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I would imagine the answer is quite different depending on what kind of job one has and what kind one is looking for. It seems to me that moving at Associate is common enough among high-ranked R1 folks. I'm curious to what extent it's a possibility for, say, 4/4-load state school profs or community college profs. I wonder if anyone in those categories has any perspective on this?

Anonymous SLACer

Thanks for featuring my question. I think part of my confusion stems from the fact that I see Associate people move all the time, as O. mentions. How are these moves happening? Are these people applying for jobs through the regular process, or does one have to wait to be recruited?

My CV is respectable. It would be good enough for tenure at an average R1 (though it is extraordinary at my SLAC), and I've been very active in administrative work as well (though I haven't chaired, to answer I Am Moved's question). I don't feel desperate to move to an R1, but I do want to move, at least to a better SLAC. I'm just trying to figure out at this point if that's reasonable, and if so, how I might best pursue it. If the best answer is to publish even more and become a "name," then it's good to know that.


I know *many* associates who move are invited. The school decides they are going to hire someone at the same time they decide who to ask. But who are the people who you know that have moved, Anonymous SLACer? Are they people who are research stars? From what I have seen, it is pretty rare for a teaching school to ever hire at the associate level. This is why a fair number of people have been willing to go up for tenure again (they are teaching school professors, and they cannot move otherwise.)

I am curious, though, if my perception is off. Do teaching schools ever hire at the associate level? Anonymous SLACer if you want to move to an R1 at an associate level then most likely you will have to do so by making a name for yourself. The competition seems too stiff these days otherwise. If you want to move to a better liberal arts school then it would be helpful to hear from people whether hires are ever made at the associate level, and if so how often.


About chairing and moving ... if you look at ads for Associate or Professor rank jobs in the USA, you will notice that often they are asking for a chair. If they are hiring a chair they want to know that you have successful chaired a department. So chairing can open doors that are not open to others. But ... some of the departments that are looking for an external chair are having problems. The "normal thing" to do is find a chair from among the faculty. So sometimes an external chair search signals problems. This, though, can still be a great opportunity for the right person. But it can also be a disaster. Know yourself before walking into this. I worked in a department that had just hired an external chair. It was a very hate-filled place. And I interviewed for such a job.

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