Monday, November 17, 2008

Rain, Sleet..

So interfolio ships the fast things using DHL and DHL quit. I'm guessing DHL will finish shipping the stuff they've already received and interfolio just doesn't currently have a super fast or delivery confirming service until they get something worked out.

Just something to keep in mind for those Dec 1 deadlines..

-- Second Suitor

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

DHL will continue to deliver things until Jan. for clients that have account numbers. Interfolio has an account number. So nothing to worry about on that front.

Anonymous said...

If you had read the article or done any follow-up, you would have noticed that the domestic deliveries won't be affected until January, 2009. Way to needlessly send folks into a panic.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiousity - what kind of setup do various departments have with Interfolio? Do any pay the fees of grad students using the service? Or does every dept put the load on the shoulders of the job seeker?

Anonymous said...

out of curiousity -or none of the above. Some departments do the photocopying, compiling, and mailing of applications on their own, once the candidate submits the dossier of materials. There is no middleman like Interfolio, the candidate doesn't pay, and the candidate just submits a separate letter of application to each place a dossier went.

thats pretty common practice, at the higher-tier schools, anyway.

Anonymous said...

12:26 PM wrote: "does every dept put the load on the shoulders of the job seeker?"

Some departments assemble and mail-out the dossiers for their candidates; other departments do not. I have no idea which is more prevalent.

Anonymous said...

I'm in English, not Philosophy, but my Department (at a Northeastern State School) put a chunk of money (several hundred bucks--I don't remember exactly) in our interfolio accounts. It was enough that I was able to send out roughly 50 apps without going out of pocket, though I never had to express anything at the deadline, so that let me stretch it a little.

Also, those of you on the market right now have my sympathy. It was bad enough a couple years ago, but this year I keep hearing about ads getting pulled for funding, and I can imagine how disheartening that must be.

Alias Smith and Jones said...

Interfolio is an odd bird. It clearly saves dept. staff labor, but it is insanely expensive (an entire dossier including letters and writing sample could easily run you $9 an application for first class mail).

Those depts that switch to interfolio, I assume, simply transfer the app. allowance over to interfolio as credit without adjusting for the cost difference.

Interfolio really is easier on everyone effort-wise but not pocketbook-wise. However, should all receiving depts. ask for electronic applications, then interfolio costs $4 no matter the size. Of course, Interfolio in these cases only does what anyone with an email account can do--send stuff as attachments.

Justin T. said...

My grad department does not use interfolio or otherwise put together and send dossiers for students. They do send out confidential letters of recommendation. Sending the rest (cv, copies of transcripts, research statement, writing samples, teaching statement, sample course evaluations, sample syllabi) is up to us. For me, the cost per application file (including postage) is around $4. I've sent around 35 so far. I sent a couple of applications through email, and saved a few bucks and a little time this way. I appreciate schools that offer this option.

Anonymous said...

CSU San Luis Obispo is hiring in Area of Specialization: ethics of emerging technologies (e.g., nanotechnology).

I mean, what the fuck? What's the logic here? Do they want a search that only nets five applications? More to the point, this is a teaching school. Maybe at Berkeley that would make sense, but the implication is that a large portion of the new hire's teaching will be in advanced courses in the ethics of nanotechnology, otherwise there's no need to make this an AOS. How many CSU students are going to take a course that's that specialized?

I think they're showing off for the dean, pretending they're relevant to California's technology industry, or else the current faculty are just too high on their horse, pretending they teach at Berkeley and not CSU.

If any job doesn't get filled because of the economy, I hope it's this one.

I should add that CSUs are good schools, I'm not knocking the university, just the logic of how the position is defined.

misanthrope said...

I was just transcribing a complete set of student comments and it struck me how easy, and tempting, it would be to delete or modify some of the bad ones, while perhaps adding a few superlatives to the good ones, and to inflate the average student rating of the course. Anybody care to 'fess up? (Anonymously, of course.)

Nate said...

10:59:

Perhaps Cal Poly was able to get funding approved for this position by pitching it to the admin as an interdisciplinary appointment. If so, more power to them. Anything that get's a philosopher a job is a good thing in my book.

Anonymous said...

I just put all mine in, good and bad. What the hell. Happily, they are mostly positive and some are superlative. But if no students hate you, you are probably not doing your job. I also include my grade distribution! I wonder if many people do this.

I would love to see some stats from my university on the relationship between grades and evaluation scores. Of course, the administration can't give this out, since it might lead to rampant grade inflation. . . ..

Anonymous said...

10:59 - Look at their website. Cal Poly wants to hire their VAP... and, of course, they are incompetent and perfectly willing to waste the state's money.

Anonymous said...

Cal Poly actually is a technologically oriented university as far as I know. Really it is a quite good school for engineering, and certainly more specialized in that direction than any of the other CSUs. I didn't even know they *had* a Philosophy Department until I saw that ad.

TPG said...

"CSU San Luis Obispo is hiring in Area of Specialization: ethics of emerging technologies (e.g., nanotechnology)."

What is especially hilarious about this type of ad to me is that - pretty much by definition - 'emerging' technologies are only 'emerging' briefly, and then they are 'old hat' technologies or 'wasn't it funny we thought that would work' technologies. Tenure track hires are supposed to last for decades. So for the long haul, they want a specialist in a familiar or defunct technology? Or is this person supposed to be specially trained to have something cool and knowledgeable about ANY new technology that happens to start 'emerging'? I mean, seriously, talk about short-sighted!

Haven't looked or posted in a fairly long time - too busy being election- and post-election-obsessed. Nice to see this blog is active again.

James said...

Misanthrope,

I think that's why some departments prefer photocopies in the students' own handwriting.

Anonymous said...

Re: grade distribution and evaluation scores -

My university publishes the class average on every transcript (so people can see you got a B+ in a class where the average was an A- not very impressive). This helps dampen grade inflation, because students don't just want to get a good grade - they want to get a good grade in a class that is relatively hard (where the average is low).

Printing this information also means its relatively easy to keep track of the correlation between your scores and the class average. There is a substantial correlation, though not a perfect one.

Not too quick now... said...

Maybe the Cal Poly thing is a scenario similar to what happened to my department recently. The dean came to us and asked whether we wanted a new tenured position. After pinching ourselves for a bit to see if we were dreaming, we said, "of course". But there was one caveat: it had to be philosophy of science, so the dean could make some argument about establishing connections between the humanities and the sciences, or something like that. Of course, we were pleased, as the new position helped to round out the department.

So don't judge the philosophy faculty too harshly there--they may have been given an offer that they would have been dumb to refuse. There is only one answer to the question, "Do you want a new tenured line?"

Anonymous said...

Nice catch, 11:37. It seems pretty obvious that that's what they're doing. What's sad though isn't necessarily the waste of state money, but that they're going to waste the other search candidates' time, funds, and emotional energy as well in the process. I nominate this bullshit for a Marist award.

Anonymous said...

Not Too Quick Now,

Yeah, I got that. My first two hypotheses were "they're showing off for the dean, [or] pretending they're relevant to California's technology industry."

But you're wrong that there's only one correct answer to the question "do you want another faculty line?" It's no if the only option is for the Chair for the Promotion of Nazism, because that's unethical, and it's wrong if the only option is on the ethics of nanotechnology.

Why do you want more faculty if you don't need the ones that are offered? Because more is better? If you need more warm bodies to cover Intro to Phil, make that part of your pitch to the Dean, but you've got to have a backbone and stand up to him. Profs can be promoted to Dean for all kinds of crazy reasons, and they can do a lot of harm if they're left unchecked and allowed to pursue pet projects at the university's expense.

You've got to think about long-term balance in the department (bring in too many wackos and they'll take over the department) and you've got to defend intellectual standards. Your hire in philosophy of science makes a lot of sense, since that's a mainstream field and if you didn't have anyone to teach basic phil of sci courses, that's a gap in your offerings. But Cal Poly is taking that approach to a whole nother level.

Anonymous said...

As someone currently reviewing dossiers, I have to say that Interfolio sucks. If it is expensive it is a rip off, because there work looks like hell...

But don't worry, I realize that it is Interfolio's fault and not the candidates'...

Anonymous said...

Yo 312, want to tell us why it sucks? Just curious 'cause I am using it...

Anonymous said...

3:12 here...

It sucks because of aesthetic matters, largely--the printing is often of really poor quality (too light, not aligned correctly). This seems to vary, though, so perhaps I am laying the blame wrongly at the feet of interfolio.

Also, this is mostly a minor issue, as the problems I have seen have not been so bad as to make the dossier unreviewable. If I thought that the candidate were responsible for this, though, I might think (only) slightly less of them for doing a half assed job.