Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Is the market for professors of English becoming less thick?

That's the question raised by a recent article on the job market organized by the Modern Language Association: Realities of the Endless Search

 "The MLA meeting (until recently in late December and now in early January) has for decades been the primary place where search committees in English and foreign languages interviewed a large number of candidates and then selected a small group for campus visits. So the fall was the time for the initial vetting of the large pool to determine who was worthy of an MLA interview. Now, the schedule is much less firm. Susan Miller, English chair at Santa Fe College, a Florida community college, said that she has had searches in which money wasn’t available on the regular schedule, but then materialized late in the year. So the college advertised a job last March, "a really awkward time for a fall opening." But she said that the department didn’t want to lose its shot at the position, so it went ahead as soon as it could -- and in fact rushed the process, feeling that until someone had signed a contract, the position might disappear."

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