“The degree to which those involved in teaching and academic management spend more and more of their time involved in tasks which they secretly—or not so secretly—believe to be entirely pointless” is a hot topic on academic social media this week, owing to an article about it by anthropologist David Graeber (LSE) in The Chronicle of Higher Education. (more…)..
A discipline-by-discipline analysis of data from Elsevier’s Scopus database concering over 10,000 pieces of research published between 2012 and 2016 shows that a massive amount of scholarly work goes uncited, according to a report in Times Higher Education. (more…)
The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has released its Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2017-18.
“The press accounts of widespread suppression of free speech are clearly out of kilter with reality,” says a new report on free speech at universities by the UK Parliament. “Any inhibition on lawful free speech is serious, and there have been such incursions, but we did not find the wholesale censorship of debate in universities which media coverage has suggested.” ..
“I was lucky. There were multiple joints in this path where things could well have gone sideways. Indeed, sideways was my more natural trajectory and temperament. But my luck, I hasten to say, was not just dumb luck. Instead, much of my luck was given to me by others.” (more…)
Many institutions control your choices in various ways, and bend your time to their aims, by suggesting that you must serve limitlessly or else you have not adequately demonstrated your devotion to the mission. It is satisfying and empowering to ignore that narrative… (more…)
‘Impostor syndrome’ describes a problem I don’t especially wish to solve. Its remedy is to recognise that one does in fact belong. Yet I can’t convince myself I want to fully belong—indeed, I would experience belonging as a loss. The reasons for this are several, though all converge on a conviction that being ill-adapted has a value I would not forfeit. (more…)..
A study of depression and anxiety among graduate students has found that 39% of its survey respondents “scored in the moderate-to-severe depression range.” (more…)
Erin Bartram was revising a manuscript when she received an email informing her that her “last (and best) hope for a tenure-track job this year had evaporated.” (more…)
The American Philosophical Association (APA) recommends that the letters of recommendation in a job candidate’s dossier be reviewed by the candidate’s placement director. Specifically, in its “Guidance for Placing Departments,” the APA states: (more…)
(NOTE: I’m reposting this because there appeared to be problems with commenting on the original version.) A philosophy professor writes in with some questions about whether, and if so, how, various universities classify tenured faculty and distribute responsibilities among them: (more…)
“It would be great for philosophy if more philosophical papers were written in a way that was appealing to scholars from across the academy.”
A philosopher writes in with a query at the intersection of research ethics, publishing norms, and academic etiquette. (more…)
It is a common refrain: academics need to get out of their ivory towers and start engaging with the general public. It can come from a place of sympathy, worrying that valuable ideas are not reaching the public, or it can come from a place of dismissiveness, implying that academic debates need to change radically to become relevant to the broader populace. But in ei..
The following is a guest post* by Maggie Dalecki (Manitoba), Meena Krishnamurthy (Michigan), Shen-yi Liao (Puget Sound), and Monique Deveaux (Guelph), based on research presented in “The Underrepresentation of Women in Prestigious Ethics Journals,” forthcoming in Hypatia. (more…)
“The practice of soliciting letters of recommendation for academic positions is both foolish and immoral.” (more…)
The controversy over the decision of Third World Quarterly to publish “The Case for Colonialism” by Bruce Gilley (discussed here) has escalated. Now, “credible threats of personal violence” against the editor of the journal, Shahid Qadir, have led the journal’s publisher, Taylor & Francis, to withdraw the article. (more…)
A philosophy professor writes in with a job market question:
I’m wondering whether associate professors with tenure are ever hired for non-tenured, tenure-track assistant professor positions, and if so, what such candidates should do to increase their chances of getting hired for such jobs? (more…)
To what extent do philosophers’ quite understandable social needs and fears of failure compromise their capacity for originality? A lot, according to Costica Bradatan (Texas Tech), in his epistle to academic philosophers in the Los Angeles Review of Books, “Why We Fail and How.” (more…)
A reader writes in with the following query about reimbursement for academic travel: (more…)
The following is a guest post* by Philippe Lemoine, a graduate student in philosophy at Cornell University. It’s a response to a post by Les Green (Oxford) published here yesterday, “Because They Are Universities” (originally published at Green’s blog under the title “Why it is hard to be a campus conservative“). Lemoine’s response, below, was first published at his..
To what lengths do departments and universities go to improve their rankings? In one case, a school is being accused of firing a number of its philosophy lecturers and using the funds to give contracts to professors elsewhere so they can have honorary appointments at the school to improve its research profile. (more…)
Work on problems that really interest you. Cross train. Be competent in multiple disciplines and methods. Don’t be afraid to start draft/writing before you know all that there is to know. Publish well. Use social media cautiously. Don’t think you will be an exception to standard rules because of your race or color. A woman does not get tenure because she been a hard..
It was suggested to me that as the new school year approaches, it would be helpful to revisit a few posts from the past. The first set of these takes us traveling back in time to posts providing advice for graduate students. (more…)
“We have a good university right here in town. Why did you have to move so far away for graduate school?”
“What do you mean you have schoolwork over the summer? Classes are out!”
“You’re a student—how could you be busy?” (more…)
Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Professor of Politics at Princeton University, and Cornel R. West, Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard Divinity School have jointly authored “Truth Seeking, Democracy, and Freedom of Thought and Expression,” a public statement in favor of civil discourse and respectful disagreement on u..