Amherst Life Blog

Welcome to the Amherst Life Blog! Here we will be posting information on activities, events, arts, community concerns, local business, and a variety of other topics related to life in Amherst, Massachusetts. If you are new to the area and looking for housing, please check out our other blog too ------------>> Amherst Housing Blog ::.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

New Low for Ph.D.'s looking for work: Harvard University

This just in from one of our readers, a guy with a Ph.D. in literature with, oh dear, a social consciousness. That combination is lethal, we have found. Let me get this straight: "you did seven years of M.A. and Ph.D.
studies at one of the top public universities in the U.S. (UMass), you scraped by on 12,000/year for six years before they kicked you out of funding even though you were consistently rated one of the top instructors in the entire university (I'm paraphrasing his email) and you still have a desire to "help out" in the public education system? Well, if we didn't have the same goal, we'd think you had lost it in Ph.D.-land. But no, there are may of us, and there are many places like Harvard who recently turned down our colleague, mostly because he had the audacity to question their salary.

Like me break it down. Harvard's Placement Specialist Position, advertised publicly at 47-74K/year, a position in which, as Harvard HR unabashedly states, requires 50 plus work weeks between November and March, weekends and nights often. Sounds fairly normal. But when our dear UMass grad inquired about the wide range--commonplace now--he was told "high 40s." FYI: Harvard understands high 40s as 42,000/year, before taxes of course. The highly visible pay range for a "055" position, 35 hours per week, is beyond what they were going to pay for this 50 hour/week job. Harvard is fairly well endowed. Yet, they get away with this because "this is a mission-driven position." Mission driven is the new word for under-compensating. It is the new catch phrase for traps for socially conscious, highly motivated, highly qualified people.


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