• February 14, 2016

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February 14, 2016, 1:00:24 pm *
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 on: Today at 01:00:18 pm 
Started by inkmally - Last post by untenured
Good question. This will vary by discipline so you need to keep those norms in mind. Setting that aside, the default answer is that a year without an affiliation implies that you could not 'make it' in the prior year's job market. However, you have a specific plan in mind that is productive and the financial discipline to accomplish it. If you have confidence that you can produce during the year out of the market, then that voluntary separation from the market will be justified. What you must overcome is the perception that you are giving a 'sour grapes' excuse that you couldn't obtain employment otherwise.  Justifying your decision will be all the easier if you produce high quality results, such as a publication in a top journal.

So is this a good decision for many people? No.  Is this a good decision for you? Perhaps yes.

 on: Today at 12:59:58 pm 
Started by inkmally - Last post by nescafe
Hi inkmally,

This was me last year. If you like, you can check out some of the advice I received here: http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,178123.0.html

In my case, I was long-distance from my spouse and preferred to close the gap over picking up various part time gigs somewhere a flight away from home. The results have been mixed, but overall I don't regret my decision.

Basically, I obtained a research affiliation with a major R1 university in my area. This gave me library privileges, access to campus events/workshops, and office space. The affiliation is unpaid, but as part of a campus research cluster I became eligible for paid speaking engagements both on campus and within the community. I also got access to travel funding to defray the cost of conference travel. I don't teach courses, but I have served as a reader on a couple of undergraduate theses here and received small honoraria for those. 

Most importantly, the gap year allowed me to make substantial progress on the book, write and place 2 articles, and to bulk up the CV with speaking opportunities. In the end, it has been more productive than teaching pick-up courses as an adjunct or VAPing across the country from my spouse.

The gap has not harmed my returns on the market, but it has not helped, either. Basically, I'm facing two offers for VAP/postdocs in places far away from my spouse. So I'm back where I started on that front.

I would recommend looking into affiliations with R1s in your area. If you find one that is a good fit and you can afford to take the year off, maybe that's what you want to do.

But a couple things to consider: what is the balance of research v. teaching on your CV? Do you have ample (read: more than your co-applicants on the market right now) classroom experience? If you take a gap year, your teaching experience will not appreciate and this could, in time, disadvantage you.

Also consider how you would describe the relevance of a gap year in future cover letters, in interviews, etc. Can you build a narrative around this time that makes it the logical 'next step' in your professional development? The goal here is to make choices about whether to affiliate, with whom, and whether to forgo teaching opportunities with a guiding narrative about why time out of the classroom is not "time off." You might find this narrative useful when you apply for jobs next year.

 on: Today at 12:51:36 pm 
Started by geoteo - Last post by fizmath
Another option to consider: the granny pod.


 on: Today at 12:44:23 pm 
Started by drsyn - Last post by nguy5065
Earlier this morning, I cleaned out my gutters

 on: Today at 12:26:31 pm 
Started by loathin - Last post by cmeagher7
The cedar fence has been chopped down.  There are ruts from people driving their 4 wheel drive vehicles over the land.

And he could get sued if someone injures themselves on that land, even if they were technically trespassing.

 on: Today at 12:25:01 pm 
Started by emil5152 - Last post by cmeagher7
And, what exactly is his turnaround plan?

Okay, fine. Get rid of the Catholic, liberal arts focus that "doesn't sell." Get rid of the students who aren't 99% likely to graduate.

Now, you have no institution and far fewer tuition-paying students. You spend a fortune buying out all the faculty in those boring disciplines like philosophy and history for which he has such disdain. And how much money does the college get thanks to its Catholic connection?

And replace these with, what? How about a pure STEM + Business college for pure workforce development? You are going to equip all sorts of labs and find faculty who probably will demand much higher salaries than the existing faculty. With what money?

 on: Today at 12:24:43 pm 
Started by voxprincipalis - Last post by mountainguy

It's possible I'm just naive, but I really don't understand the extreme defensiveness in that thread.

 on: Today at 12:13:13 pm 
Started by geoteo - Last post by hungry_ghost
Would you consider building a garage with a second story apartment/living area.  I don't know if you need a garage, but the bottom would be fairly open and could be 50X 20 or so.

This was my thought too, basically a garage/barn/workshop with a second story living area. Check with a real estate agent, but in my neck of the woods, if done properly, this can definitely add resale value to a house in the country.  The only drawback to consider is that as people age, stairs can become difficult) and this would certainly mean stairs, though perhaps there are ways to make a barn/workshop/etc with the living area at the back... though this then seems to defeat the whole purpose.

 on: Today at 12:11:43 pm 
Started by inkmally - Last post by inkmally
Hi everyone,

This spring I am wrapping up a multi-year position.  I had some nibbles on the market, as well as a campus interview, but I believe it is unlikely that I will have a tenure-track offer for next fall. 

I love academia -- I love my research, I love teaching...and I hate the thought of leaving.  At the same time, the thought of picking up and moving for another 1-2 year gig is wearing.  I have not yet applied for visiting positions--until recently, I had seen very few listed for next year. I am starting to come across a few now.

However, part of me wants to just give up on finding something for the fall in order to focus 100% on research/publishing/my portfolio and getting ready for the next cycle of the job market.  I have savings to get me through the fall and have a project that could provide funds for next spring.  I am concerned, though, because if I take this approach, I will not have an institutional affiliation next season. 

I guess my question really boils down to whether the institutional affiliation is crucial, or whether I could still be a strong candidate without an affiliation. 

 on: Today at 12:07:02 pm 
Started by emil5152 - Last post by prof_twocents
Looking around Facebook it does appear as though the most outspoken students are on Newman's side. No way to know if that is a majority of the students or not, but I would not be surprised for a couple of reasons:

1. Newman has promised to end their rigid core curriculum, which many students apparently feel is old-fashioned and they hate.
2. Newman appears to be doing an end around appeal, undercutting the faculty-student relationship and making everything about the administration-student relationship. Makes the dynamic "faculty vs. students."
3. The university is in dire financial shape from years of overspending and declining enrollment, and students either fairly or unfairly (I don't know enough to draw any conclusions) put part of the blame on the faculty.

Newman appears to be approaching this like a corporate takeover. Fire all the employees who complain and focus entirely on bottom line numbers like retention rates, even gaming them if necessary. I'm not reflexively opposed to business-minded people, especially at a school in financial dire straits. But Newman is like a caricature of the type of business person that even other business people hate.

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