Applying for Jobs at a SLAC?

A revised version of the Guide for Applying to Jobs at Selective Liberal Arts Colleges has been published at Inside Higher Ed. Check it out. The original was created by a group of philosophers and first published here at Daily Nous over the summer.

College scene

USI Switzerland Philosophy
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Grad Sockpuppet
Grad Sockpuppet
8 years ago

Are they selective, or are they small? I’ve always heard/seen ‘small’. I guess it doesn’t matter much, but ‘selective’ makes it sound like an even smaller set of universities.

8 years ago

Excellent. A detailed guide for applying to certain kinds of academic jobs. Now if only the jobs existed. Is it possible that the guide in question is a work of magical realism or pataphysics? A scientific treatment of cases so exceptional they verge on fable. I guess a more accurate title, such as ‘Guide for Applying to the Only Job Left In the Entire Nation at a Selective Liberals Arts College’ would be a bit underwhelming. OK, maybe I did have an interview with one of these mythical creatures last year. But when I woke up I wasn’t sure if I was a job candidate dreaming I was being interviewed by a SLAC search committee or a SLAC search committee dreaming I was interviewing a job candidate, though.

Shane Wilkins
Reply to  Demonax
8 years ago

When I was invited to Vassar for an on-campus interview to join the Philosophy department, I was thrilled. The interview itself was grueling, of course. After innumerable “casual” meetings with the faculty members, a formal interview with the hiring committee, a teaching demonstration and a lunch with the undergraduates, I was eager to get to the final dinner and return to my hotel. However, just as I wrapped up my final faculty schmooze session, Barry Lam grabbed me by the arm with a worried face. “It’s the dean,” he said. “He says he has a few minutes and would like to meet with you before you leave campus.”

“Ok,” I replied, unconcernedly. I’ve always had good relations with the administrators and adding one additional short interview to the day didn’t seem like too much of an additional burden.

As Lam escorted me to the Dean’s office, I inquired if he had any idea what the Dean would be asking me about. Lam said with a grimace: “He said he wanted to make sure you were really Vassar material.”

Arriving at the office of the Dean, we shook hands and he quickly got down to business. The dissertation, my publication plans, teaching philosophy, what I know about the history of the school, the whole bit. “Well, this all sounds excellent Dr. Wilkins,” the Dean said. “But I have one last thing I want to ask you about. I notice that you don’t have wings,” he said peering at the tops of my shoulders. “Are you able to fly?”

I found this line of question highly perplexing. Instinct kicked in and I said, “Not without an airplane.”

The Dean grimaced. “Oh dear, that’s what I was afraid of.” He shook his head wistfully. “The ability to fly is an important part of the Vassar identity and we can’t very well hold our students accountable for not flying if their professors can’t fly. This should have all been made clearer in the advertisement,” he said, standing to his feet and escorting me to the door. “I’m sorry to have wasted your time.”