PhDs before 2010 need not apply

If you got your PhD in English or American Studies before 201o — especially right before, oy — you might be relieved that the job market is actually showing signs of recovery, unless you see this ad from Colorado State University, which includes this eyebrow-raiser:

Required qualifications:

  1.  Ph.D. in English or American Studies or closely related area awarded between 2010 and time of appointment

As Brian Leiter says, hopefully no philosophers would write such an ad.  In the meantime, though, I smile at the close of the search committee chair’s reply to Chad Black’s query, “We hope you will distribute this position description to any qualified applicants you know.”  Oh, it’s getting distributed!

6 thoughts on “PhDs before 2010 need not apply

  1. I don’t know much about the academic job market, but when a junior research fellowship came free where I study (King’s Cambridge), they specified something similar because they didn’t want applicants to have done more than two years of post-doctoral work. Seems legit.

  2. This isn’t an ad for a fellowship but for an Assistant Professorship. In 15 years I’ve never seen an ad for a TT-line do this. And the more we all take adjunct and part-time gigs hoping for that big break, the more this ad strikes me as awful.

  3. yep–seems to be a cash-strapped public institution pretty openly saying that we can afford only someone on the lowest rung of the pay scale…but this kind of wording isn’t legal, is it? or am i missing something?

  4. As Tom says, it is often the case that Deans simply will not approve hires above a certain place on the pay scale. And there are some institutions whose collective agreements with Faculty Associations stipulate that any year teaching full time counts as a step on the payscale. So even if someone hasn’t been in a TT job, every year they’ve been teaching full time figures in what their starting salary and progress towards tenure would be. I don’t know if this is the case at CSU, but it might well be.

  5. This is an awful ad. However, I would like to know how many readers of this blog have actually heard the argument made in a hiring meeting that a candidate’s PhD was stale? I unfortunately have heard many colleagues make that point leading me to wonder why we let such candidates go through the trouble while they have no chance…

  6. Good question, Christine. It was my good fortune to work at a SLAC in which people often said the opposite during search committee meetings, happily identifying PhDs who we were lucky to get and who had years of life and experience to draw on. But I gather from blogs like the Smoker that others have had the experience of hearing ‘shelf life’ referred to.

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