Academic Careers

arnone_francescaFrancesca Arnone, Baylor University
Chair, Committee on Academic Careers

The 2011-­‐2012 year proved a fairly active one for the Committee on Academic Careers. Highlights include the following:

1. expansion of our distance mentoring services, whose queries tend to reflect the job market trends
2. conducted live mentoring sessions (16 in 2011; 11 in 2012)
3. presented several panels at National Conferences (Navigating the Tenure Track Position, 2011; Addressing the Unmet Needs of Graduate Students and New Faculty, 2012; Maintaining a Performing Career while Holding an Academic Position, 2012)
4. submitted proposals for the 2013 conference (Focus on Transitioning into and out of Administration: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back; Fifty Ways to Leave Your Job)
5. hosted an “open house” for prospective and current administrators at the 2012 conference
6. I have a conference call on 2/11 with Julia Torgovitskaya, president of iCadenza, a career development consulting company, to investigate the possibilities for CMS
7. Discussed establishing a partnership between CMS and with Barbara Weidline.

To address each of the above items in more detail:

• Items 1 and 2: As positions are being advertised more frequently, our “traffic” increases. This poses an additional problem: although we have a dedicated and very talented corps of mentors, we are continually seeking additional people to serve in this capacity so as to keep the “pool” fresh. It is becoming a bit more challenging to recruit people, and I am frequently “cold calling” prospective mentors and colleagues for their help. It would be encouraging to have a larger representation of the membership invested in this process, and I welcome suggestions as to how to go about this! At the same time, it seems that the majority of requests we field pertain to the same issues: resume and cover letter construction, the review of materials to submit, and the interview process. Regarding the live sessions: as this has been my second year organizing these, I am not sure if the decrease in requests from 2011 to 2012 resulted in changing interests in the job market, location, or other concerns. We are looking for ways to streamline the process while inviting further participation. Regional conferences would be excellent opportunities to provide these services, while potentially increasing our mentor roster, although it has proven difficult to coordinate among our committee without some show of support.

• Items 3 and 4: we have enjoyed presenting panels and interactive sessions at our national conferences, and the interest they generated has inspired us to propose additional sessions for 2013. Seeking to address our Quickstart challenge, we hope to offer a session on becoming and exiting from an administrative position. In response to the perceived need for members to share their experiences, we proposed a somewhat controversial topic in the form of an interactive, brainstorming workshop regarding changing positions (which could lead to positions outside the academy), as many of our committee membershave first-­‐hand experience in that.

• Item 5: Attendance was excellent, as was the free-­‐flowing dialogue. Bernie Dobroski and James Scott discussed a variety of topics with mostly prospective administrators, with a few other experienced colleagues who dropped in to share the time as a community.

• Item 6: This conversation will occur next week but I am eager to hear their ideas on how to better serve our membership. I am not sure what our budget concerns might be. Further insight from the Board would be very helpful, but I will eagerly collect information.

• Item 7: Barbara had contacted me about CMS’ involvement with, and after investigating it didn’t feel it was a prudent venture for our membership. I will reconsider if the Board feels otherwise, of course!

Our present goals for 2013-­2014:

• At the national conference, we discussed having the ability to contribute directly to the content on our portion of the website to make it more dynamic and active, and it is my understanding that we will have this ability. I would very much like to see this come to fruition.

• Although earlier quickstarts requested our assistance with mentoring for administrators, our committee hopes that we could guide other committees in organizing this process, much akin to how the student chapters are mentoring each other, rather than our committee providing mentorship directly. This is highly concerning when we feel we have no helpful experience in said topic (example: administration).

• In light of declining live requests for mentorship, we would like to expand Skype or other services, via the website. We could rotate throughout the committee (or additional officers/committee members) offering these, and/or making them available to student chapters, individual chapters