30 Days of Schadenfreude: Rate My JIL Returns

Courtesy of my friend I., here is a doozy of a job ad for you philosophers out there.

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Auburn, AL. The Department of Philosophy is seeking candidates for a possible instructor position in philosophy and religion beginning the 2017-2018 academic year. The position is non-tenure track and for one year, though it is renewable for up to five years. The position comes with teaching responsibilities only, but the successful candidate is expected to make professional progress. A fulltime, 9-month appointment runs from mid-August to mid-May. Course load is four classes per semester and the salary is $36,000.00. Final appointment is contingent upon funding. Graduate degrees in both Philosophy and Religion required. Ability to teach a broad range of introductory philosophy courses, as well as introductory courses in world religions, is required. Review of applicants will begin February 15th, 2017 and continues until position is filled.


Quick, put your two (2!) graduate degrees in different subjects to use making 36K a year teaching 4-4 for a “POSSIBLE” (ha!) single-year-appointment, while being expected to publish! I don’t know whose misfortune I should be celebrating here–definitely not the suckers who will apply for this job, and definitely not the poor bastard who’ll MAYBE get it (HA!), but I guess the tired, pathetic oligarchic fuck-faces who conceived of that job in the first place? Administrators? Let’s hope it was administrators. If actual members of the Profession conceived of, and actively sought out, this piece-of-shit job listing, then I also celebrate, perversely, the ever-encroaching demise of the profession they do not deserve. (So, let’s hope it’s administrators!)

9 thoughts on “30 Days of Schadenfreude: Rate My JIL Returns

  1. I would like to defend this particular position just a little bit. I worked in the exact same kind of position when I was ABD from 2004 to 2008. It allowed me to work on my dissertation with a 3-3 teaching load and have health insurance at a rate of pay higher than any kind of graduate stipend. The faculty there helped me with my CV and gave me trial MLA interviews.

    You shouldn’t be in it as a Ph.D., though, or at least it’s not intended to be that way. At my institution they cut it off at five years to make sure that people didn’t stay stuck at that level. They had to move on or get out.

    I agree the pay is ridiculously low. I think it should be $45K and the starting salary for a first-year assistant professor should be at least $55 or $60. But nobody, either in this economy or anywhere else, thinks about building from the ground up.


    • OK…what if you’d had to have the degree in hand, AND you’d had two more new preps (and all the attendant grading, etc) per year, AND they were going to get rid of you after a year? It sounds like you had a completely different job.


      • I don’t recall seeing anywhere in the ad that they are asking specifically for a PhD., but I may have overlooked that. Otherwise, my lecturer job was described the exact same way: one year contracts renewable up to five.

        The departments that advertise these positions don’t want to go through a new search every year. They would probably prefer someone they could keep for five and then do another search, but they might take a weak candidate and keep them for one just to cover the courses they need, and if they turn out all right they may not look too hard to replace them the next year.

        In some instances there is a perverse economy of wanting to get someone who’s good enough to want to keep or not so good they’re going to get another job next year. In many tenure-track lines that’s also the case. Good enough to keep, but not so good that they are a threat to the second rate people who already have jobs.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I would also like to say that the pay was in the exact same range, almost the exact same number, but I did get raises every year and could teach overloads if I wanted, so by the time I left I was making about the same as a low-end first year assistant professor.


  3. Yeah, I didn’t notice it was a 4-4 load. That sucks for that level of pay. Since the word “introductory” is used repeatedly, they are all probably going to be 100 and 200 level courses. That means someone with a masters degree could teach them, and certainly someone who is ABD.


  4. Another benefit: your building is right next to a football stadium that is the architectural love child of Knut Rockne and Albert Speer. If you have an office, and if your office has windows, you will be able to look out and see the largest and most expensive scoreboard in the SEC, built for $17 million. Your instructor’s salary will be the equivalent of about 3 pixels of that scoreboard. Meanwhile, your health insurance is so expensive and your take-home pay so pitiful that you will be scrounging for groceries every month in a dysfunctional one-party state that is still suspicious of desegregation and literacy.


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