Saturday, April 28
...one that was formatted much more like the NFL draft.

Imagine the world watching as schools deliberate over who to hire this year. Will they fill the position that's weakest in their department, or go for the top pick remaining, or will they throw a curveball (I realize that's a baseball term) by choosing someone who is completely unexpected?

Imagine the candidates, dressed in their Sunday best, surrounded by family and friends (who just want them to go somewhere, and soon, and would never suggest that they try for a job at the community college close to home). It's okay to look nervous, to be apprehensive, and there are agents, there to walk you through the process and assure you that today is YOUR day.

Imagine the coverage, with people in the top of your field (or has-beens, or pretty faces), sitting around a table talking about every detail of your performance - the weaknesses in your vita, your stamina, and how you work under pressure - and offering agreement or criticism of every choice that schools made.

The worst, though, would be that 15 minutes that the schools have to choose, with the world waiting with bated breath, until they have to walk across the stage to a podium and "select" their choice to a round of applause or jeers.

I have no opinion one way or the other, but I wonder what it would have been like folding laundry in front of a bunch of fellow academics, exposing just how awful (and absurd) the selection process can be, regardless of your chosen profession.

6 comments:

thistle said...

awesome post, fraud!

Kisha said...

he he he. I actually explain the job market to my family in this way (They work in professional sports). My analogies: The academic job market is somewhat like free agency. Not getting tenure means you've been "cut" from the team.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! Or you could have an American Idol-like show, with three judges from your field--one has to be nasty, like Simon--judging candidates' weekly lectures, with one potential professor cut each week. [Does he or she have to repeat the lecture once cut!?!] I realize it doesn't work as well as your scenario in terms of logistics, but I still think the idea is awesome. I would watch it.

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