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Bigshots?

bmartin at utmem.edu bmartin at utmem.edu
Tue Sep 5 10:21:19 EST 2000


In article <39B29D60.A2287C70 at hotmail.com>, notmyaddress at hotmail.com
(SLF) wrote:

> Maybe so.  But show me a search committee--or a study section--
> that prefers a person from
> a resource-poor institution who has been productive despite the odds,
> to one from a resource-rich institution who has been even MORE
> productive because of their advantages.  The system has that feedback
> loop built in.

But do you, or other lurkers, truly believe this is appropriate?  If
you don't, then work to correct this misconception when you are in a
position to do so, such as working on a search committee.
 
> > Once the "bigshot" places no longer can corner the market, the system
> > will be more open and it will matter less where folks go for positions.
> 
> Corner the market in what?  I'm unclear what you mean here.  The
> top-rated institutions and their faculty have an enormous influence on
> the structure of science beyond simple hiring decisions;  think
> of editorial boards and study sections.  The glut of high quality candidates
> in the system means that smaller schools and institutions are spoilt for
> choice--all those talented ex-postdocs are going somehwere, and not all of
> them are going to Harvard.  It's a buyer's market, with the result that there
> are great faculty at smaller institutions.

They have effectively cornered the market in filling faculty slots at
so-called lesser institutions.   

I agree there are great faculty at almost all institutions; indeed this
is one basis for my point.  Why not hire some of the people they have
trained at the smaller places.  Don't always reduce the situation to
selecting trained people from Harvard and like institutions.

> But the point of the original post is that the
> Harvards of the world still wield an enormous power, and as long
> as women opt-out from storming their barricades,  we
>  leave ourselves OUT of that power structure.  If we want the influence
> we hve to get into the system.

Take the influence and power away from them by not accepting the
misconception that people trained at Harvard are better trained than
people from less-well known insitutions.

B. Martin







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