Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Job posting: one-year contract faculty, St. John's University, Queens, NY

From the inbox:
The Chemistry Department at St. John's University in Queens, NY invites applications for a one-year contract faculty position to teach analytical and general chemistry courses. The positions require a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry or closely related fields, with post-doctoral experience preferred. Applicants should demonstrate a deep commitment to excellence in undergraduate education, and to working with students from diverse backgrounds, and a record of successful undergraduate teaching. The successful candidate also will have an opportunity to participate in departmental activities such as seminars, undergraduate research, and other opportunities for professional development.

Interested candidates may submit their resume and teaching philosophy, and the names of three references. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled, but only applications received by March 28, 2017, can be assured full consideration.

St. John’s University is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages applications from women and minorities.
Full posting here. Best wishes to those interested.  

12 comments:

  1. I'm puzzled why post-doctoral experience would be preferred for a 1 yr contract position. Presumably this position doesn't involve setting up a research program (who knows, maybe this is possible in a year in nanoscience or femtosecond spectroscopy....I'll be here all the week.....). I guess 'cuz they can'?

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  2. "Applicants should demonstrate a deep commitment to excellence in undergraduate education..." for a one year contract position with no mention of longer-term position. Maybe universities would do well to "demonstrate a deep commitment to excellence in undergraduate education" by hiring faculty for sufficient terms to contribute to an institution and its students. Honestly, such job postings should be shamed, rather than promoted on this blog. Could we get a quote from St. John's chemistry chair on how much "deep commitment" can be expected for a short-term hire?

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    1. Hear hear! I thought the same thing when I read the posting. It is ridiculous to expect "a deep commitment to excellence in undergraduate education" when the instructor is going to be looking for his/her next job as soon as they walk in the door.

      Also, unless this is a fairly experienced individual, creating a course and, importantly, improving it is a fairly long process. I know that most burgeoning academics think they can just walk in the door and dazzle everyone with their knowledge, but subject expertise and teaching are entirely different worlds.

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    2. I think it is time to start offering unpaid teaching positions. This way the candidate will clearly demonstrate his/her commitment to excellence in undergraduate education, and the university can finally be sure they aren't doing it for money.

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    3. "I think it is time to start offering unpaid teaching positions."

      I wouldn't joke about that....some pinhead HR drone might think it sounds like a great 'internship opportunity'....

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  3. @Anon 12:55 Pretty close to unpaid for adjunct lecturers. Now if only we could get the university to stop requiring payment to learn, then we could be sure of their deep commitment to learning.

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    1. I don't think they mentioned anything about their commitment to education. They are expecting commitment from you. Academia has joined the brave new world of profit maximization.

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  4. "Honestly, such job postings should be shamed, rather than promoted on this blog."..."Hear hear! I thought the same thing when I read the posting. It is ridiculous to expect "a deep commitment to excellence in undergraduate education" when the instructor is going to be looking for his/her next job as soon as they walk in the door."

    Well, there goes the idea of a VAP or Lecturer position ever being promoted on this blog.

    People who are finishing postdocs often do 1-2 years as a VAP/lecturer before they get TT jobs at PUIs/community colleges. PhDs and postdocs often don't have meaningful lecturing/teaching experience - this is a way to get some, and get some teaching evaluations under your belt that hiring committees want to see.


    In my experience, these gigs pay something like 70-95% of the salary of an assistant professor (tenure track) and come with full benefits (health, 403b, etc).

    They are (unlike most adjuncting) meaningful stepping stones to real, stable TT jobs....

    But yeah, random internet job board commenter! If it's not perfect, then go away!

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    1. "Hear Hear" Anon here:

      The problem not in the position itself, it is in the disconnect between what the posting asks for in a candidate and what they are offering in the job itself. True, a candidate who wants to work at a PUI can get teaching experience in one of these visiting positions, but as anyone who has worked in the education field knows, a first-year teacher very rarely displays "excellence" in teaching. It takes several years of experience and refining to do so. So while the candidate might have a "commitment to excellence" they are almost definitely not going to walk in the door and actually BE excellent. So, if the university itself is "committed to excellence in undergraduate education" they would probably be better off hiring a full-time faculty member instead of having a revolving door of future faculty who are using the position as a stepping stone to a position elsewhere. In other words it is empty language.

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    2. "Well, there goes the idea of a VAP or Lecturer position ever being promoted on this blog."

      If this blog is your go-to for finding such positions, good luck.

      Delete
  5. A few years ago, I interviewed for a temporary position at St. Johns. At that time, I was local from NJ. There was absolutely no assistance offered for relocation or any other assistance. As far as I can tell, there were no active research activities. If I recall correctly, their FT-NMR had also been down for quite a while.

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    1. Can confirm. Interviewed there three years ago, saw how run down the place was, didn't accept. St Johns is the pit.

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