Obtaining a Faculty Position

Strategies, Advice and Position Listings

The Chronicle of Higher Education
A source of news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty members.

Times Higher Education
University jobs, news, and educational resources for college professionals and teachers worldwide.

The Academic Job Search Handbook
Vick, J.M. & Furlong, J.S. (2008). University of Pennsylvania Press.

On the Market:
Strategies for a Successful Academic Job Search

Barnes, S.L. (2007). Lynne Rienner Publishers.

The Chicago Guide to Landing a Job in Academic Biology, Chandler, C.R., Wolfe, L.M. & Promislow, D.E.L. (2007). University of Chicago Press.

Surviving Your Academic Job Hunt: Advice for Humanities Ph.D.s
Hume, K. (2005).Palgrave Macmillan.

Job Listings by Academic Discipline
Career Services Center, University of California San Diego
This website lists career opportunities by discipline.

CSU Careers
California State University System
Search for CSU Faculty positions by discipline, region, campus, or key words.

Obtaining a Faculty Position

Find the right type of institution
The most competitive applicants have done some thinking and research about the type of work they hope to do in higher education. Know what it is you are looking for in a position. Consider the type of institution where you would like to work, the type of faculty position you would like to obtain, and the “bottom line” parameters that must be met for you to be satisfied on a campus.

Locate faculty positions
Search for openings by using professional organizations and publications, higher education periodicals, and by networking at conferences and meetings. There are several websites and publications that will help you locate appropriate openings. Once you learn about the available positions you are interested in, it is important to do research to learn more about the position and the campus, prior to preparing an application. The application process is labor-intensive and time consuming; do your homework to make sure you are interested in a specific position before applying, and to save time and maximize your chances of success.

Document professional accomplishments
Once you decide where to apply, present yourself to a prospective campus in the best possible light. First impressions do matter. Effectively document your academic accomplishments on a curriculum vitae that outlines your teaching, research, and service experience, and collect a few examples of your best work to share with search committee members.

Preparing the application
The contents of your application will vary from campus to campus, but there are some basic components. In addition to the curriculum vitae used to document your professional accomplishments, you will typically need to craft a cover letter that aligns your education, experience, and skills with the needs outlined in the position announcement. Most applications also include some sort of statement of teaching philosophy or research interests, and letters of reference. Some advice from veteran faculty may help as you prepare your application materials.

The academic interview
Prepare yourself for the rigorous process that takes place if you are invited to an interview on a campus. Get to know the campus, the faculty in your area of study, and the current direction that the department, college, and campus are moving. Be ready to point out the intersection between your skills and knowledge, and the needs of the campus.

Think about the California State University (CSU) system
The CSU is the largest public university system in the country, with 23 campuses throughout the state of California. Campuses range from urban to rural, large to small, established to newly formed, specialty to generally focused, and each has a different feel and set of commitments. It is important to learn as much as you can about a campus prior to applying in order to be certain it offers the experience you would like to have for your academic career.

Possible questions to ask about Obtaining a Faculty Position:

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