Rewarding Excellence: An Unexpected Dilemma for Contingent Faculty

As I was chairing the first official meeting of the Society for Classical Studies’ Committee on Contingent Faculty last January, somebody posed a simple question: “Do you think we should try to make some kind of award for people in non-tenure-track positions?”  Our group was brainstorming ways to bring greater attention–and recognition–to people in theContinue reading “Rewarding Excellence: An Unexpected Dilemma for Contingent Faculty”

Conflicts of Interest

It may come as a surprise to learn that the duties and responsibilities of college faculty are only loosely defined.  My contract with Tulane, for example, is less than two pages long.  And while it does set out the courses I was slated to teach when it was issued, my salary, and the benefits I’mContinue reading “Conflicts of Interest”

Does anyone have a megaphone?

There’s been a lot of progress in the two years that I’ve been advocating for contingent faculty within the Society for Classical Studies (SCS).  We’re now represented by our own committee, have a seat at the table in Professional Matters, and are about to gain greater protections–at least in theory–through a revised Statement of ProfessionalContinue reading “Does anyone have a megaphone?”

The Problem of Being Overextended

Seeking a new career forces you to abandon the familiar. Management consulting, politics, business operations, and crime analytics are all jobs I’ve applied for that I never would’ve considered in graduate school.  One of the problems I’ve faced in doing this, however, is that not many businesses have in-house training programs.  Instead, they often seekContinue reading “The Problem of Being Overextended”

Location, location, location

One of the hardest things about pursuing academic work is that you have to give up control over where you live.  This is something everyone learns when they’re considering graduate school, but it doesn’t really sink in until you see friends go through the process or you yourself get a call inviting you to moveContinue reading “Location, location, location”

Getting Started

Last week I wrote about how graduate study of the liberal arts–and especially the humanities–can create a peculiar sensation of being trapped. While some may question whether that feeling is justified, my concern lies elsewhere.  I find the most worrisome thing that many graduate students and recent Ph.D.s feel paralyzed and simply don’t know whereContinue reading “Getting Started”

College Interview Advice

It’s college admissions season, so I thought I’d share a few pieces of advice about what to do–and not do–if you find yourself in an interview.  I’m writing this with high school seniors in mind since that’s where I have experience, but all of these things should be applicable in any interview that isn’t focusedContinue reading “College Interview Advice”

Liberal Arts, Nemesis of the Liberal Arts

When I first began conducting informational interviews and applying for jobs outside academia, I was struck by how hard it was to tell my story in a compelling way.  Like most people who pursue a Ph.D., I felt strongly that I’d learned much from the experience and that I had skills I could put toContinue reading “Liberal Arts, Nemesis of the Liberal Arts”