[Marxism] Response from CU Chancellor's OfficereChurchillWitchHunt

La Sainte lasainte at earthlink.net
Fri Aug 4 10:12:48 MDT 2006

Well, yes. Indeed, yes. I make my living as a departmental secretary at a university. I've been through at least 8 faculty searches in the past few years. We do get lots of applications. However, many do not even meet the minimum requirements for the position. That is, they don't have a Ph.D. or even close to one, or their highest degree is in a totally different discipline. (Last year a lawyer with a Harvard law degree, and no other, felt he was qualified to teach both the modern European history and the post-1877 U.S. history positions. I suspect he applied because his law practice was failing.) And even those who meet the bare minimum requirements often do not meet the field/specialty requirements.

To get it down to percentages, roughly 35% of all applicants do not meet the bare minimum requirements; about 50% of the remaining 65% are nowhere close to the field requirements, and only about 35% of that are in the ballpark of meeting those specialty requirements. And we are not even talking about the quality of their scholarship. On the average, we get between 100 and 150 applicants for each position. This means only a dozen to 20 applicants are interviewed outside the university.

Finally, the best three are invited to the university for the last interview. Believe it or not, often the position remains unfilled for that search.  Why? Because the best of the best get great offers from the more prestigious universities. BTW, the University of Colorado ain't one of 'em. Oh, and if you're wondering, we have to go through the same search process the next year and the year after that until the position is filled.  Incidentally, we had two searches this past year. Only one was hired. The other opted for the Swarthmore position.


-----Original Message-----
>From: Louis R Godena <louisgodena at ids.net>
>Sent: Aug 3, 2006 7:14 PM
>To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition <marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
>Subject: Re: [Marxism] Response from CU Chancellor's OfficereChurchillWitchHunt
>Do any of you know of a single instance where a university teaching job --  
>even one without "tenure track"-- went begging for lack of applicants?   I 
>don't; in fact, I have trouble imagining such a situation.   More likely 
>that a carpenter or other skilled craftsman would refuse work with a 
>contractor of ill repute in the expectation that another job would come 
>along sooner or later.   That's not the case with academia.   The supply of 
>willing workers there far, far exceeds the demand.   Just a simple fact of 
>economics which the fact of tenure tends to obscure.
>Louis G
>----- Original Message ----- 
>From: "La Sainte" <lasainte at earthlink.net>
>To: "Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition" 
><marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
>Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2006 4:05 PM
>Subject: RE: [Marxism] Response from CU Chancellor's 
>> Yes, Michael, the firing of Ward Churchill would scare the mainstream 
>> types. I'm an ABMT in Psychology. What makes the concept of tenure so 
>> attractive is that with tenure one is (supposed to be) less likely to 
>> become a victim of the vagaries of a university administration. A 
>> hypothetical example: if I had a Ph.D. and been devoting all my time to 
>> research in, say, psychopathic personality disorder, but the 
>> administration of the university where I teach and work has decided that 
>> my field of research is no longer sexy enough and decide to find some way 
>> to fire me and hire someone whose field is much more attractive to them. 
>> They find a benign error or two in my work to justify their getting rid of 
>> me even though I am tenured. The result is my colleagues are not going to 
>> want to apply to my university knowing they just might get the shaft 
>> because the administration doesn't like the field of research they're 
>> doing. No matter how desperate these colleagues may be they would be very 
>> reluctant to apply to that university.
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