Sunday, July 1, 2012

Comments on Inside Candidates

I had some comments on my post about inside candidates. I wanted to share this one from Jen Pylypa: 

I agree with the spirit of your comments here, and they are certainly appropriate given the current American context. Beyond the specific context of your comments, it might be interesting, though, to contemplate that there are other hiring models in the world. Here in Canada, where unions have more power, it is not necessarily assumed that inside candidates are not 'owed' a job. At my university, the collective agreement has various provisions that prevent departments from hiring and rehiring temporary faculty on short term contracts without providing them the respect and job security of permanence. For example, at least in theory preference IS given to an inside candidate if they are 'equally qualified' given the job ad description (although arguments over the notion of 'equally qualified' may ensue). Also, faculty hired on a one year term and renewed annually for 5 years (adjuncts) must after 5 years be 'confirmed', which means that they get a permanent teaching (non-research) position. The logic is that if you respect someone's work enough to keep them in residence over multiple years serving the department, you DO owe them permanence rather than ongoing, economically exploitative, precarious employment.

This is a good reminder that the exploitation of adjunct faculty in US institutions makes the "inside candidate" issue more complicated. 

I would not consider the cases I have been involved with to be exploitative. When I was the "inside candidate" for my present position, I had only been at the institution for a short time (began teaching in August, was hired by the end of April). But, in cases where someone has worked at a university for many years, I am very open to the argument that the institution does owe that person a permanent position. In that case, though, I hope they would consider a targeted hire, rather than run a fake nation-wide search when they plan to hire their long-term colleague.

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