Filed under Faculty

Sociology Jobs Stay Stable, With a Caveat

Pity the poor researchers at the American Sociological Association. Every year they crank out a report—one of the most thorough of its kind—assessing the state of the academic job market in their field. Every year their findings can be characterized in one of two ways: either “downright bleak” or “cause for cautious optimism.” And every … Continue reading

Are Great Teachers Born or Made?

One of the best teachers in Elizabeth Green’s new book, Building a Better Teacher, uses an analogy to convey the intricacy and difficulty of her craft. “Every single time I get on a plane,” she says, “I’m really glad that the plane is not being flown by someone who just always loved planes … But … Continue reading

Student Evaluations of Professors

It’s student evaluation time again—and I should be the last professor in the world to complain. With slight exceptions for “caring too much” and courses that meet “too early” (9:10 a.m.), my evaluations are quite good. And yet the student evaluations of teaching (SETs) I’ve received during my decade-long teaching career have meant absolutely nothing. … Continue reading

The Uncertain Future of Academic Work

Over the next several years, at least, new technologies are expected to drastically reshape the way professors teach, and when and where people on college campuses do their work. As lawmakers, parents, and students continue to question whether a college degree is worth it, and as higher education struggles to reinvent itself, professors are sure … Continue reading

Trouble Finding Mentors on Campus? Go Online

The summer after my first year of graduate school, I took a trip to several East Coast cities. Having settled on a dissertation topic, I quickly realized there were few professors at my institution, the University of California at Berkeley, who shared my research subject. Hoping to find some mentors with similar scholarly interests, I … Continue reading