• June 26, 2016

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June 26, 2016, 8:28:27 pm *
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News: Talk online about your experiences as an adjunct, visiting assistant professor, postdoc, or other contract faculty member.
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 on: Today at 08:16:57 pm 
Started by bluelephant - Last post by bluelephant

Are these fellowships research focused?

Definitely a research-focused fellowship :-)

 on: Today at 08:16:04 pm 
Started by bluelephant - Last post by bluelephant
I also understand that a personalized letter is much better than a generic one, even if the generic letter is glowing. I mean "Jane has amazing skills in analyzing complex data. In out last project which produced extremely complex results, Jane was able to tease out the important factors, blah blah blah", will probably have a higher weight than "Jane is an amazing researcher with extraordinary analysis skills, she is among my top 1% of students".

Well, I'm surprised to hear that letters matter that much.  In my experience 98% of the letters are strong
I agree with this, and that's why I think that an important factor is who is writing the letters maybe even more so than what the letter says (assuming it is positive).

In my fields and experience, the identity of the letter-writer is less important than the specificity of the letter.  Vapid 3-line recommendations (however positive) from superstar profs or scholars do not add much to anybody's candidacy, at any level.

So, what Hegemony and Mouseman said.  As a student, you can't really control what a reference puts in his or her letter.  (As a job applicant, much later, there's a bit more room to tell a reference what areas you'd like addressed.)  But you can control who is serving as your references.  Even if you have a superstar prof on board, it behooves you to make as sure as you can that at least somebody (even if not a superstar) is writing very specifically about your particular strengths and accomplishments.

Definitely specificity. Also, indication that the letter writer actually knows and likes the person (without making it seem weird)
Is of some help.

I have one superstar (i.e., huge name, pioneer in the field, full prof), and two respectable researchers (i.e., associate profs, department chairs, etc). They have each known me and worked with me for at least 4 years.

From what I gather from your advice above, it would be helpful for me to refresh their memories by specifically saying what I have done in their labs and classes. Examples would include specific papers I have written, experiments I have conducted, how these achievements are noteworthy like if they made a comment on the paper or task, and the like.

Thank you. I will definitely get started on this list!

 on: Today at 08:13:31 pm 
Started by expatinuk - Last post by mamselle
Allez roullez!

(I'd link the Joe Dassin song by that name if I could....

Have fun!)


 on: Today at 07:56:53 pm 
Started by zuzu_ - Last post by writingprof
The English majors in my upper-level courses will have to switch right away, but, where my freshmen courses are concerned, I plan to ignore the updates until I'm caught.  That could literally be a decade from now.

 on: Today at 07:44:21 pm 
Started by mountainguy - Last post by flavianlady
I'm sorry, but did I really just hear what I though I heard coming out of your mouth? Oh, that's right, how could I have possibly forgotten: You are who you are. If I had been the host of this small, family gathering,  not only would I have put a stop to you getting invited along by one of the guests (again), but you would never have made it through the front door, you bloviating, racist, mansplaining, ignorant, bigoted piece of -----.

PS: Had I known in advance that you would be attending, I honestly think I might have developed a sudden headache just to stay home, even if that would have hurt my close personal friends and my adorable godson. Thus is the degree to which your very existence grates.

 on: Today at 07:36:29 pm 
Started by mickeymantle - Last post by protoplasm
Gawker continues the series on the plight of adjuncts, and this particularly moving piece ends with a segment on unionization:

Also, unionization efforts continue throughout this summer at places large and small.


Ithaca College:

Iowa makes an effort to do the right thing for lecturers:

Adjunct numbers, teaching, and pay investigated by a senator in NJ:

UMass Boston to cut hundreds of positions:

That's probably enough for now . . .


Against my better judgment, persisting in trying to have a space for discussion of adjunct faculty organizing.

 on: Today at 07:27:28 pm 
Started by cmri3708 - Last post by DrNefario
I was recently in the same position. Rather than fight the tenure battle, I negotiated a really, really, really big startup package, thus allowing me to " buy" tenure even if I never get another  grant.
How is that? If anything, I would think a really big startup package would increase tenure expectations.

Bit of a unique situation.  Basically my new Dean seems to understand what it takes to raise the department's research profile, but tenure expectations are still based on the past.

 on: Today at 07:07:09 pm 
Started by clean - Last post by clean
My Box Office magazine says shows the July openings as
Ice Age Collision Course (7/22)
Mke and Dave need Wedding Dates (7/8
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (7/22
Gleason (7/15
Star Trek Beyond (7/22
Ghostbusters (7/15
Our Little Sister (7/8
Equity (7/29
Bad Moms (7/29
The Purge (7/1
The Secret Lives of Pets (7/8
Jason Bourne (7/29
The legend of Tarzan (7/1
Lights out (7/22

 on: Today at 07:03:53 pm 
Started by AJ_Kats - Last post by arpodah
   Throughout my undergraduate and M. S. education, the only acceptable way for a student to address a male or female instructor who was not a graduate student teacher (and even office/service staff) was by the last name; exceptions made over extended periods of individual student-teacher relationships were strictly at the discretion of the professor (i. e., "It's okay for you to call me XXXXXX".)  Professors were called Professor or Dr. LastName.  Secretaries were called Miss/Mrs./Ms. LastName.  A few professors had a commonly known nickname or acronym of name initials that may be allowed.  Or the use of "Doc" was an acceptable casual address if a student, especially a junior, senior, or graduate student, had known or worked with a professor for a long time.  There was some flexibility with graduate student teachers.  Most were fine with students addressing them by only their first name with no title, and I accepted this address when I was a graduate student teacher; a few may have requested that Mr./Miss/Mrs./Ms. LastName be used to maintain professional distance.

   In my doctoral education, I was mildly shocked to hear a graduate student colleague address my major professor as FirstName (no title), and my major professor didn't mind.  In theory, earning the doctoral degree would suddenly legitimize using my former mentors' first names.  But having been brought up with old traditional ways, I could never bring my myself to call my major professor anything but Dr. LastName, though I am certain that he wouldn't have been offended if I called him by his first name.  Even at professional meetings, I still can't bring myself to address any of my former professors as FirstName (no title).

   I introduce myself to my students as Dr. Lastname.  [My full name is written in the syllabus.]  I expect students to use only my last name, and not my first name.  I leave them the choice to use Professor, Dr., or Mr. as a title, but one of them must be used.  The casual "Doc" must be earned over time, indicating an extended, pleasant, and respectful relationship with a student.

Personally, I state in the first class of each course that I prefer students to call me Dr or Professor Lastname, not Miss or Maam, and nobody has objected. I don't recall ever having been addressed by my first name by a student in person, but I would be a bit concerned if it happened - as a younger woman the erosion of professional distance between yourself and students can be a sign of trouble to come.

   Precaricat, could you explain your distaste for the honorific of "Ma'am"?  My understanding is that this term of direct address is the feminine equivalent of the male honorific "Sir".  I do not demand militaristic use of the "Sir" epithet from my students at the beginning or end of every sentence, but I can tell that those who do were brought up the old-fashioned way like I had been.  Both "Ma'am" and "Sir" are used toward persons perceived to be of greater age, rank, status, or authority, and both allow the convenience of repeatedly addressing someone without having to repeat his/her whole name.  Both terms equally imply a measure of respect for the position of the man/woman being addressed.  Even at my slightly advanced age, I address women who are clearly older than I am, who are my superiors in some capacity, or hold an office (i. e., provost, president, police officer, mayor, governor, senator, judge, etc.) as "Ma'am" to show my respect.  And in a professional setting, I think allowing students use of the honorific of "Ma'am" would have the effect of enforcing, not undermining, the professional distance that you seek to maintain.  But if you are still put off by the honorific of "Ma'am", please try to be patient with those students who may occasionally slip.  Old habits, indoctrinated as good habits, are hard to break.

 on: Today at 06:58:35 pm 
Started by voxprincipalis - Last post by tenured_feminist
Tenured_Feminist - haven't we had this same discussion before? Am I misremembering? Male academics are benefitted by having a partner who manages the house? The invisibility of the labor of the partner ( usually female) is what helps the male academic move forward in his career.

I've had that conversation soooooo many times. Pretty sure we had it here not that long ago. One of my favorite memories was totally losing my sh!t in a department meeting several years ago and providing the menfolk with a rageful rant involving all too many very specific details about what is involved in nursing and pumping.

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