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So-you-want-to-be-a-Professor-of-Anthropology

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					        So you want to be a
    Professor of Anthropology?
• How the process works
• What to do now rather than later to prepare
• General strategies, common blunders, and a
  few myths dispelled
• Some things you need to know about the
  academy
       How the process works
• Department is given permission to hire
• Constitute a search committee (different
  memberships)
• Department decides what “sort of person”
  they want
  – by sub-discipline, area, theory, specific
    methodology, “targeted” etc
  – influence by make-up of dept, internal politics,
    who last retired, etc.
• Process usually begins start of August
  –   advertise Sept-Dec with closing dates Oct-Dec
  –   interview Jan-March to appoint for August
  –   AAAs in November (esp small schools)
  –   search committee needs to meet at each
      junction
• Job ad is written
  – sometimes casting wide, other times very
    specific.
  – Usually in AA News
• Candidates send in cv and materials
  requested
• Search committee individually reads all cvs
  and forms opinion
• Committee meets and develops consensus
  about “long list” (10-15)
• Referees send in requested letters
• Based on letters and cvs, committee draws
  up “short list” of 2-5 (usually with dept
  vote, usually 3)
• What is a good c.v.?
  – both looks and substance count
     • spelling, format, clarity, easy to navigate
     • inflation = death
  – evidence of potential for national stature
     • departments don’t want to hire someone who wont
       make tenure
     • any publication in peer-reviewed journals
     • conference papers/posters
     • “right” area/ topic/perspective
     • grant-getting ability
     • name recognition is good
     • quality of training - advisor, school, methods, post
       doc
     • year of PhD/ age
• Function of the C.V.
  –   triage wrong area/ field/ theory
  –   triage incompetence or poor training
  –   triage too little experience, too junior
  –   research is more impt than teaching
  –   contact info
           The cover letter
• Define your field “what I do”
• Explain holes in c.v
• Speak to the ad
• Every application should be serious
• Research plan “What I am going to do”
• Succinct dissertation synopsis and
  publication plans
• Teaching experience
• 2 pages always
• Reference letters
  – Will they finish the PhD in time?
  – Do I want to work with this person?
  – Will they be able to teach?
  – What strength and weaknesses does this person
    have?
  – Is this person a self-starter?
  – Will this person make tenure?
  – How well-connected is this person?
• Short list may be ranked
• Interviews scheduled, transportation
  arranged
• Don’t call or contact
• Schedule for visit (~2 days) drawn up
  –   meet one-on-one with faculty and admin
  –   give a job talk
  –   breakfast, lunch, dinner maybe reception
  –   “on” 24/7 - assume anything you say or do will
      be shared in-house, and with other potential
      employers
• On the visit people want to know
  –   Is your research interesting and accessible?
  –   Can you teach = job talk?
  –   Will you make a good colleague?
  –   Will you “fit”
  –   do the grad students like you?
  –   Do you have any hidden talents?
  –   Will you take the job?
  –   Are your expectations reasonable?
  –   How do you come across professionally?
• What counts in job interviews
  – Job talk counts
  – Manner counts
  – Professional demeanor counts
  – Attitude counts
  – Appearance counts
  – Ability to articulate research, and future
    research plans, approach to teaching
  – Homework
  – Gender, ethnicity, may count
• How do departments make a decision?
  – Based on vote, and approval of Dean etc
  – May have 1 or more that are acceptable, and
    rank them. Offers made in sequence.
  – Sometimes time to make a decisionis crucial,
    even if getting to a decision takes a long time.
  – Department votes can be very contentious
  – The reasons interviewees are less attractive can
    be political and temperamental, not just
    performance-based. Departments cannot be 2nd
    guessed.
  – Department votes are mostly people who do not
    know your field.
• What next?
  – Don’t call them, they’ll call you.
  – Usually get a call.
  – Begin negotiating.
  – This is when you *most* need advice from
    mentors.
  – Generally once you are offered a job you have
    the upper hand in negotiations because it took
    the dept months to get to this.
  – You choose between your offers and gratefully
    decline/accept.
  Some myths about the process
• There is an insider who will get the job
• I’m just finishing my PhD - how can I
  compete with those more senior
• I need to go to the AAAs and interview
• If I bug them, they will notice me
• An Ivy League degree trumps all
• If only they knew me, they’d reject me
• If I apply on the closing date/ interview last
  it will benefit me
• The process is random
               Some Realities
• Networking is extremely important
    – conferences, email, associations, esp in your
      field
•   Don’t just network up
•   Start now
•   People will respond positively
•   Promote your research vigorously
•   The competition is vigorous
•   Departments can shift what they want at any
    time of the process
• So, how do I plan ahead?
  – Get involved in faculty projects for research
    and publication experience
  – Get funding, whether you need it or not
  – Develop a teaching dossier
  – Do research other people will find interesting,
    in areas people want to hire
  – Think about referees now not later
     • Bad ref is the kiss of death
  – Look at C.V.s on the web for formatting clues
     • only professional activities in the c.v.
     • education, research experience, pubs, grants,
       associations, referees, no personal information
 Something You Need to Know
     about the Academy
• Gender issues
  – only 24% professors are women (28% at UGA)
  – women much less likely to get tenure or be
    promoted - 1 in 5 and 1 in 3 in tenured ranks at
    UGA, and get paid less
  – reasons include work/family conflicts, less
    networking, less self-promotion, as well as
    indiv and structural discrimination.
  – Women publish less but with higher citation
    ratings
  – networking is *extremely* important
• One of the most vulnerable times for
  women is when finishing PhD and
  transitioning to appointment
  – more likely to be “derailed” by the requirement
    to move.
• In general, academia is premised on
  constant criticism, and ability to persevere
  and learn from rejection is crucial.
• The profession is VERY small -- and
  anyone could help or hinder you getting a
  job offer/good tenure letter. People really
  talk to each other.
         General Resources
• AAA website
• Chronicle of Higher Education
  – www.chronicle.com
     • UGAanthro, 3LBRYA92

				
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