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« Stanley on peer-review | Main | Call for international mentors »

09/28/2015

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Paul Prescott

Great idea, Marcus.

Marcus Arvan

Hi Paul: Thanks for the kind feedback! The initial idea was actually Helen's, but we decided to draw up the details together.

Paul Prescott

My bad. Great Idea, Helen!

Helen De Cruz

Just a brief clarification following my looking over the responses to the survey so far: We aim to be inclusive with respect to everyone who either faces special challenges (e.g., being not-white, having a low SES background), or who has no access to mentoring (e.g., an adjunct or VAP whose PhD was completed years ago and who has no access to mentors at their present or former institution; also, some graduate students have advisors that help them academically but are no help for the job market), or fulfills both conditions. We gave some examples of what such challenges could be, but these aren't exhaustive. So, while we cannot promise to find a mentor for everyone who meets these conditions, we will try.

Also, if you are a tenure-track or tenured professor (or equivalent permanent position outside the US), we would encourage you to be a mentor. Your experience will be beneficial, and at present n mentees > n mentors. Thanks!

Chrysippus

This is so awesome!

Lisa Miracchi

Dear Helen and Marcus, thank you so much for taking on this important project. I think the idea of a catch-all mentorship program for those in need is a wonderful idea.

In this light, I hope you'll reconsider prioritizing men in this program. The Job Candidate Mentoring Program for Women in Philosophy in all likelihood cannot support all of the women in need of job market mentoring. I think it would be much better to for there to be a mutual agreement between the programs to prevent dual enrollment by mentees. That way women who cannot be served by the Job Candidate Mentoring Program for Women in Philosophy have alternative options.

Thanks!

Marcus Arvan

Hi Lisa: Thanks for your comment and suggestion! I have conversed with Helen, and we are happy to prioritize candidates of both genders equally (indeed, we both strongly favor maximal inclusiveness).

However, because one of our aims is not to compete with the Job Candidate Mentoring Program for Women (their program was launched first!), we would like to encourage women candidates to attempt to participate in that program first!

Filippo Contesi

Excellent initiative, Helen and Marcus. You and the mentors who sign up are doing a truly meritorious service to the profession. May I also point to the MAP UK mentorship programme: http://mapuk.weebly.com/uk-mentors.html .

Lisa Miracchi

Wonderful! Thanks, Helen and Marcus!

Joanna

What if the mentee notices that the mentor has less prestigious pedigree than her/him, and decides s/he doesn't want to be mentored by someone who applied for positions and was hired by institutions s/he believes are not worthy of her/his time? Of course the mentee would not give this reason for not beginning the mentorship. Why? Well it strikes most people as a less than satisfactory reason and reflects poorly on the mentee. So s/he will likely offer some other lame excuse (e.g. I'm just too busy this term) instead. Given this possibility, you might want to match mentors and mentees with similar pedigree, or at least make sure the mentor is better pedigreed than the mentee. It could happen in reverse, but I assume it is less likely given the power dynamic of the relationship. Unfortunately the dick-ish nature of our profession emerges even in well-intentioned projects to help job market participants.

Marcus Arvan

Hi Joanna: Thanks for raising your concerns. It is nearly impossible to devise a program that cannot be abused. We hope that mentees who sign up for the program do so in good faith. If this problem appears to us to arise, and arise consistently--in a way that undermines the program--we may look for alternatives.

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