The tyranny of the 9-month position

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I’m convinced that 9-month positions are bad for pretty much everybody. Especially driftwood faculty.

This week I was having a conversation with folks at¬†Charles Sturt University* in Australia, which has a bunch of wonderful ecologists. This is the middle of the summer break here in Oz**, and classes don’t start back up for at least another month or so. But there wasn’t any problem catching everybody for lunch at work. They were writing grants, or papers, or getting other stuff done. Do you know why they were on campus? Because they were working. They were getting paid to work. Over the summer break.

This might sound normal to you. But for readers outside the US, you might not realize that this is not the status quo in US universities. By default, faculty at US universities are employed for nine months. Or maybe ten months. Continue reading