19 August, 2007

Teaching with emphasis

Computational Science Research Assistant Professor

The Computational Materials Science Center seeks a highly qualified computational scientist. The computational scientist will be responsible for design, implementation, and maintenance of data mining and knowledge discovery tools for chemical structure, chemical compounds and properties databases.

The ideal candidate will have an advanced degree in computer science or a Ph.D. in a chemistry-related discipline with significant computational experience, including machine-learning methods, database management and Web interfaces. Experience in cheminformatics, chemical database formats and chemical structure analysis is a plus.

Applications will be received continuously until the position is filled. Qualified candidates should send their CV containing a detailed description of their computational skills, relevant computational work done, list of publications and contact information for three references. Applications should be entered online at http://jobs.gmu.edu by selecting "Computational Materials Science Center" in the department menu.
The position is for two years. Salary will be commensurate with experience, but will not include benefits.
What the fuck, people? This position isn't going to pay more than $85,000 a year. In fact, that's probably the high end of the range, with $65,000 being the bottom. Yet, the position is for an assistant professorship. You're a lackey. For two years. With no benefits. They want somebody highly qualified, which is reasonable, given what they're doing, but they're asking for such a specific skill set that they can't possibly get anyone less than either a doctorate (they do suggest this) or twenty plus years in both chemistry and computer science. Somebody who's going to know Lisp, data architecture, probably filesystem mechanics, and who also understands the chemistry industry from an extremely technical point of view.

Are they looking for somebody retired? Are they looking for somebody who has all these skills but who, for some reason, is unable to pull down the $150k they'd make elsewhere? I really fail to see how anyone could want this position. I mean, sure, they'll probably do great stuff, but being a toady, losing your funding in two years, and "your" work actually being the work of the tenured prick who you actually work for.

They're a good university. I've said before, and I'm sure I'll say it again: I love teaching, but holy cow is the pay shit. The more I look for a teaching position these days, the more I also find that they have a wholly unrealistic impression of the candidate base (or they're raping grad students; equally possible), and they're not really interested in doing anything but rubbing their academic squishy bits against themselves.

They have so many positions that are assistants to assistants to the semi-provost of the director of human information definition center. I mean, shit that just makes my mind boggle. There are no, as far as I can see, positions that look like:

Instructor, Undergraduate, Programming

Masters degree or ten years industry experience preferred, in addition to pre-vetting by tenured staff of computer science department. Must be able to teach C, Java, and Lisp from provided materials. Additionally, incumbent will be expected to create curricula as required. Strong familiarity with Unix, Windows, and other operating systems required, as well as the ability to teach from any of the above platforms.

Certifications from professional organizations, such as the CISSP or RHCE, will be considered as qualifications and favored on submitted curricula vitae, however interviews with faculty and teaching ability will be given higher preference in hiring.

Now, that looks a lot more like an industry posting than one of these stupid academic postings, and I'm not really sure where the discrepancy comes from. Given it's a teaching position, I'd expect something like $62-97k, depending on experience, for the position. And it would be a full professorship, with tenure at ten or fifteen years. And for heavens' sake, fucking health insurance and life insurance for the new prof.

So, what in the hell is wrong with academia that they can't figure out how to hire people or even train them? We get a new MA or PhD or even just somebody with an AA, and it takes them four fucking years before they're worth a shit. And yet, academia wants more of the same academic fuckers that created the useless twits coming out of colleges today. Seems to me if academia started looking for the people that were, you know, already spun up, that they might be able to produce students who were more useful.

btw, hi Cheryl.

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