Here's an interesting article about academic job market rumor mill blogs, posted on the Chronicle of Higher Education website. Discussion?
I've never visited the sites in question. I wonder if there isn't some way that the blogosphere can have a positive impact on this whole process. My wife, aghast, continues to muse at just how many positions in my field failed to be filled last year.
This is not only a shame, it is to my mind a crime. In the corporate world, if a position is opened, it remains open until filled. What harm would be done by continuing a search for a faculty member, filling it in the spring rather than the fall? What ridiculous roadblocks are erected in the way of departments and committees to do just that?
Surely, it is a lot of work to sit on a committee. I know. When I was a graduate student, I sat on one search committee for a senior administrative post, that met weekly (except for a few occasions) for over a year! But we kept meeting.
I can assure you faculty members who lament the difficulties of remaining on a committee, that what the unemployed scholars suffer in waiting is far worse! I frankly can't believe or understand that out of 90 or 100 or 186 applicants, it is impossible to find just one who is suitable, who is capable, to fill the position. Perhaps it is not so much a failing of the candidates, as one of the committees, of departmental expectations, of entrenched full professors unwilling to compromise, unable to accept the novelty of new research directions, or the untested interests of junior scholars.
Does it make any sense in the twisted world of academia to risk the loss of so many young, promising scholars, who simply will not or cannot remain on the job market for yet another year? What a waste of genuine talent. There must be a way. It's a matter of courage and commitment on the part of committees, departments, and administrators to find it. That is all.