Monday, July 14, 2008

To Apply or Not To Apply

So my undergraduate university is hiring a historian. It is a position I could apply for. In fact I did apply for it 3 years ago and got a phone interview - but the position ended up getting cancelled. But I'm in a slightly different place in my life now.

1. Have gotten tenure.
2. Bought a house.
3. Divorce is finalized (and I've realized I can do all the parenting-type things alone without having my parents nearby).
4. Took on a small administrative role, which has lowered my teaching load a bit.
5. The job description does not EXACTLY fit what I've been doing/teaching for the 9 years. About 1/2 the job is teaching in my minor area, which I've done before but it was a LONG time ago.

I guess this is all reasons for NOT applying.

On the pro-applying side. I'm a bit worried about where my current institution is headed. Some of the decisions they've made lately were ill-advised and I haven't seen much effort to fix it. I would be in the same town as my extended family - and although I don't NEED to be that close, it would be nice for the kids to be around their cousins and grandparents. And well, who hasn't dreamed about teaching at the ol' alma mater?

Any advice?


Dan said...

It would be Great for the kids to be around cousins & grands.

Just saying.

Dan Johnson said...

Is there a downside to applying for the position? Obviously this might be an issue in terms of your present job -- ie, some might perceive that it demonstrates "disloyalty" to your present college. On the other hand, you're tenured, so there's not a lot they can do about it. It just depends if you're involved in the political life of your college -- ie, jockeying for grants, etc. It doesn't sound like you're in that position.

There are some strong pros. Being around family is wonderful, particularly if you have young kids. This was a key component of our decision to stay in Southern California rather than going to other parts of the country look for positions. We thought having our kids grow up knowing their grandparents, aunts, uncles & cousins was important -- so I labored in the swamp of part-time teaching for ten years. Fortunately, it ultimately paid off with a full-time job at a local community college.

Dan Johnson