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Author Topic: What states would you avoid?  (Read 9389 times)
aandsdean
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2012, 8:50:18 PM »

Those I know that are especially bad, though, include Georgia, Wisconsin, California, and Nevada (perhaps the very worst).

So Georgia just finished four years of hiring freezes, Wisconsin has a wacky governor, and California has financial issues along with a massive bureaucracy that makes bizarre statewide decisions that wreak havoc on a local level.  I've never seen Nevada listed as a state to fear though.  What's their particular problem?

Take a look--loss of gambling and tourism revenue so bad there was talk of closing UN-R.  Near total catastrophe.
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egilson
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« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2012, 8:59:09 PM »

Unemployment, Despair, and Insolvency.

Actually, the only place where I will not apply is Arizona (since I'm allergic to racist police states). I have applied in California and Texas, though, and will soon be applying for a position in Nevada.
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prytania3
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« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2012, 9:00:36 PM »

Connecticut is in decent shape--all things considered.
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dogvomit
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« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2012, 9:09:04 PM »

If you can help it, I would avoid any states that are right-to-work (for free) states.
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imawakenow
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« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2012, 9:42:13 PM »

Are there any states you would immediately eliminate if you were given a choice between that and another (all other things being equal)?

I don't think there's a consensus, although certainly issues related to (perceived) tolerance seem to be important to a number of posters:

Geographic-ideological considerations in the job search
http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,54814.0.html

What is/is not desirable?
http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,72787.0.html

I will not be applying to jobs in Texas (this thread is a classic)
http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,69858.0.html

Would you avoid high unemployment states?
http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,73081.0.html

Best cities in "red" states
http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,46035.0.html

FWIW, I am leaving a state at the end of this academic year that is doing fairly well financially for a state that is not. Even given the problems with finances in my new state, I believe the opportunity is better for me and my family, so we're moving. YMMV.
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federale
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« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2012, 1:24:21 PM »

These are tough times, and for a person just coming out of grad. school, choosing good and bad states might be a bit precious. However, for those with alternatives in hand, it seems quite relevant.

Several patterns are going on right now that make it very hard to decipher.

1. Several of the classically "liberal" states are largely insolvent (California, Illinois, Oregon), lagely as aftermath to the housing bubble. Nevada and Arizon, not classically liberal by any means were also torpetoed by the bubble.
2. The political right is on a tear, so that commonsense public services are now considered socialism. Higher education is not popular among the right wing demagogues these days, who continued a three decade tax cut fever. This applies throughout the Southeast and much of the Midwest, Intermountain West.
3. The Intermountain West has never paid much for higher education, so even solvent states like Wyoming don't pay much.
4. Demographics are changing and some areas (Northeast), so that the need for higher education is contracting. Others, in contrast, are booming (Utah).
5. Some areas are historically poor (New Mexico, Mississippi, W. Virginia), so salaries are lower.

Given that I have a job, I would probably look most closely at the eastern or midwestern states that did not have a housing bubble and which value education (Pennsylvania, Iowa, Nebraska, the Dakotas, some parts of the South) or which are booming for other reasons (Washington State, Alaska, Utah).

If I could choose, I would probably say Washington, but Utah looks pretty favorable too (a lot of kids getting ready to enter college and a strong economy). In general, I like many of the northeastern states too, but they are highly varied in their financial particulars.
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proftowanda
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« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2012, 1:41:59 PM »

If you are on a state pension and nowhere near retirement, the pension systems of New Jersey and Illinois are particularly dreadful.

 I think New York and Wisconsin are fully funded, for what it is worth.

Yes, Wisconsin's pension plan for public employees (aka WRS, for anyone wanting search terms) is one of the strongest anywhere, gets great ratings, etc. -- but it's in peril, as governor Walker is going after it.  Public employees are mobilizing all over the state to try to fight against Walker, but they have so many battlefronts at once these days.

Not that this is likely to affect decisions for any folks here, as there is essentially no hiring in the UW System, anyway, and worse to come with Walker's new cuts to higher ed, atop his massive cuts in the biennial budget, his promise of no raises for two more years after his huge hit to take-home pay and after five years of no raises for faculty and pay cuts ("furloughs," with orders to not reduce workload) even under his Dem predecessor, and more.  The longstanding attraction of the WRS is not sufficient against these onslaughts, even were it not the next target of Walker (read: the next target of ALEC, so watch your own states, as well, with ALEC's pattern of targeting Wisconsin first and then taking its attacks to other states).
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brixton
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« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2012, 2:46:41 PM »

Florida is struggling with its wacky funding, tea party governor, and legislators who have pet projects that they want to fund over and above University life.  It allocates appropriations yearly, frequently after the school year starts, which might make it hard for university leaders to plan.
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westcoastgirl
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« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2012, 3:52:59 PM »

If I could apply nationally, I probably would. I would not be inclined to apply to places where my salary was pathetic in proportion to COL. This would probably knock out California and New England, but then again, maybe those places start out higher?
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federale
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« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2012, 4:28:32 PM »

Yea, California is still pretty bad on that front. Can't speak for New England.

I saw a wonderful job in coastal CA last year, but I could not see how to make it work financially.
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mazerunner
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« Reply #25 on: March 04, 2012, 12:39:23 AM »

In terms of climate, I don't handle cold well.  So this knocks out the Midwest, Northeast, the Northern Rockies, and Great Plains.

In terms of state finances of the remaining states, I'd knock out California and Nevada.  Nevada has had some serious problems with funding its universities as of late.

I'd like to stay in the mainland US, so that removes Alaska and Hawaii from consideration.

In terms of cultural elements of the remaining states, I'd knock out Utah, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky and West Virginia.

I've been warned about public universities in Tennessee because they are controlled by two separate entities that don't play nice with each other.

So this leaves Washington, Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, the Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.

Maybe that's why I haven't found a job yet.  But I just can't bring my family to Iowa or New Hampshire.
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zyzzx
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« Reply #26 on: March 04, 2012, 12:43:24 AM »

Yea, California is still pretty bad on that front. Can't speak for New England.

I saw a wonderful job in coastal CA last year, but I could not see how to make it work financially.
Not all of California and New England, mostly just the coast and cities. I'm looking at a place in CA that has quite low cost of living (because nobody really wants to live there). A New England small town SLAC might be ok in terms of COL.
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brixton
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« Reply #27 on: March 04, 2012, 8:59:55 AM »

In terms of climate, I don't handle cold well.  So this knocks out the Midwest, Northeast, the Northern Rockies, and Great Plains.....

Maybe that's why I haven't found a job yet.  But I just can't bring my family to Iowa or New Hampshire.


Iowa is actually a great state.  Number two in the nation in education.  Winters have bouts of intense cold, but many schools don't start till mid/late January, and if you can miss January, there actually can be warm days throughout Nov, Dec, Feb and March.  I'm a New Yorker who, when I went on the job market, said that I'll probably end up in Iowa (knowing nothing about it).  I did, and when I moved out there, I realized that it is alot like Vermont... without the New Yorkers.
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anisogamy
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« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2012, 10:28:39 AM »

Yea, California is still pretty bad on that front. Can't speak for New England.

I saw a wonderful job in coastal CA last year, but I could not see how to make it work financially.
Not all of California and New England, mostly just the coast and cities. I'm looking at a place in CA that has quite low cost of living (because nobody really wants to live there). A New England small town SLAC might be ok in terms of COL.

I'd actually be really excited about New Hampshire.  I'd prefer Massachusetts or Vermont, but I'd gladly (gladly!) take New Hampshire. 

It's not where I've ended up, but that's okay.
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zyzzx
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« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2012, 10:42:28 AM »

Yea, California is still pretty bad on that front. Can't speak for New England.

I saw a wonderful job in coastal CA last year, but I could not see how to make it work financially.
Not all of California and New England, mostly just the coast and cities. I'm looking at a place in CA that has quite low cost of living (because nobody really wants to live there). A New England small town SLAC might be ok in terms of COL.

I'd actually be really excited about New Hampshire.  I'd prefer Massachusetts or Vermont, but I'd gladly (gladly!) take New Hampshire. 

It's not where I've ended up, but that's okay.

Heh, whenever I would go up there in the summer, I'd find myself thinking about how great it would be to live there. Then I'd remember about winter and return to reality (I did my Ph.D in Mass. and barely survived 5 years of winter). Too bad, because otherwise it's a great area.
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