Department Chair vacancies

Arthur Sowers arthures at magpage.com
Thu Apr 15 07:35:39 EST 1999



On Wed, 14 Apr 1999, Rich Lemert wrote:

> Arthur Sowers wrote:
> > 
> > On Tue, 13 Apr 1999, Rich Lemert wrote:
> > 
> > > I am hearing from several sources that it is becoming more
> > > difficult for academic departments to entice people to accept
> > > the chair's position. People are apparently feeling that the
> > > demands of the position are increasing, and that the rewards
> > > are no longer commensurate. At least two departments that I know
> > > of have had multiple external searches without success.
> > 
> > What is missing from this announcement is how many applicants did they get
> > and what was the department looking for. Sometimes junky departments are
> > looking for a Jesus-Christ-Joan-Of-Arc (etc) to walk in, complete with
> > magic wand, and do wonders. I know of some searches where this is exactly
> > what they wanted and when people came to look at the job, they walked away
> > from it.
> 
>   Sounds like you had better go join Andelman. 

As usual you did not answer the questions I asked but tried to distract
 the conversation.

You both have decided
> that academics are by definition spawn of hell and that there is
> no possible way that they can be reasonable human beings doing a
> reasonable job. 

On the contrary, I have stated many times over the years that there are
many good, dedicated faculty out there as well as aloof, out-of-touch
robber-barrons. I even have an essay on my website
(http://scientistlifeboat.com) on how to find a good
postdoc. For those who want a career in academia I have an essay on what
needs to be in a CV and another essay on uncollegial behavior and these 
will help career survival.

About the only difference I can see between the two
> of you is that he paints ALL academics with the same brush, regardless
> of their level, while you believe that the faculty are merely mindless
> pawns being consumed by the dastardly machinations of an administration
> set to wring the last ounce of life-energy out them while lining their
> own pockets with fabric woven of gold thread.

For untenured and adjuncts, this is true. Just look at all the adjunct
websites and even read some of the posts here on src.

> > 
> > >   Have other people seen this trend? What do you feel are the
> > > problems driving it?
> > 
> > The problems are the "problems" associated with the job.
> 
>   This is, even for you, a new high in providing insightful, meaningful
> answers to a serious question. You've cleared the matter up so 
> succinctly that I wonder why I even had any questions about it. NOT!

I've been talking about the problems in detail for years. You don't read
OR respond to all the other posts by other people.

>   It is apparent from your response to this serious and reasonable
> question that you prefer not to engage in an intelligent discussion
> of the issue, but that you would rather present a diatribe against
> what you consider the forces of darkness. Whether this is the result
> of your animosity toward academic administrators or a knee-jerk
> reaction to the fact that I'm the individual posting the question
> is something I cannot tell, but frankly it makes no difference.

Anyone can see I respond to many other posts. Marc A has a different
position in life, with different hazards and has had some bad experience
with some academics,and he has a very "independent" personality. Sometimes
this is refreshing. I'd rather be independent than a sheep or an ostrich
with its head in the sand.

>   I would advise anyone interested in this thread to ignore any
> future responses by this individual until such time as he demonstrates
> a willingness to discuss in an intelligent manner the issues actually
> involved in the topic.

I advise anyone to appreciate their freedom of speech priviledges and
express their viewpoints, experiences with problems in life, and ask
questions. Beware of self-appointed censors.

Art Sowers

> Rich Lemert
> 
> > 
> > > Do you have any suggestions for solving the
> > > problem?
> > 
> > Not without a consulting fee and a STRONG consulting contract.
> > 
> > >   [I've heard that the same increase in demands is also occuring
> > > in industry, but that so far the rewards are still enough to
> > > compensate.
> > 
> > This is surely possible, and the rewards are MUCH better the higher up one
> > goes. The penalties are MUCH worse the farther down one goes.
> > 
> > > Does anyone have comments on the matter from the
> > > industrial side of the coin?]
> > 
> > Money, in sufficient quantity, solves most problems
> > 
> > Art Sowers
> > 
> .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
>  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
>   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
> .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
>  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
>   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
> 
> [filler inserted to retain every nuance of the post]
> 
> 




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