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Here is some information about the academic market. This information comes from various faculty
members. The comments here are generalizations, and will not necessarily apply to every situation.

Students who pursue a Ph.D. must consider whether the Ph.D. will satisfy their career goal. The typical
goal of finance Ph.D. students at FAU is to become a faculty member at a university that has a
reasonable balance of teaching and research. The program is designed to provide the background and
skills for this purpose. People who want a much heavier weight on academic research (such as being a
researcher at Stanford) should select a Ph.D. program (such as University of Chicago or MIT) that
trains them for that purpose. People who want to work on Wall Street or in various businesses should
first determine whether they need a Ph.D. for that purpose. In many cases, spending 4 years beyond a
master‟s degree to pursue a Ph.D. might not be necessary to achieve those goals. There are some Wall
Street jobs that require a Ph.D. but many of these jobs are weighted heavily toward quantitative
research (such as designing new derivatives products), and FAU‟s Ph.D. program is not focused on this
type of training.

FAU‟s finance Ph.D. program is full-time and should be considered only by people who would be able
to commit four years full-time to the program. FAU does not have a shortcut finance program for
people who are seeking a quick Ph.D. There are many programs that advertise online “get your Ph.D.
within 1 year or less” or “credit for lifetime experience” etc. that may be more appropriate for people
who want to obtain a Ph.D. quickly and without adjusting their work schedule or life style. However,
anyone pursuing degrees from those programs is advised to obtain information about whether that
degree will enable them to achieve their career goals. In general, it is more difficult for people with a
Ph.D. from shortcut programs to obtain a faculty position at an accredited university.

Some people consider pursuing a Ph.D. even though they have no plans to pursue a career once they
attain the degree. For example, they may have already been successful in the business world, and want
a Ph.D. just because they have an interest in finance. However, the Ph.D. program trains students to do
academic research. People who have a natural curiosity about finance but do not plan to use the degree
for university teaching may be better off learning finance on their own. Academic research is quite
different from practical finance literature, because it is more technical and involves lengthy processes
for conducting research. People who think they want to pursue a Ph.D. just for fun should read some
articles in academic finance journals such as Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Finance, and
Journal of Financial Research and should ask themselves whether they would have a consistent interest
in learning and doing this type of research over a four-year period in which they would be in a Ph.D.
The academic job market in finance represents the interaction between the finance departments at
universities that have open positions, and the finance Ph.D. candidates that are working on their
dissertation and are seeking a position. In general, the academic job market has been very good. The
demand and supply conditions have been more favorable for finance Ph.D. candidates than for Ph.D.
students in most other areas of concentration throughout the university. In most years, the number of
jobs available for finance faculty members exceeds the number of Ph.D. students who are in the job

However, this does not mean that you can expect to land a faculty position at the university of your
choice or even in the state of your choice. Many finance departments do not have an open position in a
given year. When a finance department has an opening for a faculty position, it may receive more than
100 resumes. If there are 100 job openings and 100 candidates, all the candidates may ultimately find a
position, but not necessarily in their most desired state or the region of the U.S. Even though you may
have some preferences about a region of the U.S. where you might be hired as a faculty member, keep
an open mind so that you reduce your chances of being disappointed.


The salaries offered for faculty positions in finance are high. They are generally higher than salaries
offered for faculty positions in most other areas of concentration in a university. The mean salary level
for new faculty positions in finance can increase or decrease from one year to the next, depending on
changes in the open positions and the supply of candidates in the job market.

It is natural to be curious about salary levels in the job market. However, be careful when interpreting
the information that you receive. There is substantial variation among salaries offered by finance
departments, and news about the unusually high salary offers tend to receive more attention than the
other salary offers, which creates a general upward bias in the perception of salaries. For example, a
person who takes a faculty position at Stanford or MIT in finance may earn an unusually high salary,
but that salary is not representative of the market. At the other extreme, a person who takes a faculty
position at a very small college that is completely focused on teaching may earn a lower salary than the
norm in the job market. Most students who complete their Ph.D. in finance at FAU are hired for
faculty positions at regional universities (numerous examples are listed on the course web site), which
offer salaries in between these two extreme examples described above.

Do not overestimate the general market salary, so that you will not be disappointed. In fact, if you
maintain conservative expectations, you may be pleasantly surprised at the salary offer you receive
once you are in the job market. You may hear some general information about existing salary offers
from other finance Ph.D. students at FAU who are presently in the job market. Keep in mind that the

salaries offered to FAU finance Ph.D. candidates have varied substantially in a given year, as some
FAU finance Ph.D. candidates have been more marketable than others. Hopefully, the information
provided here will help you to be more marketable. You have control over some of the factors that
affect your marketability.

The hiring process by a finance department is often more involved than the process used in industry, as
explained here. If you understand how a finance department screens its applicants, you may be able to
build a resume that will make you more marketable when you enter the job market.

First, it is important to realize that most graduates of Ph.D. programs take jobs at other universities.
This normally means that they will need to relocate. Some graduates attempt to attain faculty positions
at universities in the south Florida area. This happens occasionally. However, these universities do not
have job openings every year. In addition, they prefer to hire faculty members with diverse
backgrounds in terms of their training, so they may avoid loading up on FAU faculty.


A department may pursue a candidate who is just completing the Ph.D. for an assistant professor
position, or an experienced candidate who is at the associate professor or professor level. Some
departments may consider candidates who are at any one of those three levels.

Job Description

The department specifies the general duties required such as the particular courses that the person hired
would teach. The job description may also specify that research is required. A research-oriented
university may specify that the job requires substantial research and publication of research.
Conversely, a university that has very little research requirements may specify a high teaching load
within the job description. Some universities fall in between these two extremes, and may specify a
balanced blend of teaching, research, and service. The job description is a means by which the
department can indicate it is pursuing a candidate to serve as a major researcher, or to primarily teach


When a university receives resumes for its open position, it will attempt to screen the applicant pool
down to about 10 or 20 applicants. It screens the resumes based on the job description of the open
position. Some of the more common criteria are identified here for finance departments. In general, a
finance department would like to hire a candidate that will do an excellent job in teaching, research,
and service, without the need to be pushed in order to do their job.

Teaching Background or Preferences

The teaching ability of candidates may be measured by their educational background and teaching
experience. Thus, a finance department may assess a resume to determine whether the candidate has
had special course work or performed research on the main topics covered by the course. Some
candidates may also have real-world experience that can be useful in the classroom, especially when
there is a need to apply theory to practice.

Candidates with teaching experience are desirable because they already have invested the time to
create course preparations. In addition, they have teaching evaluations by their students, and grades
that they assigned to their students. This information indicates their performance (from the perspective
of students) along with their grading standards and level of rigor.

Another important characteristic is a candidate‟s willingness to teach a variety of courses. Some
finance departments may need a faculty member who can teach two or three different courses in a
given semester.

Research Potential

A candidate‟s pedigree serves as an indicator of their research potential. In the field of finance,
graduates of high-powered research universities are perceived to have more research potential than
graduates of other universities, and rightfully so. They likely had more exposure to research than most
other candidates, and may be the best qualified for faculty positions that have a very heavy weight
toward research. However, in most years, less than 10 percent of the open finance faculty positions
available are at universities that require a very heavy weight toward research. If a person wants to
pursue a high powered research job in finance at a university such as Stanford or University of
Chicago, they would need to (1) have the credentials to get in a graduate program at a top tier research
university, (2) get through that PhD program.

Most finance departments (even those that emphasize teaching) seek candidates who are capable of
doing some research. Important indicators of research potential include any papers that you had
published or accepted for publication in journals, or working papers. In addition, your participation at
conferences on research papers (such as presentation of papers, discussion of papers) may serve as an
indicator. One of the most important indicators is the candidate‟s discipline. Some candidates tend to
achieve their work goals in a timely manner, while others are more talk than action. Finance
departments attempt to pursue candidates who have the discipline to complete their research ideas and
do not have to be pushed to perform their research obligations. When PhD students submit working
papers to journals while they are in their PhD program, this may signal that they are organized and
disciplined and will be able to meet research obligations when they take a faculty position (as they will

have more time to focus on research then). Candidates who are less organized and disciplined may be
less likely to complete their research obligations, regardless of their intelligence.


Departments hope to hire someone who demonstrates collegiality. The term collegiality is defined here
as a willingness to work with others within a department, or throughout the university. Here are some
examples of collegiality:
*working on research with others,
*being willing to offer research advice to colleagues even when you are not a co-author,
*sharing your teaching ideas with other colleagues who have an interest, and
*volunteering for committee assignments, even when you are not assigned to do them.

In general, collegiality means that you are a team player, and serve the department or university, even
when your efforts are not directly beneficial to yourself. Some faculty members do their assigned
tasks and volunteer to cover some other services (such as advising) when needed.

While some people are very collegial and make great team players, there are other people who can
cause friction within a department. First, they do not cover their share of responsibilities within the
department. Second, they take credit for work performed by others. Third, they attempt to turn one or
more colleagues against others. Fourth, they complain constantly that they have been given less
resources and compensation than everyone else. Fifth, rather than attempt to boost their own
productivity, they criticize the productivity of others. That is, they attempt to reach the top by pulling
everyone else below them. A single non-collegial person can destroy the morale of a department. Thus,
departments attempt to avoid hiring candidates who lack collegiality. During the time you are in a PhD
program, you will have many opportunities to demonstrate your collegiality. In general, your treatment
of fellow PhD students during your PhD program may serve as an indicator of how you would treat
fellow faculty members once you are a faculty member.


Finance departments also seek candidates who have initiative. For example, they may want to hire a
person who takes the initiative to do some tasks (such as advising students) that may be part of the job
even if these tasks are not officially listed in their job description. In addition, they may want to hire a
person who takes the initiative to do their job (and do it well) without being monitored. This is a very
important factor, perhaps more important than many Ph.D. students realize. From the department‟s
perspective, it pays faculty members a decent salary, and expects that its faculty members will perform
their duties without being constantly monitored. By the time Ph.D. students are in the job market, they
would have had many chances to demonstrate their initiative (or lack of it), including their willingness
or ability to:
*attend all classes (and on time),

*complete assignments on time,
*initiate their research ideas,
*learn unusual computer or other skills on their own,
*cover all of their responsibilities without having to be prompted.

Dissertation Topic and Status

A finance department commonly screens resumes in the fall and spring semesters for a position that
will begin in the following fall semester. Thus, many candidates who expect to complete their Ph.D. by
the following fall semester have not yet completed their dissertation when they submit their resumes.
The status of the dissertation is critical. The status should indicate whether the candidate has officially
completed the dissertation, and if not, how much work still needs to be done. Your dissertation
progress will likely influence the number of interviews you have at finance conferences or on

There are cases in which the candidates are not finished with their dissertation when they take a job.
They often have difficulty in doing their job duties while trying to complete their dissertation.
Departments want to hire someone who has completed their dissertation and can focus completely on
the job that they were hired to do. Consequently, departments may screen out candidates who appear to
have much work remaining on their dissertation.


Consider the following example in which a Finance Department of a university wants to hire a faculty
member starting in the fall semester. It will start the screening process about one year before the time
at which the faculty member will be employed.

Position Approval
Tom Barkley, the chair of the Finance Department, notices in July that the recent enrollment for
finance courses has increased, and that most of the classes were completely full last semester. He
writes a memo to the university administration about why he needs funding to hire an additional
faculty member. While he wishes he could hire someone immediately, he realizes that the screening
process will likely take about a year. So he requests a new faculty member position for the following
September (14 months from now) when that fall semester begins.

Tom specifies the job description (types of courses that the new faculty member would teach) and the
salary that he would need to pay to attract a qualified candidate. He also explains why he needs to hire
a new faculty member. A common argument is the need to offer additional courses to satisfy the
increasing enrollment, or to replace a faculty member who retired or left the department for other

University administrators receive more requests from department chairs to hire faculty members than
they can accommodate, because the university has a limited budget. In some cases, a position will be
tentatively approved, and then eliminated several months later because the budget was worse than

Placing an Ad
Once Tom receives approval for the position, he creates a job description for a new faculty member,
which specifies the typical courses that would be taught, and mentions that there are research
expectations. He mentions in the ad that he and other faculty members in the department will be
attending the upcoming Financial Management conference in October and that he would like to
interview candidates there. He provides his email and regular mail addresses. He places the ad in
August, about two months before he goes to the conference, and about 12 months before a new faculty
member would be employed.

First Screen of Applications
During the next month, Tom receives 100 applications for the position by Ph.D. students who are
presently at the A.B.D. (all but dissertation) stage and are hoping to complete their dissertation in
about one year. He plans to interview about 14 candidates at the upcoming Financial Management
conference. He will first screen the stack of 100 applications down to 14 candidates, and will then call
the candidates to schedule a one-hour interview period for each of the 14 candidates at the meeting. He
recognizes that each of these candidates is attempting to get interviews at other universities as well, so
he wants to complete his initial screening of the 100 applications quickly. He asks four of his faculty
members to review the resumes of the candidates, and provide a list of the candidates that he should
interview. Tom invites this input because a new faculty member will likely be working on research and
on service committee assignments with the existing faculty members in the department. It is important
to hire a candidate who will work well with existing faculty members.

Tom receives the list of the top candidates from each faculty member. Tom identifies 8 candidates that
are named on each list, but it is more difficult to determine which of the other candidates should be
interviewed. Tom organizes a meeting with the faculty members to come to a consensus on an
additional 6 candidates to be interviewed. He then contacts the 14 candidates and schedules a one-hour
interview with each candidate.

Interviews at Conference
In October, Tom goes to the Financial Management conference. He prepares a summary of his
department‟s goals and the backgrounds of his faculty members, which he provides to each candidate.
He also prepares the following list of questions that he asks each candidate:
*Would you be comfortable teaching the specific courses that need to be taught?
*What is the status of your dissertation?
*When do you expect to have your dissertation completed?

*What type of research do you intend to do?
*What is your teaching philosophy?

After each interview, Tom fills out a report about each candidate. Some candidates received favorable
comments such as:
*enjoys teaching the types of courses that need to be taught,
*is very interested in a job at our university, and
*should finish with the dissertation within 5 months.

Some other candidates received unfavorable comments, such as:
*seems disinterested in teaching,
*does not have social skills,
*views our university as a last resort if he does not get a job elsewhere,
*has not even started on the dissertation, and
*lacks the intellectual curiosity to do research.

After Tom returns from the meeting, he provides his comments about each candidate to his faculty
members. The unfavorable comments allowed Tom and his faculty members to eliminate some of the
candidates from the list. Based on his interviews and the input of faculty members, the list of 14
candidates is reduced to 8 candidates.

Second Screening
Tom then asked his faculty for recommendations on the top three candidates to invite for a campus
interview. He used a limit of three for a campus visit because it is too expensive and time-consuming
to bring in all 8 remaining candidates. He and his faculty members narrow the list to 3 finalist
candidates that should be invited for a campus visit. They also identify 2 other candidates that should
be considered if none of the first 3 candidates work out.

Based on this screening process, 9 of the 14 candidates that were interviewed are eliminated from
further consideration. Tom writes a letter to the 9 candidates who have been eliminated and tells them
that they are no longer being considered. He then contacts the top three candidates and arranges a
separate 2-day period for each of the 3 finalist candidates to visit his department and campus. Finally,
he contacts the 2 candidates who should also be considered if none of the first three candidates work
out, and informs them that they are still being considered, and that he will be back in touch with them
in a few months.

Conducting Interviews on Campus
During the month of November, each of the 3 finalist candidates is invited to campus for a 2-day
interview. For each campus visit, Tom sets up a schedule so that the candidate can meet separately for
one hour with each faculty member in the department, along with a few university administrators. In
addition, a one-hour period is scheduled for the candidate to present his or her dissertation topic. This

enables the department to assess the communication and research skills of the candidate. In addition,
the department can judge the candidate‟s progress on the dissertation, and the likelihood that the
dissertation will be completed by next fall. After the presentation, Tom also takes the candidate to
dinner, and invites a few faculty members to come along. The dinner allows for a more relaxed
atmosphere in which the faculty can further assess the candidate, and the candidate can assess the
department. The campus visit allows the department to learn more about the candidate and the
candidate to learn more about the department to determine if there is a “fit.”

Making an Offer
By the end of November, all three finalist candidates had their campus visit, and Tom asks the faculty
for their opinions about each candidate. Tom and the faculty members rank the candidates. They
conclude from their collective opinions that two of the three candidates would be acceptable. The third
candidate would not be given further consideration, because his presentation showed some deficiencies
in his research skills and his communication skills. In January, Tom extends an offer to Karen Wilson,
their “top choice” candidate who was rated the highest by the department. Karen responds that she will
be going on campus visits to two other universities in February, and asks Tom if he can defer his
decision until the end of February. Tom is concerned about waiting so long, but agrees to the request
because he believes that Karen will likely accept the offer.

At the end of February, Karen informs Tom that she has accepted another university. Tom then calls
Mike Martin, the “second choice” candidate who he and his department rated highly, and extends an
offer to him. Mike responds that he recently accepted a job offer from another university, and that he
probably would have accepted Tom‟s offer had he called her a month ago. In this case, Tom‟s gamble
of waiting on the top candidate did not pay off, and suddenly Tom and his department are scrambling
to hire someone for the position before every qualified candidate takes a job elsewhere.

Recall that Tom and his department identified two candidates that deserved consideration if none of
their top 3 candidates worked out. Tom calls each of these two candidates to invite them for a campus
visit in March. Both of the candidates have their campus visit. At the end of March, Tom extends a job
offer to one of these candidates, who accepts Tom‟s offer in mid-April.

Summary of Process
The process described here is typical for many universities. Given the different schedules of Ph.D.
students and departments, and the time needed to schedule long distance trips, the campus interviews
stretch over several months. Even if a university is very organized, it may have to wait until a specific
candidate has completed his or her campus visits. Of course, it can impose a short deadline for an
answer to its job offer, but may then lose out on the ideal candidate. Because it takes so long for the
job market to clear, it is understandable why the screening process may begin 12 to 14 months before
the position is filled. A key lesson is that the hiring process is slow, and it helps to keep your options
open. Do not automatically assume that you will be hired by a specific university, because there are
many factors and people involved in the hiring decision. Control what you can control to maximize

your marketability, but do not let the anxiety of the job market absorb most of your time. Some
candidates do not complete their dissertation before taking a job because they lose focus while in the
job market.


Now that you understand how the interviewing process works for a university, you can understand how
you can use the interviewing process to make yourself more marketable. By increasing your
marketability, you may be able to increase your number of interviews at a conference, your number of
campus interviews, and your number of job offers. Thus, you are more likely to achieve a job at a
university that you desire and at a salary that is acceptable to you.

The suggestions here are general and do not cover everything. Your dissertation chair or other faculty
members may have other suggestions for you.


To be seriously considered for a full-time tenure track position, you need to be at the A.B.D. (all but
dissertation) stage by the time you submit your resume to the Financial Management job market web
site. In addition, you should have a dissertation idea by this time, and a dissertation proposal that is
accepted by the time of the Financial Management conference. Some Ph.D. students enter the job
market too early. Universities attempt to screen out candidates who are not likely to complete their
Ph.D. by the time the job begins.

Some Ph.D. students may feel that they have nothing to lose by entering the job market early.
However, there are some reasons why interviewing early can adversely affect you. First, the
interviewing process takes time and money, and you may have used the time better by making more
progress on completing your degree. Second, if you enter the job market early, some universities that
interview you at that time will remember you when you are back in the market the next year. They may
conclude (whether correctly or not) that you thought you were going to complete your degree last year,
and apparently did not (since you are still looking for a job). So they question your view that you really
will complete your degree this year. It is well known that many A.B.D.s never finish their dissertation,
and Ph.D. students who are in the market repeatedly may be branded as a potentially “permanent

Even if you obtain a job when entering the job market too early, you will have to finish your
dissertation at the university where you take a job. That university did not hire you to work on your
dissertation, as it is paying you to do teaching, research, and service assignments. Consequently, you
would have to juggle the dissertation work with your other assignments. The university may reduce the

salary paid to you until you have completed your dissertation. In addition, it may impose a deadline
date in which you must complete your dissertation, or your contract may be terminated. You have less
time to do what you were paid to do, and your performance could be weak as a result. If you receive
weak ratings on your performance in the first year, it may be difficult to overcome in order to achieve
promotion or tenure in the future. Ph.D. students who enter the job market too early will likely be
adversely affected in the long run, even if they do everything else right.


Some universities only consider candidates who attend the national conference and are interviewed
there. But since their interview schedule fills up, you need to send them a resume before the
conference. If you do not get an interview at the annual conference, you might not be considered by the
university. Therefore, attempt to go to the national conference in the year in which you are in the job

Some Ph.D. students do not go to the national conference because they are busy working on their
dissertation or because the travel expenses are too high. Yet, they may give up job opportunities as a
result of missing the conference. While there are many distractions during a Ph.D. program that should
be avoided, this is one distraction that is worthwhile. It may affect your career path.

It may be to your advantage to participate in the conference by presenting a paper or serving in some
other capacity. However, only consider such participation if it will not slow your progress on your
dissertation. If possible, plan in advance to submit a paper that you have developed in some depth,
which can demonstrate to attendees (which may include prospective employers) your research and
presentation skills.


Make sure that your resume is organized and has no typos. A resume that is disorganized and contains
typos may reflect on the person. While the format of the resume varies across candidates, the typical
components are listed here:

Your Career Objective

Most candidates write something like this “Tenure-track position with balanced teaching and
research”. This should be brief.

Educational Achievements
List the degrees you hold, institutions granting the degrees, and the year in which each degree was
conferred, beginning with your doctorate, and ending with your bachelor‟s degree. Under your

doctorate, include the title of your dissertation and date of defense or expected date of defense (if

Some students who perform very well in their courses list their grade point average next to their

Work Experience
If you have held a teaching position, state your place of employment, dates of employment, and
teaching assignments, ending with your most recent semester. Include course titles and perhaps a brief
summary of the course content for courses you taught. If you are recently out of a doctoral program,
summarize your experiences as a teaching and/or research assistant. Include information on
technological skills developed as a graduate assistant.

Publications or Papers Under Review
Include the title, names of coauthors, the journal where the paper is under review, and status (first
submission, revise and resubmit, under second review, under third review, etc.).

Working Papers
Include the title of a few of your working papers and a short abstract of your research idea and/or
results. If you are working on your dissertation, then a description of your dissertation research will
suffice here. Do not list research that you have not yet done. You might be asked to discuss your
research idea and working paper in an interview or a campus visit and you should be able to describe it
in detail. Do not list too many working papers; it may look as though you do not know how to focus
and actually get a paper towards completion. The objective is to show that you have a research
pipeline, and are able to generate research ideas without getting overwhelmed. A few good-quality and
developed papers that you can discuss comfortably will convey this.

Conference Proceedings and Presentations
List, in order of first to most recent, the titles of all papers presented at conferences, as well as the
name of the conference, the date, and the location of the conference. If your presentation was invited,
this is a signal that your work is well known and/or respected, and you should document this as well.

Professional Affiliations
If you have participated in a national or regional conference in your field, state your membership in the
organization sponsoring the event. You may have industry organization affiliations as well, which
should be listed.

Honors and Awards
If you received any doctoral dissertation awards, fellowships, competitive research grants, teaching or
research awards, state the kind of award, a brief description, and the date.

The number of references one should submit varies by field. However, provide the names, positions,
and contact information for at least three professional references, including your dissertation chair.
Ideally, you want to select references who can verify whatever attributes you wish to make known,
such as excellent performance in courses, or as a research assistant, or when teaching. Your
dissertation chair can summarize your progress on your dissertation as of the time that the reference
letter is written.


You need to submit your resumes to universities before the annual conference where interviews are
conducted. Some universities make their decisions on who to interview a few weeks before the
conference, based on the resumes they have received. Thus, your resume needs to be received by the
university by the time that the respective department screens the resumes. Even if you submitted your
resume to the Financial Management resume, you can still benefit from sending your resume to every
university that has an open position for which you want to be considered. When you submit your
resume to a university, you are confirming your interest to that university. Finance departments do not
want to waste their time interviewing candidates who may not be interested in working there. Thus,
they may develop their interview list directly from the resumes that they received, rather than screen
from the Financial Management web site. However, some other universities may screen from the
Financial Management web site, so you should also have your resume posted there.

Consolidate Your Resume and Related Information
Some universities may require samples of research papers that you have written and letters of
recommendation, and student evaluations of courses you taught while you were in the Ph.D. program.
Consolidate all this information in one package, and send the entire package along with your resume
(unless you are requested by the university to follow a different procedure). This ensures that all
information about you is together.

Consider what happens when an applicant sends in a resume, and that is followed up with three
separate letters of recommendation, and a research paper. That results in 5 pieces of mail. Now
consider that the department may receive 100 or more applications. If all pieces of the mail are sent
separately, the department may have 500 pieces that it needs to organize by applicant. You can reduce
the chance that the university will misplace some of your information if you submit one complete
package. This means that you would obtain the letters of recommendation, and make copies to include
in your package.

Another advantage of this process is that you do not have to ask your professors to send out numerous
letters for you. In addition, you have full control to ensure that the letters are sent to the universities
where you want to apply for a position. This process may seem expensive, but it can affect your career

Include Extra Information
Universities are often very concerned with student satisfaction and your ability and willingness to work
with the students. Provide information about your familiarity with online pedagogical tools such as
Blackboard, and your strengths in terms of presentation. On a separate sheet, you may summarize your
student evaluations and grade distribution for each course that you have taught. An example is shown
in the following table. If you have the departmental summary of ratings for the course you taught
(which is based on the ratings of all instructors who taught the same course in that semester), you
could include that as well for comparison purposes.

                        Sample of a Summary Evaluation Sheet

Summary of my student evaluations of my teaching in Finance 3403 over the last three semesters;
scale is 1 to 5, with 1 being the best rating.

                        Finance 3403, fall    Finance 3403,          Finance 3403,
                        semester              spring semester        summer semester
Organization skills     2.4                   2.1                    1.9
Willingness to assist   2.6                   2.4                    2.1
Ability to              2.2                   2.3                    2.0
Fairness in grading     1.5                   1.4                    1.4
Availability outside    2.7                   2.4                    2.3
of class
Overall rating of       2.4                   2.2                    1.9

Number of students      23                    29                     18
who provided an
Average grade           2.4                   2.6                    2.7
assigned to students
by the instructor
based on 4-point
scale (A=1, B=2,
C=3, D=4)

This single summary sheet provides a substantial amount of useful information about teaching

You may consider providing the FAU link to student evaluations (if it is not password protected),
because that would allow the universities to more closely assess your evaluations in comparison to


Some universities may attend some regional conferences so that they can interview some desirable
candidates who were not at the national conference, or with whom they would like to have a second
interview. When you submit your resume to a university, you may mention which conferences you will
be at, and can inquire whether the university will conduct interviews at any other conferences besides
the national conference.


From the earlier example that describes how a university screens its applicants, recognize that
universities sometimes spend too much time on the wrong candidates. Many universities may try to
choose from a small set of candidates who have the best qualifications. If there are 50 universities that
are focused on hiring the top 10 candidates, 40 of those universities will come up short. Once they
realize that they will not be able to hire from that small set of candidates, they may be more willing to
consider other applicants who have expressed an interest in them. For this reason, it may be
worthwhile to periodically prompt a university in which you are interested. You may have been “put
on hold” for months before they realize that they will not be able to hire their top candidate or even
their top five candidates. Even if they started their search process in August, they may not realize this
until February or later.

Some universities are embarrassed to acknowledge that you are placed on hold, so they may send a
vague letter that simply says they will get back to you later. This is frustrating to applicants, who often
conclude after several months that the university must have hired someone else. Since it is possible
that you are being considered several months later, prompt the university to determine your status. A
simple way to prompt the university without being overly aggressive is to email the chair of the
department or whoever is conducting the search, and mention that you are still interested in the
position and would like to know if the position is still open. You may also take this opportunity to
attach your resume to the message, especially if you have anything new added to it since you first
applied to that university. You may also include an update on how you are progressing on your
dissertation within this message.

Because of the screening process described above, the recruiting process can take several months. You
can not speed up the process. But you do have control over your progress on your dissertation by the
time that you are interviewed. You also have control over completing working papers and doing a
good job in the classroom (which affect teaching evaluations, and therefore your marketability). Try to

focus on making progress on the things you can control. We have had some graduates receive an offer
in November and others receive an offer in June (or even July for a visiting professor position).


Prior to the conference, finance departments contact candidates to set up interviews. Keep an hourly
schedule for the days of the conference that you can use to record interview times. Have this schedule
available when you receive calls so that you know what times you have open.

If you are contacted for an interview, prepare for it. You can demonstrate your interest in the university
by searching online for information about the university. Also attempt to identify other faculty
members in the department and determine if you share similar teaching or research interests with them.
Department chairs may serve as the key contact person at a university, but other faculty members
within the department may have just as much influence on the hiring decision. Some department
members may be involved in an interview at a conference. All of them will likely be involved in a
campus interview.

When you arrive at the conference, call each of the people who you are supposed to meet for
interviews and ask what room they are in at the hotel. It is better to do this for all people all at once so
that you are not scrambling to do this in between interviews. Consider that there may be more than 100
candidates who finish their interviews at about 10 minutes before the hour and then go to the lobby
phones to find the room for their next interview. There may not be enough phones to satisfy everyone
at that time. You may be on the 10th floor for one interview that ends, rush down to the lobby, wait for
a phone, and then find out that your next interview is on the 11th floor. You could make your 10 minute
break between interviews more relaxing if you already know where all of your interviews are.

The Interview
Make sure you wear a suit to your interviews. At the FMA meeting, most people wear a suit during the
day. Also, bring a folder that contains your interview schedule, copies of your resume, your teaching
evaluations, or anything that you want to interviewer to have. You may have already sent this
information to each school that is interviewing you, but some interviewers may not be so organized.

The interviewer may be a department chair or a faculty member. In some cases, there is a department
chair with other faculty members. The interviewer attempts to determine whether you would be a good
fit at their university. If you come across as self-centered, you are less likely to appease the
department‟s faculty members than a candidate who appears willing to be involved in helping the
department perform well. It is natural to be curious about what the university can provide to you, and if
you fail to ask questions about the university‟s resources, you may be perceived as disinterested or
using the campus visit as a trial run. But if your questions during the interview show no interest in the
backgrounds of the department‟s faculty members, it may suggest that you will not be a good team

player. After all, you are normally expected to show your better side during an interview that could
help you get the job you want. Common questions by candidates include:
*what data bases does the university have available? (such as CRSP or Compustat)
*what is the teaching load per semester?
*what is the number of course preps per semester?

If you do not show an interest in other potential future colleagues at the interview, you probably will
not show an interest in others after getting the job offer. If you come across as arrogant, or “too good”
for the position you are interviewing for, you may develop a reputation in the field.

One way to demonstrate your interest in your potential colleagues is to do some online searches of the
research that they had published. You may find that you have some research interests in common with
them, and indicate that to them. Thus, they may recognize that having you as a colleague may enhance
their own research productivity. The department might feel that you will bring new resources to the
department. That is, you would not only contribute your own research but would make others more
productive through collaborative research. An interest in the institution is also viewed favorably. Your
online search will indicate what kinds of programs the university has (masters degrees, Ph.D.s,
specialized programs).

After you leave the interview and before you start your next interview, write down any notes about the
university (such as its teaching load, and its computer facilities). You might even prepare a spreadsheet
before you go to the conference so that you can fill in info such as the teaching load and data bases
available for every university. If you have many interviews, it is difficult to keep track of which
interviewer said what, so a brief written summary is very important.


If the interview on campus requires a presentation of your dissertation, be prepared for the
presentation. While most candidates prepare, they may not display some of the characteristics that the
department with the open position desires. Specifically, here are some of the more common mistakes
that are made in a presentation:

   1. The presenter is not organized. It leads the department to question whether the candidate would
      prepare properly when teaching a class.

   2. The presenter is unwilling to consider alternative views. A department‟s faculty members will
      often ask questions or even offer criticism during a presentation. The criticism is normally
      constructive, and intended to offer ways in which the presenter may refine his dissertation. He
      does not have to agree with every viewpoint, but should at least be willing to consider
      alternative views. If he shows a narrow-minded view at this presentation, he may exhibit that

       same trait later on if hired, which limits his ability to work on research or on committees with
       other colleagues.

   3. The presenter demonstrates by his limited presentation that the dissertation is far from
      completion. A presenter cannot really do anything during the presentation if his dissertation is
      far from completion. But he needs to recognize that his likelihood of finishing his dissertation
      by the time he would be employed might be the most important single characteristic during the
      campus interview that is used by the department when they make a hiring decision.

   4. The presentation takes much longer than expected. A presenter should be skilled at keeping a
      presentation within the time allotted for it. If he is allotted 1 hour and if the audience questions
      normally take about 20 minutes, he should prepare a 40-minute presentation and should
      practice it to ensure that it can be done within the proper time. An excessively long presentation
      might suggest that the candidate is unable to organize a set of thoughts within a given time
      period. This might suggest that the presenter would not be able to complete class lectures
      within the designated time periods.


While a department chair may officially communicate a job offer, the faculty members within the
department normally have much influence on the hiring decision. Any candidate who is hired will be
working closely with other faculty members who share common teaching or research interests. Thus, it
is natural that faculty members participate heavily in the hiring process. Some candidates tend to take a
political slant when they pursue a job, in which they attempt to assess the organizational chart so that
they can appease those at a university who have all the power. But they may not realize that a
department chair is a representative for faculty members, and normally attempts to make hiring
decisions that will satisfy faculty members while meeting the job description goals. In general, faculty
members will sense the political slant of a candidate who seems more interested in meeting the high-
ranking administrators and less interested in them. Faculty members hope that they can hire someone
who is willing to work with them, not someone who views them as irrelevant.


If you are fortunate enough to be able to choose between job offers, then consider the characteristics of
the job offers, such as base salary, benefits, the retirement plan, summer research support, funding for
travel to conferences, the availability of research or teaching assistants, institutional assistance for
grantwriting, class size, available data or software, and cost of living. Evaluate the entire compensation
package, and then make a decision on that basis. In order to find the answers to these questions, ask the
department chair about where you can look for more information.

It is also important to look for indicators of the institutional culture while on your campus visit. Do you
detect factions in the department or people badmouthing one another? Do teaching loads appear to be
tied to research productivity or are decisions made on a completely political basis? Is the department a
“revolving door” where all of the faculty leave as soon as they can find another position? If there are
new faculty members, what kinds of research records do they have?

While you do not want to appear too aggressive or demanding, it is important to get the information
you need while you are on campus so that you can make an informed decision. Below is a checklist of
potential considerations and questions you may want to investigate when you are on campus. Not all
considerations are equally important to every job applicant, and the relative weightings will differ
based on each individual‟s priorities. Keep in mind that you will most likely have to make tradeoffs
when you make your final job decision; no job is going to meet every one of your considerations

Factors to Assess When Considering a Prospective University Employer

Consideration                   Suggested questions                              Your Weighting
                                                                                 and Score
Salary                          Is the salary competitive?
                                Is the salary consistent with the work load?
                                How are salary adjustment decisions made?
                                What determines who gets merit pay
                                What is the process for obtaining a market
Cost of Living                  Will you be able to support the kind of
                                lifestyle you want given the cost of living in
                                the area?
                                How far are you willing to commute to be
                                able to afford acceptable housing? [Perhaps
                                you can meet with a real estate agent to
                                learn more about the housing situation.]
                                What is the median home price?
                                How much are property taxes?
                                What is the average car insurance premium?
                                What is the average homeowners‟ insurance
Pension - Vesting               What is the employer‟s contribution
                                towards a retirement plan?
                                How long do you need to be employed
                                before the employer contributes?

Healthcare Benefits         What plans are offered to employees?
                            What is covered under your plan?
                            How much will your monthly premium be?
Tenure Requirements
Childcare                   How much does childcare cost in the area?
                            Does the university provide any day care
                            centers on site or through partnerships with
                            local day care centers?
Quality of Administration   What are the university‟s long-term goals?
                            If it is a private university, is it fiscally
                            Does it have a large endowment?
                            Does the administration seek financial
                            external support?
Politics                    Are there any noticeable open hostilities
                            between faculty members?
                            Is there a tremendous amount of faculty
                            Is the faculty productive?
Face Time Expectations      Do faculty come in to the department to
                            work 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day?
                            Do they expect that you will work from
                            home or on site?
Research vs. Teaching       Does the university have a balance of
Orientation                 research and teaching components of
                            faculty job description, or is it primarily a
                            research or teaching university?
                            Does the department encourage pedagogical
                            research and innovation?
                            What are the requirements for office hours?
Moving Expenses             What is the dollar amount the university
                            will pay for your moving expenses?
Bureaucracy                 Does the department appear to operate
Research Support            Does the university have the
                            equipment/data/technical resources you
                            need for your research?
                            Are summer research grants available?
                            If research grants are competitive, what are
                            the criteria to apply?
                            Does the university have technical, network,

                            and/or mechanical support for faculty?
                            Does the university pay journal submission
                            What is the process for obtaining data or
                            equipment for research?
Availability of Graduate    Does the department have graduate
Assistants                  assistants?
                            How are graduate assistants allocated?
Travel Funding              Does the department or university pay for
                            conference registration and attendance?
Teaching Load               Is the teaching load competitive?
                            Is the teaching load manageable?
                            How is course scheduling conducted?
                            Is faculty input on what they will teach
                            Can teaching load be reduced with
                            demonstrated research productivity?
                            Is summer teaching available?
Course Preps                How many new preps per year are you
                            expected to do?
                            Will your course preps be in a specialized
                            area, or across the curriculum?
Opportunities for           Will you be expected or allowed to develop
developing new courses      new courses?
                            Will you be expected to help develop new
                            minor or major areas within the college?
Teaching level –            Will you be expected to teach
undergraduate/graduate/both undergraduate, graduate, and/or doctoral
Class Size                  How many students will be in a section?
                            If you are teaching a large section, will a
                            teaching assistant be made available?
Research Requirements       What are the research expectations of a new
                            faculty member?
                            Does the department have a preference for
                            quality, quantity, or both?
                            Are the research expectations consistent
                            with the compensation?
                            Are the research expectations consistent
                            with level of research support?
Service Requirements        How many committees are you expected to

                                 serve on?
                                 What internal service activities will you
                                 participate in?
                                 Is advising part of your job?
University Reputation            Does the university have a favorable
                                 reputation in the community and
Sabbatical                       When can you take a sabbatical?
                                 Is a sabbatical generally one semester or
                                 one year?
                                 How often can you take a sabbatical?
                                 What is the compensation during
Collegiality                     What is your comfort level with your
                                 potential colleagues?
                                 Do you share any research interests with
                                 others in the department?
                                 Can you discuss ideas with colleagues?
Orientation towards              What is the view of the college/department
Consulting                       on outside work?
Location                         Is the university in a location you and your
                                 family will be able to live in?
Social Life                      Does the local environment support the kind
                                 of cultural and social activities you enjoy?
Rural vs. Urban                  Is the university in an urban area?
Environment                      Is the university in a high-crime area?
                                 How far is the commute to the university
                                 and how long does it take to commute?
Opportunities for Family         Will your spouse be able to find a job, if he
                                 or she desires?
                                 Will your spouse be able to continue his or
                                 her education, if they so desire?
                                 Are there tuition waivers for spouses and
                                 children of faculty?
                                 What is the quality of area grade and high


Since you will most likely only accept campus visits at universities at which you would seriously
consider accepting a job offer, take a little time to meet with a local real estate agent or look at the

community surrounding the campus. This allows you to get a feel for the cost of living and kind of
community you may find yourself living in for a number of years. You may want to include your
spouse and/or children on this trip, so that you can factor in their thoughts on the location aspects of
the schools you visit.


If you have negotiated for certain conditions, such as lab space, summer salary, extra office space, etc.,
these should be included in the offer letter. Be careful to read over the offer letter carefully to make
sure they are included. If the offer letter contains everything you discussed to your satisfaction, sign it
and return it as quickly as possible.


Perhaps you had several campus visits. Once an offer is extended, you will typically have two weeks to
make a decision. If you have received an offer you decide you will take, and you have other campus
visits scheduled, professional courtesy dictates that you cancel the other visits. If you have had campus
visits, but have not heard back yet from the universities you visited, and you take another offer, contact
the universities that you visited and inform them of your decision. Universities have limited time and
funds for recruiting, and it is important that they know as soon as possible if they need to move along
to another candidate. You will probably encounter the people with whom you interviewed at some
point in the future. A reputation for professional integrity is valuable in academia.

Here is a link about job hunting in the finance academic market that you should read.

You can enhance your marketability by demonstrating the ability to do quality research. The best way
to demonstrate quality research is to get your work published in academic journals that are perceived
as having a strong reputation. During a Ph.D. program, you will likely write many papers for courses.
Your first goal is to write a paper that will be acceptable for the course and that will help you achieve a
good grade. However, given the amount of time you must dedicate to the research paper, establish
goals beyond just satisfying the course requirements. After the paper has been graded by the professor,
ask the professor if the paper has potential to be published. If so, here are some obvious questions you
should consider:
a) Does the paper make a significant contribution to the existing literature, or at least a large enough
contribution that it could be published?
b) Can it be submitted as is or does it need more work?

c) If it needs more work, can you complete the work before you begin the next semester, perhaps by
working during the break?
d) If it needs more work, should you invite the professor or another student to be involved as a co-
e) What level journal should be targeted?


The benefit of inviting co-authors to join in on the paper is that they have expertise that can improve
the paper, so that it has a higher probability of being published in a quality journal. In addition, your
time may be limited, and by allowing one or more co-authors to participate, you can focus on your
other duties while they are adding to your research paper. The traditional logic behind “comparative
advantage” applies – allocate your time in the most efficient capacity, and then involve others where
they have comparative advantage. By inviting someone to participate as a co-author, you may be able
to improve a paper that would have otherwise been discarded, so that it can be sent to a journal.

One disadvantage is that a given paper may give you more credibility if you are the sole author than if
you have one or more co-authors. Second, the goals of co-authors may differ, which results in friction.
For example, if your goal is to enhance your marketability when you enter the job market, you should
only consider a co-author who is willing to work within your time constraints. Also, if your co-author
slows the process, you face the possibility that someone else may publish a similar paper with very
similar results before your paper is submitted or accepted.

Another disadvantage of having co-authors is that the research may never be completed. There are
many research projects that had potential but were never completed because one or more of the
participants in the projects did not do their share of the work. So while working with a co-author can
be very beneficial, choose your co-authors carefully. Here is a common example of what happens
when you select co-authors who have different goals than your own or are less disciplined than you.

Example of Working with Co-authors
The following example is intended to illustrate why some papers that may have much potential for
publication are never published. By understanding the potential breakdowns that occur, you may be
able to avoid the breakdowns and get your work published.

Background. Nicole Newman is a Ph.D. student. During her 2 years in the Ph.D. program, Nicole has
written five research papers for courses that she took. She decides that 3 of the papers she wrote have
some potential to be published, but each needs some work. She will be in the job market in one year
and would like to demonstrate much research potential by the time she enters the job market.

In June, Nicole makes the following decisions regarding her three papers. She will send Paper #1 to a
journal as is, because she would like to be a sole author on a paper that gets published. Yes, she does

not have time to put more work into it. She knows it may need more work, but hopes that the journal
will recommend some improvements and that will eventually lead to publication in that journal. For
Paper #2, she invites Diane Davis, a friend and fellow Ph.D. student to be a co-author. Diane accepts
the offer and says she expects that she can finish her work on the paper in two months. For Paper #3,
Nicole invites Professor Carl Carson to be a co-author. Dr. Carson taught the course in which Nicole
wrote the paper and Nicole is sure that Dr. Carson would increase the quality of the paper. Dr. Carson
said he will get started on the paper when he has free time.

Nicole’s Objectives. Nicole hopes that by October, the two co-authored papers will be completed by
her co-authors and submitted to a journal. Ideally, all three papers will be accepted for publication by
August, which is when she will be submitting her resumes to universities that advertise a faculty
position open in the following year.

Results. In October, Nicole becomes concerned because she has not received a revised draft of either
paper from the co-authors. She contacts Diane Davis, who apologizes but says she is busy with course
work and hopes to complete the paper within a month. She also e-mails Dr. Carson, who says that he
has other priorities, but that he hopes to work on the paper in December after the fall semester. Nicole
now revises her goal to have these papers submitted to a journal by January.

In January, Diane Davis provides Nicole with her revisions to her original paper. Unfortunately, the
revisions are very limited, especially when considering that she held the paper for six months. Nicole
and Diane submit the paper to a journal at that time, despite Nicole‟s concerns that the reviewer will
see the same weaknesses she had originally hoped Diane was going to correct.

Meanwhile, Dr. Carson tells Nicole that he worked on the paper, but that the paper needs much more
work before it can be sent to a quality journal. Dr. Carson wants to target a high-level journal, since a
publication in a lower level journal would not be beneficial to him. He suggests that a colleague be
added to the paper to boost the quality of the paper where it needs to be in order to be publishable at a
high-level journal. He estimates that his colleague can complete her contribution to the paper by April.

In June, Nicole received news about all three of her papers. First, the journal that received Paper #1
informs Nicole that the paper is rejected because it has some major limitations. She knew of the
limitations when she submitted it, but had hoped the journal would guide her to improve the paper and
allow her to revise it.

Second, the journal to which she and Diane submitted Paper #2 rejects the paper because it was poorly
organized and did not provide a cohesive theme.

Third, Dr. Carson‟s colleague just decided to pursue a project writing a textbook, and therefore would
not be able to work on Paper #3 for several months. Now there are three authors on this paper, and it is
no closer to completion than it was a year ago when Nicole was the only author.

Comparison of Nicole’s Results and Objectives. As Nicole developed her resume in June, she
reflected on her goals that she set a year ago of having her three papers accepted for publication in
journals. It turns out that two of the papers were rejected, and the third may never be completed.

Lessons From This Example
Not all co-authored papers fail. In fact, the majority of published papers in finance are co-authored.
However, Nicole‟s experience is very common, and most Ph.D. students or faculty members who have
worked with co-authors may have experienced something similar. There are some obvious lessons
from this example:

1. Conflicting Objectives Among Co-authors. Some co-authors have different objectives than
   others, such as the quality level journal that should be targeted. In the example, Nicole was hoping
   for a publication in any reputable journal before she went into the job market, while Dr. Carson had
   a much higher target level in mind. Had Nicole and Dr. Carson communicated their goals at the
   initial stage, they would have realized that their goals were not compatible. Thus, either Dr.
   Carson should have revised his goals, or should not be a co-author of Paper #3. Yet, Nicole may
   have been able to avoid the situation if she clearly communicated her objective about when she
   wanted the paper to be completed.

   In reality, Ph.D. students are in an awkward situation, because they may not feel that they are in a
   position to pressure a faculty member to complete the work requested. Therefore, the best solution
   is to only select co-authors if you feel sure that they would have similar objectives.

2. Lack of Commitment by a Co-author. All co-authors do not work at the same speed or have the
   same priorities. For this reason, it is important for all parties involved in a research project to offer
   a rough estimate of when they will complete their portion of the work. It is only fair that all co-
   authors are informed, so that they understand the length of time before the project is completed. It
   is difficult to predict how long it will take to complete a paper with perfect accuracy. Yet, one
   should be able to at least suggest whether their work will be completed in four months versus a

   Some co-authors do not meet their deadlines. They have good intentions, but their initial
   commitment is motivated by their desire to be involved in the paper. They do not recognize the
   reality that other priorities may slow down their progress. This is a major reason why a massive
   amount of co-authored projects are never completed.

3. Lack of Consideration by a co-author. Even when some co-authors do not do the work that they
   promised, they do not necessarily relinquish their responsibility. In the example, Nicole may have
   been able to salvage Paper #2 if her co-author Diane would have simply acknowledged, “I don‟t
   have as much time as I thought, so I can not serve as a co-author. Thanks anyway.” Instead, Diane
   initially delays the paper and then finally adds some trivial comments in the paper to justify her

   name on the paper. Nicole did not want to rescind her invitation for Diane to be a co-author, so she
   lost control of the paper.

4. Lack of Clear Separation of Tasks Among Co-authors. When the allocation of tasks among the
   co-authors is not spelled out clearly, co-authors forget who is assigned to do what parts. The
   contribution of each individual co-author should be clear at the beginning. The agreement does not
   have to take the form of a formal contract, but an email message can at least document the
   obligations of each co-author. The author inviting someone else to collaborate should spell out
   deadlines and consequences if deadlines are not met, in as polite a way possible. For example,
   Nicole could have told Diane that she requires the paper for the job market and that if Diane has
   not done her part within two months, Nicole will seek an alternative co-author.

   In reality, the co-authors cited here may have their own view on why the paper was not completed
   on time. It would not be unusual for each co-author to blame the other for a research project that is
   never completed. Rarely will a co-author involved in a research project take full blame for the lack
   of progress on a research project. This is an unfortunate fact of life. The best solution is to be
   careful when selecting co-authors, and to ensure proper communication up front so that all parties
   involved have a clear understanding of their respective obligations.


When deciding where to submit your paper, consider the reputation of the journal, the submission fee
required (if any), the average review time, the acceptance rate, the number of reviewers, whether the
journal is peer reviewed, the primary audience, and the maximum page length. Most journals have a
web site in which much of this information is available, along with the name of the editor, and the
address to which you will send the paper.

You may be able to eliminate journals from consideration just on the basis of an expensive submission
fee. Journals often set the submission fee high just to discourage people from sending low quality
papers. Other information, such as the average time it takes to review the paper, can also be used as a
screening device. If you would like to have a paper accepted, or at least under subsequent review in the
near future, avoid outlets that have long average review times.

A journal‟s objective is to disseminate useful information on a particular field or a subset of the field.

Role of the Editor and Reviewers
The editor of a journal relies on a set of reviewers to review the research paper. Such journals are
referred to as “peer reviewed.” Each journal has an editorial board, which consists of professors at
various universities who have expertise in one or more topic areas in which the journal publishes.

In addition to the editorial board, the editor also relies on other reviewers to review research papers.
These reviewers are selected based on their perceived expertise on a particular topic. Reviewers are
sometimes chosen because one or more of their articles that were published is referenced in a research
paper that the editor needs to have reviewed.

Some journals rely on just one reviewer to review a particular article. Other journals rely on two or
three reviewers. When a journal relies on more than one reviewer, the review process may be slower,
because the editor waits for all reviewers to provide reviews before responding to the author of the
research paper.

Some journals are blind peer reviewed, whereby the reviewer does not know the identity of the author
of the paper. The blind peer review process allows a more objective review, rather than a review that is
political or corrupted by personal relationships.

Criteria Used to Evaluate Research Papers
Some journals provide a rating sheet to the reviewer and request that the reviewer complete the rating
sheet while reviewing the paper. The rating sheet lists the criteria that the reviewer should consider
when evaluating a paper. Some journals do not provide a rating sheet, and simply ask the reviewer to
make a recommendation about whether the research paper should be accepted, rejected, or revised
(based on the reviewer‟s suggestions) and resubmitted after the revisions are completed. Even if the
journal does not provide a rating sheet, most reviewers probably use the same type of criteria when
evaluating a research paper. Some of the more common criteria are listed here:

Motivation. The introduction of a research paper needs to sell the theme of the paper. It needs to make
readers buy into the theme. That is, the introduction needs to provide a good response to the question:
“Why would anyone want to read this?” It needs to motivate potential readers to read it. Just like most
forms of media, journals want to disseminate information that is of interest to the audience that they
are targeting. If the research paper lacks motivation, a reviewer may reject the research paper without
reading any further. This may seem cruel but it is reality. The logic is that if the paper does not really
have a valid purpose, it does not deserve to be published even if all other parts of the paper are well
done. If the paper lacks motivation, it will not be read by readers, and will not serve the journal‟s
objective of disseminating useful information.

Some research papers offer a limited contribution beyond what has already been documented in
previous research. Reviewers would likely suggest that the motivation within these papers is limited.
Even though the general topic may be of interest, the motivation is limited if the contents are already
known by potential readers. It is advisable, before working on a research idea, to do a detailed search
to make sure you are not doing research that has already been published.

Review of Related Literature. A research paper should identify existing research that serves as a
foundation for the primary topic. It should also explain its contribution above and beyond the
foundation of related literature.

Hypotheses. A research paper should clearly explain what it expects from the research that is being
conducted. This can be done in the form of formal hypotheses or informally, depending on the field
and the typical format of the journal.

Data. Your paper should contain a detailed data section explaining the collection procedure and data
screening criteria. Maintain your data in case you perform other research on the same data, or revise
the research in response to reviewer comments.

Research Design. The research design specifies the methods used to test hypotheses. If the research
does not properly control for other factors, the research paper may be rejected on the grounds that the
results are not reliable. That is, any difference in the performance of the two groups may have occurred
because the one group of students is in a better elementary school where the teachers have higher
standards, and not because of the computerized tutorials. This criticism of the research paper will
likely result in a rejection, even if all other parts of the research paper are properly done. If the results
are not reliable, the implications are limited.

Conclusions. Authors should summarize to the reader what the main contribution to the literature is,
and mention any limitations of the study.

Writing Style. Research papers are expected to communicate to the reader. The writing needs to flow
well. It needs to be tight, meaning that the thoughts are focused, and do not wander far from the main

While the editor may provide research paper guidelines explaining the formatting and presentation of
tables, the usual rule of thumb that applies to data presentation is that the reader should be able to look
at the table and understand the point without having to read the text of the paper. In other words, the
tables should be able to “stand-alone.” Hence, notes to tables should be provided to help the reader
understand what they are reading.

Editorial Decision
Once the editor receives the reviews of a paper, he or she makes a judgment about whether the paper
should be accepted as is, rejected, or offered to revise and resubmit. A high proportion of papers are
rejected. Some papers are given a revise/resubmit after the first review and require the author to do
more work to improve the paper based on the reviews of the paper.

When there are many favorable reviews, an editor must screen the reviews. That is, many papers may
be given a revise/resubmit recommendation by the reviewers. Yet, the editor makes the final decision,

and may reject some of the papers for which the author might have been able to satisfy the reviewer.
Authors are usually disappointed when the reviewer recommends revise and resubmit, but the editor
rejected the paper outright. Yet, the rejection is sometimes a blessing in disguise, because the authors
may never be able to satisfy the reviewer‟s requests and therefore are better off sending the paper to a
different journal. Furthermore, if the editor rejects the paper rather than allowing it to be resubmitted,
he or she is usually sending the signal that investing more time at the particular journal is futile, and
the author should submit the paper to a different publication outlet with a better “fit” for the paper.

Interpreting a “Revise and Resubmit” Letter
When authors are invited by the journal to revise and resubmit a paper, they assess the reviews and
decide whether they could satisfy the reviewer. For example, if a reviewer requests that the analysis
within the paper be redone using a different model, the authors will likely attempt to do the revision.
Conversely, if the reviewer suggests that the authors need to use different data that are not available,
the authors may decide to send the paper to a different journal.

Sometimes it is not clear exactly what the reviewer wants. When there are two or more reviews, there
will usually be some amount of overlap between comments provided by the reviewers, so grouping
suggestions and criticisms point by point helps to illustrate what needs to be done and if it can be done.
Later, when the author revises and resubmits the paper to the journal, the author will send the revised
paper to the same reviewer. The author should also enclose a “response to the reviewer” when
resubmitting the revised paper, which explains the revisions that were made in response to the
reviewer‟s request.

Sometimes reviewers use a condescending tone, but it is important to sort through the comments
objectively. There is also the temptation to dismiss the reviewer as an idiot because he or she didn‟t
understand what you were doing in the paper. But if the reviewer did not understand your paper, it is
likely that others won‟t either, so attempt to rewrite sections the reviewer found confusing.

Once you have compiled your response to the reviewer and done all the revisions you can, you will
resubmit your paper to the journal. At this point, the reviewer rereads the paper and decides whether all
suggested revisions were made. The reviewer may recommend acceptance, or may identify specific
improvements that are still needed. Alternatively, if the reviewer is dissatisfied with the revised
version of the paper, he may reject the paper. Many papers that receive a revise/resubmit invitation
from the editor are ultimately rejected by the journal.

Example of Efforts to Get Research Published
Here is a common example of the results from attempting to publish a paper. Brad Lake just
completed his Ph.D. and was hired as an assistant professor at a university. He wants to have at least
one article published in his first year. He completed a research paper within two months of taking the
job, and submitted it to a high-quality (A-level) journal. He realizes that it is a long shot, but wanted to
set a high objective. If this journal rejects the paper, Brad figures he would be able to get the paper

published in a mid-level journal. Five months later, he received a rejection from the A-level journal.
The reviewer bases the rejection on the opinion that the paper does not provide a sufficient
contribution to the literature and may have some empirical design problems.

He then decides to send the paper to a mid-level (B-level) journal. Four months later, he received a
revise/resubmit, but the suggested revisions are difficult. Brad attempts to do some of the suggested
revisions, but not all of them, because it would have been too time consuming and difficult. He
resubmits the paper to the journal three months after he received the review. Four months later, he
receives a response from the journal, rejecting the paper.

Meanwhile, Brad noticed another article that was recently published that overlapped with his idea. He
needed to revise his paper to incorporate this article. It took Brad five months to differentiate his paper
from that of the related paper that was recently published, but he was aware that his paper‟s results
were now largely redundant. Then he submitted the paper to a lower level (C-level) journal. Three
months later he received a revise/resubmit. He worked on the revisions for two months, and
resubmitted the paper. Three months later, he received a letter from the editor, stating that his paper
would be accepted for publication, contingent on his having the paper copy edited. He hired a copy
editor, who provided the work a month later. He then resubmitted the paper, and it was officially
accepted by the editor in one month. Because the journal had a backlog of accepted papers, (as do
most journals), the paper is scheduled for publication in one year.

Brad‟s university officially recognized his research as published at the time it was accepted, so the
delay in publication did not affect him. From the time Brad started the paper, here is a summary of the
path of the paper:

Activity                                       Number of Months
Paper reviewed by first journal                5
Review time at the B-level journal             4
Brad revises paper and resubmits it to the     3
B-level journal.
Review time of the revised manuscript at       4
the B-level journal
Brad revises paper to distinguish it from      5
another paper that was recently published
and then sends the paper to a C-level
Review of paper at the C-level journal.        3
Brad revises paper and resubmits it to the     2
C-level journal.
Review of resubmitted paper by the C-level     3

Copy edit process                             1
Final review of paper by the C-level          1
Total Time to Formal Acceptance               31

Overall, it took 31 months from the time that Brad first submitted the paper until the time at which the
paper was accepted for publication. Now compare this result to Brad‟s original goals. He had hoped
to have a paper published in his first year. His paper was accepted 31 months after he started his
position, which is in his third year. Some papers are accepted more quickly, but others take longer or
may never be accepted. The main point of this example is to recognize how long the review process
takes. One should never anticipate an immediate acceptance of a paper.

Lessons About the Review Process
There are some obvious lessons from the review process. First, there is a tradeoff when targeting the
journal. You want to shoot for the highest level journal in which you think the paper can be placed.
But if you shoot too high, you lose some time before the paper is ultimately submitted to a journal that
is at the appropriate level, and another paper could get published on the same subject. [Some journals
post their proportion of papers accepted.]

Second, attempt to submit one or more papers to journals while you are in your Ph.D. program. This
allows you a higher probability of having a paper accepted for publication by the time you are in your
first year as a faculty member at a university.

Third, the long time involved from the time you submit the paper until its eventual acceptance is due to
the time taken to review the paper. Many reviews could probably be completed within a full day or
less. Yet, reviewers have other work priorities ahead of reviewing a paper. They may squeeze in a
few hours in one week, but then get busy with other work, and are unable to complete the review until
several weeks later. Most reviewers are not compensated for their work, so it is difficult to expedite
the review from reviewers who are essentially providing a free service. You can not control the slow
review process, but you do have control of where you send the paper. Try to target a journal that not
only satisfies the level you want to target, but also one that is known to have an efficient review

Fourth, you have control to work on other research papers while waiting for the review. Given the
very small percentage of papers that are accepted at reputable journals, attempt to continually submit
research papers so that you are not relying on one single paper. In the academic world, this is referred
to as “filling up the pipeline.” As applied to the previous example, Brad should have been working on
other research while the paper was being reviewed by the reviewer. Thus, by the end of his second
year, he may have several completed research papers that have been submitted to journals.

Fifth, your university may have requirements on the mix of journal quality and number of publications
you have when you apply for promotion and tenure. Many universities distinguish between quality and
quantity of research. You will need to meet the requirements for both quality of journals and quantity
of publications. It is important to understand the quality and quantity of published research that is
required by the university, so that you can conduct research in a manner that would be consistent with
the requirements of the university.

What does a professor do all day? Most people do not really understand the duties of a professor,
including some Ph.D. students who plan to be a professor. Consequently, some people underestimate
the work requirements of a professor, while others overestimate the work requirements. Regardless,
any Ph.D. student who is planning to be a professor should understand the typical job description.


In general, a professor‟s duties can be classified as teaching, research, and service. The allocation of
time to each of these three duties will vary among professors within a department, within departments
within a university, and among universities. Research-oriented universities tend to allocate more of a
professor‟s assignment to research, which results in a smaller allocation to teaching or service. Some
institutions are more teaching focused.


The teaching loads of professors in universities are usually much lower than that of teaching loads by
elementary schools, high schools, or junior colleges. For example, the teaching load at a university that
is heavily focused on teaching may be 12 hours a week. That is, the load may be four 3-hour courses
during a semester, whereby a professor teaches 2 sections of one type of course, and two sections of a
second course. At the other extreme, the typical research assignment at some research-oriented
universities may be one or two courses during a week. In this case, a professor may only be teaching 3
or 6 hours during a week. People are typically surprised to hear that a professor teaches between 3 and
12 hours a week. When considering that a professor may not teach at all in the summer, the work load
may seem very light. However, the work load is not as light as it seems, as explained next.

First, teaching a total of 12 hours a week may fill out a week if substantial preparation is needed. The
first time a professor teaches a course, there is a substantial amount of preparation. Some courses also
require much grading and many office hours each week in which students ask questions about the
material outside of the course time. The teaching-oriented universities may require exam review
sessions to be held and extra lab sections held outside of class hours. Then there are the exams that
must be created and graded. In order to stay current in the field, course materials must be updated
regularly as well. New assignments should be generated, in order to make sure that students are not

merely recycling past semesters‟ exams and assignments. Furthermore, most professors must check
their email regularly and reply to student questions.

Teaching a load of 3 or 6 hours a week will normally allow for more free time during the week. Yet,
when the teaching load is this low, it is usually because the professor has been assigned other duties in
addition to teaching. These other duties are discussed next.


Research is perhaps the most misunderstood part of the professor‟s job description. Research may be
defined as an activity that allows a professor to gain more knowledge about topics that they teach.
However, many universities use a more narrow definition, because they want to benefit from the
research that is conducted. This is only fair, as the university is essentially supporting the professor to
perform research by reducing the teaching load. Most universities would like professors to use research
in a manner that disseminates knowledge and brings in outside funding, rather than just consume
knowledge. For example, reading books may be viewed as consuming knowledge. But conducting
research, writing up results, and having this work published is a method of producing research. When
the research is published, it is spread to a larger audience. Professors are more likely to be viewed as
experts in the field when they produce research rather than if they just consume research. In addition,
by having their work published, a professor can help to make a name for a university.
The biggest state university may require 6 hours of teaching per week combined with a requirement of
high research productivity, while a regional university may have a greater teaching emphasis and
require 9 hours of teaching per week combined with a requirement of moderate research productivity.
Thus, there tends to be a tradeoff between the research required and the teaching load.


Most professors perform some service obligations, regardless of whether they are employed by a
research-oriented or teaching-oriented university. At one extreme, some professors have assumed
major service obligations, such as serving as the chair of the department.

Internal Service

Many professors are assigned internal service obligations. For example, they may serve on a
committee to select the teacher of the year in their department. They may be asked to develop a
syllabus for a new course that will be offered by the department in the future. Professors are also often
required to participate in service internal to the college but outside of the department, such as the
faculty senate, college-wide forums on academic honesty, committees that determine the allocation of
faculty development funds, etc.

External Service

Some professors volunteer for external service obligations by participating at conferences in their
related field. For example, they may present their research findings at conferences in their field.
Alternatively, they may serve as a discussant at the conference, in which they are asked to provide
constructive criticism about the research presented by another professor at the conference. Or they may
even organize a session at a conference in which they lead a discussion or provide a tutorial on a
particular topic. These forms of external service are encouraged by a university because they may help
the professors keep up to date on the latest research in their field, which may indirectly improve the
courses they teach. In addition, these forms of external service may provide some name recognition for
the university.

Service Role of the Department Chair

The chair normally serves as a manager of the professors in his or her department. One of the key
duties is course scheduling. Chair first attempts to offer a set of courses that will satisfy the needs of
students. He or she needs to provide a diversified set of courses so that any students who are majors
can complete their course work in a timely manner. In addition, the chair must offer the courses that
will allow students who are majors to complete their curriculum and graduate. This requires some
ability to recognize when students want courses.

After deciding on the courses to be offered, the chair must assign professors to teach the courses.
Ideally, the chair considers the preferences of the professors when setting the course schedule. For
example, the chair may be able to schedule a professor‟s course schedule so that they teach multiple
sections of the same course, and teach only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Such an efficient schedule
would allow the professor large blocks of time to complete research obligations. In reality, it is
difficult for the department chair to create a course schedule that will satisfy all students and all faculty

Another important duty of the chair is to evaluate the performance of the faculty within the
department. The evaluation would include an assessment of each professor‟s teaching, research, and
service duties. This is often done for tenure track faulty members with the help of a committee made
up of tenured faculty members.

The chair also serves as an intermediary between the faculty within the department and the higher level
administrators within the university. Thus, the chair may serve as a lobbyist to fight for higher salaries
for the professors within the department. At the same time, the chair may need to serve the
administration by ensuring that the faculty in the department do their jobs properly.


Faculty members are commonly rated by their department chair and/or by their colleagues. They are
evaluated according to how they perform in terms of: (1) teaching, (2) research, and (3) service. The

proportion of time that is expected to be allocated to each task varies with the university, the
department, and even the years of university experience. The department chair normally sets the
assignments, subject to approval by other administrators such as the dean of the college. For example,
the weight assigned to teaching may be 80% at a teaching oriented university versus 30% at a research-
oriented university. The weight assigned to service is usually small. However, faculty members who
pursue a position in university administration may be rated almost exclusively on their service in that
administration role.

A faculty member usually submits a package of information to the department chair on an annual
basis, which is called the “annual review” or “annual evaluation.” The package should show evidence
of the faculty member‟s performance in teaching, research, and service. The department chair can use
this package to assess the faculty member‟s performance. The department chair might also use other
information such as comments received from students throughout the year. The reviews can be used
for recommendations by the chair regarding how merit pay increases should be determined.

The performance of faculty members can be viewed like a weighted average. Their performance in the
general tasks of teaching, research, and service are measured. The weight (proportion of their
assignment allocated to each task) applied to each task is considered along with the performance rating
of each task. For example, a rating system could be scaled from 0 to 10, with 0 being the worst and 10
being the best rating.

Consider a faculty member who has the following assignment at the beginning of the year as shown in
the second column of the following table. Assume that at the end of the year, the faculty member
received the following performance rating as shown in Column 3. The 4th column shows how the
overall rating was derived. In this example, the faculty member received an excellent rating in
teaching, and lower ratings in research and service. Yet, her overall rating of 9.1 is very high, because
she achieved excellent performance in teaching, which was given a very high weight. If she had
excellent performance in service, but only adequate performance in teaching, her overall rating would
have been weaker.

Example of Performance Evaluation of a Faculty Member

Responsibilities        Weight Applied to the     Performance           Weight x Rating
                        Task (% of the Total      Rating Achieved
                        Job Assignment) at        During the Year
                        Beginning of the Year
Teaching                60%                       10                    6
Research                30%                       8                     2.4
Service                 10%                       7                     .7
Total                   100%                      ----                  Total = 9.1


Some examples of indicators of a faculty member‟s teaching, research, and service are shown in the
following list.

Possible Indicators of Teaching Performance
Teaching evaluations by students
Evidence of innovative teaching techniques
Number of different course preparations
New course development
Development of innovative assignments
Publication of pedagogical research
Standards imposed in class
        based on content of exams
        based on grades that were allocated
Teaching awards received

Possible Indicators of Research Performance
Publications in major journals in the appropriate field
Publications in other journals
Written research that has been accepted for publication
Working papers that have been submitted to journals for consideration
Presentations to outside organizations
Grants that have been awarded by sponsors outside the university

Possible Indicators of Service Performance
Service on committees within the university
Service to the local community as a university representative
Involvement in professional meetings that may enhance the image of the university.
Service to the department for recruiting new faculty members


Each university has its own guidelines for a faculty member to pursue promotion or tenure. In general,
an assistant professor may pursue promotion to associate professor after five or six years, though some
universities allow candidates who meet the requirements prior to that time to go up for tenure early. An
associate professor may pursue promotion to professor after 5 to 10 years. A faculty member may
pursue tenure after a period of five or six years. Thus, some faculty members pursue promotion to
associate professor and tenure in the same year.

What is Promotion?
The term promotion implies that your job title has changed from assistant professor to associate
professor or from associate professor to professor. Being promoted from assistant professor to
associate professor or from associate professor to full professor does not change your job description.
A faculty member who does not take an administrative position may conceivably do the same type of
job from the first year as an assistant professor until retirement. In many cases, the promotion is one
way in which you can be rewarded for your teaching, research, and service over the years. Many
universities have a formula for a percentage increase in salary that is awarded for a promotion. Thus,
faculty members benefit financially from being promoted.

What is Tenure?
Today, if you ask professors what tenure means, you may receive different answers. Most professors
would agree that if you are granted tenure, the university is less likely to remove your job position. A
tenured faculty member still has responsibilities and can be held accountable for those responsibilities.
But in general, tenured faculty members who perform at a satisfactory level are able to retain their

Steps to Evaluate An Application for Promotion or Tenure
For promotion or tenure, faculty members are evaluated with a set of several steps. The steps involve
information gathering and organizing by the faculty member, and then a set of evaluations conducted
within the university, as explained next.

Composing the Promotion or Tenure Package. A faculty member who pursues promotion from
assistant professor to associate professor must compose a portfolio of information (sometimes referred
to as a package) that represents their work over the period that is being evaluated. There are usually
specific guidelines provided by the university regarding what should be included in the package. The
same types of contents that are in the annual package would also be in the promotion package. Thus,
the promotion package may represent the accumulation of the packages that were submitted to the
department chair in previous years.

The contents can be evaluated by various parties within the university to determine whether the faculty
member deserves to be promoted to associate professor. Many universities also have an external
review process where the candidate„s portfolio is sent to an objective reviewer outside of the

Sequence of the Evaluation Process. While the exact process varies among universities, the
evaluation of the faculty member usually starts with the faculty member‟s department and moves up
the organizational chart. An example of the process is provided next.

       Example of Deadlines Involved in the Process of Applying for Promotion

September 30 Faculty member must submit promotion package in accordance with university

October 30     A committee within the finance department of the faculty member must meet and assess
               the faculty member‟s package. They offer a recommendation on whether the faculty
               member should be promoted. Their written recommendation is included in the package,
               and submitted to the chair of the finance department. The recommendation does not
               have to be unanimous, and may specify the number of faculty on the committee who
               support the promotion versus the number who do not support the promotion.

November 15 The chair of the finance department must write a letter recommending whether the
            faculty member should be promoted. The letter is placed within the package, and the
            package is submitted to a College of Business promotion and tenure committee. The
            college promotion and tenure committee consists of a representative from each
            department within the college.

December 15 The College of Business committee conducts its assessment, and submits its
            recommendation along with the package to the dean of the college.

January 15     The dean of the college assesses the package and submits his or her recommendation
               along with the package to the university promotion and tenure committee. The
               university promotion and tenure committee contains a representative from each college
               in the university. For example, there would be a representative from the colleges of arts,
               sciences, education, and business.

February 15    The university promotion and tenure committee submits their recommendation on
               whether the faculty member should be promoted along with the package to a high-level
               administrator, such as the university president. The president assesses the package,
               reviews the recommendations by the committees, and decides whether the faculty
               member is to be promoted.

The specific deadlines vary among universities. The schedule shown here illustrates why the process
takes several months. For state-supported universities, the process may even continue beyond the
president. There may be a board of regents or some other layer at the state level that makes the final

Important Advice
As explained earlier, the process for getting research published in quality journals can be slow. In
addition, when you are first starting an academic career, you may need to teach a variety of courses

that require an investment of time for preparation. It is important that you are well organized so that
you can produce what is expected of you. If you treat the job as if you were working in industry, and
create a disciplined schedule for yourself, you can increase your chances of being successful. For
example, if you teach from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. and from 3:00 to 4:00 on a specific day, it is important
to use your free time effectively, either preparing lecture notes or conducting research.

Even though there is some flexibility regarding when you do your work, the work has to get done. The
work is not completely assessed on a daily or even a weekly basis, but the production needs to
accumulate over time. There is a large amount of free time that faculty members have to achieve their
production, but if they are only effective when deadlines are coming due, they may find it difficult to
catch up after falling behind. They may also be rated by some other faculty members within their
department, typically the tenured faculty, and often a letter of progress is given to the faculty member
by the tenured faculty jointly. The letter informs the tenure track candidate if they are meeting
expectations, making superior progress, or not making satisfactory progress for tenure.

Some professors periodically change jobs by moving from one university to industry, government, or
another university. The motives and strategies for changing jobs are discussed next.


You may want to move to a particular location to be closer to your family. Second, you may simply
want to leave your present position if you are not satisfied with the work conditions or your
responsibilities. Third, you may want to move to catch up with the prevailing market salaries. The first
two motives are common for any position but the third motive is somewhat unique to the university
environment. In universities, the amount of money available to raise salaries is often limited. The
market salary can increase substantially in a field that suddenly has many job openings because of
increasing enrollment in that field. Consequently, the universities that try to recruit must bid higher
salaries if there are more job openings than there are Ph.D. graduates who are looking for a job.

It is not unusual for a recent Ph.D. graduate in finance to have a higher salary than the existing faculty
members who have much more experience. Universities typically cannot afford to raise the salaries of
all the existing faculty members up to the prevailing market level. Consequently, some faculty
members decide to re-enter the job market so that they can catch up with the market salary.


One problem with moving from one university to another is the transaction cost involved. It may be
difficult to obtain a job in your field at another university that is in the city where you live. Therefore,
changing jobs may require you to move, which will result in transaction costs. There are explicit

transaction costs such as loss of a spouse‟s income, moving expenses or commissions paid to a realtor
if you must sell your house. There are other costs such as the time and anxiety of having to move
children into new schools. In some cases, the transaction cost may exceed the extra income that would
be earned over the next several years. If you plan to move to catch up with the market, determine
whether the extra income is really worth the cost involved in moving.


One advantage that a faculty member has over Ph.D. candidates in the job market is their experience.
They already have course preparations and have had more time to conduct research. However, their
experience sometimes works against them if they have not used their time efficiently to complete
research projects. This is especially true for job openings at departments that require significant
research output. A limited level of research productivity of a new Ph.D. graduate is more acceptable
because the new graduate has not had time since graduation to work on the research. Thus, a
department might view a new graduate as having more potential for producing research than a faculty
member who has not shown much productivity since graduating years ago. Those faculty members
who have shown research productivity are generally more marketable, because they have proven that
they have the discipline and skills to do research.


When tenured faculty members attempt to move to a different university, they can attempt to negotiate
to come in to the new job position with tenure. In some cases, the department will only hire someone
without tenure. They may be willing to count some years as credit toward tenure, but may want a
period in which the person‟s teaching, research, and service performance can be assessed directly
within their own department. Tenure standards are not the same at all departments in a given field, so a
department that wants to hire a person does not necessarily grant tenure just because the person has
tenure elsewhere.

Some faculty members who have tenure at one university do not want to go through the process again
at another university. Thus, having tenure may discourage them from pursuing a job at another
university. Alternatively, they may only consider job positions in which the department that has a job
position would grant tenure.


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