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Old 09-26-2008, 10:14 AM   #21
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Thanks for all the insight, guys. I will follow up on the Chronicle of higher ed sites. I will also ask people who may be in the know on this specific situation.

The institution in question is a second tier private college (but very expensive) that I don't believe even awards graduate degrees. They are clearly teaching-focused and I would be surprised if there were a significant amount of research coming out of the faculty, aside from perhaps the science departments. The ad for the position very clearly states that they would be favorably disposed toward a practitioner with certain qualifications and that they have hired practitioners in the past. So I suspect that this is not a situation that is all that similar to a science department faculty job at a big, research-driven university.

I guess I have reserach to do. Appreciate the leads and any other comments people might have.
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:38 AM   #22
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The ad for the position very clearly states that they would be favorably disposed toward a practitioner with certain qualifications and that they have hired practitioners in the past. So I suspect that this is not a situation that is all that similar to a science department faculty job at a big, research-driven university.

I guess I have reserach to do. Appreciate the leads and any other comments people might have.
In the interest of total disclosure, I'm not an academic, but do have an advanced degree and at one point in my life considered entering academia. My father was a tenured professor of physics.

On thing that would be a red flag for me is your comment "The ad for the position.." and your comment "...they would be favorably disposed toward a practitioner with certain qualifications..." At least in the case of public institutions, I don't know about private ones, sometimes the candidate for a position has been selected but because of policy or law, there has to be competition for the position. To make an end run around the latter to get the desired person, an ad will be drafted that reads like the following:

"Tenure track position for low-grade professor of Computer Science. Must have knowledge of C++, Java, be left-handed, and speak Bulgarian." Usually the ads are a bit more subtle than this.

A bit of history may be helpful to help you understand the situation you may encounter (anybody who has a better history, please feel free to contradict me). Prior to WWII, almost all Americans terminated their education with a high school degree. Getting a college degree was rare compared to today. One of the things that happened after WWII was the GI Bill. This created a demand for a college education. This was the period during which my father entered academia and got tenure. Getting tenure was a piece of cake. The WWII generation also created the Boomers, large numbers of whom wanted a college degree. The demand for degrees created a demand for more professors, which created larger departments, which created a demand for larger facilities, etc. But the Boomers weren't quite as fertile as the greatest generation, which in turn lessened the demand for a college degree. But we were stuck with a higher education system designed to handle larger numbers such as the Boomers. The lessened demand created intense competition for the tenured positions. This is the environment you are trying to enter.

My personal opinion is that you shouldn't try to enter academia to get out of the non-academic world but because academia is your calling.
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:04 PM   #23
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I guess I have reserach to do. Appreciate the leads and any other comments people might have.
Imagine if all your students were from your E-R.org "Ignore Poster" list. And imagine if all your co-workers (tenure competition) were Grep.

But I guess that's not much different from having all your current customers & supervisors coming from the same places... at least it sounds as if the teaching job you're contemplating has a smaller commute.
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:38 PM   #24
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Imagine if all your students were from your E-R.org "Ignore Poster" list. And imagine if all your co-workers (tenure competition) were Grep.
Sounds like a walk in the park compared to working for a hedge fund.
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:43 PM   #25
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Brewer, the first time you call some sycophantic little sh*t a piglet sodomizer you will be shopping your resume.

Tread carefully my friend.

Ha
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Old 09-26-2008, 02:04 PM   #26
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The tenure trample doesn't sound like fun to me. A buddy of mind was denied tenure at Berkeley. He had worked like a dog for many years and he was quite competent as far as I could tell. He sued the university for denying him tenure, and he got something like an extra half year of pay to look for another job.

He ended up working at google, and that seems to be less stressful.
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Old 09-26-2008, 02:08 PM   #27
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I wish my students were merely sycophantic. That's a bit annoying, but it's a whole lot better than their being falsely entitled, petulantly demanding and overtly threatening. And I'm sweet, modest and supportive (especially compared to a majority of my colleagues).

I also recommend being cautious. Speaking frankly, from your posts it's fairly obvious that you are rather naive and romantic about all this.

One last thing: Although the ad may leave the door open to a "practitioner," this is probably to maintain the attraction of a broader pool of applicants. Ordinarily, they will go with a full-blooded academic over a practitioner. But only the search committee knows what they really have in mind.
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Old 09-26-2008, 02:18 PM   #28
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Thanks, Grep. I know that I know very little about the world of academia and I appreciate the candid comments. Frankly, grasping at straws here.
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Old 09-26-2008, 02:24 PM   #29
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Brewer I think you have the natural knack to be a professor. Despite disagreement as to some of the conclusions you make, your presentation style is interesting and commands respect of others and I find it hard to believe it would not translate over to a college campus.

In any case best of luck in your search.
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:23 PM   #30
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Give it a try Brewer. The situation may sort itself out.

Also, apply sooner rather than later. Sometimes early applicants have an advantage.
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:41 PM   #31
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A bit of history may be helpful to help you understand the situation you may encounter (anybody who has a better history, please feel free to contradict me). Prior to WWII, almost all Americans terminated their education with a high school degree. Getting a college degree was rare compared to today. One of the things that happened after WWII was the GI Bill. This created a demand for a college education. This was the period during which my father entered academia and got tenure. Getting tenure was a piece of cake. The WWII generation also created the Boomers, large numbers of whom wanted a college degree. The demand for degrees created a demand for more professors, which created larger departments, which created a demand for larger facilities, etc. But the Boomers weren't quite as fertile as the greatest generation, which in turn lessened the demand for a college degree. But we were stuck with a higher education system designed to handle larger numbers such as the Boomers. The lessened demand created intense competition for the tenured positions. This is the environment you are trying to enter.

My personal opinion is that you shouldn't try to enter academia to get out of the non-academic world but because academia is your calling.

Very good and succint explanation

Something like 40% of doctoral students (and an even higher percentage of post-docs) in my graduate department went on to academic careers, most in top-tier institutions. Watching who succeeded and what it took to succeed made me change my mind about treading the academic path.

In ten years when the boomer generation begins to retire, there may be more open positions. However, right now there is world-wide competition for the few open positions available (decreasing just a bit because of up-and-coming university systems in asia). This is especially exacerbated in my field (science/engineering) because of the huge bubble in students during the late 1970s; the majority of professors hired during this era still have another 10 years before they will go to emeritus status.


I bring the specific science/engineering example up in regards to field specific population dynamics. If one is on tenure-track and the students dry up before attaining tenure, there is decreased likelihood of staying on as faculty. I wonder if recent global financial events may change student aspirations and shift focus to other degree programs?
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:04 PM   #32
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Brew, have you taught classes before? Why not try out teach the CFA curriculum for the NYSSA? I'm sure you can immediately get a class going in NYC. It will allow you to see if you enjoy teaching in the first place.
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:28 PM   #33
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Sounds like a walk in the park compared to working for a hedge fund.
I don't know what's with the die-hard finance types. They all appeared to have watched Boiler Room and Wall Street one too many times.
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:19 PM   #34
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brew,

IIRC, you've got an MBA from NYU and a CFA. A lot of good business profs that I [and my friends/coworkers] have had have been people that worked in the industry and then gone into teaching. For example, the best accounting prof worked for PWC for 7 years before becoming a prof. He had an MBA and a CPA.

Given your "expertness" in credit markets, I'd think you'd be an ideal candidate.

- Alec
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:44 AM   #35
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FYI there is an article in the Journal today about business professors' careers.

Molding Minds for Business - WSJ.com
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