Non-traditional route to full-time professorship

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by chrisjm18, Feb 3, 2020.

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  1. not4profit

    not4profit Active Member

    I have to disagree on that one. Someone getting a law degree and practicing divorce law or copyright law has very little to do with criminal justice. That is particularly true since departments seem to be growing even more picky with their requirements. If a DPA who did his or her research in a CJ area can't qualify, I would think a JD would not either.
  2. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    LOL. On what? She is there so they must be okay with her qualifications otherwise she wouldn't be there...
  3. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

  4. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    That's pretty obvious. But if a person's area of practice is say, criminal law, then that would seem like a fit. That may or may not apply to this specific person as her area wasn't mentioned here and I have no desire to dig for it.
  5. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

  6. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    That part you're actually right about so I'm not sure what the disagreement would be there. However:

    I took a quick look at her faculty profile and couldn't find any direct education or specific real-world experience in criminal justice or the area of criminal law. Doesn't mean she doesn't have those qualifications, but they're not listed in a place where they would most likely be.

    You have to understand that people generally expect direct fittings when they look at faculty lists and qualifications, and on that I would agree with Chris having some contention. This doesn't mean she isn't capable of teaching it, and she's apparently impressed Temple's administration enough to get the position. Still, I'm sure you can see how someone may have some questions as to why she has no direct qualifications in the specific field of criminal justice but holds chair in that department.
  7. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Fair enough. But I was keeping this hypothetical and you looked, so you cheated ;)
  8. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    Oh Leonard, so type C. No wonder you've run through so many girlfriends.
  9. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Oof. Vicious.
  10. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure what the point is. We know that many people teach in non-tenure track or adjunct positions with DL doctorates--even those from DEAC-accredited schools. The presumption is that the position doesn't require the doctorate, but it is still listed as a courtesy.

    I'm sure there are people in tenure-track positions with DL degrees. But it is a unicorn. While people may enter academia nontraditionally, it is not a normal path (taking a degree from a DL school) to take. Setting out for such a degree in order to bring about that outcome is a losing proposition without some assurance on the other end. (The school wants you, if only you had a doctorate.)

    There are more than 4,000 degree-granting institutions in the US. Finding a few exceptions to the rule in all of that isn't hard to find. But it isn't a "thing."
  12. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    Not a full-time professor position but I did recently see a woman on LinkedIn that finished her DBA in Finance from Walden University. She just became an Online Course Facilitator at Cornell University for their eCornell Professional Development and Continuing Education Programs.

    I have zero insight on the competitiveness for this type of role but it is I think it is slightly impressive, no?
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  13. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    The same school has also faculty with only a Masters as the faculty member below:

    So can we say also that it is possible to land a full time faculty position only with a Masters?
  14. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Your statement was that a JD was sufficient. That was the point of disagreement. That you found a faculty member with a JD does not mean that a JD was, indeed, sufficient to teach the class.

    Based on your statement about the JD it would stand to reason that anyone with a JD could have the job. Except that the JD is not her highest degree, she has an LLM in Teaching Law. She also clerked for a state supreme court justice and has a lengthy publication history in criminal law.

    That's very different from "Meh, as long as you have a JD you can do this job."

    Again, it's like an MD. Having an MD means you know a thing or two about biology. It does not mean you are qualified to teach biology. Teach medicine? Sure. Biology specifically? Not without some other compelling reason. Publication history, an advanced degree beyond the JD and experience teaching similar subjects in a law school? Yeah, that's a different proposition altogether than someone with a JD who lost their job practicing corporate deciding that they can teach a CJ course since, hey, lawyer after all.
  15. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Under the same logic, we don't really need a PhD to land a faculty job as there are faculty that work there without one:

    The schools presented with faculty with DL PhD seem to be non ranked or very small colleges, do we have a policy from these schools that state that professors must hold a PhD? It looks like the evidence is that the school does not need a PhD for faculty but if I have one the school would consider it a plus.
  16. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    To the original point of this thread, it is possible for an individual to carve out their own path and make it somewhere great. That does not necessarily mean that this is a route that can be emulated.

    Trying to become a professor the way that Maya Angelou did is certainly technically possible. But even if you hit all of the marks on paper, unless you can draw the star power of Maya Angelou, it ain't gonna happen.

    At Scranton I had at least three professors who did not have doctorates. These were tenured professors who did this is as their full time job. A bit about them:

    1. One taught CJ and Counseling because she had an MSW and was a licensed clinical social worker who maintained a private counseling practice and had worked for 25 years as a federal probation officer. Neither having an MSW nor being a former probation officer would have likely carried her over the threshold. The two things, however, tied together very nicely for her. That she had a publication history where she explored the intersection of incarceration and mental health was also a significant factor. So even if you became a federal probation officer and then earned an MSW, unless you filled in all of those gaps, you'd not be in the exact same position she was in when the opportunity presented itself.

    2. One was a philosophy professor. He had a Masters from an Italian university and there was some debate as to what to call him. Some insisted he should be called "Doctor" in accordance with the norms of the Italian educational system. He preferred to go by Professor. Again, extensive publication history as well as teaching history. My understanding was that the university actively recruited him from Italy and he walked through the door on the first day with tenure in hand.

    3. We had, interestingly enough for a Catholic university, a female Episcopal priest on the theology faculty. She was great! Her highest degree was an M.Div. but, again, long list of publications and she had years of experience teaching at seminaries. That she was a priest, even of another church where her being a priest wasn't recognized by the Catholic church, sort of gave her a little boost there.

    And of course, locally I've spoken of accounting profs who are hired for having their CPA even in the absence of advanced degrees.

    The common thread for all of these people is that none of them sat and conspired as to how to wriggle into higher ed without going the traditional way. They are all people who worked hard at their professions, contributed their original research to their discipline and ultimately found their way into higher ed. That's a very different approach than trying to map out an alternate path from the very beginning.

    Final note, the NA graduate listed earlier? He was likely hired on the basis of his Masters degree. He was hired in 2011 and he was named DETC Outstanding Grad in 2012.
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  17. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Could it be that the school does not require a PhD for hiring to begin with? Below a post from the same school calling for a professor in IT that only requires Bacherlor of Masters.

    Assistant Professor of Computer Information Science (CIS)
    Pierce College
    Puyallup, WA, USA

    Apply on Geebo

    13 days agoFull–time
    QUALIFICATIONS: Required: Bachelor's or Master's degree in any field with significant collegiate-level information technology coursework, and appropriate industry experience and certification(s) pertaining to enterprise level database development and administration and/or enterprise-level computer programming/applications development/systems development using current industry standard development techniques, systems, and languages. Must be eligible for Washington State professional/technical certification (a basic overview can be found here:; while not essential for the position, a Master's degree may satisfy certification requirements in some areas).
    JoshD likes this.
  18. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I was talking about the aforementioned Dr. Arthur Mazhambe, who holds an NA accredited DBA and works at Louisiana College while you have presented a job posting for Pierce College...

    The other references, as far as I can tell, were about Peirce College which is in Philadelphia while you have autocorrect's preferred spelling, Pierce College, in Washington.

    Unless you're talking about a different post.
  19. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    The OP seems to suggest that a DL PhD is a possible route to a full faculty position. My point is that many of the cited positions might have not required a PhD and the DL doctorate was just considered ice on the cake.

    Many of the cited positions are very small colleges that offer mainly undergraduate or associates degrees. Most of the places traditionally only require a Masters degree for a faculty position.

    It seems like the OP is trying to convince himself that his has taken a good option by taking a DL doctorate for a faculty position.
  20. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you mentioned that I "cited" these positions. Now, I need more than "might" from you. Provide evidence that a doctorate wasn't a requirement.
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