Thank You for your Help
Now that this campaign is over, let me thank warmly all donors, as well as those who got the word out and made some noise about us. $500 was disbursed to a candidate (anonymous); $380 was disbursed to the MLA Convention to support grad student and non tenure-track faculty presence at MLA 2015, in Vancouver.
Sydni Dunn at The Chronicle of Higher Education's Vitae site blogged about the campaign here.
Short SummaryThe English Department of the University of California at Riverside is hiring at the Assistant Professor level a tenure-track position in American literature before 1900. Sounds great, right?
Well, UCR English is only contacting those selected for interviews five days in advance of the MLA convention in Chicago (9-12 January 2014). For those who may not have received other interview requests and/or who didn't plan to attend the convention, this last-minute notice is likely to present an undue financial strain.
Rebecca Schuman (@pankisseskafka) first brought this story to broad public attention. For background on the UCR search, including a letter in response from Deborah Willis, the Chair of the UCR English department, see Schuman's blog; see also this article in Inside Higher Ed.
What We Need
In a show of solidarity and support for graduate students and postdocs on the academic job market, we wish to raise funds to help send those selected for interviews with UCR to Chicago.
- Money raised will go to job candidates who are interviewing with UCR English and who have not yet made travel plans to attend the convention. Those requesting travel reimbursement from this fund will be asked to provide proof of an interview with UCR and of travel booking (flight and/or hotel). Those receiving reimbursement will be kept anonymous.
- Candidates who book their conference travel specifically to interview with UCR will be reimbursed with whatever monies are collected from this fund drive. (Unfortunately, Indiegogo requires a fund-raising period that extends past the end of the MLA convention.)
- Any unused or unclaimed funds will be donated to the MLA fund(s) supporting travel by graduate students and non tenure-track faculty members. (This is not to endorse the suitability of the MLA convention as a site for interviewing candidates, which may as effectively and certainly with less expense to all be carried on by Skype.)
The money you contribute towards this campaign will help ease the considerable costs associated with the academic job search for candidates selected for interviews at UCR.
More important, you will have the satisfaction of being able to help, however modestly, our colleagues on the academic job market. We cannot solve single-handedly a "crisis in the humanities" and in the academic job market more broadly. But we can do our best to ensure that existing practices are humane and have the best likelihood of working for all.
Read this note from an anonymous donor who is also on the academic job market this year (reproduced with permission):
OK, interview determinations have been made. As said above, candidates who book their conference travel specifically to interview
with UCR will be reimbursed with whatever monies are collected from this
fund drive. If you are among the group to be interviewed by UCR English and will make plans to interview with them at the MLA, write to Noel at njackson AT mit DOT edu with confirmation of flight and/or hotel reservation.