Advice for the Academic Job Search

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Recently, I visited Ellen Lupton’s MFA studio at the Maryland Institute College of Art to share my experiences with academic searches—from both the perspective of the job seeker and the search committee chair. Below are some of the points from my presentations.

Download Full Presentation:Design_Education_blog

UNDERSTAND TENURE:

—Positions: Tenure-track, VAP, Lecturer, Adjunct, Long-term Contract

—Tenure= 5 year probationary period. Tenure review takes about a year.

Typical Career Path: Assistant Professor > Associate Professor > Full Professor

Tenure Review: review of service, teaching, and research

—What counts as valid research varies by institution with the exception that peer-reviewed journal articles always count.

—The teaching load varies by institution and relates to criteria for tenure.

The balance of service, teaching, research varies from institution to institution.

RESEARCH =

Peer-reviewed journal articles

National/international exhibitions

National/international awards

Book(s) & book chapters

Invited lectures

Refereed conference proceedings

Grants

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PREPARE FOR THE JOB SEARCH

—Make a big map and pin up the locations of all interesting jobs.

—Put together a strong website: your design skills, research and outside interests.

—Post regularly using social media.

—Fill out the application materials exactly as requested.

—Regard the description as a wish list.

—Research each institution before a phone or campus interview.

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WHAT TO ASK DURING AN INTERVIEW

—How does your department support the tenure process? 

—How collegial is your department? Has anyone been denied tenure in the last 10 years?

—What does this university value in the tenure process? What’s the balance?

—Be sure you are a good fit with the institution and department.

—Negotiate wisely: summer support money, equipment, an early leave, travel money.

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USEFUL LINKS

AIGA DEC: http://educators.aiga.org/

CHRONICLE OF HIGHER ED: http://chronicle.com/section/Home/5

ACADEMIC KEYS: http://www.academickeys.com/

College Arts Association (CAA): http://www.collegeart.org/