Professional philosophy news

Tenure-track Hiring Analysis: Stage Three

Those who have seen stages 1 and 2 of the analysis can go straight to stage 3. For the rest:

ProPhi has been informed of 230 jobs by candidates from 62 Ph.D.-granting institutions. The list (organized by Ph.D.-granting department) is here. Dr Carolyn Dicey Jennings (Antwerp) has been compiling, organizing, and analyzing that data for the past several weeks. Stage 1 of her analysis was posted here, and stage 2 was posted here.

Stage 3 involved comparing the number of jobs reported in the APA bulletins to the collected data, reporting the total number of tenure-track versus postdoctoral positions, report the distribution of AOS’s represented among the hirees, reporting the means and medians for prior positions, gender, total peer-reviewed publications, and Brooks Blog top 15 publications, comparing 1 with 2, 3, and 4 (Is there a difference in number of publications for hirees based on gender, SLAC vs. research school, or AOS?), comparing 2 with 3 and 4 (Is there a difference in gender for hirees based on SLAC vs. research school or AOS?), and comparing 3 with 4 (Is there a difference in the AOS of the hiree for the different categories of hiring institutions?)

Stage 3 is now complete, and the spreadsheet can be found here.

Dr. Jennings has the following things to say about stage 3:

Some results worthy of note:
  • 230 jobs reported, almost 30 percent of which were postdocs.
  • Most of the tenure-track jobs go to M&E fields, whereas most of the postdocs go to value theory fields (but these are neck and neck for dominance against both historical philosophy and philosophy of science).
  • 56% of those hired for tenure-track jobs did not have prior positions, whereas 80% of those granted postdoctoral positions did not have prior positions.
  • 30.5% of those hired for tenure-track jobs were female, but only 21% granted postdoctoral positions were female.
  • Although some hirees have as many as 14 total publications and 7 top-15 publications, the median number of publications is 1 for both tenure-track and postdocs (0 for top-15 publications).
  • Not surprisingly, the strongest correlation that I found was between total number of publications and prior positions. There was a mild negative correlation (matching previous analyses) between gender and number of publications, and an commensurate negative correlation between AOS and number of publications. This means that if you are a female hiree you likely have fewer publications and if your AOS is from a less-hired-from AOS you are likely to have fewer publications.

9 responses to “Tenure-track Hiring Analysis: Stage Three

  1. Anonymous July 13, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Dr. Jennings,

    Thank you for your hard work. I’m wondering if it’d be possible to hear about some further analyses:

    – Is it common to treat gender as a continuous variable? Is the gender difference between publications if gender is treated as categorical and some test such as the t-test is used?

    – Could you do a regression on publication, prior position, and job/postdoc? I’m curious about whether publications help when controlled for past experiences, and whether past experiences help when controlled for publications.

    Much thanks!

    • Carolyn Dicey Jennings July 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      “Is it common to treat gender as a continuous variable?”

      No, I don’t think it is. Fair point. See below.

      “Is the gender difference between publications if gender is treated as categorical and some test such as the t-test is used?”

      This is easy to do for anyone who wants to check facts like this for themselves. I wanted to limit the number of analyses I performed, but you can a) sort the Data 2 set by gender, such that you now have a block of yellow & gender=0, a block of blue & gender=0, a block of yellow & gender=1, and a block of blue & gender=1; b) type in just about any cell (but it might make sense to put it into the “Analyses” section and to label it something like “T Test between mean number of publications for male and female hirees in tenure-track jobs”): “=TTEST(, , 2, 3)” and press enter; c) you will have a number, which is significant if below .05. When I did this, I got the mean of 2.28 for males and .92 for females, with significance of .0001. I actually did lots of tests like this on the data but left them out of the final write-up to avoid information overload.

      “Could you do a regression on publication, prior position, and job/postdoc? I’m curious about whether publications help when controlled for past experiences, and whether past experiences help when controlled for publications.”

      Regression is not a bad idea, and I thought about doing it myself, but I don’t know how to do it in Excel and to port the data into R would take some manipulation, so I will leave this request open for now.

  2. Carolyn Dicey Jennings July 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I didn’t realize that by using brackets some of the text wouldn’t appear. “=TTEST(, , 2, 3)” can be completed by selecting the PR publications for the group yellow & gender=0, entering a comma, and then selecting the PR publications for the group yellow & gender=1.

  3. Carolyn Dicey Jennings July 13, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Further point of interest: noting that a smaller proportion of women receive postdoctoral positions and the correlation between priors and number of publications, I looked at the proportion of women with prior positions as compared to men with prior positions, and it was 30% and 57%, respectively, for tenure-track jobs. I hadn’t thought of this before, but this might explain the difference in average number of publications by itself. If that is right, we might need to be more careful as a field in distributing postdoctoral positions. It seems to me that these are sometimes awarded less democratically, which may disadvantage women and other minorities in the field.

  4. Carolyn Dicey Jennings July 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Further evidence that postdoctoral fellowships are less democratically distributed is the number of “in house” hires: 12 of 66 postdocs are hired from the same institution and only 1 of those 12 went to a woman (8% for those without a calculator). Below are the hirees I take to be “in house” hires for those who might count differently (St Andrews and Stirling share a graduate program). (“In house” hires happen very rarely in the tenure-track, and are often excused by the candidate turning down multiple competitive offers. I counted 3 out of 164 tenure-track jobs this year that went to “in house” candidates.”) This fits a worry that many have expressed in the past: that minorities are disadvantaged when hiring practices are not open and democratic.

    Jane Friedman Oxford New York University University of Oxford
    Andrew M Bailey Notre Dame Yale-NUS College Notre Dame
    Walter Pedriali St Andrews University of Stirling
    Robert Watt Oxford Christ Church, Oxford
    Dan Hicks Notre Dame Notre Dame
    Andrew Stephenson Oxford Queen’s College, Oxford
    Robert Hughes UCLA UCLA
    Michael Tiboris UCSD UCSD
    Rafeeq Hasan U Chicago University of Chicago
    Yasha Rohwer U Missouri University of Missouri
    William Hasselberger Virginia UVA
    Nicolas Fillion Western Ontario Western Ontario

  5. John Turri July 14, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    I agree that it’s worth looking at patterns in PDF hiring, and it’s really great to see Dr. Jennings doing these analyses. Thank you very much, Dr. Jennings.

    I did just want to ask quickly, though, what is meant by PDFs being “democratically” or “nondemocratically” (or more or less “democratically”) distributed? I don’t think the suggestion is that the intradepartmental process was undemocratic, since these data simply don’t speak to that.

    Thanks again.

  6. Carolyn Dicey Jennings July 14, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    By “less democratic” (in the original comment), I meant that the decisions seem to be less open to revision, to be made by fewer people, etc. You rightly indicate that the distribution of power might have to spread beyond the department to deter in-house hiring, but I like to think that even one or two extra people in the decision-making process might bring the required “hmmm” against the suggestion that a department should hire a colleague before giving a fair look to the large pool of (eager and capable) candidates. But, then again, the love for self and kin is strong, and I might be underestimating the effect of “department kinship” on the whole process. In that case, it would only mean that the reach of the APA and other forces for cross-department justice has not reached so far as the postdoctoral market, which leaves that market (in my opinion) with less rational outcomes to the process that do less to promote our discipline as a whole.

  7. ND grad student July 14, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    The two Notre Dame postdocs are for the “Arts and Letters Postdoc”, which is only open to ND graduates. It is designed to give low teaching loads to promising researchers so that they can accrue more publications before going on the job market.

  8. Curious June 10, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks for your hard work — this analysis is excellent — and fascinating.

    I have one quick question: is there data on the % of people who applied for TT jobs who were women or on the % of people who applied for post docs who were women?

    I ask bc without that data, it’s very difficult to know how to interpret the claim that, eg, “only 21% granted postdoctoral positions were female.”

    It might be the case that females are disproportionately granted post docs over males but that they are woefully underrepresented in the application pool…


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