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Champollion Triarche

As much as I admire your initiative, your "series of posts" model isn't entirely credible. For example, I'm still waiting for the second half of "Where the Jobs Are" from April 15th.


Is it (un)wise to write controversial stuff on the TT even if it’s published in good journals—theism/atheism, nihilism, socialism/libertarianism, materialism/idealism, etc.?

Marcus Arvan

Hi Champollion: I normally try to get to everything that I commit to in a timely manner, and I appreciate the reminder about the where the jobs weren't series. I'll try to finish that report (focusing on non-TT jobs) in the next week or two.

Obviously, some series are more time and labor intensive than others. Whereas a typical post in a Cocoon series may take 15-30 minutes to write up, collecting, double-checking, and reporting jobs data can take the better part of a day or two--and I simply haven't had the time to do that recently. In the past month and a half, I've had two annual reports to write and submit to my Dean as department chair, an annual self-assessment to submit, two part-time faculty to hire, an R&R deadline to meet, a bunch of conference deadlines to meet, important and unexpected extended-family stuff to take care of, and many other things besides. Suffice it to say, it has been a lot. Anyway, I do my best to get to everything I say I will on the blog and elsewhere, and I'm sorry the second part of the jobs report has been delayed. Thanks again for the reminder, and look out for it in the next week or two.

Also on the TT

Thanks for this, Marcus!

I'm interested in the things mentioned by the OP, including: how to deal with parenthood on the TT, how involved to be in the department (especially if there is a contentious departmental culture)/outside the department, and what projects to take on, what to say 'no' to, what to say 'yes' to, things like that.

Timmy J

The upshot of my question is this: do you care about all the weird trivial crap it seems like people expect you to care about? If so, how do you bring yourself to do so? If not, is it ever a problem?

In more detail: as a new TT faculty member I was floored by the mountains-out-of-molehills shenaninganry that was *constantly* going on. Let's talk for three hours about how to rename our courses. Please vote for the dean's select committee on rethinking the language in our requests for members of dean's select committees. What should our priorities be as we move toward thinking about beginning to talk about addressing the question of whether there's bias on campus---please give your feedback within 48 hours via an 82-question google survey.

These examples are exaggerated for effect, but I imagine many people at many institutions get the joke, and that's what my question is about: there's a presumption that you care about these things. I find myself not caring, in even a small way, about 99% of them. I anti-care. I would like to not know that my feedback is wanted or not know that we're renaming our courses; etc. I would in fact like to not live in a world where there are Dean's select committees.

Do you care? If so, how on earth do you manage to do so? If not, has it been a problem? Have you found ways to manage that problem?

Sorry to be longwinded.


I totally agree with Timmy J about all the meaningless "service" and committee work required at these jobs and would love to see a thread about it, especially the never-ending "assessment"initiatives. It blows my mind that so many people really seem to love this stuff. They seem no longer interested in philosophy itself or any actual subject matter, but are rather now obsessed with second and third order meta-analyses of "learning outcomes", etc. Is there real evidence that these initiatives really result in improved student learning? Doubtful. And skeptics about all this busywork are not well-tolerated either.....


Having been a postdoc for a long time, as a new TT faculty I'm finding it hard to find time for research whilst attending to my teaching responsibilities (which I take very seriously). Any tips on how to make time for writing with everything else going on during the semester so that it doesn't only become a 'summer hobby'?


Good question. How much are you teaching? Consider some of these possibilities: a) teaching material you know well (e.g., could discuss clearly and well off the cuff, if someone asked right now); b) including more discussion in your classrooms; c) writing on the same topic more often for pubs; d) reducing online presence and using the time instead to write and/or teach; e) asking others in your department for department/university-specific advice.

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