Monday, May 29, 2006

Joint appointment: incomplete

A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education speaks of the troubles I might have down the road, assuming I get my dream job one day. I have thought my ideal situation would be a joint appointment in Fields 1 & 2. But if this almost-tenured (or denied) asst. prof. is any model, the trials I'm up against now are just the start.


betty said...

I just found your blog today and I read some of your older posts abot your job search with sympathy. I'm going through the same thing now (but without the PhD). I am waiting to hear about a job where I'd be indirectly involved in five departments at a fairly large university.

I'd be able to make decisions mostly on my own (which is good) but I'd be somewhat evaluated by those different departments which clearly have different agendas for the program (which could definitely be bad). When I describe it to others sometimes it sounds like only an idiot would want that kind of grief, but I'll totally take the job if I hear back from them becasue, well, a) I need a job and b) the interdisciplinary nature of the position has a strange attraction despite all the politics.

The CHE article you linked to was interesting. I've been too busy to read since I'm frantically applying for more jobs while trying to keep the one I have for a little longer - so thanks for the link.

Good luck with the search. I hope you get your dream job!

trillwing said...

When I saw the article, I had the same reaction you did. Increasingly, in the face of such stories I'm thinking about striking out on my own rather than enduring the politics and drama that seem to accompany so many interdisciplinary endeavors.

So I'll go through one more year of job search and then we'll see. What are you thinking?

ArticulateDad said...

Thanks for the comment, Betty.
I'm with you, Trillwing, my friend. But, I'm looking into other options now. I'll be back from Scotland in a week. I've got some more grant applications to submit, and a few articles to send out. I'll keep sending off job applications. But I'll be talking to people, and reading up, to see what better options there might be.

This is the funny part: if I keep my 5-10 year goal in mind (to be running a center or institute for research in my little domain) spending the interim working outside of academia might have no negative effects. Look, it's a scary prospect, because we're told the PhD has a half-life... the longer we spend without a faculty post, the harder it gets to obtain one. Except, there's a catch... if you gain notoriety outside of academia, there's always a way back in (if we even want it then).

We'll see what comes. But there's got to be a better way than sitting on our hands.