Although almost every American PhD-granting department now includes reasonably detailed placement information on its website, there are still some stragglers. One of the oddest is Columbia University, which even recently updated and redid its whole web site, though it still includes this wholly misleading information on job placement:
"Recent graduates of the Ph.D. program have found exmployment in academic and non-academic institutions in the United States and abroad. They have obtained teaching poisitions at such colleges and universities as Carnegie Mellon, University of Chicago, Columbia University, University of Delaware, Franklin and Marshall College, Georgia State, Grinnell College, Harvard, Hofstra, Johns Hopkins, Marist College, University of Maryland, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Miami University, Ohio University, University of Michigan, NYU, Patterson, Queens College, Rutgers, University of Stockholm, University of Waterloo, and Portland State University."
The key word here is "recent." How recent are we talking? Let's take the placement at the University of Chicago. The last Columbia PhD placed at Chicago, I believe, was Josef Stern, and that was about two decades ago. How about Harvard? That would have been Frederick Neuhouser, about a dozen years ago--and now he's back at Columbia as Chair of the department at Barnard! Rutgers? I can't identify any graduate of Columbia placed in a tenure-track job at Rutgers in the last 15 years. Fred Schick and Peter Kivy are Columbia PhDs at Rutgers, but they earned their PhDs three decades ago, or more. And NYU? Who could they be thinking of in the last 15 years? (I suppose Liam Murphy, who was hired in the law school.)
In sum, this "job placement" information is astonishingly misleading and inaccurate. Columbia's job placement hasn't, in fact, been bad, and one would expect that with someone like Philip Kitcher in the department, who has an exceptionally good record of training and placing students, that it will continue to be quite respectable. But it is peculiar, to say the least, to revamp your whole site, and continue to include essentially inaccurate information on job placement. (There are other pecularities, like the continued listing of Crispin Wright as a member of the faculty; I'll have to check on this, though last we talked, Wright was at St. Andrew's and part-time at NYU, period.)