Job Tracking - Week 19

Oh, dear readers, I know you've no doubt been chomping at the bit about where the job tracking post for this week is. Last week, after all, left us with ever so much suspense.

Well, fear not, gentle audience, I haven't forgotten. I have, however, dealt with one of those scheduled on-campus interviews, which gives us a leap in spending, as seen in the numbers for this week. And doing an on-campus interview certainly takes the sting out of the latest two job rejections.

So, before we continue, here are this week's numbers:
Total # of academic jobs applied for/# of jobs identified: 23/25
Total # of non-academic jobs applied for/# of jobs identified 0/0
Total spent in U.S. dollars on applications: $192.9
Average cost in U.S. dollars per applications: $19.17
Total spent in U.S. dollars on travel, etc: $248.08
Total amount in U.S. dollars reimbursed: $0
The Chronicle of Higher Ed: 9 0
Other online service (listserv, etc): 14
Friend/Colleague: 2
Personal Research: 1
Total number of paper submissions: 19
Total number of e-submissions: 4
Total weight in pounds of application packets: 22.13
Total number of recommendation letters requested: 48
Total number of requests for references: 5
Total number of "proof of teaching excellence" packs : 9
Total number of requests for Teaching Philosophy :11
Total number of research packs: 13
Total number of transcripts requested: 3
Total number of acknowledgments of receipt: 21
Total number of confirmed reference contacts: 0
Total number of phone interviews: 2
Total number of conference interviews: 0
Total number of on-campus interviews: 2
Total number of offers: 0
Total number of rejection letters: 11
Total number of canceled or unhired positions: 1
Before we go any further, I should set a few ground rules since the topic of interviews is out there. The first one is that I will do my best to avoid revealing anything that might suggest to someone where the interview was. Second, I don't ever have a sense of how an interview went - if no one throws anything and nothing (or no one) goes up in flames, it's about as successful as I can gauge. As you can imagine, that leaves a lot o wiggle room about how it went. So don't ask, because it's the sort of question that just eludes me and, so doing, frustrated me.

What I can tell you is this: I liked the school, and I liked the faculty. The students were hard to gauge. The job would be a challenge at this point, because I've lost focus on that topic in the four years here playing Jack-of-all-topics in a small department with big goals.

And even with those limits, there are a lot of things to talk about: appropriate questions for the interview, research presentations, teaching presentations, meeting students, do's and don't's for those conducting the campus visit, etc. I'll come to some of these on my own in the next few days, but I thought I'd toss some topics out to see if anything jumped out at all of you as something worth discussing.

One of the blog-appropriate questions that I'm not going to wait on is what is fair game for reimbursement on one of these trips. My roommate and I have been going over it - largely because he's curious whether I'd get reimbursed for putting the dog in a kennel (so far, I've only asked one school to, and they didn't, though there wasn't any discussion of it). This trip saw a lot of possible options for reimbursement: airport parking, taxis, a meal during the long flight connections, the charges for a checked bag, drinks ordered - nothing alcoholic - while at the hotel, and airport internet access so I could make the hella long layover I was given so the school could get the cheapest possible ticket. I'm curious what you, beloved readers, think about reimbursement. The only two I feel any question about are the Intertubes access and the drinks at the hotel (this feels odd to me, but I do find myself questioning it). I feel like they were necessities because while I'm not one of you odd-ball coffee achievers, I do need caffeine (particularly on days as long as most campus interviews run).

So what say you? What is fair game for reimbursement? And what topics related to campus interviews shall I tackle?


6 Responses to “Job Tracking - Week 19”
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undine said...

What I've had reimbursed in the past: (1) hotel bill (school took care of that without my seeing the tab; (2) meal at the hotel; (3) plane tickets, sent in advance from the school.

January 24, 2009 at 10:57 PM
DocWalk said...

I'm in a very small, poor university in the rural southwest. We have recently - in a committee I chair - spent considerable time on the question of reimbursement. So I'll follow this thread with interest. What we are doing currently (a very recent change) is phone interviews, followed by bringing the top candidate (expenses paid) to campus. I cannot fathom making a candidate interview at his/her own expense, but that's been argued recently by some. Suggestions? Thoughts?

January 25, 2009 at 7:40 AM
Dance said...

When I submit for reimbursement from research funds as a professor, I would certainly include:

airport parking, taxis, a meal during the long flight connections, the charges for a checked bag, drinks ordered - nothing alcoholic - while at the hotel

And I think a candidate should be able to use the same standards (all of those are certainly legit under govt standards).

The cost of cat-sitting I have never tried to ask for, and rather feel that is more the cost of having a pet. It's not fair that it costs me money out of my own pocket to go somewhere, but it is also not fair that it costs the school more to bring me than a petless person.

Internet access I have not usually included, unless it was on the hotel bill. But this school should probably not pay for you to do your work for the home school, and you could have killed time by reading a book. So that doesn't strike me as a necessary or professional expense in this case.

January 25, 2009 at 10:14 AM
Dr. Curmudgeon said...

Part of my thought about the airport internet is this: they aren't paying me to do my job, they're paying the price for me telecommuting so I can see about their job.

This was particularly important because on a higher teaching load, interview schedule times tend to favor the needs of the committee and not of the person being interviewed. In my case, to come visit this school, I had to miss four class sections. I tried to get a less demanding interview time, but the school couldn't budge and opted for the cheapest flight, which gave me a several hour layover.

I tend to think that the person being interviewed shouldn't pay for anything related to interview - so airfare, travel, hotels, meals. But I think if there isn't flexibility in the scheduling, what a school should be prepared for might need to open up a little bit.

January 25, 2009 at 7:50 PM
Anonymous said...

I think many schools (and particularly state schools like EMU) are required to use state travel guidelines, which essentially reflect what the federal gov't reimburses. So the normal travel expenses: travel to and from the airport, airport parking, tips for baggage handlers, meals en route, transportation, hotel and meals at the site are all reimbursable. When I was in gov't, I often spent 200+ days/year on the road (which is one reason why I opted for academia).
It's possible to make the case for them to pick up the tab for internet access or something like overseas long distance, but you have to make the case that it benefits them (since they are picking up the tab) rather than being solely for your convenience.
Like DocWalk, I cannot imagine making a top candidate interview at his/her own expense. If an organization nickels and dimes you in the interview process, then you can expect the same if you choose to work there. The interview works both ways -- the university also has to sell you on working there. Making a candidate pay for the "privilege" of interviewing sends a strong negative signal about how the school views its people.

January 27, 2009 at 1:00 PM
Dr. Curmudgeon said...

Sorry for the delay here.

There's some excellent advice here, and I thank you all for it. Ultimately, I've gone the safe route in terms of reimbursement - parking, bag fees, a meal at the airport, etc.

What I think is worth taking from this is that this might be once place where a committee could help ease some anxiety and possibly communicate a bit of the university's values at the same time by explaining up front what can and can't be reimbursed under their system. And if there are things that can't be that a candidate will (or might need) they should have an option to help deal with those things in place.

January 31, 2009 at 7:43 PM