Turns out it’s a little less high-status than you might imagine.
— UC-AFT at UCLA (@UCAFT_UCLA) March 18, 2022
I’ve seen this sort of thing a few times before. They’ve created a soft money position for someone — they’re going to provide lab space or an office to someone who is then expected to write grants for their salary. The only difference here is that they were probably compelled by university policy to publicly advertise the position, thereby exposing one of the dirty underhanded secrets of academia to the whole world.
This ought to be criminal, except…this is a way to give someone an opportunity to work in a university for the status, the facilities, and — dare I say it — the exposure. Sometimes it’s done as a way to give a spouse a position.