Sunday, September 11, 2011

JFP: A Serious Suggestion

That the APA can't seem to get a minimally decent website is perhaps to be expected give the organization's long track record for clueless bumble-fuckwittery. But the truly unbelievable part is that the new webshite sucks so bad that departments still cannot place JFP ads online.

Let me venture a bleak, but I think sound, prediction: The APA webshite will crash within hours of the October JFP going online (if indeed it ever does go online....). And no one at the APA will know what to do about it.

So here's a rare serious suggestion. Why doesn't someone with a sufficiently respectable (hence not me) and visible online presence set up an ad hoc blog where departments can post their job ads? This would not seek to undermine the JFP, but rather ensure that job ads get out to those who need them. A simple post on Leiter or New APPS inviting departments to post their job ads would probably suffice to get most of what's to be in the JFP out there and in view of job seekers. The hosting blog could use the norm of "no anonymous posts" to help ensure that the information is valid. This would be roughly equivalent to what departments do when they post their job ads to the various philosophy listservs. The main (and crucial) difference would be that the blog posts would be all in one place and searchable.

Ours is a profession which endorses a job seeking process that even under the best conditions is nothing short of sadistic. Given the fragility and stupidity of the APA site, and the general disorder that prevails in everything the APA does, this market season is likely to be even more taxing on the already rattled psyches of the talented and unemployed. Maybe implementing the suggestion above would help make this year's job market a little less insane? Any takers?

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Or, someone trustworthy could just set up a blog like this one, collect and organize job ads, and publish them in some sensible, searchable order (alphabetically with tags for region, teaching load, and AOS for example). Then get reputable blogs (not this one, obviously) to publish links to it.

It would be pretty easy, were departments, then candidates, to know about. Not hard, just a bit tedious and not something that, probably, Leiter et al would have the time to dick around with. It would be a good job for a placement officer to volunteer for, actually...

Anonymous said...

Great idea

@ 4:36 Such a blog would have to be heavily vetted and checked to eliminate the problem of fake or misconceiving posts. Even with the norm of 'No Anonymous Posts' there is a great chance that confusion will reign, as tends to happen with job ads in general.

Sebastian Lutz said...

How about http://jobsinphilosophy.org/? Works great, as far as I can tell.

Glaucon said...

This is the only Google hit for 'bumble-fuckwittery', clueless or otherwise. Awesome.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you can have anonymous job postings here. I'll start:

Location: back home near your family

AOS and AOC: exactly your obscure AOS and AOC

Pay: $80,000 a year

Qualifications: exactly 3 mediocre publications

Teaching load: choose your own

Anonymous said...

@7:54: 4:36 here. By "trustworthy" I meant, "trustworthy and known to be." The persons running it would need to be public or departments wouldn't be all that likely to submit, I think. And, like this blog, the posts would be edited, vetted, and posted by that person. Closed comments would probably be advisable (people can chitchat about jobs elsewhere).

Some difficulties with this idea are that departments will have to (1) give a shit, (2) be sufficiently forward-thinking to submit, and (3) have their shit sufficiently together to submit to a newborn site that they have verified is worth their while. It would surprise me if a large number did. But it might be worth a shot. Then again, so would doing Skype interviews for the first round. We'll see how many departments actually go through with that. Mine won't (to my disappointment).

Anonymous said...

Well, the APA website has pre-emptively crashed for no apparent reason and is inaccessible this morning.

Someone needs to take over, and soon.

Fire David Schroeder.

Anonymous said...

It's back, now, but this IS absurd. I mean, how cartoonishly inept do the leaders of the APA have to get before we seriously call for impeachment and/or execution?

Anonymous said...

Not David Schroeder. David Schrader.

Isn't there a law predicting that every complaint about someone's incompetence will include at least one easily avoidable mistake? (Or misteak.)

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:04--

I think you've given Spiros a new law of the acadimy.

Anonymous said...

It is really stupid that the JFP does not come out until October. By the time the JFP comes out, I would say that probably half of the ads in it (at least) have already been published for at least a month in other venues like HigherEdJobs.com and the Chronicle. The fall JFP should be available online in early to mid-september.

Anonymous said...

hence not me

I suspect that many things about the APA could be fixed if more people stopped thinking this way.

Solving problems almost always seems to be best left to others.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. because departments would readily want to advertise their job on a site that's devoted to "fuckedupness"...

Anonymous said...

Yeah. because departments would readily want to advertise their job on a site that's devoted to "fuckedupness"...

Are you seriously suggesting that the APA site is not devoted to fuckedupness? Have you seen the APA site?

Cornelius Mustache said...

Given the horrendous train wreck that is the APA, I am unsure why any department would actually bothering advertising in the JFP. There are plenty of sites (e.g. Inside Higher Ed; The Chronicle; H-Net) that do a perfectly good job of posting job openings. Is this simply holding onto tradition in the same way that the "smoker" is still held at the Eastern APA, but is completely archaic and fairly useless?

Here is my biggest concern: This year, if someone does not look at the JFP (or cannot access it because there is really no viable way to renew one's membership if that person does not receive the magic renewal notice in the mail... and trying to contact the APA is like trying to get hold of a Hollywood exec to look at your screenplay), are there actually any positions that the person will miss out on? This is, of course, assuming that they are looking at the other academic websites.

Side note: I did a search on careerbuilder.com for academic jobs this summer. I am now receiving emails from them for suggested jobs. These are typically parole officer positions. Any ideas of the link?

Anonymous said...

The equal opportunity-nondiscrimination requirements at U.S. campuses typically require that all jobs be advertised (at least) in print in recognized venues. JFP meets that requirement, but so also does the Chronicle of Higher Education.

If you cross-check, virtually everything in JFP has appeared in the Chronicle in some form. Indeed, the Chronicle includes many philosophy jobs you don't see in JFP, especially at the community colleges.

You could skip checking JFP altogether if you systematically checked the Chronicle. But you really need to regularly check their on-line search tools, it's easy to miss some of the print ads.

E.g., my campus typically runs a single huge print ad in early September that lists all the departments hiring, but to find out any details, you need to go on-line at the University site. Still, you'd end up that way with the same information you'd find in JFP.

Anonymous said...

Okay, this is insane. The APA website has been down for a day or two now. And by "down" I don't mean "JFP hasn't been accessible," I mean you can't even log in to the damned thing. And by "can't even log in" I don't mean that the log in screen has been disabled or has a warning noting that logins are not being accepted at the moment, I mean that if you try to log in, it generates an error screen full of ugly error code. (A) Is anyone else having this problem, (B) who IS the idiot who is in charge of the website, and (C) why haven't we killed him/her?

Anonymous said...

Is anyone else having this problem?

Yes, the APA website has been down since sometime Thursday evening. It's now Saturday afternoon. I don't ever recall another jobs site being down this long. What better way for the APA to render itself obsolete for professional hiring than by having a wholly dysfunctional website?

david morrow said...

Chris Sula and I have revamped the Phylo site to create a new, publicly available jobs board to (ahem) supplement the JFP. The URL is http://phylo.info/jobs. As of today, we'll start accepting job postings from departments at no charge. Following Harry Brighouse's suggestion on Leiter's blog, though, we're requiring a link to an external site (e.g., an announcement on the department's web site) to verify each post's authenticity.

Anyone with questions or concerns about the jobs board is welcome to email us at jobs@phylo.info.

Anonymous said...

I nominate Phylo as the official 2011-2012 alternative site for JFP-slated job ads.

Thanks to David and Chris for their work on this.