I am the anonymous chair of the anonymous search committee at The University of God’s Gift to Higher Education, and we look forward to receiving and barely reading your application for our open part-time (read: underpaid adjunct) position in Chemistry/Biology, beginning August 2021.
At UGG, you will spend 3/4 of your time teaching freshman composition courses of at least 200 students per session. Most of these students will spend the class with their earbuds in, watching Netflix and completely ignoring you. Nevertheless, their parents are paying a fortune for their kids to be here, so you best figure something out if you want to keep your job. Full disclosure: We do not have the resources to provide you with any teaching assistants, and rightfully so, as our students refuse to work for free and we respect this boundary. Also, we don’t want to be sued.
The fourth quarter of your time will be spent teaching advanced biology at the local high school – by the way, the kids there are alarmingly into dissection, so bring plenty of pig fetuses. The fifth, sixth, and seventh quarters of your time will be spent on the sort of department service that tenured folks do not have time for, such as attending “Board Game Night With Students,” which is only one of the many activities we’ve created to blur boundaries and foster codependency between our adult students and the faculty who pine for the days when teaching did not involve coddling and a gross misuse of their personal time.
We understand that your eighth quarter will be spent in trauma therapy, which we have scheduled for you with our university psychologist. Unfortunately, these sessions are at the same time as our mandatory, four-hour-long weekly faculty meetings which occur every Friday beginning at 3pm, so you will be required to no-show for your appointment and pay any resulting fees out of pocket.
(We realize that the math of your position adds up to 200% of a full workload, but as you know, Faculty Position Math is a very different beast from Actual Math.)
Our grounds are sprawling, our architecture is reminiscent of Hogwarts, and there is a single coffee shop situated in the middle of campus with artisanal bagels and cream cheese sourced from sheep the biotechnology PhDs whipped up in their cloning lab – consumption of which is now 10% less likely to lead to nausea or mutation. We are also 15 minutes from the regional airport that has departing flights approximately 2 days per week. We are confident that these splendid attractions will distract you from the realities of your position and life choices.
On to the application process: We expect all applicants to present evidence of scholarly fame, fortune, and reputations for delivering groundbreaking research in no less than 3 distinct and unrelated areas. Further, we expect to see a strong record of lifetime achievement, which may include, but not be limited to, valedictorian honors, Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, Heisman Trophies, EGOTs, and/or Nobel prizes – National Book Awards will not be considered.
Additionally, please furnish proof of publication in at least 5 peer-reviewed, high-quality international journals. These may include science-oriented publications, but we, as a department, pride ourselves on the emphasis we place on breadth. Thus, feel free to submit research that you may have published in Crocheting Today (a committee favorite), Underwater Pirouettes: An Anthology, Skydivers Monthly, Rolling Stone Magazine, and Effin’ Birds.
This position requires that you apply at the assistant level. To make our habit of exploitation less discernible, we prefer recent graduates. Do remember that we define part-time as 93.8 hours per week. Sorry, but we need at least 7 current full-time faculty to retire, pass on, or otherwise go missing without a trace before we are able to offer another full-time, tenure-track position. For your reference, we define full-time as 38 hours per week.
You must be tri-lingual. English, Arabic, and Chinese language proficiency (both spoken and written) is a must. Swahili is helpful. Czech would be extraordinary. (I, the anonymous committee chair, am Czech, and this would give us something to talk about over the extremely awkward breakfast, lunch, tea, and dinner that I am requiring you to have with me and also my toddler daughter if my spouse is out of town and I am not able to find a sitter. If you happen to meet her, please compliment my daughter on her baton-twirling, a self-directed activity she will likely insist on demonstrating during appetizers.)
Your dissertation will be heavily scrutinized by a highly qualified academic search committee, most of whom know nothing about your area of expertise. Also, please be advised to consider your audience: Given what I know of current faculty interests, an emphasis on the History of the Trumpet or the Lifecycle of Mandrakes would serve you well, even if it’s just a single chapter that you write for the purposes of applying. Mandrakes that play the trumpet are a plus.
Please be prepared to furnish upon request:
- A philosophy of teaching
- A philosophy of research
- A philosophy of botany
- A philosophy of tarot card literacy
- A philosophy of janitorial duties
- Official transcripts
- Unofficial transcripts
- Bootleg transcripts sold by a burly guy in the parking lot
- 3 letters of recommendation, one of which must be from the ghost of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek if you’re serious about the position.
If, after your campus visit, we ultimately decide against your worthiness for the role, you’ll never hear from us again, except when I need someone to babysit my daughter and help with her baton twirling. Sorry in advance about your eye injury.
- The movie Office Space
- The Twitter account @BitchesTheCat
- The Facebook account Effin’ Birds