Re: Heading to market

Sat, 10 Dec 1994 13:42:50 -0600

As an individual who has knocked around anthropology for as long or
nearly as long as he has (28 years since PhD in my case), I am concerned
that Mike Salovesh's gloomy, even cynical, advice about hiring, promotion
and tenure may be unduly distressing to people just entering the field.

It is true that these matters are largely publication driven in large
research oriented institutions that offer the PhD. On the other hand,
teaching is often considered to be more important than research and
publication in smaller four year liberal arts colleges. Even when
publication is primary, it is not the case that those who are making the
decisions do not read what one has written. Having been involved on both
sides of search, promotion and tenure committees, my experience is that
some members of those committees read each candidate's publications
carefully and use that as a basis for their recommendations.

Graduate students could well be intimidated upon being told, as Mike
said, that "it is not unusual for brand-new Ph.D.s to have published
dozens of articles and a book or two." In my experience, that is very
unusual indeed. When it does happen, one reason is that the publications
are in another field where the individual had been active for a
considerable time before making the decision to enter anthropology. If a
person has many publications in anthropological journals and a book or
two in anthropology prior to getting the PhD, a likely response is to
think that something is wrong and to wonder why the individual did not
stick to the business of finishing the doctorate before becoming so
active in publication.

Allan Hanson
University of Kansas