A philosopher writes:
Here are some related questions for a thread on your blog:
(1) How much does having a strong publication record hurt one's chances for getting a job at less research-prestigious institutions? For instance, if a recent PhD has five publications in respected places will this count much against getting a TT job in "the middle of nowhere"? Will hiring committees be inclined to pass over such a candidate, thinking that he or she will just leave in a couple years due to the strong publication record? Or have hiring committees realized that the lack of philosophy jobs makes this strategy a mistake?
(2) Is there much resistance to hiring an associate prof for an assistant job, or a full prof for an associate job, or a full prof for an assistant job? Should there be? Given the horrible job market, an associate or full prof who needs to move from their current position may have few options other than taking an assistant job.
I'll offer a few thoughts/surmises, and then open it for comments from readers.
On #1, I suspect it is still the case that schools that are non-research-intensive will wonder about the commitment of a junior candidate whose publication record is too strong. I'm also not sure this is irrational, though it may be a question of degree. But publication in top-tier journals is the most important credential for professional advancement and opportunities, so a rookie who arrives with articles in top-tier journals is, indeed, probably likely to have and probably seek other positions. It's importnat to remember that at state schools in particular, there is never certainty that a line that becomes vacant will be authorized to be re-filled--and that may especially be true when it was just filled two years ago, and now the candidate hired has decamped. That might make a Dean skeptical about whether the department can do appropriate hiring, even if that is an unfair suspicion.
On #2, there is sometimes such resistance, but mostly I expect for budgetary reasons: if the Dean authorzies a junior position, and it is filled with someone who will likely seek early tenure given his/her record, that may present budgetary problems for the Dean. Similarly, a Dean may be skeptical that someone qualified for a tenured position will really accept an untenured tenure-track position, thinking the candidate will try to negotiate a higher rank from the start--something which, again, may not be feasible as a matter of the budget.
What do readers think about these questions?