History under the Hammer
Department Chairs Report Effects of Economic Woes
By Robert B. Townsend
A majority of history departments across the country are suffering from budget cuts this year, but not all are suffering equally. An AHA survey of department chairs last October found that departments at many (if not most) public institutions are suffering from deep and painful cuts to their budgets, while departments at private institutions were getting by relatively unscathed.
The survey was sent to 696 department chairs in programs listed in the AHA’s Directory of History Departments, Historical Organizations, and Historians, and received responses from 219 chairs (215 in the United States and 4 in Canada).1 A majority of the respondents in the U.S. reported that they had experienced some curtailment of their budgets, but these ranged quite widely—from modest reductions in their supplies budget to deep and painful cuts in faculty, support staff, and materials.
The effects varied widely depending on the financing and administration of particular aspects of the department’s budget, but economic problems in departments were generally felt through reductions in one or more of four revenue sources—general operating funds (for supplies and day-to-day operations), salaries and benefits for faculty, salaries and benefits for staff, and funds for graduate programs.
Just over a third of the departments reported that they were experiencing no problems as a result of the larger economic crises. These departments were primarily at private colleges and universities, but a few were at public institutions, particularly, it seemed, in southern states. These departments reported no reductions, and in many cases, indicated that they were experiencing net growth in their hiring of full-time faculty.
Roughly a quarter of the respondents reported that they were experiencing minor financial difficulties. They were often experiencing problems in just one area of their budget—typically a small reduction in general operating funds or a brief freeze in salaries. Very few of these chairs reported that they felt comfortable about their prospects for the near future, but most recognized that their problems were comparatively mild.
The remainder of the responses, almost 40 percent in all, indicated that they were experiencing substantial reductions in their department budgets, cuts that were having a tangible effect on the accomplishment of their work and mission. While the nature of the troubles varied widely, they almost invariably consisted of some reduction in supplies and services, and a real reduction in wages for faculty and staff.
Even though the questions asked about budget effects over the past year, most of the chairs experiencing painful reductions situated their department budget within a three-year time frame—looking back two years, and forward one. These chairs noted that freezes and cuts began back in 2008, and planning for additional cuts in the coming year were already under way.
One chair, asked to plan for a 20 percent reduction next year, reported that “Needless to say, for us and most any history department, that chunk goes well beyond operating budgets to the entire grad program and tenure-track positions. We are in process of such planning (not a morale boosting venture) and making clear the “costs” associated with any cuts.” These sorts of “budget reduction exercises” are adding to the sense of fear and uncertainty in many departments.
Marked Differences between Public and Private
Chairs from private institutions indicated they were being very cautious about their revenues and expenses, but the concerns they reported tended to be fairly remote from the core activities of the department—modest cuts in the catering budget for the department, for example (mentioned by a dozen chairs at private institutions), and in support to bring in outside speakers (mentioned by five chairs).
Almost all of them observed that they felt deeply fortunate. As one such chair observed, “Compared to many departments we’ve been very lucky. No furloughs, no salary cuts (we got a modest raise this year), no increased teaching loads, no significant budget cuts.”
In comparison, the responses from departments at public institutions seemed to reflect a different reality. The public institutions reported a wide variety of economic problems, but most attributed a significant portion of their difficulties to budget woes originating at the state level—reductions that had already had a deep impact, and presaged more severe problems in the near future. One chair noted that, “Continuing budget deficits at the state level threaten absolutely disastrous cuts—we’re anticipating at least one, and probably two midyear cuts.” Ten other department chairs at public institutions noted that their department had been shielded from deeper cuts by federal stimulus funds, and the imminent loss of those funds was likely to add to their problems in the coming year.
Most of the chairs’ concerns were related to the effects on individual faculty members, most visibly through a decline in their numbers, wages, and benefits. Fourteen chairs reported that the composition of their departments were being transformed by early retirement programs (for faculty and staff), which were implemented with widely varied goals and results. Some institutions were eliminating faculty lines, but others were simply trying to replace higher paid upper level faculty with lower paid junior faculty. Many others were experiencing some form of hiring freeze, reducing the size of their department faculty.
A majority of the chairs reported that their departments had experienced a reduction in faculty income. Even at some of the private institutions this was experienced in the form of multiyear pay freezes that effectively cut salaries by failing to keep them up with inflation. But 33 chairs reported that their faculties had also experienced further reductions through furloughs and tangible cuts or changes to their benefits packages.
The reductions in benefits most often occurred in the form of cuts in contributions for health and retirement plans. At some institutions, chairs estimated that the combined reduction of wages and benefits meant a tangible cut in take home pay of as much as 13 percent below levels of just 18 months earlier.
In addition to the cuts in personal income, a number of chairs noted that their faculties had suffered at least modest reductions in their travel budgets or allowances. In addition to reductions in funding levels, a few also noted that new procedures for oversight made it more difficult to access the funds available. As one chair observed, “faculty must go through a lengthy and somewhat confusing process” to get approval for travel outside of the immediate region.
A much larger number of chairs reported that they were also experiencing a substantial reduction in the funds available for contingent faculty (part-time faculty, adjuncts, visiting professors, and even teaching assistants). A smaller number of departments indicated that they were increasing the number of part-time and contingent hires to fill gaps in the curriculum or replace retiring faculty.
The changes in the employment of contingent faculty were noted in a range of comments that reveal some of the conflicting (and conflicted) attitudes about faculty serving in these positions. A number of chairs lamented that this reduction meant the loss of valued colleagues. As one chair observed, the cuts to this budget line “would have dramatic consequences for our adjunct instructors, some of whom teach at as many as three different institutions to cobble together a livable income.”
Some other chairs lamented the shift primarily for the effect this had on their full-time tenure track faculty—by requiring them to take on larger teaching loads, limit research sabbaticals, teach outside their core specialty, or teach introductory courses. As one chair observed, cutting the adjunct budget meant “we will try to accommodate the same number of students this spring as last while cutting a couple of sections. In other words, class size will go up.”
Thirty-eight department chairs (17 percent of the total) noted that the effects of changes in the use of contingent faculty were exacerbated by hiring freezes imposed by the college or university. Programs compelled to decrease the use of part-time and adjunct faculty felt increasingly stretched, while departments increasing the use of contingent faculty feared this could mark a permanent change in the composition of their departments. One chair worried that “we have shifted to a two-tier system where lower-paid, part-time faculty do nearly all of the general education service and the tenure track faculty teach upper division and graduate courses.”
Changes in personnel were not limited to front-line faculty. Two dozen departments (all at public institutions) reported that they had lost at least one part-time member of their support staff. They reported that this had a particularly detrimental effect on student advising and services, but also placed a heavier burden on department chairs, who described the added burden in administering faculty searches, and promotion and tenure cases, and the hiring of part-time faculty.
The effect on students came up as a recurring theme in the responses. One of the more common observations was about how a department was offering fewer upper-level courses, making it more difficult for its majors to complete their studies—and in some cases leading to higher attrition from the department. Another result was diminished time for faculty advising, resulting in declining student satisfaction.
The effect seemed to be even more profound at many graduate programs. There was a recurring lament about sharp cutbacks in support for their graduate students. (The rare exception was noted by two department chairs, who observed that reductions in full-time faculty were being addressed in part by increases in support for teaching assistants).
A number of chairs lamented the effect this was having on their graduate students—in their ability to support their studies, and even their ability to properly continue their academic work, as the time of their full-time faculty mentors and supervisors were reallocated to lower-level undergraduate courses. Three chairs observed that, as a result, there was substantial talk about eliminating the doctoral or graduate program in their department altogether.
Finally, the other notable effect cited by a significant number of chairs actually fell outside the department—on the history department’s portion of the library budget. Even though they were not specifically asked, a handful of the respondents noted the loss of material support for research, including diminished support for purchases of books and electronic databases of bibliographies, historical articles, and primary source materials.
Most of the departments experiencing substantial cuts treated the situation in fairly stoic terms—describing the problems as beyond their control and essentially just to be survived for the short term. But a few of the department chairs described fairly substantial changes in the work and culture of their department.
The most common adjustments seemed to be in the area of technology. Twenty of the department chairs noted that the budget cutbacks had accelerated a shift to online syllabi and materials. As one noted, “We scan more stuff—post it on Blackboard and tell the students to print it.” A few others noted that the reductions in faculty were promoting greater use of online courses, which allowed one institution to reduce full-time faculty while “maintaining the existing student-faculty ratio” through the use of adjunct instructors working off site.
A significant number also noted that they had been forced to remove phones from faculty offices to meet the budget. And others noted that they were either taking away faculty computers or choosing not upgrading them as they became obsolete. One chair reported, “Previously, we received faculty computer replacement funds on a three-year cycle. These have ended, and we are now using department funds to replace or repair faculty computers only when urgently necessary, and with faculty cost participation for more expensive alternatives.”
Even for the departments that were doing fairly well, this was clearly placing an added administrative burden. Very few of the department chairs failed to note that they were taking a much closer look at their ongoing costs, and in some cases, put in the position of needing to approve expenses as mundane as individual faculty members’ photocopying requests. (One chair observed that, “while photocopying isn’t prohibited, any class handout must be approved in advance by the department chair.”)
The only truly positive sign that many department chairs noted is that their enrollments and majors continued to grow, giving the history department a much stronger position relative to other departments in the humanities and social sciences.
—Robert Townsend is the AHA’s assistant director for research and publications.
1. The survey was not designed to elicit quantitative information. An e-mail to the chairs asked three open-ended questions: “(1) Is your department experiencing any reductions in funding, and if so, roughly how large are they (1 percent, 5 percent, etc.) and how many years have you been experiencing such cuts?”; “(2) Are budget reductions affecting your department’s execution of its work—either in the tangible ways (e.g., cuts in basic supplies, increases or reductions in the number of part-time faculty, and cuts in faculty salaries) or in less tangible ways (such as increases in course loads for full-time faculty)?”; and “(3) Finally, if you have experienced budget cuts, how have you adjusted to compensate for the diminished resources? If you have not experienced any reductions, is this something you are concerned about?” Given campus sensibilities, most chairs asked that their comments remain anonymous. In deference to the majority, all respondents remain unnamed.
This is a pretty comprehensive article on the market for History PhD's. The data's almost two years old, but the format of the article provides a framework for looking at the market for liberal arts PhD.
Not surprisingly, the market is not promising and begs the question: does it make any sense to get a PhD in history?
A Tough Sell
January 9, 2012 - 3:00am
CHICAGO -- The history of the history profession may provide some guidance to those trying to figure out the terrible job market, said panelists Friday at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association in Chicago.
In the last year, there have been frequent calls, including one by AHA leaders, for job candidates to develop alternative career paths, because the academic job market is not going to bounce back to pre-recession levels any time soon.
A paper presented at the session by Thomas Bender, a professor of history at New York University, suggested that even though nonacademic careers may be the obvious direction to go, a shift in thinking can only come about when the leading history departments in the country begin to actively back this kind of thinking. “Without that leadership, the changes proposed will be considered something subpar and thus not the thing for an aspiring department or student,” Bender said in his paper. He said research by the AHA Committee on Doctoral Education has shown that graduates students are afraid to tell their advisers that they are contemplating careers outside the academe.
“Such students preferred to pursue the profession of history in museums, historical societies, film making, and the park service, among other possibilities,” according to the paper. But the students fear that if and when their advisers find out their plans, they will not be supportive. That’s why a radical change is needed in the way history departments think: not only acceptance of a new normal, but also a realization that the market may even worsen in the years to come.
Bender, in his paper, said that the idea that academe is the only suitable option for Ph.D students in history took hold in the mid-1950s. “Oddly, not only was this narrowing nourished by the flush times of the so-called academic ‘Golden Age’ that ended in the early 1970s, but it even accelerated during the hard times since,” he said.
Bender called out to historians to recover the deep roots of history beyond the world of academics. He even tackled what many would call the elephant in the room by calling for departments to produce fewer Ph.D.s. and suggesting that the AHA encourage the shutting down of subpar programs.
To expand the field of history, he suggested collaborations with professional schools, including business schools. That means developing the right courses. History of the Constitution, anyone? Or legal history for undergraduates, or a joint B.A. in history and a M.A. in public affairs. History as a discipline could play a significant part in educating those opting to take up careers in civics or business, he said. “Advanced training as it developed in the 19th century included a commitment to civic life and leadership, and I hope we recover that forgotten legacy as we go forward,” according to Bender. “Those students who seek nonacademic careers deserve as much moral and practical support as those who seek to emulate their professors. Both are important and enriching career choices.”
But will history departments take the all-important step of trying to reduce enrollments in their graduate programs like Bender suggests? James Axtell, a history professor at the College of William and Mary, who presented a paper at the session called “A Long View: Graduate Education in America” does not seem to think so. “In a competitive climate of rankings and relative prestige, precious few universities are willing to take the first step toward reducing their graduate enrollments because reduction smacks of entropy and loss of face; some governors, trustees, and state boards of higher education seem less reluctant,” he said. But change is imperative and is needed, he said. Greater costs and sky-high debts demand that hard questions be asked about entrenched processes in the academic world.
Robert B. Townsend, the author of a recent report about the job market for graduate students in history and a deputy director at the AHA, said he is beginning to notice changes in the way doctoral students think about the market.
“In the 90s, many graduate students in history seemed to be angry, and there were frequent calls for shutting down programs. I think now, they are focusing on the positive and concentrating on the jobs they can have,” he said.
Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/01/09/historians-ponder-state-job-market#ixzz2AAafb576
Inside Higher Ed
A Small Bump
January 3, 2012 - 3:00am
The history job market is on the mend, albeit in a very small way, according to a report released Monday by the American Historical Association.
The number of jobs listed with the association in the 2010-11 academic year increased by 10.2 percent over the prior year, from 569 to 627. The gain doesn't suggest a healthy job market, however, because the figures from the previous academic year represented a historic low. And just three years ago, the number of positions listed with the history association was 1,064, the highest it has ever been. (While not all history jobs are listed with the association, the AHA data are considered a reliable measure of the market.)
History continues to lag behind other disciplines when it comes to improvements in the academic job market, according to the report. Adding to the woes in this discipline is the high number of Ph.D. recipients, which was more than a 1,000 last year.
The report, released the same week the American Historical Association holds its annual conference in Chicago, is sure to renew controversy over whether history departments let too many students into their doctoral programs, and the role of professors in failing to encourage graduate students to consider nonacademic careers.
Robert B. Townsend, the author of the report and a deputy director at the AHA, said the small gains at least reverse what he called “a terrifying trend” of the last two years of sharp drop-offs in available jobs. Townsend said the sudden spike of available jobs in the 2007-8 academic year had given many an undue sense of optimism.
“We go through these tense periods when the jobs dry up. There is talk about getting jobs outside academia. And then the jobs come back, we go back to the same old habits,” he said.
He had argued in a column in the December 2011 issue of Perspectives that just looking at the number of graduates and the available jobs was simplistic.
“One of the biggest challenges for students and the departments admitting them is the often dramatic changes that can take place between the time someone starts in a Ph.D. program and the time someone actually finishes,” he said in the article. “So it creates a real challenge for anyone trying to peer into the future and see where things are going, particularly at an individual level. And to the extent history doctoral students are trained to look narrowly only at jobs in colleges and universities, we are further facilitating new crises.”
In the new report, the largest number of jobs advertised was in the subfield of history of North America, with 182 advertised positions. Of all available jobs posted, 69 percent were for tenure or tenure-track positions; that proportion used to be about 75 percent before the recession.
Even though there were more jobs available for those who want to teach the history of North America, the subfield attracted the most applications for junior faculty positions, with an average of about 95 applicants per job opening in 2010-11. In comparison, advertised jobs in the subfields of Africa and Asia attracted an average of 60 applicants per junior faculty position.
Reflecting the oversupply in the entire discipline, each position received an average of 87.3 applications, an increase from the 84.9 applications in the 2008-2009 academic year.
One bright spot: the number of full-time faculty hires surpassed the number of professors leaving history departments for the first time in three years.
The number of new Ph.D.s continues to rise, with a 3.1 percent increase to 912 in the 2010-11 academic year. “While this may seem dubious at a time when the number of academic jobs is near the lowest level in 30 years, it reflects both a long-term trend and the optimism of about eight years ago when many of them first started their graduate program,” the report says.
These rising numbers represent a kind of wishful thinking, said Lawrence Cebula, a history professor at Eastern Washington University, who writes a blog called Northwest History. “It so happens that a lot of historians feel that there is some kind of professional success in sending students to get Ph.D.s. They tend to brag about them,” Cebula said.
The professor, who said he openly discourages his students from pursuing academic careers, has been at the forefront of a debate this year because he wrote a blog post called “Open Letter to My Students: No, You Cannot be a Professor," in which he encouraged history students to look beyond a career in academe. The blog post touched a nerve, and by the end of the year it had received 40,000 hits, Cebula said.
He likened the effort to get a Ph.D. in history and then find an academic job to “someone buying a lottery ticket with nine years of their life.”
His arguments mirror what the AHA itself said in October 2011, when the organization’s executive director and president said that the academic job market wasn’t going to make a comeback soon and Ph.D. programs needed to change to accommodate options beyond academe.
“We tell students that there are ‘alternatives’ to academic careers. We warn them to develop a ‘Plan B’ in case they do not find a teaching post. And the very words in which we couch this useful advice make clear how much we hope they will not have to follow it – and suggest, to many of them, that if they do have to settle for employment outside the academy, they should crawl off home and gnaw their arms off,” said Anthony Grafton, president of the AHA and a Princeton University professor, and James Grossman, who is the executive director of the association.
After two years of sharp declines, the history job market finally stabilized and showed some modest improvements last year. The number of jobs advertised in 2010–11 increased 10.2 percent from its nadir the year before (Figure 1), and the number of full-time faculty employed in history departments this past fall increased slightly.
Figure 1: Number of History Ph.D.'s and Advertised Job Openings, 1970–71 to 2011–12
These quotes are some of the responses made on the Survey of Doctoral Education and Career Preparation. The quotes are sorted by discipline. You can see the response from other disciplines. These quotes supplement an article of advice for selecting a doctoral program. Students responded to the question: "Knowing everything that you know now, what advice would you give others entering or in the early years of graduate school? "
The quotes are sorted into six categories. Generally, there are a half dozen comments per category, the alternating colors are different student's comments. These categories were applied by us, as we read through the thousands of comments. They are the most common categories of advice pertaining to the selection of a doctoral program. The frequency with which various kinds of advice emerged varies by discipline. You can see the relative distribution here.
Know yourself and know what doctoral study entails
25.2% of the art history students surveyed offered advice about this topic.
It is a long, discouraging but sometimes rewarding path with no guaranteed job prospects at the end of it. Consider it carefully.
Before committing to a field of study, make sure it is the right field; by pursuing "career" test; extra-curricular courses at a local university; even working a year or two in corporate America. What this does is give you time to make sure you have chosen a field that suits you well -- so that once you are in it, focus and sacrifice, discipline come very easily. The more you know about yourself (your interests, aptitude and capabilities), the better your studies and work with your advisor will go; and the better you will be able to withstand the negative psychological effects the Ph.D. process can have (i.e., stress, anxiety, doubt). The process is as much a psychological process as an academic one.
Be prepared. When people tell you it’s a big jump from undergrad to grad, believe them. Make sure you are willing to make the sacrifices and put in the time. Be sure you like the department, and not just the prestige of the university. Interact as much as possible with other students--the communal misery makes it easier to bear.
Know yourself. Be able to work independently and sometimes in isolation. Be clear about funding and prepared to take up slack.
Think carefully about the reasons why he or she wants to enter the field. One needs to have a better reason than not wanting to enter the real world because it is a costly and time-consuming venture. Along these lines, I would suggest working in the field either in an internship or paid work to see the good, the bad and the ugly of a field before investing the time and money.
Graduate school can be wearing on one's ego, which has both good and bad effects. You may not always be treated with the respect that you think you deserve by faculty. The hard work and long hours are not always appreciated.
Think long and hard about 1) what you want out of your degree, and the program, 2) how you will be spending your work days, with whom, under what conditions, etc. 3) how long the degree takes, and why people choose to speed up or slow down, 4) life-style sacrifices must be considered, which takes me back to point 1).
Evaluate their motivational levels. I have found graduate school to be a very solitary experience regarding large research projects. It is definitely not for somebody who has a hard time motivating themselves or who requires praise and appreciation. The new student should also realize that there is not a lot of sustenance. By this I mean that there are very few rewards for the hard work. Graduate students definitely do not earn a lot of money and rarely receive encouragement.
Unless you are very dedicated to the field and can think of nothing else you would like to do, don't go to graduate school in the humanities. It is a long road with little to encourage you and you can get frustrated and disillusioned during the process. Of course, good things come from it, but there are other ways to learn the analytical, research and writing skills that this degree teaches.
There seems to be a disconnect between the process of getting the degree and getting a job afterward. It takes on a life of its own...like climbing Mt. Everest or running a marathon.
Investigate the program thoroughly
18.5% of the art history students surveyed offered advice about this topic.
Very carefully examine the program you are considering entering. Talk to students in the program, meet faculty, examine faculties, etc.
Be sure that you will be entering a community of scholars -- with plenty of other student and faculty contacts -- so that you can still make it work if it doesn't work out with your advisor or if he/she leaves.
A good working relationship with an advisor is key -- research well the person with whom you want to work.
Don't go to a program where students compete with each other for funding on a year-to-year basis.
Expectations are very arbitrary. You must interview past students of your program/advisor before getting into a program. You should also get a clear idea of what preliminary exams entail.
In my field financial aid is very scarce. My department’s statements about this were very misleading. This has caused a major problem during my program. I may not finish my dissertation, even though my research is virtually complete, because I have to work a full time job to contribute my share of support for my family.
Learn who will advise you before entering the program. In my discipline, art history, only one person will specialize in the student's field of interest, and that person will be the advisor.
Understand the job market
16.3% of the art history students surveyed offered advice about this topic.
Think twice about the decision and be aware 1) of the abysmal job situation in certain disciplines and 2) of the realities of an academic life, e.g., low pay for long hours., egocentric colleagues, and struggles for tenure.
If they plan to enter the humanities, I would advise them not to go for a doctorate unless they are accepted by a prestigious program--one of the top in their chosen field. Otherwise, they will finish their education severely in debt and underemployed. Do not believe anyone who tells you that the job market will improve in five years. It won't.
All art history graduate students planning to work in academia or the museum field: be mindful of the job market before taking on student loans. The market is at the point of negative return. In all sectors of the art world beginning pay for those with a MA or Ph.D. will not be adequate to make payments on a loan in excess of $20,000. With this in mind, I would suggest that prospective grad students apply for appropriate assistantships and scholarships and also work while enrolled. I would also stress the importance of internships.
Find out more about current and departed graduate students--those who finished and those who did not.
Find out what careers are available other than teaching--and if they are supported and encouraged.
Realize how lousy the job market is, and only go to one of the top programs if possible.
Prepare for several career options.
Get as much experience as possible.
Throughout the past 10 years, our Ph.D. graduates have been placed at many institutions, including tenure track positions at Barnard College, University of Tennessee, University of Pennsylvania, Reed College, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri, Harvard, California State University at Chico, San Francisco State University and Sophia University. They have also gone onto museum work at the National Palace Museum, Taiwan; Utah Museum of Fine Arts; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; San Diego Children's Museum; and Parish Museum, New York.
This is a list from the Stanford Art History department's graduate page; this is, significantly, all that's said about job placement for grad students from that department. I wonder about the term "placement," which implies proactivity; there's no mention of the job search process for PhD's. Do they just wind up on the radar screens of interested departments because this sector of the community is so small?
Requirements for Penn's A.M. program include proficiency in both French and German and completion of a thesis in a specific art history topic. Fields of study include Egyptian, Baroque, Asian and American art history.
Doctoral candidates in Penn's Ph.D. program can choose concentrations in a number of fields, including 19th Century, North Renaissance, Islamic and Byzantine. For the second portion of the program, students are expected to serve as undergraduate teachers. Students' dissertations are expected to be completed two to three years following the sixth semester of study.
Average Art History Professor Salaries
The average salary for art history professor jobs is $42,000. Average art history professor salaries can vary greatly due to company, location, industry, experience and benefits.
Change in average full professor salary at University of Chicago since 2000
Change for the typical doctoral institution since 2000
Full professors Associate professors Assistant professors Instructors
Source: AAUP faculty salary survey.
I left the academy because the job was not worth all the sacrifices, which included: relatively low-pay; a heavy 3/4 workload — with five of the seven classes outside of my field; living apart from our family/friend network in an ethnically homogeneous and Bible-belt conservative city; and working in an unsupportive department in a college that was not interested in dealing with diversity/inclusion at the administrative level.
$$$$$. Believe it or not prep schools pay more (often much more) than your average college or university. According to the salary schedule of one prep school (granted it’s in Los Angeles) I would walk through the door making $66,000. According to my rep at Carney, salaries in less high-rent cities would be in the high $50s to low $60s. That’s real money.
Quality and quantity of Students. Students at prep schools read and write better than the students in my surveys. And while I will teach more classes per semester, they will be far smaller, so the total number of students I have will actually decrease.
If you’re looking for bad news about the humanities job market, it’s easy enough to find. From the New York Times to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the past year’s headlines heralded grim prospects for graduates with new PhDs.
"Many people in this field have an independent income and will do anything to get in the door," he said. "If you are not willing to volunteer, pick another line of work."