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2485Re: [americancomm] Advice for Aspiring Academics?

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  • Dale Cyphert
    Nov 29, 2008
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      As usual, I completely concur with Tom's advice!

      In response to his query about practitioner experience to get a teaching
      gig: absolutely. I am currently hiring adjuncts in a department of
      management, so a person who could teach business communication,
      information systems, operations or organizational management is always
      going to get a call back from me.

      In general, I'd prefer to see someone with both an MBA and some
      college-level teaching experience in the U.S. (or at a U.S. style
      university), along with a practitioner background in the area. However,
      instructors are only required to have a graduate degree, so I'd be
      happy to entertain a professional writer with an MA, for instance, to
      teach communication, or an MSME with production experience to teach
      operations.

      Most communication and/or English departments are delighted to find
      someone with business experience to teach business and professional
      communication, professional writing, and various journalism and public
      relations courses. Those are all areas where an academic degree alone
      just doesn't cut it.

      dale


      Dale Cyphert, PhD
      Associate Professor and Interim Head
      Department of Management
      University of Northern Iowa
      1227 W. 27th Street
      Cedar Falls, IA 50614-1025
      319-273-6150
      dale.cyphert@...

      Thomas Duncanson wrote:
      >
      >
      > Leigh Ann and others interested in this getting into academia stuff
      >
      > We all wonder without ceasing about "how blind is blind" in editorial
      > review. I once joked to an editor that he must have been using me to
      > kill stuff, because he was sending me such crap. He did not think this
      > was funny. But you would have to be a babe in the woods not to see that
      > an editor can send your stuff to someone who is likely to hate it or, at
      > minimum, not get it.
      >
      > But, overall, the process is conducted in relatively good faith, and the
      > outcomes are probably about right,
      >
      > I would NOT worry about not having an institutional affiliation, because
      > that just leads to worrying about not having a good enough affiliation,
      > which leads to a life spent twisting in pointless agony.
      >
      > MY BIG CAPITAL LETTER ADVICE IS: DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT PUBLISHING FOR
      > ITS OWN SAKE-- PUBLISH WHEN YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY THAT NEEDS THAT
      > LEVEL OF RECOGNITION AND TO BE ENTERED, MORE OR LESS, ON THE FIELD'S
      > PERMANENT RECORD. Publishing is not about you and your career-- it is
      > about us and what we are struggling to know.
      >
      > That said, and assuming you are confident you have something to say:
      >
      > It depends on your specialty, but if you are in the old broad "speech
      > com" tradition-- I would send things off to state, regional, and the NCA
      > conventions, and never forget the ACA meetings! And then when you've
      > been to a couple of meetings, have a feel for what is going on, and are
      > getting some feedback on your work, you will have a sense where to send
      > your stuff for publication. If you are in journalism, mass comm, public
      > relations, grants, etc.-- I'd forget academic writing and write/produce
      > in your line of work-- as a better entry into the academic first job.
      > Unless, of course, you really do have something to address to the
      > academic audience. But generally, I think we have a steady stream of
      > applicants to teach our traditional courses part-time, but are really
      > hungry to get teacher-practitioners for our more "applied" or "market
      > specific" courses. Others, who do more hiring than I do, should weigh in
      > on this.
      >
      > A number of presenters have appeared at NCA in recent years as
      > "Independent Scholars" in the convention program. Unaffiliated people.
      > No problem. Now, I have to say, the LAST things these people are is
      > "scholars"-- people of the schools. They are researchers, writers-- some
      > other accurate name we could think up. Those of us "of the schools" have
      > an unmistakable stink of it on us. Some people like it, trust it, even
      > require it-- others don't need it or even despise it. Fair enough.
      >
      > You are asking good questions. I think the answer is, go do it. If you
      > want to ask off this list about where you could send specific ms. you
      > prepared in grad school or since, I'm sure a number of us on here would
      > be glad to shoot through it and tell you what we think. I'll close with
      > my e-mail, so you can send such to me, if you wish.
      >
      > Tom
      >
      > Tom Duncanson
      > Millikin University
      > tduncanson@... <mailto:tduncanson%40mail.millikin.edu>
      >
      > >>> "Leigh Ann Whittle" <leighannwhittle@...
      > <mailto:leighannwhittle%40earthlink.net>> 11/27/08 8:24 PM >>>
      > Dale,
      >
      > Thank you for your advice. I have been diligently applying for open
      > teaching positions ... though it's been mostly a waiting game for
      > openings. One thing I'm particularly curious about is publishing without
      > any institutional affiliation. It appears to me that I have to be
      > established in a school before I can publish anything -- or do I?
      > Perhaps I'm just questioning how blind the blind review process is, in
      > that if I submit quality work, will it really matter that I'm not
      > (currently) teaching?
      >
      > Thanks again!
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: dale cyphert
      > To: americancomm@yahoogroups.com <mailto:americancomm%40yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: 11/25/2008 12:29:47 AM
      > Subject: RE: [americancomm] Advice for Aspiring Academics?
      >
      > Leigh Ann,
      > The answer is to take an adjunct position teaching writing, pr writing,
      > or whatever else someone might offer you. Like consulting, successful
      > adjuncting involves a whole lot of "sure, I can do that!".
      >
      > You probably won't get hired at a Community College without some
      > teaching experience (and generally speaking, an MA only qualifies you to
      > teach at that level), but you can adjunct for both community colleges
      > and many universities with that degree.
      >
      > Then, get involved...lots of face time with the regular faculty, keep on
      > publishing, and somewhere down the road you'll either find a full time
      > job or find yourself ready to do a PhD program.
      >
      > have fun!
      >
      > From Leigh Ann Whittle <leighannwhittle@...
      > <mailto:leighannwhittle%40earthlink.net>>
      > Sent Mon 11/24/2008 8:53 PM
      > To americancomm@yahoogroups.com <mailto:americancomm%40yahoogroups.com>
      > Subject [americancomm] Advice for Aspiring Academics?
      >
      > Hello all,
      >
      > I am a relative newcomer to our group and would like to obtain some
      > advice from you-all (Or "y'all", if you happen to be in the same region
      > of the U.S. as I am!). First, a little background on me before my advice
      > request:
      >
      > Since receiving my bachelor's in corporate communications and journalism
      > in 2001, I have been a communication practitioner, be it in public
      > relations or contract writing (the latter of which I do now). A layoff
      > from PR in 2005 forced me to re-think what I'm after in my career, and I
      > enrolled in an online grad school English course to see how I liked it.
      > And, boy, did I like it! The learning, the being among others of a like
      > mind, the immersion into communication study (and having people actually
      > understand what I was talking about!) was invigorating. I felt I had
      > finally found my niche, and I am re-directing my career path on teaching
      > and the academic community.
      >
      > Needless to say, I did finish that graduate degree. I have no complaints
      > about my method of obtaining that degree -- entirely online from a
      > brick-and-mortar school you can actually visit should you ever find
      > yourself in Greenville, NC -- but the inability to do GA work and be
      > face to face with my professors and colleagues left me wanting. I feel
      > like I'm stumbling along behind my peers who completed their degrees on
      > campus.
      >
      > Now here's my request for advice: What would you recommend someone like
      > me do? Obviously, I have been applying for teaching positions, but as
      > you all know, the job market isn't at its best right now. What are some
      > other avenues I can take to transition careers? I am especially curious
      > about publishing because my perception is -- and I could be wrong --
      > that you must already be part of an academic community to perform
      > research and have your findings published. I have published a review in
      > Business Communication Quarterly, but I realize one article isn't enough.
      >
      > I realize there is no single tried and true way to get into academia,
      > but I would like to hear what people inside the field have to offer.
      >
      > Thank you in advance and have a wonderful day,
      >
      > Leigh Ann Whittle
      >
      >
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