Inside Higher Ed
May 1st, 2015
My professors avoided the rather uncomfortable topic of the job
search, the looming structural changes in academia’s contingent labor
market, and what postgraduation life is like for those who don’t slide
into tenure-track jobs.
And yet, in a survey of over 30,000 faculty members (20,000 of whom identified as contingent workers), the Coalition on the Academic Workforce
found 80 percent reported teaching in part-time, non-tenure-track
positions for three years, and 50 percent teaching off the tenure track
for more than six years. When I left graduate school I went on a
six-year job search that I call the Longest Job Visit.
Although higher education is undergoing some very real structural
changes, I thought I would share a more lived experience perspective on
becoming a visiting assistant professor, serving in that capacity and
then finally moving on from that role.