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Multiple Spousal Hires

Eudoxus

11 day(s) ago

How normal is it for a department to have multiple spousal hires? Most cases of spousal hiring I'm familiar with, the spouses are actually in separate departments. Northwestern has three couple in the same department, Lafont/Muller, Lackey/Reed, and Ebels-Duggan/Ebels-Duggan. That's a fair number of positions taken up by trailing spouses.

Ludwig

11 day(s) ago

I think there were four at the department where I took my MA, although it's possible some of them met after the fact.

Vilfredo

11 day(s) ago

The department where I did my PhD had four sets of spousal hires in the department, plus a few more in other departments. The one where I am now has one spousal hire in the department, but lots outside the department.

Henry

10 day(s) ago

There was an article a couple years ago about how some universities use it as a recruitment and retention strategy. Missouri-Columbia was an example.

Blaise

10 day(s) ago

There was an article a couple years ago about how some universities use it as a recruitment and retention strategy. Missouri-Columbia was an example.

Henry

Sure, I didn't think that was in question. It still feels weird when a third of a department is inter-married (and also in the context of so much anxiety about anti-meritocratic diversity hires).

Henry

10 day(s) ago

I'm sure I'll get some flak for this. But people need to keep in mind that the job market doesn't exist to serve applicants. It exists to serve the departments hiring philosophers. Quite often it serves both, but its purpose is to fill the needs or perceived needs of departments. If a hiring department is better served by hiring a trailing spouse, then it's not an injustice that a line was "used up" on a trailing spouse.

Ho

10 day(s) ago

There was an article a couple years ago about how some universities use it as a recruitment and retention strategy. Missouri-Columbia was an example.

Henry

Sure, I didn't think that was in question. It still feels weird when a third of a department is inter-married

Blaise

Why is it weird? Do they make out during colloquium? Do they flirt at department meetings? Fight in the hallway about dishes and laundry and taking out the trash? That would be weird. But I doubt that's what's happening.

I've been around academic couples for as long as I've been around universities. Married professors, married grad student couples, etc. And it's never been "weird". What's "weird" is the expectation that philosophers not have personal lives. With the sorts of mobility that is required/rewarded in the discipline, and the difficulty that produces for people with partners/family, it's really nice when a department can help people out in this respect. It's also hard to be single and a philosopher, it's super hard to be unemployed, whether one is single or trying to support a family or partner. But scorning those who have a happy ending, as if something unjust is going on here, is just sour grapes.

Ho

10 day(s) ago

Also, at these R1 schools, my sense (I could be wrong) is that universities don't think of departments in terms of "lines" so much as prestige. So they are buying prestige by hiring philosopher X. They also have to hire Y, X's spouse, so X is expensive. But hey, it drives down their student to faculty ratio, and X is likely to stay forever, and is a damn good philosopher. And if there is a need for more prestige, the fact that they spent an extra line on X is not going to stop them from chasing ratings.

Jacopo

10 day(s) ago

I have multiple spouses and only two of them got hired along with me.

Shen

10 day(s) ago

I have multiple spouses and only two of them got hired along with me.

Jacopo

I opened the thread hoping for a good discussion of polygamy in hiring!

Nae

10 day(s) ago

It's time to overthrow the oppressive monogamist regime!

Kwame

10 day(s) ago

"And if there were only some way of contriving that a philosophy faculty should be made up of lovers and their beloved, they would be the very best governors of their own department, abstaining from all dishonour, and emulating one another in honour; and when researching and teaching and doing committee work at each other's side, although a mere handful, they would overcome the world. For what lover would not choose rather to be seen by all mankind than by his beloved, either when abandoning his research project or refusing to answer emails? He would be ready to die a thousand deaths rather than endure this. Or who would desert his beloved or fail him in the hours of committee work?"-my translation

Kristie

10 day(s) ago

I have multiple spouses and only two of them got hired along with me.

Jacopo

I opened the thread hoping for a good discussion of polygamy in hiring!

Shen

I suggest writing to PENMA.

John

10 day(s) ago

When will these cis bigot hiring committees get over their bigoted beliefs from the middle ages to hire a trans married couple? This is worse than Jim Crow.


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