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2002-2003 Report of the Joint Committee on Placement
Division of Professional Matters of the American Philological Association

This report will supplement the Committee on the Status of Women and Minority Group's report, also available on the website; issues discussed fully in that report will not be covered here. Please note that the supporting documentation for this report is contained in linked tables that will appear in resizable pop-up windows so that they may be consulted alongside this report; these pop-up windows should be closed as you finish consulting each table. The full report is available as an Adobe Acrobat file that may be downloaded and printed (printable version of report); all the placement tables and figures for 2002-2003 are available in separate Acrobat files (printable version of tables and printable version of figures). It is best to use the “Print as Image” command when printing Acrobat files.

The Status of the Job Market

In 2002-2003, 132 institutions registered with the Placement Service. Of these, 59 (45%) used the Service to schedule interviews during the convention; 29 (22%) published ads after the convention; and 44 (33%) either did not attend the convention or scheduled their own interviews (see Table 3).

There were 398 candidates registered with the Placement Service in 2002-2003 (59% male and 41% female), down from 404 the previous year. Of these 398, 39 were Subscribers Only, a category that has been eliminated beginning with the 2003-2004 Placement Year. If we exclude Subscribers Only, the number of candidates was 359, exactly the same as 2001-2002. The gender breakdown of these 359 candidates was 60% male and 40% female, as compared with 57/43% in 2001-2002 (Figure 1). Of the 291 candidates who attended the 2003 Annual Meeting, 63% were male and 37% female, closer to the 61/39% ratio at the 2001 meeting than to the 58/42% ratio in 2002 (see Table 2). The rise in the number of advertised positions that had been heralded in previous reports (186 in 1999-2000, 196 in 2000-2001, and 204 in 2001-2002) halted in 2002-2003, when only 179 jobs were advertised (162 definite and 17 possible). According to our formula for calculating the ratio of candidates to vacancies, there were 173 vacancies and 359 candidates (excluding Subscribers Only), yielding a ratio of 2.08, less positive than the 1.82 ratio in 2001-2002 and 1.88 in 2000-2001 (see Table 1 and Figure 7).

However, because we are now compiling statistics on hiring as well as interviewing, the rather positive ratios mentioned above must be tempered by the results obtained when we consider the actual statistics on hiring of candidates registered with the Placement Service, since not all advertised positions were filled, and not all positions that were filled went to Placement Service candidates.

Figure 8 charts the outcomes of all searches advertised in 2001-2002 and 2002-2003. In 2002-2003, we were unable to learn the outcome of 9 searches, despite persistent follow-up with the advertising institutions. Of the 170 searches whose outcome was known, only 135 (79%) were filled by classicists (there were 15 cancellations, 8 ongoing searches, and 12 positions filled by people in other fields). This is a considerable reduction from the 161 advertised positions filled by classicists in 2001-2002 and 163 in 2000-2001.

If we do not limit ourselves to positions advertised with the Placement Service but include unadvertised hires reported to the APA and information about hires reported on the candidates' survey, we get a fuller picture of the actual job market in Classics. In 2002-2003, we were able to ascertain information about 175 hires (143 named hires announced to the APA, and 32 additional positions indicated anonymously on the candidates' survey); this compares with 167 in 2001-2002 (when we were unable to correlate responses from the candidates' survey with other data from the Placement Service because of an error made when the surveys were mailed) and 209 in 2000-2001. However, in all these years a significant percentage of these positions were obtained by classicists who had not registered with the Placement Service: 49 (28%) in 2002-2003, 28% in 2001-2002, and 32% in 2000-2001. Thus in 2002-2003, only 32% of all candidates and 39% of candidates who attended the 2003 Annual Meeting obtained new academic positions (according to all information available to the APA/AIA). Matching all known hires of Placement Service registrants against the number of candidates yields a ratio of 2.85 if we count all candidates except Subscribers Only (Figure 9 and Table 15A) Comparable ratios for previous years are 2.99 in 2001-2002 and 2.48 in 2000-2001.

Unsurprisingly, the ratios appear worse when we consider tenure-track positions. In 2002-2003, 66 of the 173 positions whose status was known (38%) were tenure-track and 15 of these (23%) went to individuals not registered with the Placement Service, so that only 12.8% of candidates (or 17.5% of candidates attending the meeting) obtained tenure-track positions. The ratio of candidates (excluding Subscribers Only) to tenure-track positions obtained by candidates was thus 7.04 (Figure 9). Comparable ratios for previous years are 7.18 in 2001-2002 and 6.12 in 2000-2001 (see the 2001-2002 Placement Committee Report for a fuller discussion of the two previous years).

However, the job market for classicists is still considerably better than it was in the mid-nineties, and these statistics include only information about academic positions known to the APA/AIA. It is therefore crucial that we continue to monitor this situation carefully, despite the effort it takes to gather comprehensive and accurate statistics about placement and hiring. The APA and AIA are hindered in this effort by the number of job-seekers who do not register with the Placement Service. In 1998 there were 421 registered candidates (excluding Subscribers Only), but in 1999 this number dropped to 349 and has remained in the 350s ever since (Figure 6). The drop was apparently not due to a large reduction in the number of job-seekers, since so many advertised positions are going to non-registrants. The Placement Committee strongly urges job-seekers to enroll with the Placement Service and encourages Graduate Programs to remind their students of the benefits and protections provided by the Service. The more complete and precise our statistics, the more helpful they will be to graduate programs and to individuals as they plan for the future.

Employment Status of Candidates

As Table 5A indicates, 116 (32%) of the 359 candidates in 2002-2003 were graduate students, and a further 9% did not indicate academic employment (2% were employed outside academia, 4% were unemployed, and 3% did not respond to the question). The remaining candidates all had some form of academic employment: 115 (32%) in full-time temporary positions, 41 (11%) in part-time positions, 35 (10%) in full-time tenure-track positions, 7 (2%) in tenured positions, and 10 (3%) in full-time pre-college teaching. Thus nearly half of the 359 candidates (43%) were struggling in temporary college teaching positions. Unsurprisingly, these groups also tended to apply for the most positions: 58% of those in full-time temporary positions applied for over 10 jobs and 51% of those in part-time positions did so. The only other groups with high rates of job applications were graduate students (51% of whom applied for more than 10 jobs) and the unemployed (80%). Table 13B shows the amount of publication reported by individuals in each employment category.

Graduate students faired best in their quest for employment, with 46% gaining new positions (16% tenure-track), followed by those with full-time temporary positions at 38% new positions (20% tenure-track/tenured). Of part-time faculty, 32% obtained new positions (7% tenure-track), and 17% of faculty with full-time tenure-track positions obtained new positions (11% tenure-track/tenured); only 20% of those who indicated they were unemployed obtained new positions, none tenure-track (see Table 5B).


Of the 291 candidates who attended the meeting, the largest group were US citizens (74%), followed by Canadian citizens (7%) and US residents (5%). Non-North-American nationals holding degrees from foreign institutions made up 7% of the field, while non-North-American nationals with degrees from US institutions made up 4%. Table 10A indicates the average number of interviews obtained by each of these groups, broken down by number of job applications, with Canadian citizens obtaining the highest interview rate (4.6), followed by US citizens (2.8). This pattern also held for hiring (Table 10B); 41% of candidates who were Canadian citizens obtained new academic positions, followed by 37% of candidates who were US citizens. However, non-North-American nationals did somewhat better at obtaining permanent positions, with 24% of those holding foreign degrees obtaining tenure-track or tenured positions. In comparison, 18% of candidates who were Canadian citizens and 14% of candidates who were US citizens obtained permanent positions.

Year of Doctorate and Doctoral Institution

A high proportion of candidates attending the 2003 Annual Meeting either expected their PhDs in 2003 (98, or 34%) or had received them in 2002 (52, or 18%). The year 2001 had a 6% representation; 2000-1998, 4-5%; the remaining years were 3% or less. When we look at interview rates and positions obtained, no obvious patterns emerge that seem to favor any particular years. Table 8A shows interview rates by year of candidate's doctorate and number of job applications; Table 8B provides information about hires. Larger institutions typically dominated the lists of interview and hiring rates for their students (see Table 9A for interview rates and Table 9C for hiring information; Table 9B and Table 9D show the top institutions according to average number of interviews and hires). For purposes of comparison, Tables 9A and B include statistics from previous years.

Association Membership and Placement Service Use

Table 14A presents interview rates broken down by association membership, and Table 14B presents hiring data. In contrast with the previous year, when APA members had a clear advantage both in average number of interviews and in hiring rates, in 2002-2003 AIA members obtained higher interview rates (3.1) than APA members (2.8) or members of both associations (1.7). The percentages of those obtaining new academic positions were mixed; 30% of AIA members obtained jobs, but 16% obtained tenure-track/tenured positions, while 42% of members of both associations got new jobs (8% tenure-track/tenured) and 36% of APA members got jobs (15% tenure-track).

Table 14C analyzes interview rates according to the number of times candidates had used the Placement Service; those who had registered with the Service twice before obtained the most interviews (4.2), with the other categories all in the 2.0-2.7 range. Table 14D shows a similar pattern in hiring rates, with 44% of three-time users obtaining new academic positions; however, only 10% of these obtained tenure-track jobs, while 19% of first-time users and of those who had used the Service 4 or more times did so.

Report submitted by Barbara F. McManus, Vice President for Professional Matters
on behalf of the Joint Committee on Placement
APA Division of Professional Matters
American Philological Association
August 2004