POSITION DESCRIPTION: ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH: PRE-1900 AMERICAN LITERATUREI'm no legal expert, but this seems highly unethical, at the least. One of the commenters on the Acephalus thread said a call to the department indicated they were doing it to try to reduce the number of applicants. I can understand writing an ad carefully to try to limit applicants to people who do exactly what a department needs, but there have to be more ethical ways to do that, no?
COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
The Department of English at Colorado State University invites applications and nominations for the position of Assistant Professor of English with an emphasis on Pre-1900 American literature and culture. The successful candidate will be appointed untenured and at the rank of Assistant Professor. This is a tenure-track, nine-month appointment, beginning August 16, 2013.
1. Ph.D. in English or American Studies or closely related area awarded between 2010 and time of appointment [emphasis mine]
2.A promising record of scholarship/research in pre-1900 American literature and culture
3.Ability to teach a range of subjects in American literature and culture between 1600 and 1900
You could specify the time more clearly: pre-1700, 19th century, pre-civil war
You could specify a genre specialty: poetry, prose non-fiction
You could specify a subfield: a subfield in Native American lit, or race theory
But to specify by the date of degree? That just seems wrong, doesn't it?
I can't quite imagine why a committee or department would choose to do it that way. And I can't imagine a dean going along with it. (At my U, the dean is supposed to give the final nod to ad information, also the person who makes sure we don't break laws.)
Yes, once again, the job market is open.
Here's a link to the academic job wiki.
I have a suggestion for those of us on the other side. Go look at the listings of Universities to Fear and Universities to Love, and read some of the complaints applicants have about how universities and departments treat them. Let's do our best to treat our applicants as well as we can, recognize that just applying is an expensive prospect, often, exhausting, and effortful. Let's treat them well when we send rejections, and do it respectfully, though there's no way to make it less than painful. Let's treat them well when we interview them, and when we bring them for campus visits. Let's make sure we read their materials with care, pay attention to their presentations, and treat their applications with respect.
We can't hire ten people for our one position, but we can avoid being jerks. (I know that seems like a low bar, but read some of the complaints and tell me that it's not a worthwhile starting point!)
Good luck, applicants. I hope this year treats you well. If you have questions someone on the other side can answer (though from a limited point of view, of course), feel free to email and I'll try, or I'll ask people to respond (or ask in the comments, if you prefer).