Higher Education: Wasting Our Best

In connection with the squeeze on university jobs (tenure-track or no),
there is an interesting article in the current TNR about the increase in
US PhDs finding academic positions abroad. See:

Here is a short excerpt:

With a Ph.D. in history and humanities from Stanford University–and a
growing body of research–Christopher Stroop initially expected to
find a full-time job as a professor at an American university.

But as increasing numbers of highly qualified American Ph.D.s have
discovered, you can have all the right credentials–a doctorate from a
prestigious institution, fantastic references, and even a book
deal–and still not secure a full-time position at an American

So, like many of his peers, Stroop realized that if he wanted a
full-time university teaching job, he would have to leave the United
States, at least temporarily. He is now a senior lecturer at the
Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public
Administration. He’s cheerful about his location: “I love that so many
friends and colleagues–so many top-notch scholars in my field–are
either in Moscow, or pass through Moscow,” he says.

Stroop is indicative of a growing trend: the “passport professor.”
According to a 2013 report by the Association of Governing Boards of
Colleges and Universities, the percentage of tenure track positions
has decreased from 78 percent of all university teaching jobs in 1969
to about 33 percent today. While some observers cheer the rise of
“passport professors” who take their credentials across international
boundaries, others wonder if the U.S. is witnessing an academic brain

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