SCS Newsletter - March 2019 (Midterm Placement Report)

Placement Service Data (midway through the 2018-2019 academic year)

As we did last year, we are releasing a set of preliminary data from the SCS Placement Service. These data include numbers from the beginning of the Placement season in late Summer of 2018 up to March 11th, when the last portion of Placement Service data was downloaded.

Below is a summary of our findings for an at-a-glance sense of how things went. You can download the set of de-identified data here.

Placement Service Candidate Profiles [Assessed as of March 11, 2019]

There were 308 candidates who filled out candidate profiles on our website this year with at least their names, and 610 people were signed up to receive email notifications via the Placement Service listserv. This is a significant drop from the midterm numbers from previous years: 455 filled out profiles last year, but the 2017 number of 338. End of year numbers are larger for both years. Percentages below refer to the number of people who answered the demographic questions asked, not the percentage of 308 total possible respondents who could have answered.

Judging by the most common attributes in each category, a composite Placement Service candidate is a single (43.6%), white (90.9%), male (50%), US Citizen (82.7%), with his Ph.D. from Princeton University (4.8%, tied with University of Pennsylvania). He is currently a full-time non-tenure track teacher (37.7%) researching Latin literature (30.8%), and using the Placement Service for the first time (27.2%) to apply for 1-5 jobs (30.9%). He has published 1-2 articles (36.2%) but has not yet published a book (75.8%).

Adjunct job seekers continue to hold most of the market of job seekers (52.1%), with graduate students being the next largest populous category (26.1%).

There are a few missing "Candidate Race" variables (i.e. Aboriginal Peoples (Canada), American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander) because no candidates who filled out their profiles self-identified as those races.

Job Ads [Assessed as of March 11, 2019]

There were, as of March 11th, 64 contingent faculty positions (adjunct/part-time, and non-tenure track, up to and above 12 months) and 42 tenure-track or tenured positions posted on the Placement Service, with 7 being classified as “open.” At 113 total jobs, this is just below last year’s number of 120 around this same time. The number of tenure track jobs has dropped ten total jobs from 52 last year, and contingent positions has dropped a total of four from 68 last year. We will see if this slight dip bears out by the end of the year in our final report in August.

As a note: the categories regarding job rank and specialty have increasingly become less and less useful to describe the types of jobs that are being placed on the job board. Institutions now tend to post either a Generalist position or write in their own specialty to match a specific need at their university, rather than classify the desired research specifications of their desired applicant. Similarly, universities have taken to redefining job rank so that titles are no longer so firmly tied to the type of position. In other words, an “assistant professor” no longer indicates a tenure-track position 100% of the time, and the same goes for other ranks. This has been creeping into the data for the past few years, and I have decided to no longer include it in the written report, as it is getting less and less meaningful than simply reporting the actual responsibilities expected in a job. Anyone wishing to access this information can analyze the info for themselves from the raw data downloads included in this report.

Post-Meeting Placement Service Survey, Candidates (171 respondents, 88 providing detailed responses) [Assessed as of March 1, 2019]

Respondents to the survey skewed slightly more female than those who filled out candidate profiles on the SCS website (62.5% compared to 48.7%)

When asked if they intend to pursue employment outside of teaching at the college level “I don’t know yet” (56.96%) remained the most popular choice, followed, after “other,” by academic administration (16.5%), followed by secondary education and salaried research (15.2%).

Interviews at the Annual Meeting [Assessed as of March 11, 2019]

NB: As last year, these numbers are what were submitted to the system before the annual meeting, and so do not reflect any last-minute changes that occurred.

18 institutions (17 plus the SCS TLL Fellowship) interviewed at the annual meeting, down 13 from last year.

The average shortlist size was just over 9 – down from 12 last year and the year before – with the shortest being 3 and the largest being 20.

Of the 308 candidates who filled out their candidate profile, 133 got interviews at the annual meeting. This is 43.2% of candidates, down from 46.6% last year.

30 candidates had more than one interview at the meeting, with three being the highest number of interviews for one person.

Final Notes

More data about the job market will be made available at the end of the Placement Service year, which coincides with the end of the academic year.

If you have any suggestions for the data that you would like to see or the way in which these data are presented, please contact info@classicalstudies.org or reach out to the Placement Serivice coordinator Erik Shell at erik.shell@nyu.edu.

Placement Service Responses to Survey Comments

Normally this portion of the report would be reserved for a representative summary of the comments written to the SCS office in the annual Placement Survey. This year, however, the comments in regards to actions, infrastructure, and policies of the SCS Placement Service were largely positive, and do not require public comment from the SCS office.

Far more frequent were pleas to the SCS about institutions. Namely, many candidates would like to see colleges and universities 1) move toward a more consistent slate of application materials, 2) increase their usage of Skype and other video communications software for the first round of interviews, and 3) see an increase in contact between search committees and prospective candidates.

Institutions vary widely in their policies regarding all three of these issues, sometimes at the departmental level and sometimes as far up as the highest levels of administration. SCS is unlikely, on its own, to be able to change university-wide policies and proceedures.

The SCS has made available guidelines regarding video conferencing for interviews, and will continue to add to this resource for institutions who decide to use this technology, whether at the meeting or otherwise. We will continue to facilitate this form of interview at the meeting and ensure that ethical standards are upheld no matter what form of interview is utilized.

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