|Yeah, I can make that jump -- or can I?|
[What is the likelihood that you could go from being a visiting assistant professor to a tenure-track assistant professor?]
I learned that the department would be hiring a tenure-track position to start 2013 and started to strongly reconsider. If I got my foot in the door, helped them in a pinch, performed at or above expectations, I'd have to be a strong internal candidate for the upcoming TT job, right? I'd take a dip in pay for one year, and then once TT kicked in, I'd be back up to ~$65k (estimated from other schools in this system where a friend received an offer). Compared to what I hired in at in industry in an area with a higher cost of living, compensation might be a wash. And I'd be ~2hrs away from family instead of 12. YMMV, but to me that means an awful lot.
A little more homework and I saw that there were already some post-docs and visiting faculty on staff, some of whom were teaching the lab sections of the courses I would be covering. Could I get suckered by an even stronger (or at least, a more entrenched) internal candidate? My guess is probably not - if the department was really happy with them, they'd be teaching the courses of the new opening and presumably the department would spread out the overload....
I know a lot of people feel like a visiting position is "settling" but if you ask around, maybe it's a way to get a foot in the door? Also, after successive visiting appointments (like our Quantum Leap lecturer), at what point are you unemployable in any other capacity?While I'd like to believe otherwise, I think it's unwise to view academic departments as acting in anything other than their self-interest. I suspect that visiting assistant professor positions are more-or-less viewed as substitute teachers, and in an altogether different class from (i.e. never considered for) tenure-track assistant professors.
But I don't really know, and I am basically talking ex recto. Readers (especially knowledgeable ones?)