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« Working Paper Group: Heidi Savage on Life-Trajectories, Virtual Immersion, and Survival | Main | Reader query on informing one's department of publications and honors as a new hire »

04/12/2017

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New Assistant Prof

Thanks for this service! I've really enjoyed reading the posts before. Here's my question:

I am joining a philosophy and religious studies department this Fall as a new TT faculty member. I have been told that the norm for tenure in this department is to write a book. I happen to have a book project in mind, based on my dissertation, so this works out great. However, I am not sure exactly what my work flow ought to be as I am putting the book proposal together. Up to this point, I have been fairly successful in my work flow for publishing articles: write papers --> conference those papers --> get feedback from colleagues --> submit to journals --> revise and resubmit --> publication. I am not quite sure, however, what my work flow is supposed to be like with the book proposal. Should I still be conferencing while working on the proposal? If so, what should I be conferencing? Chapters? Ideas for chapters? Should I still be sending articles that could/will be chapters to journals for publication? Should I just start working on the book proposal directly? Focusing lots of my time/energy there? Or should I be working on the book proposal and these conference/journal-sized papers simultaneously? Do I need to be building my CV up in certain ways to be appealing to publishers? etc.

I've seen some very helpful advice (here and elsewhere) on how to move forward *once you have the book proposal more or less done.* My question here is about how to get to the book proposal. For the past two years, I've followed a routine/work plan designed to put out journal articles. Now I'm wondering how that routine/work plan needs to change to put out the book proposal.

Tim

Here's an early career problem that hasn't been discussed much on this blog: how do you deal with the long-distance relationships that often come up because of two-body issues? All sorts of suggestions are welcome.

Amanda

This is a basic question, but I was wondering if you should formally thank the department after an interview? It seems a nice thing to do especially after a flyout, but I don't want to seem like I am insincere or kissing up or something. On the other hand, someone told me they sometimes get hand-written notes. What doe you guys think? Should an email be sent? A note? Nothing?

Amanda

Here is another simple question that I should probably know the answer to but can't quite figure out by googling. Do most TT professor positions come with a pension? Is this at all common? Since academics are generally getting a late start on retirement saving, this seems pretty important to know. More generally, how does a responsible academic save for retirement when they are 10-15 years late in the game?

anon

Amanda,
Do send an e-mail thanking the committee for the interview, and sincerely let them know that you would really like to work with them.
The pension system in the USA is quite structured. You will probably be offered a plan with TIAA-CREF (these accounts are not tied to a single institution, so if you move it is no problem). Provided you live in an affordable city, then you should be able to save enough for retirement. But you should probably expect to work until you are 68 or so. That is not a problem as long as you do not lose your mind (seriously!).

Amanda

Thanks so much for the feedback anon. I had no idea that I should say I really want to work with them, that sounded like sucking up. I guess I have made mistakes in the past! ugh.

So I am applying for a job in the UK and would really appreciate feedback as I am super conflicted about this. So I have a disability, but usually lie or give no answer when asked this on the job application. So someone on this site mentioned that the Uk guarantees an interview if you have a disability. This time around, I said yes on the application, and sure enough they informed me that I would be guaranteed an interview and asked if I wanted to proceed. I am very conflicted about this. It is not so much that I am against affirmative action, but this seems a pretty extreme version of it. In addition, I don't want to go through an interview when they are just interviewing me to comply with the rules. Also, if I would get an interview anyway I would rather they not know about the disability. What does everyone think of this? I have not turned in the application yet, but I only have a few days. Feedback is much appreciated!

really

This is no time for excessive pride Amanda. The academic job market is hell. If you really want an academic job do what you can - as long as it is legal. I suspect the reason they have such laws is because people with disabilities are getting a raw deal, and seldom get academic jobs.

Amanda

Idk... I find it kind of embarrassing if they are thinking, "okay, okay, we have to interview this person to comply with state regulation...." On the other hand, you might be right. I assume the first interview would be skype, and that isn't all too time consuming or anything.

Stuck, PhD

The Two Ticks scheme in UK job applications is also of interest to me. I have a rather serious and sometimes-disabling autoimmune disorder, but I've always figured that an obligatory interview is a waste of my time and the interviewers'.

Does anybody (most likely, I suppose, a person who's been offered a job) know of a case where a disability-guaranteed interview has resulted in a job offer?

Fourth-Year

Discussion of the following might be helpful. So far I have taught intro to philosophy for two semesters. I am a fourth-year Ph.D. Candidate at a so-called top 20 program. I teach at a state school. The first semester I taught, the department didn't review my teaching because of internal issues. This philosophy department is actually brand new. So, I only have a teaching review for one semester. Will the fact that I only have one review even though I've taught two semesters hurt me if I go on the job market this fall?

helper

Fourth-Year,
You can only include in your application package what information you have. If there were no reviews the one year, then obviously you cannot supply any. Just explain in the teaching portfolio. Do not draw lots of attention to it in the cover letter, though (or so I say).
And good luck!

Amanda

Do you mean reviews by the students? I only had reviews by faculty a total of three times over 6 years of teaching. As for student reviews, just explain why you only have one set. And I agree with helper, don't mention it in your cover letter - only your teaching portfolio. I would just include a little note above the reviews that you do include. Honestly, I don't think there is going to be much of a difference between having one vs. two sets of student reviews.

international grad

I've always wonder, does the fact that a job candidate is a foreigner and requires sponsorship for working visa usually factor -- either officially or just casually -- into the decision process of hiring committees? I couldn't find much information about this issue around, so I would really appreciate any insight on the matter! (I'm an international grad student studying in the US.)

nick

international grad: I'm a postdoc currently on a nonimmigrant visa and I've been wondering like you. My suspicion is it does play a more or less significant role in small state schools, which will not bother to sponsor a visa or permanent residence, but probably less so in research universities, including large public systems like UC, which not only have a pool of visas to allocate but are, I've heard from inside UC, willing to sponsor green cards for TT hires.

I wouldn't be surprised if at least *some* of the schools I didn't hear from this year even though I was a decent match downgraded my application just because of my need for a visa. And that might just be happening at the level of HR.

My two cents.

outsider

International Grad and Nick,
yes, there is a preference for US citizens for jobs in the US. This is the law. I am a foreigner working in the USA, and have been for years. When I was hired, I needed a labor certificate (the college applies for this), which indicates that the institution was unable to find a qualified American citizen for the job. Obviously it depends what you mean by "qualified", but I was certainly far more accomplished than the other candidate they brought to campus.

Amanda

I think the same thing is true in most countries: If there is a citizen that is equally qualified, the citizen has the advantage. A US friend of mine got a job in Europe largely because he was technically a French citizen because of his parents. I hear Canada is one of the countries where it is hardest to get a job as a non-citizen.

Canadian

Amanda
The Canada story is not true. I know plenty of non-Canadians working at Canadian Universities. Some are quite qualified, and some meh

Amanda

Thanks Canadian. I have hat some other Canadian professors tell me that there is a strong preference to hire Canadians, but perhaps that is an institution to institution thing.

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