Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The ‘Job Market’ That Is Not One

The Chronicle of Higher Education
December 15th, 2014

This year marked the 25th anniversary of the most infamous academic-labor study of all time, "Prospects for the Faculty in Arts and Sciences." The study, led by William Bowen, then president of Princeton University, set itself the task of projecting "demand and supply" for faculty a full quarter-century into the future—forecasting the so-called job market right up into our present decade.
Contrary to the widespread knowledge of permanent retrenchment and adjunctification, the study projected that a huge "undersupply" of people holding doctoral degrees would manifest by 1997. However, nothing of the kind transpired. In reality, the perma-temping of the faculty continued on the same steeply upward trend line as before.
The Bowen study’s misreading of the future raises two questions. What was wrong with the assumptions guiding it? And why did an effort with so many flaws receive such an uncritical greeting? The answers remain surprisingly relevant.
- See more at: http://m.chronicle.com/article/The-Job-Market-That-Is/150841/#sthash.EByc2MUV.dpuf


This year marked the 25th anniversary of the most infamous academic-labor study of all time, "Prospects for the Faculty in Arts and Sciences." The study, led by William Bowen, then president of Princeton University, set itself the task of projecting "demand and supply" for faculty a full quarter-century into the future—forecasting the so-called job market right up into our present decade.
Contrary to the widespread knowledge of permanent retrenchment and adjunctification, the study projected that a huge "undersupply" of people holding doctoral degrees would manifest by 1997. However, nothing of the kind transpired. In reality, the perma-temping of the faculty continued on the same steeply upward trend line as before.
The Bowen study’s misreading of the future raises two questions. What was wrong with the assumptions guiding it? And why did an effort with so many flaws receive such an uncritical greeting? The answers remain surprisingly relevant.


No comments:

Post a Comment

To eliminate spam comments at restricted to registered users. Additionally, all posts are moderated to further prevent spam and off topic discourse. We strive to post all on topic comments.