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12/10/2018

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Also a data analyst

One thing you should consider is that density is much higher in the middle of the curve, where the variance is lowest. For me, this could easily explain that you would find more very long PhD-to-TT times between 2 and 3.5 (more data points → more outliers).

Also, I think you misread the graph concerning variance. I think the grey area is the area within a standard deviation of the mean. The standard deviation is the square root of the variance. Therefore, the area between 2 and 4 is actually the one with the least variance. On the other hand, this could also be simply because there is less data on the extremes, which makes for a noisier data.

In any case, I don't think too much should be read of this graph.

anon

Worth noting that Makinson is a historically important logician who got a D.Phil at Oxford in the 50s, held several academic positions, left academia in 1980 to work at UNESCO in Paris, and then returned to academia in the early 2000s. He is certainly an outlier in the sense that he's had a non-traditional career path, but it's not as though he was stringing together postdocs and VAPs for five decades.

Pendaran

Does this include people who don't succeed in getting a TT job or drop out? If this data only includes people who did get a TT job, it's only looking at a subset of the total graduates of these programs. Higher ranked programs may still have higher placement rates overall and so be better in that respect.

Marcus Arvan

Pendaran: are you asking about placement rates outside of academia? I don’t believe the ADPA report tracked those—but still, its results are pretty clear: a number of highly ranked programs have abysmal TT job placement rates while some i ranked programs have the highest rates.

Amanda

I don't think Pendaran's question has anything to do with outside placement. The question is this: Are the people who didn't get a TT track job included in "average times to TT job." If, for instance, only people who get a job are included, then that changes things a lot. Suppose, for instance, an unranked program has an average of 1 year to TT job *of those who get a job*. However, also suppose only 30% of their entering class gets a job. This is a very different thing than 80% of their graduates both getting a job and taking only a year to do it.

The above said, if I recall correctly, I think unranked programs had a very high placement rates overall.

Lastly, Marcus I don't think top programs, if we mean top 10, have abysmal placement records. I would like to see the stats on this, say, 7 years out. Because if I recall correctly once you get 5-7 years out the top 10 programs place the overwhelming number of graduates. I would be interested in hearing data that this is wrong, but most of the data I've seen only included 3 year out rates, which doesn't account for prestigious post docs that are 3-5 years long.

pendaran

"I don't think Pendaran's question has anything to do with outside placement. The question is this: Are the people who didn't get a TT track job included in "average times to TT job." If, for instance, only people who get a job are included, then that changes things a lot. Suppose, for instance, an unranked program has an average of 1 year to TT job *of those who get a job*. However, also suppose only 30% of their entering class gets a job. This is a very different thing than 80% of their graduates both getting a job and taking only a year to do it."

Correct. My guess is that unranked programs have a lot of students just disappear from the profession after graduating.

Marcus Arvan

Pendaran: I have no idea whether that is true either way. However, the ADPA report's data is based (as I understand it) on *all* of a program's graduates. So, for instance, when it reports that Virginia has a 76% placement rate, that means that 76% of its graduates get TT jobs. Unless I'm misreading the report somehow.

Paul

I know that at Baylor, for instance, the vast majority of graduates get a permanent position (TT or equivalent) within 1-2 years, mostly at teaching schools. Very few have left academia. A couple have gone on to private high schools, and I am not sure how this gets counted. But most are at colleges. So, I am assuming that the overall placement rate includes those that left???

Amanda

On the one hand, it is great we are starting to get data and I applaud anyone for taking on this task. On the other hand, I am somewhat skeptical of how accurate the numbers are. While they are supposed to include everyone on the market, they do not include people who dropped out of the program. And I know there are a lot of mistakes, because my own school, and my own position, has a lot of mistakes.

That said I am not at all skeptical of the fact that lots of unranked programs place very well. I have noticed that in my own investigation. I think Marcus's hypothesis that middle ranked programs have the hardest time placing is largely correct. The top ranked programs get the research jobs, the non-ranked the teaching jobs, and that leaves people in the middle in a rough position.

pendaran

There may be many unranked programs that have good placement records (regionally at least), but I'd be highly highly skeptical that this is the norm generally. Ranked programs create way more PhDs than ranked programs can absorb, and I have seen again and again a huge bias in favor of prestige.

Marcus Arvan

Pendaran: There is no evidence of prestige bias for jobs at teaching schools--or, at the very least, if there is I would like to know what it is. The ADPA report certainly doesn't support that hypothesis, nor does my own perusal of recent placements.

Personally, I know plenty of candidates from ranked programs who cannot get TT jobs--particularly at teaching schools. Conversely, I have friends from unranked programs that place the vast majority of their graduates in TT jobs--yep, you guessed it, at teaching schools. (I even have a friend from such a program who says, "We place basically all of our graduates.")

The lesson here, I think, is to stop believing that graduates from high-ranked programs are advantaged across the board. They almost certainly are for R1 programs and elite SLACs. But all of the evidence I am aware of suggests they are *not* advantaged for "teaching schools." And I think it is vital to realize this, because it suggests that the unranked programs who place nearly all of their graduates in TT jobs are doing something right that other lower-ranked programs just aren't doing right.

Indeed, I've explicitly defended a hypothesis of exactly what that thing is. Too many programs teach their grad students that PUBLISHING in top-ranked journals is what will get you a job. No, it won't. The people I know who come from my friend's unranked program hardly publish at all--and yet they almost all get TT jobs at teaching schools. Why? Because they are playing the right game. They realize their graduates are not going to publish their way into an R1 job...so they *avoid* that losing strategy. Instead, they adopt a winning strategy: focusing their candidates on developing teaching experience, developing as teachers (including good, creative pedagogy), doing service, and so on.

In sum: everything I have seen suggests that the problem, at least for TT jobs at teaching schools, is not prestige bias. I have seen literally no evidence that supports this hypothesis. What I have seen lots of evidence for is people from lower-ranked programs adopting a bad job-market strategy--publishing in top-ranked journals rather than focusing on teaching experience and development--and having that work against them. That is the lesson to be learned.

pendaran

"There is no evidence of prestige bias for jobs at teaching schools--or, at the very least, if there is I would like to know what it is. The ADPA report certainly doesn't support that hypothesis, nor does my own perusal of recent placements."

There is clearly prestige bias in the profession, as one can see from how hard it is to move up the ranks. I have no obvious reason to think this only applies to top 50 programs or so. I'd suspect that all schools have a preference for prestige, because it's great advertising to students and parents to be able to claim that your faculty are from fancy places.

"Personally, I know plenty of candidates from ranked programs who cannot get TT jobs--particularly at teaching schools. Conversely, I have friends from unranked programs that place the vast majority of their graduates in TT jobs--yep, you guessed it, at teaching schools. (I even have a friend from such a program who says, "We place basically all of our graduates.")"

I think there is a grain of truth in what you're saying. Surely some unranked programs are good at placing people, probably regionally. They understand the landscape and prepare people accordingly. But at the same time, we shouldn't be too hasty to generalize from our own experience.

"Indeed, I've explicitly defended a hypothesis of exactly what that thing is. Too many programs teach their grad students that PUBLISHING in top-ranked journals is what will get you a job. No, it won't. The people I know who come from my friend's unranked program hardly publish at all--and yet they almost all get TT jobs at teaching schools. Why? Because they are playing the right game. They realize their graduates are not going to publish their way into an R1 job...so they *avoid* that losing strategy. Instead, they adopt a winning strategy: focusing their candidates on developing teaching experience, developing as teachers (including good, creative pedagogy), doing service, and so on."

This is compatible with the possibility that people from ranked programs who concentrate on building up their teaching have a better shot at teaching jobs.

"everything I have seen suggests that the problem, at least for TT jobs at teaching schools, is not prestige bias. I have seen literally no evidence that supports this hypothesis. What I have seen lots of evidence for is people from lower-ranked programs adopting a bad job-market strategy--publishing in top-ranked journals rather than focusing on teaching experience and development--and having that work against them. That is the lesson to be learned."

This comprises two different claims. On one hand, we have the claim that people from middle to low ranked programs are trying to get research jobs by focusing on publications, but because of prestige bias and the horrible job market, they can't possibly get a job based on publications.

On the other hand, we have the claim that teaching schools don't have a preference for prestigious PhDs. Maybe they don't all, but many do. I bet many of these programs are full of people with PhDs from ranked programs.

Where is your PhD from? ;)

Look, joking aside, I really don't know. I'm just expressing how I feel about this.

Marcus Arvan

Pendaran: I appreciate that this is how you feel--but I still don't think the balance of evidence supports what you say.

Since you mentioned my program (Arizona), here are a few facts:

(1) It took me 7+ years to get a TT job.
(2) According to the ADPA report, Arizona's overall TT placement rate is 54%.
(3) I personally know a number of people who came out of my program who never got a TT job, even after prestigious postdocs.

In addition, I interviewed and had flyouts at a number of teaching schools. None of them were packed with graduates from NYU, Princeton, MIT, or whatever. In fact, I literally don't remember a single person in any of the teaching-school departments I interviewed at who came from a top-10 program.

You say "many" (non-elite) teaching schools care about prestige. Okay, but what's the evidence for that? Because it's not what I saw at the places I interviewed. And indeed, why would a small teaching school in the middle of nowhere covet someone from Princeton? That candidate is not only likely going to be a flight risk--they are also a bad fit for the job (since Princeton is a prestigious *research* institution). The job-market is really unfair, but I really think you need to rethink this stuff.

pendaran

I may very well have false beliefs instilled by my own experienced. Again I want to say that I don't totally disagree with you. I suspect there are unranked programs that place well, because they tailor their candidates for regional jobs and have a good reputation regionally.

However, I am worried that overgeneralized this creates the impression in candidates that rank doesn't matter for getting a job, and I certainly think it does matter.

"You say "many" (non-elite) teaching schools care about prestige. Okay, but what's the evidence for that?"

My evidence is based on my experience and on the argument that prestige sells and every university/college needs to sell themselves to students/parents.

I decided to do a little bit of research. Obviously this isn't solid, rigorous research, but it was just to satisfy my curiosity. First I checked out your school, The University of Tampa.

1. You. University of Arizona. Leiter Rank 16.

2. Steven Geisz. Duke. Rank 25.

3. Laura Kane. CUNY. Rank 14

(The other entries didn't seem to be clickable.)

Second, I checked out University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Why? Because I know someone who works there and knew of the University to type it in. Now, I see that UNL is now kinda ranked outside the top 50, and I guess arguably isn't a teaching school per se, but it's certainly not a fancy place. I'll also note that most would classify Lincoln Nebraska as the middle of nowhere!

1. Aaron Bronfman. University of Michigan. Rank 4 (Harvard undergrad.)

2. John Brunero. Columbia. Rank 9

3. Reina Hayaki. Princeton. Rank 3

(Those are the first three I clicked on that had the data available.)

I'd like to look at what you would call teaching schools. I checked out Merrimack College and their department is full of fancy PhDs, but that's an expensive private college. Probably not what you have in mind. Arguably it is a teaching school I think.

I then tried some community colleges I knew of, but they didn't seem to offer philosophy at all or have any philosophy faculty.

So, I next looked at the University of Alabama. Maybe not a teaching school (I don't know) but certainly not a fancy or ranked school for philosophy.

1. Torin Alter. UCLA. Rank 9

2. Seth Bordner. Chapel Hill. Rank 9

3. H. Scott Hestevoid. Brown. Rank 18.

(Just first three I clicked on.)

So, I decided to next look at the University of Alaska. Now, that's in the middle of nowhere!

1. Stephanie Bauer. Washington university. Rank 21.

2. Raymond Anthony. Purdue. Second unranked person found! (However, I'll note that Purdue is certainly not considered a no-name or bad school. It's pretty respected generally!)

3. Terry Kelly. Can't find data.

(Other faculty don't seem to be permanent but are 'term' faculty whatever that means. I decided to only consider permanent faculty when looking at all these schools.)

So, it does look like unranked PhDs can land jobs, and it kinda seems that the far enough into the middle of nowhere you go maybe the better their chances.

In fact, I'm sure you can find plenty of places I've never heard of that are full of PhDs from places I've also never heard of. Fine, I guess you'd probably be right in this respect.

But the reason I think prestige matters is that for every place I've ever heard of it certainly does! It seems that even Alaska isn't completely immune!

And I think that with the job Market being as bad as it is that many places that traditionally didn't hire from fancy places will realize that they can, because of the oversupply of fancy PhDs.

Pendaran

I kind of wanted to summarize what I found in my little investigation, because it's pretty amazing actually.

I looked at 5 unranked schools: University of Tampa, University of Nebraska, University of Alabama, Merrimack, and University of Alaska.

None of these are top 50 ranked programs. Of the people I clicked on where the data was available (I always just starting clicking from the top of the page), I found 2 unranked PhDs: one at Alaska and one at Merrimack. (I know it wasn't clear before where I found the two unranked.)

Everyone else was ranked, in fact top 25 or higher.

Now I'm sure if I did a thorough investigation looking at all the faculty at all these schools of if I counted non-permanent faculty, I'd find more unranked PhDs.

However, the point remains, even unranked programs these days are full of top 25 PhDs. And based on this investigation, I'd be pretty skeptical of attending a PhD program outside the top 25.

Yes, I know my investigation isn't rigorous. But it's what I had time to do!

Amanda

All the evidence I have seen is that non-prestigious teaching schools (most teaching schools) have a bias *against* prestige. First, most of the teachers are not themselves from prestigious programs, so both prestigious degrees and prestigious publications bring in a jealousy issue. And second, it is a flight risk issue. Random data point: I have a friend from a mid-ranked program with excellent, prestigious publications. He works in metaphysics. Over three years and 260 job applications he got *1* interview. And sadly this doesn't surprise me at all, for it is that awful strategy that has been talked about so many times on this site: not top PhD, top publications, and an additional issue: specialize in MandE. What is sad about my friend is he also has a ton of individual teaching experience, with great teaching reviews as well.

Marcus Arvan

Hi Pendaran: Thanks for doing that research.

Most of the examples you gave (Nebraska, Alabama, Alaska) are research schools--so they're not really germane to the discussion, as my claims have been about teaching schools.

However, when it comes to unranked schools in general, the ADPA data is very clear. 375/976 of recent hires at unranked schools (or 38.4%) have been from unranked graduate programs. 27.9% came from Leiter top-10 programs and 33.6% came from Leiter 21-50 ranked programs. In other words, the largest percentage of hires at unranked departments were from *unranked* schools. Do the Leiter top-10 still do pretty well? Yes, they get a little less than a third of all jobs at unranked schools. But this includes unranked *research* schools. The point here is that even at the kinds of schools I'm not talking about (unranked research schools), candidates from unranked programs do pretty well! It's not whether there is any prestige bias at work there.

https://philosopherscocoon.typepad.com/blog/2018/07/the-secret-lives-of-search-committees-part-23-top-5-job-market-tips.html

Now turn to teaching schools. You gave two examples here: my department and Merrimack.

Although you're right that the three TT people in my department are from pretty highly-ranked schools, we hired a fourth full-time person last year from an unranked department (University of South Florida). While their position is non-tenure-track, it's a permanent Professor of Instruction position (renewable in perpetuity) and pays well.

Further, the actual stories of the people in my department are complex. Geisz and I both spent 7+ years on the market, and almost gave up on trying to find an academic job. While it's possible that we were hired because we were from high-ranked departments, another possibility (the one that I think is probably correct) is that we were hired because we had a ton of teaching and service experience--because we stayed on the market so damn long.

What about our third TT member, Laura Kane? Well, she was the candidate that *I* pushed for in the hiring process...and (honest to God) I didn't even look at where people (including her) got their degrees from. I literally didn't know which program she got her degree from when we flew her out to campus--and I adopted this policy for a reason: I am adamantly against prestige bias. I don't think it should matter where a person got their PhD. I became enamored with Kane in the search process because I found her research statement and writing sample fascinating and original, and because she had good teaching experience and an interesting service record. So, even though all 3 of our TT members are from well-ranked schools, it is not clear to me at all that it's the result of prestige bias.

However, even if it were, let's look at some other teaching schools--beginning with Merrimack. You said that Merrimack is full of fancy people. However, the actual story is a bit more nuanced than that. Here's what I found in their full-time permanent faculty:

(1) Bryan Bannon - Memphis (unranked)
(2) George Heffernan - Cologne (unranked)
(3) Kurt Armsden - Miami (35)
(4) Monica Cowart - Wisconsin-Madison (26)
(5) Sandra Raponi - Toronto (#1 in Canada)
(6) Lisa Fuller - Toronto (#1 in Canada)
(7) Arthur Ledoux - Notre Dame (17)
(8) William Wians - Notre Dame (17)

In other words, half of their full-time permanent faculty (4/8) is from Leiter top-20 programs, but the other half is from programs ranked 26 or lower (including two from unranked schools). Is this indicative of *some* prestige bias at work? Perhaps--but it's not obviously an overwhelming amount, and it's just one teaching school.

I'm going to look up some of the teaching schools I interviewed at later today.

pendaran

I admit that I didn't find good examples of what you'd call teaching schools, because I don't know about these schools, what they're called, or how to locate them. But I tried to only look at unranked schools, many in less than desirable places.

The one school I was sure fit your definition was yours, and lo and behold all the permanent TT faculty were from top 25 programs!

"However, when it comes to unranked schools in general, the ADPA data is very clear. 375/976 of recent hires at unranked schools (or 38.4%) have been from unranked graduate programs. 27.9% came from Leiter top-10 programs and 33.6% came from Leiter 21-50 ranked programs. In other words, the largest percentage of hires at unranked departments were from *unranked* schools. Do the Leiter top-10 still do pretty well? Yes, they get a little less than a third of all jobs at unranked schools."

I think this is strong enough to make my point. Only 38.4% of recent hires are from unranked programs. 27.9% come from the top 10 programs, which includes 13 schools at the moment. That shows a huge prestige bias even at unranked schools.

"In other words, the largest percentage of hires at unranked departments were from *unranked* schools."

Maybe according to their artificial categories.

But if 375/976 of recent hires at unranked schools (or 38.4%) are from unranked graduate programs,

that means that the remainder are from ranked programs.

So, the majority of hires at unranked schools are from ranked programs.

Or am I confused???

I'm pretty skeptical of the ADPA data! The situation is probably worse that it seems!

"In other words, half of their full-time permanent faculty (4/8) is from Leiter top-20 programs, but the other half is from programs ranked 26 or lower (including two from unranked schools)."

Another way of looking at the data is that all but two of their full-time permanent faculty come from the top 50 PhD programs in the English speaking world. Many people are going to see that as an obvious sign of prestige bias.

"Further, the actual stories of the people in my department are complex. Geisz and I both spent 7+ years on the market, and almost gave up on trying to find an academic job. While it's possible that we were hired because we were from high-ranked departments, another possibility (the one that I think is probably correct) is that we were hired because we had a ton of teaching and service experience--because we stayed on the market so damn long.

What about our third TT member, Laura Kane? Well, she was the candidate that *I* pushed for in the hiring process...and (honest to God) I didn't even look at where people (including her) got their degrees from. I literally didn't know which program she got her degree from when we flew her out to campus--and I adopted this policy for a reason: I am adamantly against prestige bias. I don't think it should matter where a person got their PhD. I became enamored with Kane in the search process because I found her research statement and writing sample fascinating and original, and because she had good teaching experience and an interesting service record. So, even though all 3 of our TT members are from well-ranked schools, it is not clear to me at all that it's the result of prestige bias."

I believe you, but I also believe that probably prestige played more of a role than you realize. We're not consciously aware of all of our motivations.

I'm sure there are many programs I've never heard of that have plenty of unranked PhDs. But I think it's clear that prestige bias is present way outside top fancy programs and even strongly present in places like Alabama and Nebraska.

This is a strong enough claim to satisfy my position.

Amanda

U of Nebraska and U of Alabama are R1 schools with 2/2 teaching loads. A small percentage .of TT be jobs.just so ppl know..

Amanda

Also looking at the phds won't necessarily be helpful since so many were hired in a different era. This makes me want to look at Phijobs from last year more closely.

pendaran

I wanted to explicitly note that I think we've both been sliding a little bit between teaching schools and unranked schools.

I guess I'm willing to concede that there is a category of school out there where prestige plays a more minor role: non-prestigious, small schools with a few philosophy faculty who have no research responsibilities and who offer no graduate programs.

However, if I remember, this entire discussion started with talking about unranked schools. Often these schools are more teaching focused, and their faculty are not expected to publish as much or in as fancy of places. So, in a sense these are more teaching focused schools, and this is how I think of them. Unranked include the teaching schools but also include many more schools like Alabama.

My position is that it's a mistake to think that prestige doesn't matter for unranked schools generally. Just wanted to clarify that!

It's because I think this is true that I'd be careful of saying that your chances of landing a TT job are just as good if graduating from a Leiter rank 50 or unranked as from a Leiter rank 10, for example.

And this is why I asked if the ADPA report includes all the people who dropped out.

Anyway, just wanted to clarify my position.


jdkbrown

pendaran,

Alabama and Nebraska are *terrible* examples for the point you want to make: they're both large (13k to 20k students) flagship state schools; they're both in the "highest research" category; and Nebraska even has a PhD program! I'd *expect* both of them to have some preference for prestige.

There are over 4000 colleges and universities in the US, and Alabama and Nebraska are both at the "prestige" end of the group. The Gourmet Report only ranks 50 programs--and so fewer than 1.5% of schools are ever going to make the list. Thus, that a school isn't Gourmet ranked tells you *nothing* about the research/teaching mix at the school, how prestigious the institution is, etc.

To make the point you want to, you need to look at places like Prairie View A&M, University of Findlay, Purdue University Northwest, St. Norbert College, Roanoke College, etc.

pendaran

"Alabama and Nebraska are *terrible* examples for the point you want to make: they're both large (13k to 20k students) flagship state schools; they're both in the "highest research" category; and Nebraska even has a PhD program! I'd *expect* both of them to have some preference for prestige."

False. They are just fine for the point I am making, because they are Leiter unranked, and my point is about Leiter unranked programs.

No one would be surprised if the lower we go in prestige the less prestigious PhDs we find at those places, but I bet I can find plenty of people from ranked programs even at schools no one has ever heard of.

Out of curiosity, I checked some of those schools you mentioned.

Purdue Northwest

1. David Detmer: Northwestern. Rank 32.

2. Deepa Majumdar. Iowa State. Unranked. But big state school?

3. Elaine Carey. Not mentioned.

St. Norbert College

1. Eric Hagedorn. University of Notre Dame. Rank 17.

2. John Holder. Southern Illinois University. Unranked.

3. Paul Johnson. Urbana Champaign. Unranked on Leiter but Urbana Champaign is generally considered a prestigious university.

4. Joel Mann. Austin. Rank 18.

Roanoke College

1. Brent Adkins. Loyola University of Chicago. Unranked?

2. Robert Benne. Chicago. Rank 21.

3. Paul Hinlicky. Union Theological Seminary. Unranked.

4. Marwood Larson-Harris. Boston. Rank 44.

5. James Peterson. Virginia. Rank 41.

6. Melanie Trexler. Georgetown. Rank 35.

7. Ned Wisnefske. Chicago. Rank 21.

Obviously I don't have time to go through every school ever. I admit that prestige plays less of a role the less prestigious of an institution you're talking about.

However, as one can see Leiter ranked PhDs can be found even at place such as Roanoke. Prestigious ranked PhDs have way more options!


Paul

Re jdkbrown: Right, we have to draw the proper distinctions here:

1. Research school - a school that is either a. a PhD granting program or b. has a 2/2 teaching load and grants tenure based on research. This includes both ranked and unranked programs (STL and Baylor would be included in this category). Research is primary here, because you are training researchers (PhD students).

2. Elite SLAC - a top ranked liberal arts college that probably also has a 2/2 load (maybe 2/3 or 3/3) and also grants tenure largely based on research. However, the classes are small and you better be a good teacher. A good research agenda and pubs are essential.

3. A teaching school - a regional state school, non elite SLAC or CC that has at least a 4/3 load and grants tenure based on a combination of teaching service, and research, and it usually takes only a handful of articles (that don't have to be in ranked journals) to get tenure. Here teaching, service, collegiality, and longevity are key.

Back to an older thought. I don't know that all these unranked programs with high placement rates are only sending grads to "regional" schools (and I am not sure what that means), but they are perhaps finding a niche and filling it. For instance, SLU and Baylor are both religious institutions, and that is one of the reasons why many of the grad students are there. So, they tend to place at small, religious SLACs, such as Houghton College, Franciscan University of Steubenville, University of Mary, Grove City College, and Biola University.

All this to say, I don't know that we should doubt the data if properly interpreted.

Amanda

Pendaran if you are talking about "unranked leiter programs" but are including prestigious R1 universities, that is an entirely different conversation. As someone mentioned, the top 50 schools are less than 2% of all the schools in the US - and probably less than 3% of all the faculty positions in the us, likely 1% world wide. I don't think anyone denies that PhD rank plays a role in prestigious, r1 universities that are not leiter ranked. The claim is they play no role in teaching schools, i.e. programs with no graduate programs, that are not elite slacs, where teaching is as important or more important than research for tenure. The majority of positions in the US are like this.

pendaran

"Pendaran if you are talking about "unranked leiter programs" but are including prestigious R1 universities, that is an entirely different conversation. As someone mentioned, the top 50 schools are less than 2% of all the schools in the US - and probably less than 3% of all the faculty positions in the us, likely 1% world wide. I don't think anyone denies that PhD rank plays a role in prestigious, r1 universities that are not leiter ranked."

I am talking about whatever the original post was talking about, I think. The original post talks about Leiter ranked and unranked.

From the original post,

"The second interesting thing about this graph is that the shortest average times to TT job are for graduates from PhD programs rated a 4 or 5 (which are top-ten programs in the Leiter report) but also programs ranked lower than 2 (which are unranked programs)."

My position is that I find this dubious because I think prestige matters for many programs, including unranked and even including many teaching schools, I guess especially fancy teaching schools like Merrimack.

"The claim is they play no role in teaching schools, i.e. programs with no graduate programs, that are not elite slacs, where teaching is as important or more important than research for tenure. The majority of positions in the US are like this."

I don't know if they are the majority or not. They may be more small teaching schools total than big state universities, but big state universities have much bigger departments. Many teaching schools will employ at most a handful of philosophers. Many community colleges don't employ any philosophers.

This aside, it hasn't been hard for me to find teaching schools that include many people with prestigious PhDs, e.g. Chicago.

So, clearly at minimum prestige doesn't clearly hurt you at getting these jobs.

Amanda

The comment in the OP about unranked programs was about the rank of the PhD institution, not the rank of the hiring institution. And Marcus specifically excluded R1's (which includes unranked leiter programs) and "fancy" teaching schools from his claim. So Marcus would agree with you that Leiter rank matters for fancy teaching schools and unranked R's. He disagrees that they matter for the category described as "teaching schools."

Not all "big state universities" are research schools. Most aren't. Cal state Sacramento isn't, for example, and many schools like that. The research schools either have graduate programs and/or base tenure almost solely on research. Even including the higher number of persons in the department, these positions are a tiny minority of all US positions.

Lastly, simply because you found some people with prestige PhD's at teaching schools, it doesn't follow that having one doesn't hurt you, in general, these days. First, many of those people were hired in a different era. Second, the fact that one has a prestigious PhD could have hurt one while they still ended up with the job. The truth, of course, is that whether it hurts varies from school to school. And to be certain on this we would need a large empirical study. But the main claim of this post was that being from a ranked program doesn't *help* one at teaching schools.

pendaran

This is really getting old. Here's the finding in the original post:

"The second interesting thing about this graph is that the shortest average times to TT job are for graduates from PhD programs rated a 4 or 5 (which are top-ten programs in the Leiter report) but also programs ranked lower than 2 (which are unranked programs)."

Here was my response:

"There may be many unranked programs that have good placement records (regionally at least), but I'd be highly highly skeptical that this is the norm generally. Ranked programs create way more PhDs than ranked programs can absorb, and I have seen again and again a huge bias in favor of prestige."

Here is Marcus's response:

"Pendaran: There is no evidence of prestige bias for jobs at teaching schools--or, at the very least, if there is I would like to know what it is. The ADPA report certainly doesn't support that hypothesis, nor does my own perusal of recent placements."

I see he moved from talking of unranked/ranked to talking about teaching schools. Now at the time he did this I didn't consciously and immediately distinguish 'unranked' from 'teaching school.' I was talking of unranked and continued to do so.

So, I went on to point out that many unranked programs care about prestige: Nebraska, Alabama, on the surface at least, looking at the TT faculty, Marcus' own program, and to a degree Alaska.

I admitted later on that there is another relevant distinction here: teaching school vs. unranked school. I admitted that there are some unranked schools called teaching schools where prestige plays less of a role.

However, even at the teaching schools I looked at I could find a good percentage of their departments were made up of ranked PhDs. I listed a lot of departments.

So, I concluded with saying that ranked PhDs have way more options, especially highly ranked PhDs.

And I continue to be suspicious that ADPA data is correct that unranked programs do just as well at placement as top ranked programs.

Marcus Arvan

Pendaran: I absolutely did not "move from talking of unranked/ranked to talking about teaching schools."

Here is the first quotation you cite: "The second interesting thing about this graph is that the shortest average times to TT job are for graduates from PhD programs rated a 4 or 5 (which are top-ten programs in the Leiter report) but also programs ranked lower than 2 (which are unranked programs)."

In this quotation, when I talk about unranked programs I am talking about unranked *graduate* programs (i.e. the programs candidates come from)...not schools doing the hiring.

Next, in the OP and *all* of my comments, whenever I have been talking about teaching schools I have been talking about programs doing the hiring.

Your comments repeatedly conflate the one claim with the other. When I talk about "unranked" schools, I am talking about the programs candidates come *from*, not programs they are hired into. When I talk about teaching schools, I am talking about programs doing the hiring.

I don't see how I could be any clearer about this. I have not moved from talking of one thing to talking of another. The problem is that you have conflated what I am talking about. Amanda has pointed this out as well.

pendaran

Hey Marcus, I think you interpreted my claim as more accusatory than it was.

All I meant was that you were talking about only a very particular category of school when responding to me, and in my initial post I was not using this concept.

To be honest, the concept 'teaching school' is kind of foreign to me, as I have never attended a teaching school. All of my experience is with big state universities or big UK universities.

I was saying that I am suspicious than unranked programs place people just as well as ranked programs, because even at unranked programs prestige matters.

I admitted that there are less prestigious and more prestigious unranked programs, and that at a subset of unranked programs prestige matters less.

I posted department lists from many unranked, teaching schools too, including some that were mentioned by paul.

So, I did not continually conflate anything but recognized the distinction a while back.

Marcus Arvan

Hi pendaran: I'm sorry, I didn't understand your post as accusatory. I just feel like we're going around in circles a bit--and talking past one another the vast majority of the time--because I claimed something very different than the claims you've been focusing on.

Marcus Arvan

Pendaran: Here are just a few of the teaching schools I interviewed at along with the grad programs (and program ranks) of their full-time philosophy faculty.

CABRINI COLLEGE
1. Jennifer Bulcock - Rice University (Unranked)
2. Joe Cimakasky - Duquesne (Unranked)
3. Sharon Scwarze - UPenn (ranked 27)

CALIFORNIA LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY
1. Xiang Chen - Virginia Tech (unranked)
2. Brian Collins - Iowa (unranked)

KEENE STATE UNIVERSITY
1. Lee Sander - Georgetown (ranked 35)
2. Emily McGill - Vanderbilt (unranked)
3. Allyson Mount - Cornell (25)

ELIZABETHTOWN COLLEGE
1. Alexandria Poole - University of North Texas (unranked)
2. Gabriel Ricci - Temple (unranked)
3. Michael Silberstein - Oklahoma (unranked)

I'd be happy to continue, but I think this is pretty sufficient to rest my case. The evidence here is overwhelming: the small teaching schools I have listed here primarily have faculty from lower-ranked or unranked programs.

pendaran

No one would have argued against the idea that the less prestigious the school the less prestigious overall the faculty, at least generally.

What the data clearly shows though is that ranked PhDs can get jobs at teaching schools. So, someone from Cornell, for example, has way more options than someone from an unranked program.

The fact that we are finding people from Cornell and Georgetown at these non-elite teaching schools generally reinforces my previous mentioned skepticism.

Marcus Arvan

Pendaran: You are moving the goal-posts.

Here is what you wrote earlier: "There is clearly prestige bias in the profession...I have no obvious reason to think this only applies to top 50 programs or so. I'd suspect that all schools have a preference for prestige, because it's great advertising to students and parents to be able to claim that your faculty are from fancy places."

The examples I just provided flatly contradict your suggestion that all schools have a preference for prestige. You also said later that "many" teaching schools are biased in favor of candidates from prestigious programs. I gave four teaching schools--the first four in my list of teaching schools I interviewed at. 8 of the 11 faculty at those schools are from unranked programs. This suggests there is no bias at these schools for candidates from ranked programs, and if anything, that there is a bias for candidates from unranked programs.

Yes, nobody ever denied that people from ranked programs have a leg up in the job-market as a whole. But that is not what *this* conversation was about. The conversation here was whether they have a leg up for jobs at teaching schools. You clearly suggested they do. I clearly suggested they don't. I gave evidence they don't.

I'm sorry if I'm sounding a bit frustrated, as I enjoy debating with you on the Cocoon - but in this case it's a bit hard to get a handle of what in the world we are arguing about! ;)

pendaran

To understand where I am coming from, you need to look at one of my original posts on the thread.

"There may be many unranked programs that have good placement records (regionally at least), but I'd be highly highly skeptical that this is the norm generally. Ranked programs create way more PhDs than ranked programs can absorb, and I have seen again and again a huge bias in favor of prestige."

In other words, I doubt that the ADPA data in the original post gives a complete picture. I suspect that higher ranked programs generally do a much better job placing candidates, because prestige matters a lot.

I admit that it matters less at non-elite teaching schools.

But, as we've both shown now, having looked at numerous teaching schools, even at non-elite teaching schools you can find prestigious PhDs, such as PhDs from Chicago and Cornell.

So, this shows that at least it is the case that Cornell grads etc can get jobs not only at R1 universities but also at teaching schools.

This only reinforces my previously mentioned doubts.

Now, I guess one could respond by saying that most schools are non-elite teaching schools. Even if this is true, I doubt non-elite teaching schools comprise the majority of hires in philosophy. They have small departments and many community colleges don't even employ philosophers.

I admit I don't know if unranked programs do just as good of a job placing candidates as ranked programs, but I suspect they don't.

P.S. Just because non-elite teaching schools have a mix of ranked and unranked PhDs doesn't mean they don't have some preference for prestige. They may just not have been able to hire only prestigious PhDs. I suspect it's human nature to have a preference for prestige, and so it will exist at all these departments.

Amanda

R1 jobs are absolutely the minority of hires in the US. It is not even close.

Amanda

I looked at all the postings on phil jobs, and came up with this, mostly for my curiosity. One thing to keep in mind is almost no community college jobs are includes. My guess is there is at least 7 each year? Anyway it is also not clear cut to put into categories, but I did my best. R1 schools either have a PhD program or a 2/2 teaching load. R2's have a MA but no PhD and at most a 3/3 load. Fancy liberal arts schools have 2/2 loads.

R1 -37 total
Bowling Green State University
Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania State University
Michigan State University
Arizona State University
Arizona State University
University of Arizona
University of Arizona
George Washington University
Duke University
Loyola University, Chicago
The Graduate Center, CUNY
University of Colorado, Boulder
Purdue University
University of Florida
Barnard College, Columbia University
Boston College
Boston University
University of Wisconsin, Madison
University of Wisconsin, Madison
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Washington University in St. Louis
University of Pittsburgh
NYU Tandon School of Engineering
University of Pittsburgh
University of Pittsburgh
University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Pennsylvania
Vanderbilt University
Johns Hopkins University
Brown University
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
University of Oregon
Princeton University
Princeton University
University of California, San Diego
37 total

Fancy liberal arts colleges 2 total
Amherst College
Colgate College
2 total

Non-R1 /Non-r2 47 total
Lehigh Carbon Community College
Cornell College (not ivy league Cornell)
William Paterson University of New Jersey
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Norwich University
Duquesne University
Louisiana State University
Daemen College
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Saint Joseph's University
Arcadia University
Northern Illinois University
Carleton College
University of North Florida
CSU Dominguez Hills
California State University, Sacramento
University of Hartford
Iowa State University
St. Joseph's College
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
DeSales University
Montclair State University
Baldwin Wallace University
Missouri University of Science and Technology
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
University of New Orleans
West Virginia University
California State University, Fullerton
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Mississippi State University
Austin Peay State University
California State University, Long Beach (odd school has MA program but 4/4 teaching load)
Midwestern State University
Muhlenberg College
University of Navarra
Wofford College
Virginia Commonwealth University
Clark University
Montana State University-Bozeman
Georgia Southern University
Auburn University
Missouri State University
University of Richmond
Bates College
University of Tulsa
Bucknell University
47 total, not including community colleges


R2 6-total
University of Nevada, Las Vegas – UNLV
Virginia Tech
San Francisco State University
University of Texas at San Antonio
Kansas State University
Kansas State University
6 total

Permanent, non-TT 4 total
University of Tampa
University of Dayton
University of Florida
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
4 total

Amanda

Oh, if a school is listed twice in a row it is because they have multiple positions. I did include all TT jobs, not just entry levels. I felt I had to since so many R1's hire for open positions. And I did include jobs not in philosophy departments.

jdkbrown

Suppose there are 150 or so "fancy schools"--R1's, elite SLACs, etc.--and each has, on average, 20 philoosphers (a generous estimate!). That gives 3000 philosophers at fancy schools.

There are between 4000 and 5000 schools in the US, depending how you count. Let's take it to be 4000, and suppose each non-fancy school has, on average, a single philosopher. There are then 3850 philosophers at non-fancy schools.

Even on these assumptions, the majority of jobs are at non-fancy schools!

another postdoc

R1 and R2 and so forth are explicit categorizations by the Carnegie Commission. A bunch of those that look like R1 are not, eg. Bowling Green. Obviously this metric is just a rough guide to what the philosophy job in question looks like

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_research_universities_in_the_United_States

Amanda

another postdoc: that metric is completely unhelpful for philosophy. Bowling Green has a PhD program and a 2/2 teaching load. According to that metic many schools that have no graduate programs and 4/4 loads with tenure based on teaching would be r1's while, schools with 2/2 loads and PhD programs and tenure based on research would be R2s. Schools in Leiter's top 50 would not be R1's. What matters is whether the schools is a research school for philosophy. At least that is how I have heard the terms most often used in our discipline, and that is what seems to make the most sense to me.

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