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What a tough situation.
I agree a 9-year gap will almost certainly damage the applicant's chances of getting a TT job.
As for the reluctance to move, based on the remarks above, the main factor appears to be moving the children when they are in a good school. I have a school-age child and both they and we, their parents, are very happy with the school. I'd be *hugely* reluctant to risk that by moving. First, it can be really hard to find good schools, and in particular good schools that are a good fit for your particular child. Second, moving schools and cities is of course a huge deal for a child. If they're happy where they are, it's a huge gamble to move. Now, it might still be worth it, all things considered, but I think the hesitation is totally reasonable.


Marcus I think the reader is pretty clear the reason he wouldn't be able to move is because his fiance doesn't want to move the kids. Maybe this is a good reason, maybe not. I think it is impossible to know without knowing more about their situation. As you said, your wife brings you more happiness than your job, and it can be basically the same thing for this poster. I am not sure why whether they are married or yet makes any difference. Sure they could break-up, but married people break up as well.

Anyway, maybe my experience deals with exceptions, but I know several people who got TT jobs after doing adjunct or lecturer positions for 5-10 years. I think for teaching schools what matters the most is a good fit and teaching experience Waiting 9 years might put someone back some but not a lot (for teaching jobs). Granted, I have not served on a job search committee, but I still know people who have been hired and I know a lot of people who have been on committees. Each committee, is very different of course.

Marcus Arvan

Hi Amanda: agreed, those are all good points.


I am in a similar spot. 3 years out of an unranked school. I've been a full-time contract lecture for the last 4 years. 7 publications. 6 co-authored, 1 solo. I wonder, does the "stale by" date on my PhD issue from when I got my current gig? Or does it issue from the date of my PhD conferral? Either way, I suspect, there is no point in my applying anywhere.


Thanks for the responses.

The impression I'm getting is that after nine years, my chances of getting a TT position are dim.

What about a full-time (not adjunct) lecturer or instructor position?

(I know folks who have such positions, who teach fewer classes than me but get paid more!)

Marcus Arvan

gradjunct: I was worried about staleness a lot when I was on the market, but my experience was that there is no real "stale-by date." I was told that the key thing is to make sure that you don't look stale--which you can do by continuing to publish, etc. This advice worked for me. I was on the market for seven years, and got more interviews and flyouts (and ultimately a job) as the years went on. I also know a fellow who was on the market for 10 years before getting a TT job. None of this is to say it is easy or likely (or even wise to remain on the market that long) - just that it is possible to not "go stale."


I don't know much about how the job market works, but I couldn't imagine sitting around for 9 years doing short-term contract gigs, thinking maybe a decade from now to move into a TT job. I'd consider moving onto a different career path.


Well I think everyone's chance of getting a tt job are dim. I don't think your chances will change all that much after 9 years. I think your chance of getting a lecturer position might be even higher, because of all your teaching experience. However, those jobs are often go by people already in adjunct positions. So who knows? If one opens up at the school where you adjunct yo could get one before waiting 9 years without having to move.


It may also be worth considering whether moving in nine years is realistic given the family situation. At least if the fiancée considers it too distruptove to move the kids to a different school system now, Im not convinced that she is going to be that much more apt to move simply because they're done with school. It could be that the kids all go off to college outside the area. If they're at a school in the area, the fiancée may still want to be nearby so they can come home on weekends. If they're not going to school, they're living at home or just learning how to take care of themselves. So she may want to be nearby as a support system. If the youngest is still at home then he/she is probably going to have roots there and may not want to move to another random city and the fiancée may not be apt to leave them there them either. None of this is to say that there is anything wrong with moving at that point, just that I don't know if you can count on being able to move in nine years.

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