per ramos aura refulsit.


« Reply #135 on: December 13, 2009, 7:01:53 PM »

I think she meant that unless she made a special trip, she wouldn't have a signed contract until she showed up to teach.  Hence, prep would be done without a contract.  This might also delay her first paycheck, as they wouldn't put in into the payroll system until she'd signed.

Definitely call HR, and the departmental assistant. 
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First it was Wolfram and Hart, now it's Blackboard.  There's not much moral difference, if you ask me. -- Malcha

Grammar is the chocolate in the buttery croissant of life.  -- Yellowtractor

Okay, so that was petty.  Today, I feel like embracing pettiness.  -- Mended Drum
sockitymcsockum
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« Reply #136 on: December 14, 2009, 9:39:48 AM »

I think she meant that unless she made a special trip, she wouldn't have a signed contract until she showed up to teach.  Hence, prep would be done without a contract.  This might also delay her first paycheck, as they wouldn't put in into the payroll system until she'd signed.

Definitely call HR, and the departmental assistant. 

Thanks for being more coherent than I was in my first posting! Yes, this is what I meant.  I'm reluctant to ruffle feathers, as I genuinely do like the dept and want this job. But it's unclear how much I can 'push back' in a situation like this. I'm not in touch directly with HR yet, it's all going through the dept. admin. I'm worried that going to HR would be politically unwise, and could be seen as doing an end-run around the dept. Thoughts?
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womanofproperty
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« Reply #137 on: December 14, 2009, 11:06:30 AM »

Just ask the admin if it would make his/her job easier if you contacted HR directly.  She/he'll let you know if everything must go through the department.

Why do you feel like asking questions will ruffle feathers or that you need to "push back"? 
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sockitymcsockum
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« Reply #138 on: December 14, 2009, 1:11:22 PM »

Situation basically resolved! Thanks for the advice :) It worked out well on the contract end, not so well on the office end.

womanofproperty: the language I used probably stems from my feeling unsure about my status in the department, especially as I haven't actually signed a contract yet and they could still go elsewhere (though all indications are they won't).
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grasshopper
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Grade Despot


« Reply #139 on: December 14, 2009, 8:11:39 PM »

Situation basically resolved! Thanks for the advice :) It worked out well on the contract end, not so well on the office end.

That's great news, Minira! I know from experience how difficult it is to get things going without a paycheque.

Good luck with the office space. I'm sure it'll be resolved. And if it's not entirely to your satisfaction, remember that it's just for a year.
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heywhynots
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« Reply #140 on: January 22, 2010, 9:16:52 AM »

I agreed last spring to serve as part-time faculty at a local comprehensive university (CU) for department AB to teach an advanced course the following spring (this spring semester) that hadn't been taught at CU for a few years.  We discussed what the background of the students would be such as pre-reqs for the course.  No contract was signed at that point and I was informed that all those particulars would be worked out in the fall. I have a full-time post-doc position and agreed to do this to get more teaching experience on my CV in case the job search this past fall was not successful.  Early Nov. I heard nothing from the CU, so I e-mailed the person in charge who I talked with previously.  The class had been transfered to department A (related department to AB but not the same), so I was told to contact the chair of department A.  I did and got no response.  I was at the time interviewing for a full-time position and then negotiating for tt position (which I agreed to and will be starting this fall).  Given the full-time future position was more important it is where I put my efforts and did not hound the chair of department A at CU about the part-time position. 

Jan. comes rolling around so I decide why not see if the position is still available, so I wrote the chair again.  The chair writes back surprised that yet another person (person 3) hadn't been in contact with me about the course.  Also the chair informs me the class is under enrolled and might not happen.  I get in contact with person 3.  That person asks for a syllabus to drum up support for the class.  I send a syllabus with a couple questions about policies at CU and no response.  In the meantime the chair of department A gets into contact and has me fill out HR paperwork (the basics, still no contract).  No other support given except to inform me that the class now has enough people to allow it to run (well actually I find that out by talking with the department's administrative assistant). 

Classes started this week, so I go ahead and give the class going over the syllabus and giving an intro lecture based on the fact it is an advanced course with certain pre-reqs.  A day later, I get an e-mail from person 3 (the one I sent the syllabus to and never heard back from).  Hu is sorry he/she did not get back to me sooner and had looked over my syllabus and then informs me that they waived the pre-reqs for the course without informing me & that in fact the course is no longer the advanced course I thought & planned for it to be.  I have taught the advanced course at another school and thus had the material ready to go to teach the course, which is one of the reasons I agreed to teach it. 

So to sum up:
1) Get batted around by some interdepartmental turf struggle for control (hence the switch from department AB to department A) that leads to a total lack of communication & support from CU
2) The pre-reqs were dropped without at the least letting me know prior to developing the syllabus and my first couple of classes. 
3) Still no contract.

Since I have a full-time post-doc at a research university and a tt position lined up already for this fall, I am seriously thinking of saying screw this.  Right now, the class will require more work than I originally agreed to and I don't have a contract after the first week of classes.  My only worry are the students in the class, some are taking it to fulfill a requirement to graduate.  Sigh, what a royal pain in the rear.  I would have been better off not making an effort & forgetting it once I had the tt position.
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emergingscholar29
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« Reply #141 on: September 13, 2010, 5:24:09 PM »

Hello everyone,

I really empathise with NormativeŽs experiences (VAP Support thread) but I would advise normative to
keep trying and eventually all the stress he/she is suffering will recede into distant
memory. 
I would just like to enquire as to whether anybody has any thoughts about general articles.
Take for example the case of a scholar in Italian Studies who promotes himself as an Italianist.
His expertise also include Italian film so he decides to do a general piece for a film studies journal entitled
ŽItalian Cinema and the forging of national identity in ItalyŽin a special issue on national identity and film studies which would include other case studies.
In your general experience, how are these articles rated? Are they valuable to your career, or would one
be more advised to invest that time doing a specific piece for Italianist journals or even a book chapter specifically concentrating on Italian cinema?
IŽd be most grateful for any advice you could give me on this subject.


Best wishes,
Emergingscholar29
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drstrangetoughlove
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« Reply #142 on: October 28, 2010, 6:02:04 PM »


So to sum up:
1) Get batted around by some interdepartmental turf struggle for control (hence the switch from department AB to department A) that leads to a total lack of communication & support from CU
2) The pre-reqs were dropped without at the least letting me know prior to developing the syllabus and my first couple of classes. 
3) Still no contract.


Sorry to hear about this. It is awful. But this is why I started the other thread on frank advice.
I have been in the chair's position (though not being the chair) many times and though I knew the course
would not probably run was told not to tell the adjunct this until it was canceled. It is just the culture
of universities to use adjuncts at their disposal because they are hardly in the position to fight-back
since they need good references etc.

I guarantee you that a seasoned chair/faculty handling your situation did not lose a wink of sleep over this.
It is just the culture of universities. I'm touched that you still worry about the graduate students needing
the course to graduate.
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harrapsempire
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« Reply #143 on: November 06, 2011, 1:36:42 PM »

Hi, new poster here, one-year VAP, fresh out of graduate school... I am slightly depressed, and as I am already on the market again, discouraged. I love teaching and research, but I am wondering whether it's worth all the sacrifices - being away from my partner, kind of broke, tired, and anxious.
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zengazenga
Getting a Ph.D. in being awesome.
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But my diploma will say "Ph.D. in social science"


« Reply #144 on: March 29, 2012, 8:58:11 AM »

As an homage to the person who inspired this here thread, I must repost the following that recently came through the wire:

So... miracles do happen. I got the offer from the school I really liked. I think I am choice #2 and that choice #1 turned them down - but I don't care. I get to leave Hell U and go to Dream U!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for all the support, people - it has made a huge difference to me and I appreciate it greatly. And I hope some of my luck - and I think it is luck, in the end, as well as hard work - rubs off on those still searching.

Congratulations porcupine!
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conjugate
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Tends to have warped sense of humor


« Reply #145 on: April 07, 2012, 2:16:39 PM »

Hi, new poster here, one-year VAP, fresh out of graduate school... I am slightly depressed, and as I am already on the market again, discouraged. I love teaching and research, but I am wondering whether it's worth all the sacrifices - being away from my partner, kind of broke, tired, and anxious.

Only you (and your partner) can make the decision about whether the sacrifice is worth it.  I had no partner when I took a one-year VAP job back in The Olden Days™, so I could stay in one-year appointments for a while.  Try to be a good colleague to those at your current position, look for opportunities to collaborate, and keep applying.  Get some of your colleagues to look at your application materials, and ask for positive letters of recommendation.  It took me quite a few years before I got a job where I think the school and I are both satisfied with one another, in part because of a few mistakes of my own and in part because, well, there are a number of schools that are wanting in several respects.

Best wishes to you and to others on this thread who feel the same way.

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Unfortunately, I think conjugate gives good advice.
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treeoflife
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« Reply #146 on: May 16, 2012, 6:17:47 PM »

I am finishing my second VAP, No idea what's going to happen in July.
I have been applying to anything under the sun. But I am not sure when to say enough.

I have two kids one is 4.5 and right now moving is OK, I am not sure about first or second grade.

Does anyone have any experience with this?
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seniorscholar
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« Reply #147 on: May 16, 2012, 6:57:50 PM »

I am finishing my second VAP, No idea what's going to happen in July.
I have been applying to anything under the sun. But I am not sure when to say enough.

I have two kids one is 4.5 and right now moving is OK, I am not sure about first or second grade.

Does anyone have any experience with this?

My two children moved every year from age 1 & 3 until 10 & 12. This included four transatlantic moves, and going to elementary school both in the US and the UK. They became competent, quick to make friends, and adaptable, meaning that both have graduate degrees and have worked in several far-away places (including, most recently, the younger one now in China). It probably helps that my father and my grandfather before him were both career army officers, meaning that moving every year or two was taken for granted by everyone in the family and also most of my friends (primarily army brats). But I think that up until high school, most children do fine with moving if their parents don't make a big thing of it. Some children as adolescents make such a fuss that their parents give in to them. I, personally, thought it was great -- I could become a new person every time I started a new school.
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watermarkup
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« Reply #148 on: May 16, 2012, 11:23:25 PM »

My kids have been OK with moves at every age from 0-12. I think any time in elementary school is doable, and then they hit the middle school/junior high years where they're changing schools every year or two anyway. High school might be harder, but I have no experience there (yet).

Seniorscholar's experience sounds about right. Despite inheriting two sets of introvert genes, my kids have become quite adaptable and have made friends quickly in some very different places. Moving hasn't been easy, but my kids seem pretty healthy, happy, and well adjusted.

Good luck!
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treeoflife
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« Reply #149 on: May 17, 2012, 3:20:42 PM »

Truth be told, I am not sure this will even be a dilema. Only had two interviews untill now, both didn't work out. The number of jobs avaliable in May and June is so small.

I guess I sould start looking for a job as a mailman

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