By way of the Chronicle of Higher Education (or, as we in-the-know types like to say, “the Chronicle”) comes a page of tips ‘n’ hints for all y’all on the academic job market. It’s that time of the year when jobs are posted and new Ph.D.s (or, as Jonathan calls them, baby docs) go through the dismal grind of putting together application packages for schools that have wildly differing ideas of what a hiring institution might reasonably ask to see. While we’re giving advice to job-seekers, here’s a quick word of advice for the job-givers. If you are pondering what to demand from applicants, please don’t ask for stupid crap. Each year I was on the job market there was always some school that asked for all the usual stuff plus teaching statement, research statement, grad school transcripts, ten-year plan of publications, table of contents from your dissertation, and a letter from your third-grade teacher. I hated having days of my life wasted by having to fulfill these stupid and arbitrary demands, which always seemed to be made by third-rate schools trying to make a show of academic rigor through the sheer volume of required tasks.
This might be a good time to mention the academic jobs wiki again, and to point out that Ryan of amusicology (which happily is updating again) is going to be talking about it at the AMS annual meeting, in a 5:15 Thursday study session,* given in the program book as being about wikipedia but really about collaborative internet tools more generally. I will also be doing a thing on academic blogging. Ryan just passed his general exams by the way. As Charles at Ionarts would say, chapeau! Or as I would say, cop show! (They sound sort of the same, actually.)
*The Committee on Career-Related Issues session titled “Teaching with Wikipedia: Pros and Cons,” although I don’t think it’s called that any more. Mark Clague will also be doing his thing.