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Jobs Getting Harder November 12, 2008

Posted by gordonwatts in university.

Yes, I know. It is a big surprise that the economy is affecting academic institutions. Isn’t the reason that we all went into them was to be insulated from the real world, after all? A few weeks ago I wrote that our university prez had said:

The upshot is, Emmert thinks, things will be tight, we don’t have to stare at our toes until this financial crisis blows over. Indeed, he said that this might be an opportune time to do what other universities were doing to us about 4 years ago – poach!

He basically repeated the same thing at a faculty senate meeting I attended a few weeks later. The New York Times recently had an article along the same lines:

Boston University, Cornell and Brown have announced selective hiring freezes.

And Tufts University, which for the last two years has, proudly, been one of the few colleges in the nation that could afford to be need-blind — that is, to admit the best-qualified applicants and meet their full financial need — may not be able to maintain that generosity for next year’s incoming class. This fall, Tufts suspended new capital projects and budgeted more for financial aid. But with the market downturn, and the likelihood that more applicants will need bigger aid packages, need-blind admissions may go by the wayside.

Even private universities are having trouble – especially if their endowment was not well parked. At any rate, it is getting ugly. On the other hand, I do see a fairly good crop of particle physics experiment positions open (theory, experiment – ops! I don’t see this years! hmmm, so much for that argument!). Ok, a good crop of announcements that I’ve seen go by.

Sadly, however, I do think it is going to directly affect us at UW, despite Emmert’s cautious optimism. Bummer. Now that the election is gone we are lucky to still have a friend of the University in the governor’s office, which bodes better for the university budget that it might otherwise in this climate. My fingers are crossed. I really want to be sending out more “We have a job opening” emails!!



1. Gordon Stangler - November 12, 2008

On one hand, it’s sad to see that even universities must cut back, but on the other, I have been out of a job for nine months, so it feels kind of nice to know that others are having the same problems I am.

I hope UW can indeed scrounge up the money to pick up an extra scientist or two. Good Luck, and all that.

2. Gordon Stangler - November 13, 2008

Dr. Watts,

How did you set up your blog to automatically post comments without review? I would like to do that to my blog, however, I am not sure how to do it. Also, do you know how to change your fonts?

3. arjendu - November 14, 2008

And those of us who *are* hiring may be seeing stronger pools of applicants.

4. Aleksie - November 15, 2008

I hope things will pickup, but I’m not convinced that Obama will get us out of this mess very quickly.

5. gordonwatts - November 15, 2008

Gordon – I don’t know: it was the default setup for my blog! There is a spam filter which tries to remove a bunch of spam, but other than that I think it is unfiltered.

Aleksie – I agree – I think it will take several years. In the mean time for many of us it will be lean years. And good luck, Arjendu – you might be right!

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