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« Who to get letters from for grad school applications? | Main | Competing against (much) more experienced candidates on the market? »

03/21/2023

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Caligula's Goat

I agree with Marcus, tenure-stream searches in this day and age require, at an absolute minimum, that you have a history of publication that would clear the tenure bar at the institution you're applying to on the assumption that you stay as research productive as you have been.

There's a minor exception for very promising graduate students wtih good letters but that isn't relevant in this case. I also agree with Marcus that NTT jobs have better prospects for the OP though, depending on where you apply, even NTT positions can be anywhere from 5-15% composed of research or professional activity of some kind. In a world where OP is competing with people who have good teaching evidence *and* publications, it's going to be important that OP really does a couple of things:

1. Absolutely nails all of the teaching aspects of a search (both in the written materials submitted, the interview questions asked during the first stage, and the teaching demo if they're brought to campus). Importantly, nailing the teaching demo means that you not only can explain how their teaching experience in a CC context translates to the university context but how it specifically makes them a good fit at *that specific institution*

2. Have a very clear, and persuasive, explanation for all of their moves. This is something that should be addressed in the cover letter but also, if they're lucky enough to be offered an interview, in interviews too. People are going to notice that you left a tenured position to go across the country and they're going to wonder why you did that and why you're now leaving your job again. If you don't fill in that explanatory gap yourself people will do it for you.

Bill

FWIW tenure track community college positions in California apparently pay better than tenure track positions in the California State University system. (The UC is another animal altogether.) There's a lot more teaching at a cc, so maybe that makes them equivalent. You'll likely be taking a pay cut to move "up" though.

To be competitive with the folks who are competitive for tenure track jobs, I would think that a tenured cc professor would need to prepare themselves before applying by doing two things.

First, you must have two (or more) recent, good publications. They don't need to be in the very top journals for a teaching-focused department, but they shouldn't be the bottom. While you are writing those, get on some conference programs, too, to show that you are research-active and not just recycling something from the dissertation.

Second, get some experience teaching *upper division* courses. A lot of non-cc departments will assume that all of your cc teaching is like what they do for service courses: lower division gen ed for non-majors. They'll want to be sure you can teach advanced courses for majors. You could try to get some adjunct teaching (I know, more teaching!) at a nearby 4-year to get that experience, but that could be difficult, too, since the adjuncts often don't get upper division classes. At the very least, have a very well-worked out syllabus for two upper division courses you would aim to teach, and a story you can tell about how you would teach them.

I think *even if* you fill these gaps, you are probably not likely to be a favored candidate, simply because non-standard candidates are difficult to compare to the rest of the pool, feel risky to committees, and they have no reason to take the risk because of the volume of solid applications they get.

To answer OP's question 2, the only thing I can think of is to look up cv's of current department members, especially those recently awarded tenure, to see what kinds of records they have.

I was about to hit send and thought of one other thing: If you have any admin experience (as chair, curriculum coordinator, associate dean, etc.) then you might be an interesting candidate to a department looking to hire to fill a chair position nobody else wants.

Prof L

I agree that for TT jobs it would be a 'no' ... and depending on how long the gap in research is, I would think that it would be very hard to make up for it. If I were in this person's shoes, I would not apply for any TT jobs.

For teaching positions/permanent instructors, things like that, this person *could be* competitive, but I think like Marcus says, depends on the department. Most departments like a candidate that has an interesting research program. Rate of publication is not so huge an issue, but "oh this person keeps up and has some cool thoughts, would be a good colleague" is. I don't know how fair that is, but I think that is how most departments would look at it. You would be competing against people with great teaching records *and* some research.

The other thought is to move more into academic administration, as a previous poster has suggested. Depending on the nature of your service work, keep an eye out for weird, half-and-half positions that exist at some schools, where you admin and teach on the side, or something. There's not one name for these, but there also may be positions at the college or university level that would look favorably at a candidate like yourself. At my university we have academic advisors that teach required classes (ugh). Something like that could be a good fit if you are desperate to move.

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