Monday, November 14, 2011

Oh For Dumb

 When Herman Cain says something like this:

we all laugh.

When Eric Loomis writes this
I am a graduate of the University of New Mexico. This is not an elite institution. It is marginally a top-50 Ph.D. program. It has strengths in certain areas (Latin America, U.S. West, U.S.-Mexico borderlands) but you wouldn’t want to go there for anything else. Theoretically, it should be really hard to get a job with a UNM Ph.D.
However, every single person I know who was a serious student at UNM and who wanted to go into academia has a job. Every single one. Without exception (at least on the U.S. side of things). Almost all of these are tenure-track jobs with a few newer scholars presently in very fine visiting positions. And I know people from several other less-than-elite institutions who are doing very well for themselves too (Arizona, UNLV, and Nebraska come to mind). Those who chose to do something else other than academia have also succeeded in their chosen fields. So what’s the deal with this? 
 I gnash my teeth and wish him harm. He and Cain aren't that far apart on this issue. Loomis is or was a  "serious student" not like all the slackers who haven't found work. Then there is the  the on the "US side of things" caveat, which ignores Latin America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and etc. Then there is the radical subjectivity of those he knows. It's almost like he never heard of adjuncts, causulization of labor, the over supply of PhD, the persistent and consistent underfunding of higher education, and etc.

Finally, and to repeat, Loomis got his job, he argues, because he deserved it those unnamed others at UNM who weren't serious, or at least not as serious as he, didn't deserve a job. He did and does. Up, to be blunt, yours. Two stories, one I know 5 serious and smart students who didn't get jobs of any nature because the market sucks, two of them have already published their disses with big names university presses. Second story, an ex-friend was on a hiring committee and they had all work diligently to come up with a ranking of the top 12. As they got up to leave the meeting somebody said: 'wait, why'd we pick this one?" They sat down in two hours had inverted the list. The idea that Loomis and his known serious students objectively merited their tt, one year and other (chosen? why because they couldn't get tt or one year gigs?) fields are other than the lucky ones who got this or that job is Cainism with a vengeance.

For goodness sake. Tell you what Loomis go down to the adjunct  bull pen at wherever it is you work and tell them that they weren't serious enough.

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