Junk Analysis of Higher Ed by the NY Times

Cross-posted from the blog of Marc Bousquet, author of How the University Works: Higher Education and the Low-Wage Nation.

[Last month’s] report on academic employment by the New York Times hangs on the peg of a fact: in many fields, tenure track hiring will be down this year.

Accompanying the story by culture reporter Patricia Cohen is a photograph of a forlorn-looking UT-Austin doctoral candidate in sociology who “after two dozen applications” still “has no job offer.”

Zounds! Shocking! He cut and pasted the addresses of twenty-four search committees into a job letter, and the capable young fellow still doesn’t have a tenure track job?By jove, it must be “the bad economy” causing this sad state of affairs!

Indeed so, Cohen informs us, duly noting that half the candidate’s rejection letters mention the economy and that there were “300 applications” to some of the positions the young fellow found interesting.

Cohen’s piece goes on to acknowledge that tenure-track positions “have been hard to come by in recent decades.”

But that’s an interesting locution. She may as well have said “the United States has not had legal apartheid in recent decades” or “Harry Truman has not been president in recent decades.”

Read the full article at howtheuniversityworks.com