• October 31, 2014

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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 02:45:27 PM 
Started by mirrorcad - Last post by lyndonparker
I agree.

The first-year t-t professor and I do the same thing, essentially. We both teach classes, at my shop (and the last one) the same number of classes.  The reason I get paid more than her or him is because I have been doing this longer, have more publications, have provided more service, and have been promoted. We get paid differently based upon what we bring to the table.

I would argue that this is indeed fair. I am the one the administration comes to when they have problems or extra service requirements, I am more greatly involved in advising and department governance, and I have a greater reputation as a scholar (which admittedly isn't all that) than a newbie. I should get paid more, as candidate B should get paid more than an ABD.

 on: Today at 02:45:16 PM 
Started by eddyman - Last post by eddyman
I just got through a couple hundred files for an interdisciplinary position that bridges humanities and social science at an SLAC and wanted to share an important observation about the process. 

A number of ABD candidates with exciting projects from top schools have either never taught a stand alone class nor published any articles.  Frequently candidates had done neither of these things.  I realize that is the traditional way of doing things in some departments -- don't teach because you won't get your dissertation done/don't publish any articles before finishing your dissertation--but in today's highly competitive market that ends up eliminating people from consideration at least in our search.  Because we get lots of post-docs, VAPs, and even TT-assistant professors applying for positions, we set a minimum bar of 1 published article or chapter and 1 class as instructor of record in considering candidates.   

So if you are a candidate wondering why your brilliant project (which we agree is brilliant) didn't get any bites at our SLAC, you now know why.  Of course, other search committees do things differently but I would suspect that this approach is not that uncommon, particularly the requirement to have designed and taught a stand-alone class for an SLAC position.

So I would suggest you ignore your advisor.  Teach a class at a local college.  Get that article that you want to write out now, rather than waiting.  Other ABDs do this--often from grad schools further down the rankings--and they move on to the next round.  If this means taking an extra year to complete the dissertation, take another year, provided that you still have funding.  Getting done in 5 years rather than 8 years gets you very little kudos but getting that publication and teaching experience matters.

 on: Today at 02:43:29 PM 
Started by jonesey - Last post by youllneverwalkalone
The other big takeaway for me is that the traditional ways of measuring productivity for tenure are woefully outdated.

sorry dude, I am not buying that at all. Published papers, and related information such as how often they are cited, grant productivity, student research, contributions to program courses, teaching effectiveness- all spelled out in some sort of unit plan. I really fail to see what is woefully outdated. Unless you are suggesting retweets and such?

I'm suggesting that publications in areas seen by more than a dozen people (i.e. policy work in national magazines/newspapers) should hold more weight.  The idea that TT faculty need to have a book in press to get hired is flat-out ridiculous as well.  The academy seems geared towards STEM, where people get handed tens of thousands of dollars in "start up" money and a 2/2 load while MLA and social science assistant profs scrounge for a few thousand dollars and hope for a journal pub or two. 

And all this for, what, $55/year? I'm in the South were prof salaries are lower than about 40 other states, but what's the hiring range for a new TT professor?

Well, I think the fact that you need ever stronger credentials to get hired is due to the fact that in the academic job market the demand is greater than the supply (I guess far greater in social science and humanities). The system currently rewards pubs, but if this suddenly changed you'd still have ridiculous requirements, just in a different domain (tweets, popular press articles, etc.).

 on: Today at 02:41:59 PM 
Started by fishbrains - Last post by citrine
I survived being a classroom helper and even remembered to bring in the cut-up apples. Wow. I could have used a drink afterwards.  The other classroom helper parent was super-nice.

When Nephew said, "Look, mom!" and ran over to show me something that he'd made out of Lego while playing with his friends, I almost cried.

Now, if I can just make it through the rest of the afternoon with Nephew demanding to know when we are going trick or treating every five minutes...

 on: Today at 02:27:51 PM 
Started by prytania3 - Last post by amberdragonfly
Good afternoon, Paddington, drbrt, octopof, and everyone else who comes along.

Unknown road leads to main road heading north. Definitely not a shortcut to get there but still a pretty drive.

  • Breakfast/meds/get ready for day
  • Feed & play with cat
  • Emails & organize for day
  • Read articles for grant & start drafting something
  • Pay bills & clean other desk
  • Take car to dealer to have thing reset
  • Lunch with husband
  • Field trip down unknown road
  • Grading
  • Dinner - BBQ ribs on the grill
  • Feed & play with cat
  • Read/relax/crochet(?)

 on: Today at 02:12:14 PM 
Started by spork - Last post by pigou
Kaci Hitchox, the nurse who was (until an hour ago) under quarantine in Maine, has received death threats on social media. No link has been made to gamers. If you look up just about any article that allows comments, you'll see posters (many posting from facebook accounts, i.e. with their names and pictures) calling her a b*tch, a c*nt, a wh*re, and many other derogatory terms. I really don't see why this is about behavior among gamers than among behavior online (and offline).

Peruse the anti-Hitchox page on Facebook for a near limitless quantity of non-anonymous material: https://www.facebook.com/MainersagainstKaciHickox

The response calling gamers all sorts of actual or perceived insults (some of which sexist: why are they insulting men as "virgins" if not to imply that a lack of sexual "conquest" makes them losers? Gender stereotyping is ok if it can be used to insult the other side?) not only isn't productive, but also clearly misdiagnoses the problem. A quick look at the above comments against the nurse shows that the offenders are both men and women, many have pictures with children (hence likely not virgins), report being married, and who don't seem to live with their parents (which is also a classist insult: that's often a sign of poverty more so than lack of maturity).

How common such insults are outside of gaming matters a great deal if those (rightly) criticizing such behavior attempt to (incorrectly) link it to anything that is particular to the gaming community.

edit: As for who gets online death threats these days -- here's a current story of an 11 year old boy getting a bunch of them: http://www.mlive.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2014/10/michigan_hunters_rally_around.html

Note how this is not remotely connected to sexism, the target is not a woman, and the originators are those opposed to hunting (i.e. people concerned about the welfare of others, animals in this case). The article also mentions some specifics, with someone suggesting the boy should take his own life, and another suggesting he should be put into a death camp. Cheerful!

 on: Today at 02:11:49 PM 
Started by discipleofdfw - Last post by eddyman
Speaking as someone currently serving on an SC hiring at a competitive SLAC, I would say that asking about the level of support for undergraduate research, will earn you major brownie points.  In fact, any question that has to do with students shows you understand the mission.  Even a simple, "what kind of students do you teach?" goes a long way to showing your interest in teaching.

 on: Today at 01:56:58 PM 
Started by paddington_bear - Last post by paddington_bear
(I apologize that this is the second thread I've started here this week!)

My writing class was supposed to write about our convocation speaker who was on campus in September. Because not everyone on campus could get tickets, and because of students' work/class schedules, I also allowed students to watch the video of the speech in the media lab, if they couldn't attend the event. The assignment is due on Wednesday. Originally it was in late Sept., but I extended the deadline because the video wasn't able until early/mid-October. So far, only TWO people have submitted the assignment. When I asked, after the event, how many students had seen the speaker, I remember more than two people raising their hands, so I'm not sure why they haven't turned in their papers yet.  So.... One student emailed me today and asked if there was another way to see the video, since it's apparently "uncomprehendable [sic] ."  I can't tell whether the two students who already submitted their papers saw the speech in person, or watched the video; neither mentioned not being able to understand the video. NO ONE else has said anything about the video's quality, so either no one has watched it yet (again, the paper's due on Wednesday), or no one else had a problem with it (and they just haven't submitted the paper yet).   Later today I'll probably go to the lab to watch it myself, to see what the student is talking about.

So, one, I'm pissed that only 1/10 of the students have turned in the paper after two months.  But maybe others are still working on it, and just  haven't yet turned them in. But that's besides the point. If the video turns out to be inaudible, what are my options? Unfortunately, there's no YouTube video of the speech.  If the video has poor audio, I guess it wouldn't be fair to give the two students who completed the paper (or however many there end up being) extra credit, and alter the grading scale down for the other students? Or, should I just find another speech for the rest of the class to write about (again, assuming that the video is inaudible)? Any other (better)choices?

 on: Today at 01:42:59 PM 
Started by spork - Last post by spork


 on: Today at 01:40:05 PM 
Started by octoprof - Last post by womanofproperty
Because I played my clarinet all weekend (as in 9-4 both days), and again on Monday evening, I have the mother of all cold sores on my lower lip.

Can your doctor prescribe valacyclovir for this?

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