Academia Under Oath


Academia Under Oath

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It’s who you know: You know the drill: Apply for a faculty position at any American college or university and jump though the hoops of committee meetings. I always take two Xanax before I appear for the tribunal at the conference table--I need to calm down--a lot is at stake: My future; I don’t want to end up in a state-run nursing home where my children visit me once-a-year holding their noses.

It’s quite true that it’s who you know that will get you the contracted academic job. Universities are required by the law of Affirmative Action to advertise positions nationally; however, they can screen their applicants through robotics while they have a specific candidate in mind; unless of course they’re short on blacks, Hispanics, gays, or transexuals (never whites or heterosexuals).

A common misbelief is that one should keep plugging away as an adjunct and eventually a job will come. That’s absolutely false because of the aforementioned law. Even if you know someone--a tally of underrepresented minorities must be taken before the preferred candidate is hired--so don’t hang around waiting for a job. Remember too that adjuncts are isolated from the minority of full-time faculty so it’s hard to get to know anyone well enough to be considered for a real academic position. Being famous helps.

Copyright 2012, Kathryn Kurtz, ©. This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be

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