My university is hiring for a full-time, tenure-track biology position. Take a look at our job ad:
Duties/Responsibilities: Teaching undergraduate biology courses including cell biology, genetics, electives in the applicant’s areas of expertise, and other courses that support the biology program; advising undergraduates; conducting research that could involve undergraduates; and sharing in the governance and advancement of the biology program, the division, and the campus.
We’re looking for a cell biologist who can also teach genetics…hey, hang on there. Those are the courses I teach! Are the other faculty conspiring to replace me?* It’s a cunning plan they had, then, to put me on the search committee to find a new person to bump me off. They probably thought I’d never expect it if it was happening right under my nose.
Oh, well, I’ll accept my fate gracefully. If you think you’d fit in at a liberal arts university where teaching is your primary responsibility, and you know your cell biology and genetics, apply! We’ll be reviewing applicants starting on 10 November, and will be doing initial phone interviews in early December.
*Actually, it’s more about flexibility. With a small department, everyone needs to be able to wear multiple hats, and I’m the only guy teaching genetics right now, and have been the only guy for over a decade. We like to have a backup for everything. So it’s more like I’m a potential single point of failure.
Scott Simmons says
If that were the real plan, there would have been a line at the end like,”Experience with lethal booby traps, sniper rifles, and/or untraceable poisons preferred but not required.”
The rumour is that P.Z. is in line for the deanship in the School of Theology.
Marcus Ranum says
put me on the search committee to find a new person to bump me off
A lot of IT consulting companies do that. “Find and train your replacement.”
It’s a good thing capitalists haven’t realized that the company could take out an insurance policy on senior staff, then ‘retire’ them with an aggressive newcomer and a knife.
Derek Vandivere says
If you’re able to, it’d be really interesting to hear about any explicit efforts you put into finding a person of color to fill the role (though I guess you probably can’t ethically say much during the process). Saw this article today and thought of your post from a few weeks ago about how difficult it can be: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/10/11/how-people-responded-when-an-ivy-league-professor-wrote-nonwhite-faculty-dont-get-jobs-because-we-dont-want-them
Sounds like what would have been my dream job 40 years ago when I taught Drosophila genetics and trained as a molecular biologist (practicing biochemistry without a license, as some of my friends called it). But first cardiac metabolism, and then a side-slip into oceanography, and, soon now, retirement. Aren’t we all supposed to live to a hundred and fifteen now? Maybe I can slip in a third career! ..But what would I do without my SoCal sunshine? PZ should warn his candidates by showing them some of his winter drone flight videos.
@PZ, been there, done that, many, many times as I advanced in my career(s).
What I noted was, if I was “good” enough in my field, I stayed around and trained a *lot* of people.
To the point where, before *I* moved on, I trained a veritable platoon of people.
As each position was short term, that’s actually an accomplishment.
Indeed, while my “performance” has fallen off of late (due to a lack of significant compromise attempts) and what did managed to attract the ire of management and hence, HR, due to a lack of quality (yeah, my reporting sucked badly, distracted by a lot IRL things) and some time keeping irregularities that’ve been tolerated in a previous contract *and* not knowing that I was hired for nearing three months and hence, double billing, corporate is working with me to retain my services.
I do have a chuckle, you worry about tenure, I worry about day to day employment.
Oddly, we both persist. ;)
Persistent ants, burrowing upon the ass of a humanity ignoring reality.
Oh, this response, after an extensive investigative interview over a lack of HR to inform me that I was hired, for months, while the corporation split and I was brought (invisibly) onboard, paid and due to paper check that was delivered several hundred miles of infrequented housing miles away was delivered, multiple times, while responding to HR for direct deposit instructions, for that which was expected to be a month away.
Seriously, PZ, want to trade places. for even a minute?
I’ve *always* trained my replacement. The only one I can’t find or replace, that of husband.
As my wife is very, very, very ill, I wonder what I’ll do after a 35+ year marriage ends, should she expire.
I’m one of the rare people who were successful military and civilian life people, doing both successfully for over three decades.
I can do without my job for a while, hell, likely longer than you, due to assorted collected skills and I’d gladly help you out in such a vacuum. I don’t want *anyone* to go hungry, ever.
I can do anything from rebuilt the engine mount on my car (which is currently required), through rebuilding that actual engine.
Never did one, know the steps required, engineering wise.
You’ve got an idea what I know on physiology. I want more,
I have a massive lack on biochemistry.
Oddly, a weird comprehension of it, go figure.
I fully understand pharmacology.
When you figure that out, do contact me.
As, while the two statements can survive together, they don’t in reality.
Currently, I’m stilll trying to figure out methylation probabilities.
“The rumour is that P.Z. is in line for the deanship in the School of Theology.”
Perfect job for him.
Poopyhead is in line not for the deanship, but for the demonship, of the School of Theology.
PZ Myers says
There are a lot of atheists in theology schools.
I can see it now: when you go to sit in on the job interview they’ll stop you at the door, where you’ll be given the choice between trident and net or sword and shield. If no suitable candidate was found you’ll still have to face a hungry lion. If you win you get a raise and another bout, if you lose the lion gets to eat.* And I think in the olden days it was pronounced ‘ arena’, not ‘search comittee’. Must be another symptom of all this rampant political correctness I keep hearing about.
P.S.: I recommend the trident. As someone who deals with fish you should already be quite proficient with nets and you really don’t want to try to fend off a wild lion / academic with a tiny buckler and a short sword. Best to net the beast and skewer it from afar.
*Well, someone will…