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.

Memo to Professors: How Useless Are You? Really?

Regular readers of this blog know that I use this space for focused advice for young academics on overcoming specific pitfalls and challenges in the academic career—how to write an abstract, apply for a grant, deal with a difficult advisor, … Continue reading

What is Evidence of Teaching Excellence?

Today’s post is a Special Request post for quite a few clients, who wanted to know what is meant when a job ad asks for “Evidence of Teaching Excellence.” I want to state at the outset that I have only … Continue reading

Should I Use Interfolio?

Today’s Post is a Special Request post for XXX, who asked the $64,000 question: should I use a dossier service like Interfolio? If I had my druthers, this post would run like my previous one on edited collections—ie, variations on … Continue reading

How to Work the Conference (Part Three of Three)

This is Part Three of our three-part series, “How to Work the Conference.” Today’s column discusses mealtimes and the book exhibit. In last week’s post I quoted extensively from The Tenured Radical’s column on conferences.  One of her best lines … Continue reading

How To Ask A (Famous) Professor to be Your Dissertation Chair

Today is a Special Request post for Meagan, who wishes to know how to approach a famous and influential scholar in her department to be the chair of her dissertation committee. Ideally, you will have arranged to work with your … Continue reading

How to Work the Conference (Part Two of Three)

Today we continue with Part Two of the “How to Work the Conference” series (see Part One here).  Today’s post deals with how to behave during the conference–that is to say, how to look like you’re very busy and in-demand. … Continue reading

The Perils of Publishing Your Dissertation Online

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Today we are honored to have a guest post by Kathryn Hume, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English at Penn State University and author of Surviving Your Academic Job Hunt: Advice for Humanities PhDs (revised edition, 2010). I got … Continue reading