Continuing the thought process about junior faculty looking for other jobs (that began here, and continued here, and summed up nicely as a sort of Hotel Californication by Maggie May, and today blew up with this Rate Your Students post and the beginnings of the responses),
here are a few thoughts that I'd like to see addressed. And at the end, a proposed solution.
Having followed the posts, it's interesting to hear that "senior faculty" (by the way, if "junior faculty" get painted as a single brush, so do you, gramps - this post is going to take the same tone I'm seeing from the "senior faculty" in hopes that by speaking their forked tongue language, they'll get the point a bit better) really are as insular as Abe Simpson. First, because it seems they can no longer distinguish between reasons for leaving. In none of the posts above that brought this up has anyone given any indication they're doing a one year and out situation, and yet this seems to be the assumption made by the "senior faculty" posting in response. Second, because they can't quite imagine that people don't love everything the same way they do, they seem to take someone doing typical job things - trying to find positions that fit better, pay better, etc. - as some sort of personal affront. It's great that you love your town, your university, your country, your 7 pm bedtime after "Matlock" is over, but honestly, hegemon, that doesn't mean everyone has to.
If we're not happy, if we're far from the things we care about, if we're not getting what we need then we have two choices: we can wait for you to finish your victory cabbage, your 40 mile walks through the snow with no shoes, and your stories about how FDR beat Superman in a footrace and help us fix it , or we can do something to fix it ourselves. From the posts thus far, the choice is obvious. And if that's the way we feel, why do you want us there anyway? If we're as selfish and egotistical, why cry when we leave? Wait - that would mean you'd have to teach those intro courses you hate, serve on more committees, do more research, reprep old lectures, stop peddling your cars with your feet and enter the modern world.
Most importantly, recognize that you've got more than a little blame in this, old folks. You've perpetuated a system. You've done job hires the way they've always been done, you've hired junior faculty out from under other departments and been glad to have them. You've passed off the duties you don't want to the person at the wrong end of the career ladder. So change how you hire, change who you hire, or hush up and relax - I'm sure "Lawrence Welk" will be on soon, and then you can take your naps and dream of shooing kids off your lawn.
And you know what? I know why you want me to stay. I've just spent parts of several days watching your poor argumentation - name calling, castigation, the need to resort to profanity and sad stereotypes - to bolster your points. I've seen your weak logic, your reliance on strawmen arguments, your inability to think critically about the system you're in, and your strange assumptions that everything is either/or. The whole point of this post, after all, is designed as both argument against and satire of how you "senior faculty" are coming across. You need me to teach you critical thinking as badly as your students do from the sounds of it. Just because I'm looking for a new job doesn't mean I don't appreciate and want to help students, that I don't like the university, or that I voted against social security or whatever it is that's really got your Depends in a wad.
Oh, and that solution: for all of you more curmudgeonly-than-thous who think junior faculty shouldn't leave one job to go to another, put that in your ads. If you really think that badly of someone trying to find a situtation that is good for them and good for the school and their students, own it. You write the job ads. Because I can tell you, if that's your attitude, I don't want to work with you anyway, you narrowminded, judgemental, sanctimonious windbags.
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