Hiring 2014

I’ve now updated this site with the hiring data from 2014. As of this moment, I’m inclined to say that this will be the last time I will update this site.

When I first posted my tables a few years ago, I was using them to make two points: (1) consistent placement information should be made more readily available, preferably by the APA in service to the profession, and (2) rankings based on placement would offer supplemental and more objective measures of program quality, to be used alongside the Philosophical Gourmet Report’s reputational surveys.

As for (1), the APA has started collecting consistent placement data in its Grad Guide, and there has been increased transparency by departments about their placement success. Indeed, the new “Appointments” information at PhilJobs is a centralized, proactive locus for placement data collection, sponsored by the APA–something for which I have lobbied at this site from the outset. One consequence of this proliferation of placement data is that the hiring thread at Leiter Reports now seems (though I have no firm data on this) to be a less reliable representation of the market than in years past. Since this site relies exclusively on those postings, its reliability is likewise diminished.

As for (2), the use of placement data to rank departments has now become quite visible. Andrew Carson and, especially, Carolyn Dicey Jennings have developed analyses that now strike me as very robust. (Even Prof. Leiter himself is joining in, though he uses placement data to defend the PGR.) These analyses are more thorough than mine, are the product of a deeper commitment of time and resources, and will be of more use in the long run.

I welcome these developments as evidence that my points have been made, regardless of whether I had anything to do with it. So I will take the opportunity to simply declare victory and cede the field.

Addendum: I do not wish to offer extensive comment on the rather vitriolic (and ad hominem) dispute that Brian Leiter and Carolyn Dicey Jennings have had in the blogosphere about their respective rankings. I will say, to again quote Leiter, that “all such exercises are of very limited value.” Nevertheless, they are of some use, and should be made available, so long as the methodology and limitations of the analysis are made clear. I think the PGR and the placement rankings by Jennings, Carson, and myself all meet this standard. They can be used to supplement each other by those seeking measures of graduate program quality. (Indeed, Leiter’s recent use of placement data to defend the PGR tacitly admits as much.)


Posted July 11, 2014 by David Marshall Miller in Uncategorized