Monday, December 15, 2008

Bad News for Academic Job Hunters

Citing a financial challenge that is without historical precedent (including the Great Depression), Harvard University has announced some sobering cost saving measures. In a Dec. 15th e-mail, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences notes that all "originally authorized tenure-track and tenured searches have been reviewed and most have been postponed until a point in time when our financial situation has improved." You know things are bad when an institution that had 34 billion dollars in the bank just a year ago is canceling job searches. They're expecting a 30% reduction in their endowment and a $100+ million dollar budget gap. Here at the University of Rochester we're moving forward with one scheduled search for a cell/developmental/molecular biologist, but I've heard searches in other Departments have been canceled...

4 comments:

Bjørn Østman said...

As long as Obama fixes the economy before I graduate and have to look for a job...

... then I can ignore the miserable state of things outside in the meantime.

Dan Warren said...

Anyone need a postdoc? I make a good pot of coffee and probably have other skills.

Seriously, though, Obama has mentioned a desire to increase funding for basic research. I'm really hoping that he's able to come through on that, and quickly, because I'm just at that point of starting to put my toe in the water and it would suck to have all of the jobs dry up right now.

Luke J. Harmon said...

As a (fairly) new professor at a small-state university, I can report that we are going through the same sorts of things, including a hiring freeze across the whole campus. The same situation is happening at other nearby universities as well.

At the same time, universities have to provide instruction for their students, and enrollment is (in general) still going up. So I would expect (hope?) that we will carry on filling empty positions after all of this blows over.

Brian O'Meara said...

I just heard that a general biology job I applied for got 686 applicants, so there certainly seem to be a lot of people looking. Blogged about it here.