Our New Column: Dispatches From the Frontlines

Since the day we started The Professor is In, we have been dedicated to telling you the truth. We want you to understand the unwritten rules of the academy, and we do our best to prepare you for and support you in what is most definitely an increasingly challenging academic environment.

To continue and grow that mission in 2020, we are starting a new column called “Dispatches from the Frontlines.” 

This time around we are taking up questions from readers that we think will benefit from the experiences and insights of a broad range of scholars. In other words, we are asking for you to share your viewpoints and advice, and we’ll collect it and make it available to the community.

Here is how it will work. Each Monday, we will crowdsource a question we get from a reader on Facebook and Twitter with a link to a google form. If you have any experience, insight or advice from your own career that you would like to share, fill out the google form.  You can find the google form HERE.

Like everything we do, the process is entirely confidential. The only information we want from you is: Status/Position (ie, grad student, assistant professor, tenured, post-ac, etc.). Area (Social Sciences, Stem, Humanities, Professional, Arts/Music/Theater) and if relevant, type of institution (R1, R2, Regional, SLAC, CC)–this info gives essential context for any advice. We hope you will also include your age, race, gender, sexual orientation, marital status and any other identifiers you think influence your experience, but these are optional. You can find the google form HERE.

On the following Monday, we will publish the Dispatches from the Front column combining your advice and insights along with our own never-in-short-supply opinions.

Find us with the hashtag: #AcademicDispatches

Next Question: I am an international scholar as are many of the people in my department so it is challenging to prepare for job market interviews. I know you recommend not memorizing answers to avoid sounding like a robot. I would love to know how other non-native English speakers prepare to not sound too rehearsed for standard questions or to handle unexpected questions, which can be quite challenging.

You can find the google form HERE.

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About Karen Kelsky

I am a former tenured professor at two institutions--University of Oregon and University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. I have trained numerous Ph.D. students, now gainfully employed in academia, and handled a number of successful tenure cases as Department Head. I've created this business, The Professor Is In, to guide graduate students and junior faculty through grad school, the job search, and tenure. I am the advisor they should already have, but probably don't.

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