Hat-tip to reader John for this one:
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale: Assistant Professor of German. “Qualifications: Ph.D. in German Studies, or closely related field. ABD applicants will be considered if all degree requirements will be met by August 15, 2014. If all requirements for the Ph.D. are not completed by August 15, 2014, a 9-month term appointment may be offered at the rank of Instructor at a reduced rate of pay.” It’s cool, extremely obvious inside hire (who looks like a very nice person, btw), no pressure on finishing your dissertation. We are going to hire you whether you finish your dissertation or not. People who don’t already work here and have finished their dissertations need not apply.
I’m also very proud to have some inside dirt on this one:
Colgate, Visiting Assistant Professor of German. A friend of mine interviewed with Colgate a few years ago for a tenure-track job (I can’t tell whether the search was cancelled or not; their only junior faculty was hired in 2010, and my friend interviewed in January 2012, but it could be that said junior was a VAP who became an inside hire, and I don’t feel like figuring it out). During a post-mortem debrief at MLA, she told me that they interview “tribunal-style,” where they grill you on whether or not you know their program inside and out. “How would you compare our study abroad program to others?” I believe was the question. She hadn’t even pretended to know the answer, because unlike me, she hadn’t spent the previous week memorizing every detail about every program she was interviewing for and reading articles by the people about to interview her. I remember screaming at her in disbelief: “You don’t PREPARE for interviews?” That year, she’d gotten an interview at a place I didn’t and desperately wanted to work–without knowing a single thing about the place other than where it was located. She made it to campus, and only lost the job because they hired someone who was already on the tenure-track with a book out (who also happens to be a friend of mine, because the German world is tiny). All’s I’m saying is–some of the time you actually can get away with knowing jack-squat about the places that are interviewing you, but sometimes you can’t, and if you don’t internalize every minute detail of Colgate’s study-abroad program, you can kiss that 3/2 job “with the possibility of a third year” goodbye.
AND NOW, meine Damen und Herren, it’s time for…”Which Search Has Already Been Cancelled?” This year’s dubious honor goes to, drumroll please…
The University of North Dakota, an institution so legendary for in-fighting and backstabbing that several readers emailed me with either stories or hints (unfortunately, I’m sworn to secrecy–oh, the things I know. THE THINGS I KNOW. I wish I could un-know them!). So, all of you who were ramping up to Embrace your Inner North Dakotan and buy yourself a car-warmer and memorize the protocol for what happens if you get caught in an Alberta Clipper (CLEAR YOUR TAILPIPE EVERY FEW MINUTES OR YOU’LL ASPHYXIATE!!!), shut it down.
ALSO, according to this year’s trusty Wiki, which I now read purely out of Schadenfreude, there has already been “movement” on the following jobs, so those of you playing along at home for real can begin the Misery Spirals early! As you can imagine, I have a lot to say about the Wiki, which is wiki-why I’m writing a Viki-Vitae column about it for December (Peak Wiki), so I can’t say more about it here. But what I can do is try to assuage the pain a little for those of you already left on the shelf while you’re not even done submitting applications.
Penn State’s Advanced Assistant/Associate search has requested writing samples already. I’ve refrained from commenting on this search because I know people there, but you know what? Fuck it. It’s not the department’s fault, it’s the institution’s, so let them have it: this search exists because Penn State has decided it’s fucking Harvard, and denied tenure to an extremely wonderful and accomplished scholar last year. The department approved this individual, but the institution denied the case, because they are fucking psychopaths. This is a dirty, tainted job with blood allllll the fuck over its hands, and whoever gets it is basically a scab of the worst kind. Anyone with even the smallest amount of an ethical spine will stay far the f*ck away from a job vacated because someone who deserved tenure didn’t get it.
Princeton is also going through the motions of requesting samples from people who apparently did not think a writing sample was part of a “full dossier,” and may even page through a few before they decide which one of their own graduates they will hire. Because Princeton only hires the best, and since Princeton IS the best, there’s no way to hire the best that doesn’t involve hiring Princeton!
Transylvania U has requested some supplementary materials already; the rest of you can remain in the world of the living for now.
Mizzou has requested writing samples from established assistant professors with books out and favored pets of elite programs. Which of you will come and join me in a state where it’s legal to discriminate in housing based on marital status and sexual orientation?
I realize that making fun of this does not make the process any less painful, and for those of you who already see the machinations of the market marching along without you, as if you don’t even exist, as if they will not even give you a chance–I’ve been there, it’s harrowing, and for the next few months it’s only going to get worse. There are arguments both for and against even looking at the Wiki, and I would love to hear yours in the comments as I put this new Vitae column together.