Thursday, April 19, 2007

Academic Careers Wiki

From Phil Ford I have discovered a wiki that lists the intimate details of academic job searches. Like any publically-edited wiki the facts are not guaranteed: the music theory/composition page looks fairly accurate from various results I was already aware of, but the music librarian page is incredibly incomplete. DePauw is searching for a music librarian right now, and it isn't even listed, much less accurate about the stage of the search process. I'm still debating whether this is a good thing. In general, I think transparency will only help make the process more fair. Applicants who aren't immediately connected to big schools will have more information, and the whole process is more evident for grad students and other new applicants. However, personnel decisions can be sensitive, and efforts to scoop a result could end up exposing applicants or departments to awkward situations. I hope they stick with publically available information.


Chris Foley said...

This is a useful tracking service for the tenure-track positions in the US. However, the tenure-track jobs are only a small part of the academic teaching world now since many (most?) positions now are at the sessional/lecturer level and may not be advertised nationally. For most applicants, the wiki will be a useful way to know when to give up hope on a particular job opening.

Apologies for being so negative, but glad I already have a position at present.


Scott Spiegelberg said...

I think the wiki includes term positions as well as tenure-track. Fortunately my own institution has been bucking the trend, shifting more positions from adjunct or part-time to tenure-track. The cynical rationale is that TT professors have better morale, which attracts better students who also have better morale and therefore become better alumni donors. The idealistic rationale is that invested professors will teach better and provide more university service. It's a shame more institutions can't see the logic of this.