Thursday, September 11, 2014

So you think you can Mungowitz

People, this is EXACTLY how Mungowitz tends the pin when you golf with him.

EXACTLY.

Every time.

Sure it seems cute, but believe me, it gets pretty old by the 5th hole.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The simple economics of adjunct abuse

Let me start out by saying I can't imagine how much it would suck to work your butt off, go through grad school, get an advanced degree, and then end up teaching as an adjunct for $2000 / class with no benefits, no job security, and if the situation persists for more than a couple of years, little hope of getting a tenure track position.

But basic economics gives us a reason why the pay is so low and the benefits so miserly:

THE SUPPLY OF ADJUNCTS IS LARGE RELATIVE TO THE DEMAND FOR ADJUNCTS

The real culprits here are indeed universities. Not the ones that hire adjuncts at low pay, rather the ones who continue to recruit students and turn out MAs and PhDs into a market with little demand for them.

Even though universities are seemingly hiring more adjuncts than ever, adjunct wages are not rising because the supply is expanding just as much.

If schools couldn't fill their teaching schedules at these low prices, then they would have to raise the offered wage.

The problem of adjunct abuse will only be resolved by reducing the excess supply of advanced degree holders.

People, if you expect to get an academic job out of grad school, investigate the job placement records of the programs you are considering. When you pick an advisor, investigate the job placement record of that faculty member.

Don't settle for anecdotes. Get the real, full, data. And be realistic. If they "always place their top students" realize that it might not be you (and that the definition of "top student" may simply be the one who got a job).

When you think about how to spend your time during your graduate program, think about what activities will make you more attractive to academic employers (hint, it's probably not your transcript).

In my field of economics, that means get some teaching experience and try to get at least one publication before you hit the job market. The less prestigious your school, the more important this self-certification of quality becomes.


Monday, September 08, 2014

I'm sure that you don't have to be an aggressive authoritarian leftist to be Prez at Berkeley.  But apparently it does help.

Ken gives details, and counterarguments.

Ken had me at:

Pardon my incivility, Chancellor Dirks, but I don't give a shit whether you wish to honor an ideal; I care whether you will comply with the law. If you don't, you should be compelled to do so at the point of a lawsuit. You will find litigation rather uncivil.

Whee! 

Nod to Angry Alex...

Monday's Child

1.  Pole-ing firm.

2.  Predictions from people who don't know much about a phenomenon that no one understands.  My guess is that this is no better than The Farmers' Almanac.  Except for the sea-level rise predictions.  Those are at least objective (except the amount of the rise).

3.  Investors take long position in nuclear.

4.  For the health-conscious tail-gater.  Wait, Jell-O?  Never mind.  For the UNconscious tail-gater.   Jell-O shots!  Whooooooooooooo!

5.  All about speed humps and shaving.  But it's about traffic, not dating.
moremoremoremore....