academics, as seen from vegreville. it can be cold here. and it is flat.

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What the hell have I been doing this (academic) year?

  • Manuscripts accepted: 2
  • Manuscripts under review: 1
  • Revise and resubmits to do: 3
  • Working papers: 3
  • New projects: 2
  • Conference presentations: 2
  • Seminars given: 1
  • PhD students in progress: 5
  • PhD students completed: 0
  • Other students supervised: 2
  • Courses taught: 0
  • Courses scheduled: 4
  • Referee reports to write: 2
  • Referee reports completed: 17
  • Committees: 3
  • Angry co-authors: 0
  • Angry students: ?

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

My biggest failing

is over-committing, then failing to do something I promised because I cannot do it all , feeling guilty (as well I should), and then falling deeper into a hole. Say no more often. I cannot repeat that enough to myself. But. I. still. do. it.

UPDATE: after posting this, I found AWOL (from Inside Higher Ed). I will follow the advice.
HT: bitch,phd

All that leads me to thinking about tenure. I read Dean Dad (too tired to link, sorry) argue that we don't need tenure, but instead rolling long term contracts. Seems sensible. I do notice, however, that many academics stay motivated long after they are tenured. In fact, tenure seems irrelevant to many. But not all, and that's the rub.

There are other, perhaps weak levers you can use, like bad teaching loads, lack of raises, not getting your voice heard, etc. Of course all those things isolate further someone who cannot be fired, and I guess worsen things. One answer might be to be even tougher for tenure, with ex-poste reviews with a bite. But that's like rolling long term contracts with a higher entry hurdle.

I am also puzzled about the mismatch between the number of PhDs and where PhDs are needed. The market is saying that we have too many type XXX academics per job and so they are treated badly. Seems like the solution is to reduce the supply. But the supply is partly set by existing academics, who are entrenched. Is that the problem? On the other hand, how many people with PhD's in fields with no jobs are surprised that there are no jobs. And if so, why? Overconfidence bias?

link | posted by vegreville at 11:06 PM |


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