Wow, I just ran across this old blog. I wanted to give a small update.
I took the research-track
faculty job that I mentioned in my last blog post. I found out about
the job when I approached someone randomly at a job fair, who turned out
to be the chair of a department with the power to create a
non-tenure-track position. It was a great position while it lasted. My
salary doubled, and I had a year without teaching to do research, so I
didn't mind the occasional furlough days. It was weird, though. I
noticed on my interview that all of the other recently-hired faculty
were young, attractive non-overweight women with my complexion. And at
faculty meetings, he was constantly touching this unmarried woman's
knee. Oh, and he was married to his former undergraduate, and had that
creepy older man combination of having grandchildren and children of about the
In the spring of that first year, I got a tenure-track offer, and I got
ready to move for the tenure-track job. Less than a month before the
start date, the job was cut due to state budget cuts. The state picked
an arbitrary date, and if the job was vacant on that date, it was cut.
My job was on an existing tenure-line, but because the previous occupant
had already left the job, the job went away.
Needless to say, my research-track position no longer existed for me by
that point. I looked into filing for unemployment, but fortunately I
some grant money, so I put together a 50% time position at my same
salary and title through a research center that I was affiliated with.
Very lucky. And it was generous of the research center because the
grant money didn't come with much overhead.
Only there was a slight bureaucratic mishap. If I had left the
university and been unemployed, even for a week, my old department would
have paid my accumulated vacation days to me as a lump sum,
approximately a month's pay. Because I didn't leave the university ---
just moved within the university --- this research institute that had
been so generous in putting a position together for me in return for
almost no overhead now owed me a month's salary. By the time we found
out about this problem, it was too late to fix. Otherwise, it was fine.
And it was a reasonably productive year of underemployment: I was
back on a postdoc-like salary, I got some papers out, and I applied to
an embarrassingly large number of jobs.