Just in case there was any confusion on the subject, the academic job market does not reward those who work the hardest, teach well and often, or produce more and better scholarship. Compared to the advantages of an Ivy League pedigree and its nepotistic connections, things like teaching experience, publications, and awards don’t amount to a pile of beans. At least that’s the case with many schools — R-1s and small liberal arts colleges alike — that are easily wowed by the names on diplomas and letters of reference. For those of us without the great good fortune to have been enrolled in courses at places like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford, it’s a game of luck and chance, and the hope that at least one member of the search committee will have the guts to read past the eduction section of the CV and not be star-struck when the Good Old Boys start calling in their connections.
Yeah, I lost out on a job search to an Ivy Leaguer, even though I have taught more classes, published more articles, and won more awards. So I’m pissed. And I’m going to use it. I’m going to take my anger and frustration and I’m going to sink it into my work. I’m going to get the articles out, go to the conferences, get the book published, get the job, and get elected to professional organizations. And when the time comes on job, conference, and fellowship committees, I will have my vengeance. So run, you cur. And tell the other curs I’m coming, and I’m bringing hell with me.