Marge's post

Tue, 7 Jun 1994 04:04:39 EST

Wow Marge . . . ask a hell of a question, why don't you?

Look, I know you . . . you do good professional work and scholarship
. . . and you and I are both unemployed, both facing financial ruin, both
emotionally hurt, both psychologically hurt . . . and both have a handicap
though yours is different from mine and more obvious to the causual observer.

So, what do we do . . . first, we have to identify what the actual
problem is that allows men, women, handicapped, blacks, and everything else
you can name to be denied employment in their chosen profession when they
are obviously qualified.

Second, we have to establish a policy for hiring that does not
contradict either moral and ethical ideals or practical needs.

Now, I'm backed into a corner; since that seems like Fairy land. How
do we establish a situation where financial concerns, special interest
concerns and personal concerns are all met?

I'm going to suggest the following . . . as part of every hiring
procedure for first time hires for Ph.D.'s in any discipline . . . personal
need should be considered as a criterion.
Second, every applicant should receive at least a telephone or e-mail
interview (with the chance to present their case for what they can do for
the department they are applying to).
Third, no criteria except scholarly or academic should be used in
hiring decisions.
Fourth, no position should be advertised as open hire when in fact a
preference has already been established . . . honesty should be the policy.
Fifth, funding should be found to replace all retirements in all
Sixth, all administrators should be prohibited from putting pressures
on departments to hire any specific category.
Seventh, all Federal and State pressures to hire by category should be
Eighth, all positions in all disciplines should be advertised publicly.
Ninth, all hiring committees or departmental chairs, or administrators
should respond honestly and openly (both prior and afterwards) to inquiries
about the criteria established for a recruitment, or direct reasons as to
why a candidate was not selected.
Tenth, sixth (for the benefit of society as a whole) funding should
be found (God knows from what source) to employ every Ph.D. in the
positional choice that they have invested in.
Eleventh, Student loans should be eliminated (or at least allowed to
be bankrupted on) so that scholars should not be placed in permanent debt
in order to seek employment.
Twelfth . . . academic institutions should be made free of financial
pressures and provide free (if a State or Federal chartered institution)
education based on scholarly criteria though any level of education . . .
(the sense here is is the charter of most State affiliated institutions,
which are no longer followed).
Beyond that Marge . . . I really have to think about it . . . in
depth, real soul searching . . . since it pains me when obviously
qualified people of any category are refused their inalienable rights to
life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (and freedome of choice) because
some series of jerks feel uncomfortable with what they are encountering. I
don't really know . . . but I want to find the answer . . . we have to find
the answer or we are collectively ruined.
Thanks for the question and thanks for the dialogue . . .

John O'Brien