Higher Education Career Advice

Career Advice

Job interviews at the annual Modern Language Association convention contribute to a system that leads to graduate students' impoverishment, argues MLA head Paula M. Krebs.

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July 5, 2007
I'm wondering if you or your readers can shed any light on the issue of women being pregnant while on the job market. Every academic woman planning to become a mother has to weigh the timing of a pregnancy very carefully, and the general assumption is that you never want to be pregnant while you're on the job market. When you think about it from the perspective of the woman, however, we're often weighing many issues that can conflict with each-other: for example, whether a pregnancy is more feasible during graduate school--even with dissertation writing and teaching--than it is when you've gotten a tenure-track job, the question of when we can count on having health insurance, and the possibilities for any maternity leave. Most of the time, I think women try to time pregnancies so they can deliver a baby at the beginning of the summer and extend their time at home, but the timing of the (lengthy) academic job market process kills this possibility since anyone getting pregnant in the late summer would be very visibly pregnant during job interviews.
July 3, 2007
In my CC system, faculty members can teach a 5-5 or a 4-4 load. If we choose the 4-4 load, we do service work in place of the 5th course. I'm in English, and I'm gratefully taking the 4-4 option, to stay sane with fewer papers to grade. But how unusual is this arrangement? How many other CCs will allow a 4-4 load? I live in an expensive state and would love to move to a cheaper one, so I'm wondering, if I am able to get another job at a CC, how likely is it I'll be teaching a 5-5? And how do English teachers manage to teach 5 courses a semester, many or all of which are writing-intensive?
May 17, 2007
Oberlin's next president has been general counsel at the University of Michigan.
November 28, 2006
Eszter Hargittai explains why some e-mail sent to professors will be ignored and offers tips on how to get your queries answered.  
November 15, 2005
It's great when the person who just hired you makes you feel special, writes Shari Wilson. But don't expect it to last.

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