Professors Come from a Select Few Universities

The evidence is not only anecdotal. A recent study by Aaron Clauset, Samuel Arbesman, and Daniel B. Larremore shows that “a quarter of all universities account for 71 to 86 percent of all tenure-track faculty in the U.S. and Canada in these three fields. Just 18 elite universities produce half of all computer science professors, 16 schools produce half of all business professors, and eight schools account for half of all history professors.” This study follows the discovery by political scientist Robert Oprisko that more than half of political-science professorships were filled by applicants from only 11 universities.

What that means is something every Ph.D. from a less-prestigious institution knows all too well: No amount of publishing, teaching excellence, or grants can compensate for an affiliation that is less than favorable in the eyes of a search committee. The fate of aspiring professors is sealed not with job applications but with graduate-school applications. Institutional affiliation has come to function like inherited wealth. Those who have it operate in a different market, more immune from the dark trends – unemployment, adjunctification – that dog their less-prestigious peers.


Folksonomies: elitism academia privilege opportunity upward mobility

/health and fitness/disorders (0.476289)
/science/medicine/genetics (0.287425)
/education/graduate school/college (0.240921)

Daniel B. Larremore (0.976412 (neutral:0.000000)), political scientist Robert (0.955972 (neutral:0.000000)), science professors (0.879395 (neutral:0.000000)), business professors (0.877165 (neutral:0.000000)), Select Few Universities (0.866125 (neutral:0.000000)), aspiring professors (0.853271 (negative:-0.269438)), elite universities (0.821712 (neutral:0.000000)), political-science professorships (0.821618 (neutral:0.000000)), Institutional affiliation (0.728679 (positive:0.349085)), Aaron Clauset (0.720330 (positive:0.318134)), Samuel Arbesman (0.720177 (neutral:0.000000)), tenure-track faculty (0.710598 (negative:-0.205824)), recent study (0.708601 (positive:0.318134)), history professors. (0.699680 (neutral:0.000000)), less-prestigious peers (0.692668 (neutral:0.000000)), teaching excellence (0.689717 (positive:0.206905)), search committee (0.684480 (neutral:0.000000)), less-prestigious institution (0.682697 (positive:0.337702)), different market (0.680463 (neutral:0.000000)), dark trends (0.679328 (negative:-0.547184)), job applications (0.672580 (negative:-0.269438)), graduate-school applications (0.671985 (neutral:0.000000)), half (0.644627 (neutral:0.000000)), schools (0.482547 (neutral:0.000000)), unemployment (0.471959 (negative:-0.547184)), percent (0.471938 (negative:-0.205824)), applicants (0.467339 (neutral:0.000000)), fate (0.459264 (negative:-0.269438)), evidence (0.453235 (neutral:0.000000)), wealth (0.452534 (positive:0.349085))

Aaron Clauset:Person (0.902134 (positive:0.318134)), computer science:FieldTerminology (0.856839 (neutral:0.000000)), Daniel B. Larremore:Person (0.837054 (neutral:0.000000)), Samuel Arbesman:Person (0.836340 (neutral:0.000000)), Robert Oprisko:Person (0.806497 (neutral:0.000000)), scientist:JobTitle (0.786300 (neutral:0.000000)), Canada:Country (0.730644 (negative:-0.205824)), U.S.:Country (0.696862 (negative:-0.205824)), 86 percent:Quantity (0.696862 (neutral:0.000000))

Professor (0.969121): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
University (0.835533): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Tenure (0.830534): dbpedia | opencyc
Doctorate (0.806102): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Dean (0.749784): dbpedia | freebase
Law (0.725559): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Doctor of Philosophy (0.674967): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Habilitation (0.667958): dbpedia | freebase | yago

 Academia’s 1 Percent
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  Kendzior, Sarah (March 6, 2015), Academia’s 1 Percent, Retrieved on 2015-03-08
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: academia privilege


    08 MAR 2015

     Is College Worth It?

    Are PhDs a pyramid scheme? Are college returns worth the risk of failure and massive debt?