Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ivory Filter Flask: 7/16/13 edition

Good morning! Between July 11 and July 15, there were 13 academic positions posted on the C&EN Jobs website. The numbers:

Postdocs: 1
Tenure-track: 6
Temporary faculty: 4
Lecturers: 2
Staff: 0
US/non-US: 12/1

College Station, TX: Aw, someone here wants to apply to be department head at Texas A&M, right? Right?

Pullman, WA: Washington State is hiring an assistant professor of analytical chemistry for fall 2014.

Haverford, PA: Haverford College desires a postdoc for an advanced instructional lab class, to be co-taught with a senior faculty member. I am not sure how I feel about this; seems to me that titling it a postdoc is granting this position "training" that it may not have. Calling it "visiting very assistant professor" would probably be more appropriate.

Bryn Mawr, PA: Bryn Mawr is looking for an adjunct lecturer of inorganic chemistry to start in January 2014.

Tuscaloosa, AL: Time for another Last Minute Lecturer contribution at the University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa. M.S./Ph.D. desired, start date of August 15, 2013. 


  1. Any idea what a 9 month replacement lecturer at some place like Bama would pay? Not even remotely thinking of applying, but morbidly curious. I assume <$40K?

  2. 1) Haverford - the postdocciness of the position probably would depend on the senior faculty member. In lab, it could be anywhere from "Here's what I've been doing for the last five years - please watch the stuudents so they don't kill themselves and help improve the course" to "I do the lectures and you do everything else" to "Hi, indentured servant. How are you today? [snap!]" Might have a better life as a postdoc doing that then as a senior grad student with a visiting prof.

    2) Between Texas's well-known safety culture and the known presence of some....safety outliers, being a department head could be hazardous if you have to manage their safety, or if you have to go into the labs.

    3) $40K could be a decent living in Alabama (motto: "We're not Mississippi!"), but it is in Alabama. Probably would be a decent winter there (better than here?).

  3. I would hazard a guess that Haverford policy prevents someone teaching only laboratory from having the title of "professor" at any level. But additionally I do not think that this should be qualified as a "postdoctoral position" either. It's a one semester instructor position plain and simple.

    As an aside, it's really disheartening to see quality schools (Haverford and Bryn Mawr) resorting to these one semester positions. These schools, Haverford especially, have the resources to provide more than that. Possibly a true postdoc position that includes both instructional and research components (Colgate has done this regularly over the past ten or so years and it works well for both the postdoc and the department from what I've heard).

    Probably both schools are taking advantage of their proximity to the Philly area are looking to end up with someone who is an adjunct at Penn or Temple or Villanova to come in and teach (i.e. someone with experience who is more or less disposable... a career adjunct). If the schools actually seriously considered their educational mission (beyond simply the education of their paying students) they could use this as an opportunity to help train really talented academics.

  4. Sounds to me that HAverford position should be called "Teaching Assistant".....