25 September 2005

- On the Market -

Spouse is back—she returned last night. I'm taking a few hours today to finish off a reader's report and write up a couple of job applications.

Once again this year there appears to be a considerable amount of associate-level hiring going on. Everyone always talks about the "golden handcuffs" of tenure, but in my field it seems to be the full professors who are having the most difficulty moving.

My analysis of the situation is this: due to the hiring freezes of the early to mid-nineties, there is currently a relative dearth of associate-level profs. At the same time, because the salaries of new hires have been rising far more rapidly than salary increases of existing faculty, an associate professor often will not cost much more than an assistant professor. For instance the new assistant professors we hired this past year are still making more than I am, despite a considerable bump for tenure. Another institution could offer me 20% more than I am currently making and not put me more than 5% above what those with four fewer years of service are making. Most full profs on the contrary are far more expensive than assoicate professors. Consequently, associate professors are currently economically undervalued, so they have become an attractive commodity.

I have no idea whether this analysis has any validity, but it seems to account for the situation in my field. In any case, I'm just happy that I'm not a prisoner of tenure.


Post on cover letters above.