Tuesday, February 08, 2005


This cold/cough thing has been dragging on and on, and I am considering cancelling my writing class today because I am still croaking out my lectures. Had a long lecture yesterday, and I think I need to give it a rest for a few days. I hate doing that kind of thing -- hate getting behind schedule -- but my throat is really killing me, and the only one who will likely care if I 'soldier on' is me.


At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Filmmaker Guy!

I hope you get well soon. You sent me your URL as part of a very good response to a question I posted on the Chronicle website last month. I wanted to say thanks and to ask for your very good advice once again.

I'm teaching (with an MFA in Video/Film and several years of professional experience) at a small southern university on a yearly contract. I like it here, but I'm looking for more $$ and security, in addition to more opportunites to teach film production, rather than TV. In short, I'm looking for tenure. I'm pitching such a promotion to my current employer, but chances for any type of advancement are slim due to the school's financial woes.

Yesterday I had a phone interview with a large state university. They said they have three open positions: Yearly, Visiting (one year) and Tenure Track that would require an earned PhD at the end of the track. I bit my tongue, trying to keep these words from spilling out: "But an MFA and a PhD are the same thing to the accrediting association!! (I know, I looked into it)".
I politely completed the interview and feel certain they're going to offer my something. How should I broach the whole MFA/PhD issue?

Please and thanks for your help!



At 2:05 PM, Blogger TerminalMFA said...


Yeah -- not an unusual response. I think the best approach is Jeopardy-style: phrase it in the form of a question... "Can I ask why you require the PhD for the tenure track position?" And when they answer that it's because of accreditation, you can (politely) explain that this isn't the case, that the MFA is considered an appropriate terminal degree in those circumstances (and it might not be a bad idea to have a copy of the appropriate passage in the accrediting body's handbook, if it's in there -- though this might be seen as "too aggressive") In any case, that's what I'd do.

It's so frustrating... You get this terminal degree and then have people treat it like a red-headed stepchild because they either don't have the inclination to learn any better or just don't think anything other than a PhD is a valid degree.

Good luck with it -- let me know how it works out.


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