There will be few if any “marquee” listings today and beyond, as many application deadlines have already come and gone, dossiers Interfolio’d (and many dollars lost in the process) and ready to be dismissed out of hand by some high-and-mighty Search Committee for a single typo. This week’s only beginning “German” listing (see below for the reason behind the scare quotes) is yet another “do two people’s jobs” job.
Rochester Institute of Technology, Assistant Prof. of German or French. I guess I should be grateful they didn’t demand it be German and French–but the job still requires “near-native” fluency in two languages that are only related because the Germans had to kiss up to the Latin- and French-speaking upper classes for the entire Holy Roman Empire. Multiple-language positions are insulting, because they imply (or, rather, explicitly state) that those of us only qualified to teach but one foreign language can no longer compete on today’s market.
All right, now for something completely different. Yesterday was my Vitae column’s debut, and my essay on “Dossiers With Dignity” got a lot of amazing responses (and I am now privy to more bizarre search-committee requests than I ever thought possible; yesterday someone told me an department wanted five recommendations on letterhead and for the application to be printed out, signed, and then scanned–dafuq?!).
What I’d like to do, actually, is make a list of all positions a still-marketing me would have applied for this year, and their requirements, so that you can see just what kind of needless (and, in the end, quite fruitless) work goes into them. This is a list that excludes: multiple-language jobs, linguistics/SLA jobs, medievalist jobs, “open rank” jobs (that always, always goes to someone with tenure already), non-tenure-track jobs. I am “applying” to jobs that ask for a specialty other than what I do, because in my experience that actually means jack-squat.
- Bowdoin College wants: “a letter of application, curriculum vitae, a statement of research plans, a statement of teaching philosophy, and the names and contact information for three references who have agreed to provide letters of recommendation,” submitted directly (i.e., you will either have to pester your recommenders to upload their letters themselves, which they hate, or pay Interfolio $12 to do it, because “prompting” I-folio to send one letter to one place costs $4).
- Colorado College wants: “an initial letter of application (including statements on teaching and scholarship) and a CV,” through Interfolio ByCommittee, which is free to the applicant (hooray for you, CC).
- Gettysburg College wants: “a letter of application, curriculum vitae, teaching statement, and three letters of recommendation,” sent directly, which means you’re out at least $6.
- Harvard wants: “a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, a one-page dissertation abstract, and the names and contact information of 3-5 references,” uploaded directly to Harvard’s precious Harvard portal, which is nominally free but I am betting they have retina-scanning software to check if your blood is blue enough to work there (also, having your letters sent there will cost $12).
- Northwestern wants: “a letter describing research interest and teaching experience, a CV, a representative chapter of the dissertation and/or a published article (no more than fifty pages) [HA!!! -Ed], and three letters of reference,” all uploaded to their precious special portal, which will thus cost you $12.
- Oberlin College wants: “a letter of application, curriculum vitae, graduate transcripts, and three letters of reference,” directly, by motherfucking SNAIL MAIL (WTF?) which will cost at least $6 and probably more.
- Princeton. Get a load of this. They want: “a letter of inquiry, a complete CV, and a full dossier,” uploaded to their precious portal. A “full dossier”? Check out this list. Every single “dossier” is different. Dafuq could a “full dossier” be? IT COULD BE ANYTHING. If you were worthy of Princeton, though, you’d already know. Whatever this ends up being, once they request your letters (if they do, pleb) it will cost you $12.
- SUNY-Binghamton wants: “a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a syllabus for an ideal undergraduate course, a writing sample (no more than 30 pages) and three letters of recommendation,” sent directly, which will cost you, with that amount of printing, at least $8.
- Sewanee: University of the South wants for you to “post”: “cover letter, C.V., sample syllabi, evidence of teaching excellence, a graduate transcript, and three letters of recommendation,” directly to their precious portal, which will cost you $12.
- Texas Tech wants: “letter of application, CV, statement of teaching philosophy, three letters of reference, and sample of scholarly writing,” and also a time machine that puts the Holocaust in the early 20th Century, sent directly, which will cost you at least $6.
- Transylvania University wants: “a letter of application addressing professional and scholarly vision of teaching at a liberal arts college and curriculum vitae,” sent directly to their portal along with a vial OF YOUR BLOOD. This will be free until they want your letters, at which point it will cost you $12.
- Tufts wants: “Letter of application, CV, and three letters of recommendation,” via Interfolio ByCommittee, which is free to applicants, hooray Tufts.
- University of Cincinnati wants “a letter outlining the candidate’s qualifications for the position, a cv, a writing sample (article or dissertation chapter), and a brief teaching statement” submitted through their precious portal, plus three letters of rec submitted to FoPKK Todd Herzog, along with your statement of preference for Cincinnati Chili. This will cost you $6, plus the cost of a quadruple-bypass surgery.
- Mizzou conveniently wants you to “Merge your CV with a brief cover letter and upload the document in the Resume/CV section of the application” (DAFUQ?!?) and send your letters directly to the SC chair, who is not a FoPKK to my knowledge and thus won’t get called out here, but will end up costing you $6.
- University of North Dakota wants a letter and C.V. only. Hooray!
- UT Austin wants “letter of application including research plans, CV, three current letters of reference, a writing sample (up to 30 pages) and graduate transcripts,” directly, which will cost you at least $6 depending on how long your writing sample is.
- Wellesley College wants: “etter of application, CV, graduate transcripts, and four letters of recommendation, one of which should address the candidate’s experience in language teaching,” directly to their precious portal, which will cost you $16 because of that fourth precious letter.
As you can see here, there is a huge variance in what institutions want, and how they want it. This is a paltry, pathetic list of jobs (if I hadn’t done Thesis Hatement I would bet on maybe two interviews, if I was lucky, maybe one at Mizzou since I already live in Missouri and thus they know I can handle it, and one at Cincinnatti because I seem to have a lot of luck in Ohio, I don’t know why). But as you can see, just applying for them will cost someone upwards of $132, and (rough guess) upwards of 200 hours of your time if you’re a rookie crafting all the materials from scratch, and 100 if you’re updating old ones. “Merged” letters? Special letters? Writing samples of different sizes? Portal upon portal upon portal, each of which has an increasingly absurd list of requirements just to get to the document-upload part?
This. Is. Fucking. Insane. And there is absolutely no need to keep doing it. As you can see, though every requirement is slightly different (different enough that you have to spend your own damn time to customize your materials), they are all more or less the same: send us a letter introducing yourself, and talk about your research and teaching. Send us a list of shit you have done. Send us a sample of your work. There is literally no reason whatsoever that institutions can’t agree on a Common Dossier other than straight-up egotistical snowflake mania.