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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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Author Topic: Wanna hear something funny?  (Read 5205 times)
gt_77
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« on: January 30, 2013, 10:02:21 AM »

I am in my fifth year at a state university as a full time adjunct.  Every year I hope I will have a job the next year, and I am the lowest paid faculty member in my department.  (No complaints, just stating the facts to set up the funny part).

The payoff:  This semester I am chairing two hiring committees and over the next two weeks I will be conducting on campus interviews with several candidates who will come into their tenure track jobs with a higher rank and a higher pay (substantially) that me.

Here again, not complaining, I just found this humorous as I am preparing to go pick up the second candidate this week at the airport later today.
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hegemony
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2013, 10:07:19 AM »

You do service as an adjunct?  That's not so funny.  Our adjuncts are freed from service.  They don't pay you enough to do service.
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Tragedy tomorrow, comedy tonight.
gt_77
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2013, 10:13:23 AM »

No, we are called full time adjunct, but think of it more as fixed term (1 year) appointments as Lecturer.  We have very little service requirements (and this is definitely beyond what I am expected to do), but I am also on several high level committees throughout the college and university (and have been chair of a couple mid level ones).  I am asked to do more than I have to, but mostly because of my own willingness to do so.  My pay though is ok (just not comparatively), and I do receive a yearly salary as opposed to a by the course type of arrangement.
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mouseman
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2013, 10:29:46 AM »

Just so that you understand - your department will never give you a TT job.  If you're OK with that, carry on.

PS. the saddest part of that statement is that I don't need to know where you are, or what field you're in, to be able to make that statement with absolute certainty
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In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away -- -
For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.
                                                  Lewis Carroll
gt_77
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2013, 10:34:08 AM »

Just so that you understand - your department will never give you a TT job.  If you're OK with that, carry on.

PS. the saddest part of that statement is that I don't need to know where you are, or what field you're in, to be able to make that statement with absolute certainty

I have come to that realization, yes.  But, while I have been here, I have pursued my doctorate and am now ABD.  I should defend in November/December.  So, all of the stuff I have done voluntarily here will look good when I go somewhere else.
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gt_77
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2013, 10:35:28 AM »

..and on a similar note, my chair wanted to make me assistant chair, but the dean informed us that a non-TT person can not serve in that role.
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mouseman
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2013, 8:34:05 PM »

Just so that you understand - your department will never give you a TT job.  If you're OK with that, carry on.

PS. the saddest part of that statement is that I don't need to know where you are, or what field you're in, to be able to make that statement with absolute certainty

I have come to that realization, yes.  But, while I have been here, I have pursued my doctorate and am now ABD.  I should defend in November/December.  So, all of the stuff I have done voluntarily here will look good when I go somewhere else.

Good for you (I mean it in all seriousness, no sarcasm intended), and good luck with you defense!  Based on what you wrote, I would say that being a search committee is actually a good idea, since it will give you a feeling for what it is like on the "other side" during your job search.

On preview - that is definitely amusing.
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In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away -- -
For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.
                                                  Lewis Carroll
flybynight
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2013, 12:39:28 AM »

I did a bunch of service as an adjunct and as a p/t staff member, and this helped me get a f/t staff position (although not in the department of my discipline which has still not hired me after said non-paid service for said department)---so I think your reasoning is fairly strong if not entirely thought-through.

In retrospect, however, I wish I had spent more time writing stuff.  In the long run, I suspect the writing I've done since I stopped being so agreeable will pay off much bigger.  At least I hope so.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 12:41:46 AM by flybynight » Logged
gt_77
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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2013, 7:44:21 AM »

I did a bunch of service as an adjunct and as a p/t staff member, and this helped me get a f/t staff position (although not in the department of my discipline which has still not hired me after said non-paid service for said department)---so I think your reasoning is fairly strong if not entirely thought-through.

In retrospect, however, I wish I had spent more time writing stuff.  In the long run, I suspect the writing I've done since I stopped being so agreeable will pay off much bigger.  At least I hope so.

I agree that writing is important, but the dissertation is kind of my only writing going on right now.  I have done several conference presentations over the past couple of years though.

On a brighter note, apparently my recent work (maybe these hiring committees?) changed the dean's mind, because my chair informed me yesterday that I will be the assistant chair starting next year, so yeah for me.
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hegemony
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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2013, 8:57:08 AM »

Are you aiming exclusively at teaching schools?  Or at the least I hope you're getting some compensation (course release?) for being assistant chair.  Because you're on a non-publishing trajectory, and the assistant chairship will only add to that.  All of our viable candidates have published articles in addition to completing the dissertation.  If you're going for a position outside a CC or a teaching school, you'll need to be competitive with that, which means you should be publishing, not doing so much service.  Conference presentations basically don't count.
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Tragedy tomorrow, comedy tonight.
gt_77
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« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2013, 9:20:40 AM »

Are you aiming exclusively at teaching schools?  Or at the least I hope you're getting some compensation (course release?) for being assistant chair.  Because you're on a non-publishing trajectory, and the assistant chairship will only add to that.  All of our viable candidates have published articles in addition to completing the dissertation.  If you're going for a position outside a CC or a teaching school, you'll need to be competitive with that, which means you should be publishing, not doing so much service.  Conference presentations basically don't count.

Yes to the extra compensation and yes to being a teaching school person.   I am do want to publish, but as you basically point out, I really don't have time for it right now with all of my other obligations.  However, once my dissertation is defended, I will have more time to concentrate on writing.
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hegemony
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« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2013, 9:34:05 AM »

And is your current position infinitely extendable?  Because after you submit an article, it can easily take a year or two to get it into print.  So your current practice (do lots of service, only allow time for writing on the dissertation) means that you won't emerge from your defense with any publications in the pipeline.  You might check the online CVs of people who have recently gotten jobs in your field at places of the type you're aiming at, and see how this level of publication matches up with theirs.  If your current job is yours for as long as you want (barring disaster), then there's less worry.
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Tragedy tomorrow, comedy tonight.
gt_77
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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2013, 9:39:30 AM »

And is your current position infinitely extendable?  Because after you submit an article, it can easily take a year or two to get it into print.  So your current practice (do lots of service, only allow time for writing on the dissertation) means that you won't emerge from your defense with any publications in the pipeline.  You might check the online CVs of people who have recently gotten jobs in your field at places of the type you're aiming at, and see how this level of publication matches up with theirs.  If your current job is yours for as long as you want (barring disaster), then there's less worry.

It is.  Another person in my department in the same type of line I am in has had his job for over 30 years, renewing each year.  I have been told on multiple occasions that unless the unthinkable were to happen, the job is mine as long as I want it.  Although, that leads to an interesting dilemma.  If, after I complete my doctorate, I want to move to a tenure track Assistant Professor position, I can "volunteer" to open my position to a nationwide search which I could win or lose OR I can simply choose to keep my job on a continuing year to year basis.
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aneumey
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2013, 6:38:11 PM »

If you really do want a TT job there, your best bet is to try and get one somewhere else and then apply as an external candidate when something comes open.  It worked for me.   I gave them a year and half of good service as a full time adjunct, when nothing came up took a full time job at a place I didn't like as much, and a year later was back and in a TT position and am now tenured.  Looking around me, I realize how the system worked.  There was no way they were going to properly compensate me for doing my job because I was doing the job anyway.  When the job stopped getting done and they couldn't easily find a replacement victim who would/could do everything I did, they ponied up.
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mickeymantle
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« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2013, 7:59:15 PM »


This reminds me of a painful situation explained to me by a graduate student who teaches as an adjunct in our college.  Apparently she can finish her dissertation this semester, but the committee may hold it up for another semester.  In addition, if she finishes by May, she will lose a relatively high-paying adjunct job at her R1 institution because she supposedly doesn't need the $ or benefits as a newly minted Ph.D.  No wonder we have so many eternal ABDs!
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