Interview reminders

Things you should be prepared for, according to Chronicle Careers:

Be ready to offer 1-, 3-, and 10-minute versions of your research. Tailor these descriptions to both specialists and nonspecialists in your field. Be ready to discuss your future research interests, your teaching abilities, interests and philosophy, and your interest in this department and institution.

What are the research interests of the faculty members? Think about how your research might intersect with theirs, and about the possibilities for collaboration. Think about ways in which your teaching might complement the course offerings. In addition to the search committee, be prepared for conversations with campus administrators such as deans. Be ready to discuss broader institutional issues and the ways in which you might contribute as a good citizen.

strive to engage people. Remember to prepare some thoughtful questions. Through all of your conversations during the visit, you may be uncomfortable repeating yourself but remember you’re meeting each of these people for the first time.

Another position

I received a call this evening, about four minutes ago, from one of the colleges that I had applied to as an adjunct. Someone other than the department head was calling. The chair had given the job to someone else while she want on vacation! But she wanted to know if I were still interested in teaching and when I could teach.

I told her that I’d be available all day Tuesday Thursday or Monday evening. There was only one MWF class open and I don’t think it’s worth the drive over there for a single class three times a week. So I said I didn’t think I could do it.

She said the chair would like an interview, just a short one. (Probably to make sure I’m not scary looking. Oh wait! I am.) So I will be expecting a call next Monday, if they need someone when I am available. I don’t even know what classes this was for. Is it for English or Developmental studies? I do not know. I think I remembered her name, though I thought it was a sales call at the beginning. And, if I did remember it, she is in English.

We’ll see how it works out.

If I actually teach, I will once again be teaching full-time for half time (or less) pay.

But it will get a foot in the door over there and allow me to perhaps get a full-time position there. I’d rather have one at the college I am already teaching at, but when E sets off for UT I need to be working.

Being an adjunct means low pay for lots of work

but I love the work and would do it for free. (Don’t tell my boss.)

It also means I was very interested in Richard Vedder’s comments on some of the discussion at a meeting he attended.

Dan Julius, the Provost at Benedictine University, called for more serious academic research on labor issues, suggesting good ideas for studies. For example, has the spread in the use of part-time non-tenured (“contingent”) faculty led to reductions in academic or instructional quality? What is the relationship between academic quality and unionization? Good questions, deserving serious scrutiny. And Ernst Benjamin, who runs the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), saw a potential dilemma. In pushing hard for higher salaries and fringe benefits for mostly tenure track full time faculty, unions increase the incentives for institutions to hire more adjunct faculty with low pay and fringe benefits. He came close to suggesting that unions are promoting the demise of their own membership by driving universities to lower cost substitutes for their services.


CNN has a post on adjuncts. Most of it is same-old for those of us who are adjuncts. But I thought the salary thing was weird.

And a 2004 report for the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute found that adjunct faculty members were paid about 64 percent less per hour than full-time assistant professors on a tenure track.

While I have a PhD, and know another adjunct who also has one- but he’s “retired,” most adjuncts have the minimum education required by their state to be an adjunct. Most full-time assistant profs are PhDs. You would expect that someone who is a PhD would be paid better than someone who is not.

Of course, the 64% doesn’t include the fact that the full-time person has benefits and the adjuncts don’t. Nor does it deal with the fact that the adjuncts get the classes no one else wants to teach. (Works for me. Those are the ones I like.)

Anyway, it’s an article on the topic. I found it through The Cranky Professor.

Problems with Tenure

and University employment can easily be seen in Inside Higher Ed. Three teachers have been convicted of sexual felonies- two having to do with children and one stalking. But they’re all still employed. They’ve been convicted. And they’re still employed.

Is this what “academic freedom” has come to mean?

If so, then we need to chunk it and start over.

How much is your education worth?

An interesting article at Political Calculations says that a professional degree is worth more than a doctorate. (I can tell you that’s true!) It also says that having some college is almost, but not quite as good, as having an associates’ degree.

Of course, these won’t be true over everyone. R looks more like a professional now (at 40), but his income won’t go up unless he does something new or goes with a new company. However, he’s got an incredible leap over normal bachelor folks.

None the less, it is an interesting presentation. And my teacher aide students would have enjoyed seeing that the yellow line is visibly higher than the blue one.

Beards Help

According to Cronaca there’s a Brit study that says that professors are 2x as likely to have beards as lecturers. I wonder if this is part of the gatekeeping in academia? What does it do for women academics? I’d think a beard would be a setback there.

Having taught at several places where beards were not allowed, I doubt if the beard-heaviness is true in the US.


I had a sub for a class two weeks ago so I could give the talk in Ladies’ Bible Class that I had agreed to last May. The sub was a teacher of the class and was actually knowledgable on the subject. My students said thank you for that.

Tomorrow morning I will be subbing for a class. A teacher’s son has broken his collar bone and she needs to stay with him. This was a last minute request, obviously. I stopped in and said I’d do it. They are taking a test, so it doesn’t matter if I know what is going on or not.

Thursday night I will be subbing for another class. It’s a class I teach. I will actually have to teach that class. But I agreed to sub for it over a month ago, since I knew I would need a sub.

I think the two subs I am doing will make up in pay for the one class I had to have a sub for. You’d think they want us to be absent, since they don’t have to pay the full amount for our subs.

The college pays adjuncts very little- a total, I think, of $1600 a class. A full-time teacher with my level of experience gets $50K. Divided by eight classes, that’s $6K a class. Yes, they have to have office hours, but I have to grade papers and it would be easier if I could do them during office hours. It’d make my life easier.

But right now, I can’t homeschool and teach full time, so I’ll take what they pay me and hope later I can get a full time position.

Update: Apparently the teacher told them they did not have to be present for class and did not need to stay. About eight students turned in papers and left. But I was there for an hour and a half teaching the material the teacher had given me to cover. I wonder if she had a sub because she had to and honestly did not expect any of the students to stay in class. At WalMart today (10/10) I saw a student from that class who said she didn’t even comment on so many of them walking out of class. Oh well. Those who stayed received a bit more knowledge and reviewed grammar which will, I hope, serve them well on their papers.