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I think you should address any issues that make it clear that you're serious about the job and/or easy to hire. When I applied out of a TT job for other TT jobs, I mentioned the horrible budget situation at my current university (obviously along with the things I liked about the jobs I was applying for) and I think this probably helped committees to know that I was not just jockeying for a raise or getting a tenure denial back up plan. Those who are in tenured positions or late on the TT clock and are willing to start the tenure clock over should, I think, absolutely say why they are leaving and make it clear that they will restart the clock.

If the issue is something that would make it harder to hire you - like having a 2 body problem - I would definitely not mention it. Committees are likely to think you'll turnt he job down if they can't get a job for your spouse (which they likely can't) or that you're just trying to get an offer to negotiate for a job for your spouse in your current position. The *only* time I would mention it is if a department is hiring for two positions, one in each of your AOS's, and you are both a real catch for the school you are applying to. In that case, it might help the committee feel like they'd actually have a chance of getting and keeping both of you for the longish term.


Fwiw, I'll add that, in my experience, the worry the OP raises may actually be backward. If a department is doing a junior search, there's usually a reason it's not a senior search or an open search. I've been on search committees where people further along the tenure track with more publicans and more robust CVs than the rest of the field were discounted, because they didn't really look like junior candidates. Exactly what the thinking there was I'm not sure, or perhaps can't remember--was it that they wouldn't really come and were just looking for a backup in case they didn't get tenure? Or to bargain up their salary? Or was it that we felt our own department was top-heavy and wanted more of a junior faculty cohort? I'm not sure. Either way, I think JuniorTT's worry will often be misplaced.

That doesn't address the latter part of Marcus's questions. I don't think I have any special insight there.

Prof looking to move

Daniel: why is the assumption that more senior people wouldn't want to move? Especially in this market people with senior-looking CVs struggle to even get jobs. Why is it that just because someone is more established, everyone assumes they might not have lifestyle preferences over where they want to live, or to work in a different kind of department? I'm just trying to understand the rationale here -- it feels like most people seem to think the job you happen to get first is just ordained to you forever, and that feels unfair.


Prof looking ...
As a matter of fact most academics do not move up the status rank from where they end up at 10 years after their Ph.D. This was a finding from an older sociological article. Indeed, if you think about any of the universities you have been at - as a student or faculty member - you realize that most people do not move.

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