June 24, 2003

The Academic Job Search: Requirements for Candidacy

Thomas Hart Benton of Don't Go to Grad School fame (or is that infamy?) comments (Do We Really Need Another 'Other'?) on the increased expectations for academic job candidates:

Or am I remembering an MLA job ad (e.g., 'in your letter of application to Great Valley State College, please describe how your scholarship has changed the paradigm of your field as well as how you teach remedial composition.')

"In any case," Benton adds, "I guess that delusions of grandeur are characteristic of enterprises on the eve of disintegration."

The eve of disintegration? Let me assure you that your pessimism is unwarranted, and let me remind you that, in any case, it is impermissible. This is the morning of a brave new epoch of Outstanding Achievement in all areas of academic Excellence. The increased pressure to publish means that scholarly productivity is at an all-time high; the now-standard practice of students evaluating their teachers rewards hitherto unimaginable levels of shameless pandering commitment and dedication in the classroom; and the substantial inflation improvement in student grades over the past two decades points to impressive gains in students' academic performance. Climb aboard, Mr Benton, and ride the train of Progress. But please be seated right next to one of our excellence-in-research-and-teaching quality control experts: something tells me we will need to keep an eye on you.

Posted by Invisible Adjunct at June 24, 2003 08:14 AM

Hey, IA? I think you should maybe lay off Wealth Bondage for a while. You sound scarily like the Happy Tutor.

Posted by: Dorothea Salo at June 24, 2003 08:52 AM

I was thinking that too! :)

Posted by: Rana at June 24, 2003 12:24 PM

Well here's a cheering thought: it could be worse.

Posted by: Ceec at June 24, 2003 06:43 PM

Hey, I thought it was the Tutor who sounded like me :)

Ceec, that is truly terrifying.

Posted by: Invisible Adjunct at June 24, 2003 07:35 PM

Yes. If that's the sort of thing I have to look forward to, I think I'll stick with temping!

Posted by: Rana at June 24, 2003 08:07 PM

Yeah, temp agencies have their own absurd intake procedures (no one escapes without a typing test, regardless of whether the position you're qualified for has the remotest need for it) but at least they're not playing amateur psychologist with you as the lab rat. Yet. [knock on wood]

Posted by: Ceec at June 25, 2003 02:29 AM

*typing* test? --
no one escapes without a *piss* test.
land of the free; home of the slaves.

Posted by: vlorbik at June 25, 2003 06:07 AM

Why am I thinking a dinner featuring asparagus would be a nice way to prepare for an interview?

Posted by: Rana at June 25, 2003 03:29 PM

Rana, I had no idea what asparagus had to do with anything until I Googled for (here's two words I never expected to put together) "asparagus urine".


A niced dinner of asparagus sauteed with a crushed head of elephant garlic, I should think. For the health benefits. ;-)

Posted by: Ceec at June 25, 2003 07:59 PM