Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Early Thirsty from Hiram.

Q: How do departments seek out better candidates? Are we always just stuck with the slush pile and the hit and miss quality of a typical academic search? Are there institutions that proactively recruit hires that better fit specific needs and openings?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tenure is Not All Powerful.

An associate professor with tenure at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge says she’s been fired for using profanity in class, including saying “fuck no” and referring to cowardly behavior as “being a pussy.” She was fired in June, accused of violating the school’s sexual harassment policy.

Jezebel Link.

Advocate Article.

Let's all try this new software gizmo to find the perfect Alt-Ac job

The Chronicle (might be paywalled) reports that Texas State Technical College, spurred by the fact that one third of its state appropriations are now tied to graduates' starting salaries, has eliminated all majors except petroleum engineering developed software that matches graduates' skills with job requirements.

[T]he college system has created a software package designed to narrow the so-called skills gap. Part of that gap, the developers believe, is due to colleges, employers, and students using different terms to describe the same skills. That leads to misunderstanding and frustration among both job seekers and recruiters, who frequently complain that they can’t find people with the skills they need.[1]
But why should Texas State Technical College students have all the fun? It's no secret that fewer and fewer of us, percentage-wise, will ever achieve tenure-track employment.

As far as I know, no one has yet suggested using the Skills Engine to jump-start an alt-ac career (don't thank me, just cite me). What happens when you take the CV of a high profile humanities scholar and feed it into the Skills Engine?

Hmm. The Skills Engine's recommended careers are all postsecondary teaching, which doesn't seem very "Alt" at all. [2]

How about a political science CV? (I just grabbed these off the internet. Both are from tenure-track faculty in R1 institutions in the U.S.)

Now we're getting somewhere. Community & Social Service Specialists and PR Managers look like a real alternative to postsecondary teaching.

And of course I had to try my own CV. I'm happily tenured, but things change. What if I slip up in class and accidentally use curse words or tell a sexually-themed joke? What other jobs could I do?

There you go! Managers, All Other. Career Goal: Put me in charge of stuff.

You can try the Skills Engine here.

[1] The article gives one example of how this software was used: An employer was advertising a position for $15/hour when the going rate for a qualified worker was $22. In fact the "skills gap" appears to be mostly a result of employers not wanting to shell out for salaries or training.

[2] Is "Alt-Ac" simply the new "entrepreneurship," a way to ignore structural issues in the job market and place the responsibility on the individual? Discuss.