I'm coming very late in blog-time to this this throw-down about the ethics of junior faculty going back on the market before they're up for tenure review. For those who haven't been paying attention, some senior profs think it's wrong when junior profs start looking to move up before their tenure reviews.
At this point, I'm not even sure what I want to say exactly. I guess the first thing is, what Sisyphus said. In my program, like hers, it's taken for granted that we take whatever job we can get. And then, it's taken for granted that at least some of us are going to start looking around for something that fits a little a better--somewhere with better support for teaching and research, somewhere closer to family, a solution to a two-body problem, whatever.
But there's something else that's been bugging me about this, and I can't quite put my finger on exactly what it is. I have no idea if what follows is going to make any fucking sense.
The thing is, last year's market kicked the shit out me. Getting rejected blithely, casually, without even enough fucking consideration to put my name on a god-damned PFO, over and over and over again--that was profoundly dehumanizing. And after that, I just don't have a lot of sympathy for senior faculty saying it's wrong for junior hires to move up when the senior faculty were perfectly happy to use that dehumanizing process to get the best hire they could.
No, I'm not blaming individual departments for the way the job market works. It is what it is. But we all take the good with the bad.