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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

A Depressing Search 

We are holding a search for a Spanish instructor, i.e. a person who will teach 4 sections of Spanish 101 per semester. And gosh, it’s so depressing. We got a stack of applications from PhD candidates who are afraid they won’t find a real job on the miserable job market. They are all Peninsularists, by the way. Latin Americanists are doing better, for obvious reasons. Great people but their chances on the job market this year suck. 

This search is such a dumb idea anyway. Asking people to relocate for $30,000 and no guarantee of being rehired next year is insane. But what do we do if we literally don’t have anybody to teach these courses? Continue submitting me to this indignity? That won’t work because I have a full load of my literature courses. Plus, I’m preparing to co-teach a course in English with a colleague from Poli Sci. 

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6 thoughts on “A Depressing Search 

  1. Fie upon this quiet life on said:

    When I was an adjunct 30k sounded like a LOT of money. My current school pays 3000 per class for adjuncts, so teaching 4/4, they’d only make 24k, but if you added benefits which our adjuncts don’t get, I think 30k would sound good to most of them. It’s absurd of course, but my guess is that that’s the depressing truth about why anyone would apply for such a job. Then again, with the insurance problem at your school, maybe it’s not actually worth it. But do they know that? Probably not.

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  2. $30,000 per year?

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  3. If it is per year, a schoolteacher in Israel earns more. It’s a shame to get such salary with PhD. Wouldn’t those PhDs earn more as American schoolteachers, with not less free time for research?

    Or do people get automatically crossed off as candidates if they spent a year outside academia, in a way they won’t get crossed off after telling “I taught 1001 courses, had zero free time, but it was at university”?

    I know somebody with PhD in Israel, who is working as a schoolteacher and writing a book at the same time.

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    • To el, from within US academia myself, it is pretty widely considered a career killer to leave academia. I cannot think of anyone who has done it to come back to a tenure track job. With that said, I also cannot think of anyone who has slaved away as an adjunct and had a tenure track opportunity come from that either, because teaching 1001 courses with zero free time tends to take away from research, and no research/publications and a record of teaching 1001 classes nonstop is not exactly the kind of record that gets someone into one of the limited tenure track jobs out there. But for those who work in these positions, that absolutely seems to be the hope, and universities are getting some cheap instructors off of this hope, all while charging students more than ever. In my FL state school, tuition is at its highest ever to compensate for state budget cuts while classes are larger than ever and taught by more adjuncts than ever. Library resources have also been cut. But hey, there’s a shiny new football stadium for a subpar team that no one goes out to see and some new dorms with luxury amenities…

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      • “To el, from within US academia myself, it is pretty widely considered a career killer to leave academia.”

        • Absolutely. Once you leave you are out.

        “In my FL state school, tuition is at its highest ever to compensate for state budget cuts while classes are larger than ever and taught by more adjuncts than ever. Library resources have also been cut. But hey, there’s a shiny new football stadium for a subpar team that no one goes out to see and some new dorms with luxury amenities…”

        • If you hadn’t said FL, I would have thought you are my colleague here in Illinois.

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