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Subject: Re: grads. jobs & fisheries
From: Tom Kwak <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Academic forum on fisheries ecology and related topics <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 10 Apr 1997 15:09:33 -0500
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To all,

   It appears that two opposing perceptions have emerged within our group:

(a) those that suggest a reduced availability of jobs at the MS or PhD
level over the last 15 years (e.g., Solari, Winn), and

(b) those that perceive no change (e.g., Gutreuter, Grossman).

There are some data on numbers and categories of United States
postsecondary faculty in the latest issue of Science (276:24-26) that may
shed a little light on the validity these perceptions.  This article is an
examination of the tenure system in higher education and current trends.

---------------------------------
                  1975      1993
                -------   -------
Total faculty   628,000   914,000

Tenured         228,000   282,000
                 (36%)     (31%)

Tenure-track    126,000   113,000
                 (20%)     (12%)

Full-time       440,000   544,000
                 (70%)     (60%)

Part-time       188,000   370,000
                 (30%)     (40%)
---------------------------------

   These data suggest that there is merit in each perception.  While the
total number of faculty positions (and hence, vacancies filled) increased
during this 18-y period, the number of quality (tenure-track) positions has
decreased.  Many of today's faculty received tenure during the rapid
expansion of higher ed in the 1960s and won't retire for another decade or
so, leaving vacancies rare.  Thus, many universities are hiring temporary,
part-time, or adjunct positions.  The article notes that 43% of those
landing academic jobs are hired on a part-time basis.  Also noted are
"stagnant and shrinking university budgets (e.g., California slashed $341
million from the UC system from 1990-94), that suggest fewer hires in
recent years.

   However, these data are on totals of faculty, and not those in science,
fisheries, or aquatics.  If anyone has data on government or academic jobs
in science or fisheries of recent years - please post them (any country).
Another factor to consider is that this increased number of faculty are
likely graduating more PhDs to saturate the limited number of vacancies,
adding validity to the pessimistic perception.  My perception is that most
universities are downsizing in recent years and under intense public
scrutiny to continue that trend.  Of course, those most qualified will be
in a position to overcome even the slimmest odds, and Gary Grossman's
advice should be helpful in achieving that goal.

Cheers(?),

Tom Kwak

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Tom Kwak      ([log in to unmask])
Arkansas Cooperative Research Unit
Dept of Biological Sciences
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR  72701
501/575-4426
http://comp.uark.edu/~tkwak
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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