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Former VAP

I've never seen a part-time VAP. You can be a lecturer teaching one course a year. I also get the sense that the average VAP gets paid more than the average full-time lecturer. Insofar as pay often tracks prestige, I'd say a VAP is generally better.

Daniel Brunson

And just saw an ad for a Visiting Lecturer with a 3/3 load: https://www.higheredjobs.com/details.cfm?JobCode=176919001


I don't think there is "generally." It depends on the job. Most people would prefer a full-time permanent lecturer position over a temporary VAP. Persons in the lecture positions at my school are treated very well, they even get conference travel money every year. The main difference between them and TT faculty is they teach more courses. But other than that they are involved in almost every aspect of the department (a few things only TT faculty can vote on, but not many.) I think Marcus's school has a job like this as well. I say this because in this market people should be looking for these types of opportunities instead of only focusing on TT jobs. I think a lecturer position at a school like mine, large R1, is more secure than a TT position at many smaller schools where the TT positions themselves are at risk.



I don't think there's a difference in prestige, you just need to explain the job in the cover letter or CV. My research university has no such thing as a "VAP". you are either tenure track, a permanent lecturer or senior lecturer, a temporary full-time lecturer (essentially a VAP), or a part-time lecturer. A temporary full-time lecturer gets full benefits for that 10 month contract, while a permanent lecturer participates in basically all departmental activities and gets travel money. The difference is that their job is 100% teaching while TT is 50/50 split between teaching and research. The only thing lecturers don't vote on is TT hires. They do get paid less than TT jobs, but more than temporary lecturers.

Christopher Hitchcock

At my R1 University, we use the title "Lecturer" for any non-tenure-track teaching faculty, from permanent, full-time faculty to someone teaching one course on a one-off basis. We use Visiting Assistant Professor for someone who holds an Assistant Professor position at another university.

Having been on many search committees, the difference in prestige is non-existent. Having a research-oriented postdoc at a good place would carry more weight, especially if it gave you the opportunity to train with an expert in your subfield. But what really matters is publication record, and quality of your written work, relative to your career stage. Someone who received a Ph.D. three years ago will be expected to have published more than someone just finishing a Ph.D. Where you have been in the interim matters very little.


I have a full time but temporary position that can be renewed regularly (but not indefinitely). I take it that my job is equivalent to a Visiting Assistant Professorship at most places but my job title is "Instructor." Given the discussion here, should I clarify what this means at my department in my job search materials(either in my cover letter or CV)? If so, how?



FWIW, I think you should just list your current position as Lecturer (full-time, X years), or something similar. Similarly, if it were an assistant professor title but NTT and with a set contract, I'd say something like 'Assistant Professor (non-tenure-track, x years).


anon- I would also list your title as "lecturer". I don't think it's being deceptive, since what is deceptive is the odd title given by your university. "Instructor" conveys someone who is similar to an adjunct, teaching on a pay-per-course basis. (and I assume you have a salary and a set number of courses, which is really like a lecturer by most standards. just clarify it is not permanent.)

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