Friday, November 14, 2014

It’s the Teaching, Stupid!

Inside Higher Ed
November 14th, 2014

Most job advertisements in the humanities and social sciences make the bad mistake of positioning tenure-track search committees to learn much more about applicants’ research than their teaching. In order to make the hiring process better-reflect their needs, many departments should consider taking a teaching-centered approach to their next job search.
I understand why elite private and Research I institutions might pursue research-centered profiles of their candidates. Professors there can expect to receive significant and frequent paid leave time and research grants. It makes sense for these schools to find out as much as possible about their applicants’ research agendas.
Professors at most colleges and universities, however, don’t get such opportunities, and in fact they focus most of their time and energy on teaching. It puzzles me why search committees time and again, especially on the tenure-track level, take so little action to measure candidates on what they will ultimately spend most of their time doing as professors.

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