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Associate Prof

I think this varies a lot. I served on a VAP search committee at an R2 with no grad program where we took research seriously in the department, and one big aim for us was trying to give a lifeline to someone doing really genuinely interesting and valuable research in a terrible job market. Of course we cared about teaching, too, but we wanted to give another bite at the job market cherry to someone whose work we'd want to keep engaging with over the course of our careers.


Working at a four college that tended to hire people from the 30-50 Leiter rank, we looked for good effective teachers. We were once screwed over by a school that described someone as a good teacher - what they meant was that he had NO research potential. He was okay in the classroom, but nothing special. That soured me on all future candidates from that school You could not trust the faculty.


I've been on VAP search committees at a couple of teaching-oriented institutions. Here are some of the criteria that stand out:

1. Teaching: Both teaching ability and the ability to teach what needed covered. We needed a VAP to teach fairly specific courses. Bonus if the candidate had taught one or more of them.

2. Evidence that the dissertation will be written: We felt like it would be a disservice - both to our future colleague and their students - to bring in somebody to teach 4/4 while writing a dissertation. The dissertation should ideally be defended by the start of the appointment. A fall defense might be okay, as long as we have assurance that actual writing will be done before the start of the semester.

3. Research and teaching potential: Like Associate Prof, we saw the VAP post as a conduit to a TT job, and wanted to bring in somebody that had a good chance of succeeding on that path.

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