Archive for January, 2009

How to Be Happy in Academe

By GREGORY PENCE

Recently a young male professor in philosophy astonished me when he turned down a tenure-track job offer at a small, rural public university and then decided to leave academe. If he couldn’t get a great job at a research university, he told me, or at least a job in a great city, he would change fields.

Another junior acquaintance in philosophy, a single woman approaching 30, confessed to me recently that she might quit her tenure-track job at a private college in a large city, a job she has had only for a year and that she obtained after a series of one-year appointments. Her major complaints? Her school has old buildings, average students, and lousy computer support, and her department doesn’t organize socials like her department in graduate school did.

Those discussions made me realize that today’s young academics might need to lower their expectations, especially in light of the country’s current economic woes. But judging by my experience, that mental adjustment could lead to rich opportunities. My struggle to establish a career in philosophy turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.

(more…)

January 7, 2009 at 2:46 pm Leave a comment


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