Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Say, I know THAT job!

I got my first real teaching experience as an Accursed Visiting Assistant Professor. It was at a woeful place to work. When I first heard, "The beatings will continue until morale improves," I burst out laughing, since it fit the institute so well.

After two years of it, I got a tenure-track job at a university across country and left, particularly since the best the institute could offer me was a one-year extension to prolong the agony. I'm now a full professor with tenure, with NO intention of going back to my old job, never, never, never, never, never!

My old institute is now advertising that my old job is open, for the fourth time in the twelve years since I left. What’s new is that the job ad makes it look like this is a tenure-track position. This is surprising, since the institute has never granted tenure to anyone.

Sure enough, the institute listed the job as a "Permanent Faculty Position," in my field’s professional society’s job register. It's in the job category:

"Faculty Positions (tenure & tenure-track)."

Unless the institute has started making tenure-track appointments, unlikely with their history of treating faculty as serfs, that listing ought to be changed to one of the job register's other categories:

"Faculty Positions (visiting & non-tenure)."

If it isn't, it may cause resentment and quite possibly a lawsuit, if applicants are led to believe that this is a tenure-track position and it isn't.

I haven't tried to contact them about this, but I doubt they'd listen to me, anyway. It amazes me how institutions seem to have memories. If only they understood the value of treating human beings in a humane manner, it might save them a lot of work in the long run. But then, there's much to be said for keeping machines properly maintained, too.

P. S. Bubba, you still haven’t told us the answer to “How do you keep an American idle?”

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