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Skidmore College
Psychology Department

Tenure Stream Search in Psychology

Welcome to the homepage for our open rank tenure stream search for a new colleague in the Psychology Department, to begin work in Fall 2023. We highly encourage and invite applications from individuals from a wide range of experience levels and backgrounds to apply.

**NOTE:  As of 7/30/2022, we have been given permission to hire TWO tenure-line faculty!  Both positions are open-rank and open-area, although one of these lines must be filled with a candidate who can not only strengthen our departmental offerings, but will also be able to offer courses that contribute to the Neuroscience Program.**

This page has been created in order to help support you as you consider applying for this position. You certainly don’t need to read it; there is no test, and all critical information is in the job ad. However, we know that candidates may differ in their ideas about what working in the psychology department at Skidmore might be like, and we want to be sure to be as transparent as possible.

Please find below answers to frequently asked questions about:

We hope that having all of this information in one place will help you in your job search. However, there is a lot of information here, and, again, we do not expect any of our applicants to have detailed knowledge of it as they interview with us.

Link to job ad/application

If you have additional questions, please contact the chair of the search committee, Associate Professor Jessica Sullivan or the Chair of the Department, Professor Rebecca Johnson.


The Search

We are conducting a tenure stream search to fill a vacancy left by a recent retiree. In addition, we have been given permission to hire a second tenure stream faculty member if they can contribute courses to both PS and NS.

We are conducting an open rank search, meaning that we are interested in applicants at any stage of their research career. We will be evaluating candidates relative to career stage, and therefore will especially focus on recent accomplishments and experiences.

Candidates who currently have tenure may be able to be hired with tenure, and/or with a promotion to Associate or Full Professor.

We will review applications beginning on the application deadline (Sep 30th). We will conduct additional virtual interviews -- and request letters of reference and some additional materials -- for candidates on the short list in the second half of October. On-campus interviews are scheduled to take place in November and December, and we hope to extend an offer at some point in December. As with all things, timelines may vary due to circumstances out of our control, but we will do our best to stick to this timeline.

Candidates’ referees will be contacted once they make the short list. In addition, we may request teaching materials from the candidate (e.g., a sample syllabus) and research materials (e.g., sample publications). 

The campus interview involves a 2-night visit to Saratoga Springs, NY, where Skidmore College is located. Your expenses will, of course, be covered.

You will give a research talk about your scholarship to faculty, and you will give a teaching demonstration on a topic of your choice to a classroom of both students and faculty. You will have one-on-one conversations with most faculty members involved with the search, and you will have meetings/lunches with other individuals who do not make hiring decisions but who can act as resources for you (e.g., deans, students, and faculty members from other departments who have volunteered to serve as resources to candidates). You will also be given time during your visit to rest, prepare materials, explore campus and the town, and do what you want!

We are committed to ensuring that our campus visits are accessible and humane, and we will be able to accommodate any needs you may have with Nicole Buck, the department’s amazing administrative assistant. Nicole is not involved in hiring decisions.

In addition, we acknowledge the challenging choices surrounding attending academic interviews during a global pandemic. Our COVID-19 protocols will be at least as strict as those required by Skidmore College at the time of your visit, but we will also discuss with you prior to your visit your preferences with respect to masks and indoor dining.

We are searching for colleagues who demonstrate clear knowledge of DEI issues and a commitment to justice in teaching, research, and service. 

Commitment to justice can be shown in many ways. For example, via the description of actual and/or proposed activities that:

  • remove barriers to the participation of underrepresented members of the community
  • disrupt and imagine alternatives to the academic and non-academic systems that perpetuate oppression

Teaching at Skidmore

You will teach 200-level survey psychology courses and 300-level seminar psychology courses in your area of expertise. For instance, if you are an expert in computational models of vision, you might teach a 200-level course on Perception and a 300-level course on Computational Models of Vision. Additionally, all Psychology faculty members contribute to the core psychology curriculum, which includes Introduction to Psychological Science, Statistics and Research Methods 1, and our Research Methods 2 courses. Candidates with expertise spanning multiple departments (e.g., Neuroscience, Computer Science, Math and Statistics, Education Studies) may have the opportunity to teach courses that are cross-listed in those areas. About every 4 years, you will also be asked to teach a Scribner Seminar for the First Year Experience (please see FYE: Scribner Seminar for more details). You may also teach our senior seminar, our departmental colloquium, a co-instructed Meeting of the Minds seminar, interdisciplinary IdeaLab courses, power and justice oriented Bridge courses, and other courses in your areas of interest. Please see Department Courses for current courses that we offer and their descriptions but note that it is very common and encouraged for faculty to develop new courses that are not currently in our departmental offerings.

Skidmore is on the semester system. Fall semester runs from early September to mid-December, and Spring semester runs from late January to mid-May. Faculty members teach 18 contact hours per academic year (average 9 contact hours per semester). Typically, this means each semester you will teach 2 or 3 courses per semester. The Psychology Department offers courses that count for 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 contact hours, depending on the number of scheduled classroom hours per week and the intensity of the assignments.

Tenure stream faculty in their first year at Skidmore typically have a reduced teaching load of 14 contact hours (i.e., a one-course release). If you teach over 18 contact hours in a given year, you will have a reduced teaching responsibility in the following year. For example, if you teach 19 contact hours one year, the next year you would teach 17 contact hours. 

All first-year students at Skidmore College take a Scribner Seminar their first semester which is the centerpiece of the FYE program at the College. The FYE is designed to provide students with an interdisciplinary introduction to a liberal arts education. The faculty member teaching a Scribner Seminar also serves as the academic advisor for the students enrolled in their seminar (capped at 19 students) until the students declare a major (before the end of their second year at the College). The Psychology Department contributes 3 Scribner Seminars each year, rotating among the tenure stream faculty members, and faculty members are expected to teach at least one Scribner Seminar prior to tenure.

The Scribner Seminars themselves are interdisciplinary courses that tackle large questions. Faculty members design their own seminars typically based on their own interests; seminars are not psychology-specific. Faculty select a peer mentor for the Scribner Seminar who serves as a role model and informal peer advisor to the first-year students in the seminar. 

The FYE also includes an orientation and a summer reading with follow-up discussions, speakers, and other activities. In addition to the 3-credit seminar, each Scribner course involves a 4th credit hour meeting time where students learn specific academic skills and college survival strategies to help them make a successful transition (both academically and socially) to college.  Faculty may elect to run these sessions entirely themselves, hand off these discussions to the peer mentor, coordinate with other offices on campus to help deliver this programming, or some combination of these.

Below is a list of Scribner Seminars that have been offered by Psychology faculty members since 2018:

  • Bad Science (Corinne Moss-Racusin, 2022)
  • Bodies and Identities (Jessica Sullivan, 2018; 2021)
  • Born This Way? The Consequences of Our Beliefs About Social Identity (Leigh Wilton, 2019)
  • Head Games: Concussion Crisis (Denise Evert, 2022)
  • Human Dilemmas (Sheldon Solomon, 2018; 2019; 2021; Dominique Vuvan & Daniel Peterson, 2020, Casey Schofield, 2019)
  • Love and Lust (Hassan Lopez, 2021)
  • Lunacy in London (Casey Schofield, FYE in London 2022)
  • Nature/Nurture Myth (Erica Wojcik, 2020)
  • Reading Minds: The History and Science of Literacy (Rebecca Johnson, 2018)

Psychology is consistently one of the top two largest majors on campus (second only to Management & Business). The class of 2022 had 81 graduating PS majors. The class of 2023 has 111 PS majors, and the class of 2024 has 89. Introduction to Psychological Science is a popular course and taken by a total of ~300 students each academic year. Students have the option of taking this introductory course in either a small section (capped at 28), or a large lecture course (capped at 150).  Our lab courses (i.e., Stats and Research Methods 1 and 2) are capped at 17, 200-level survey courses are capped at 26, and 300-level seminars are capped at 18.

Research

All tenure-line faculty in the Department direct laboratories that carry out programmatic research. These labs are staffed primarily by undergraduates (although externally-funded post-bac and post-doc staff are not unusual). Faculty are provided with start-up funds to set up their labs and operate them for the first three years of the tenure track, and further operating and infrastructure costs are sustained by a combination of internal and external sources.

The tenure line faculty of the Department have collaboratively drafted Scholarship Guidelines that describe how we define “scholarship” and the relative value of different types of scholarly activities. These guidelines are used to contextualize language from the Skidmore Faculty Handbook in the consideration of candidates when hiring, and for third-year review, tenure, and promotion. These guidelines are also used by the Department Chair in annual reviews of pre-tenure faculty.

Funding for research comes from a number of sources. Importantly, throughout your time at Skidmore, many basic expenses (like photocopying, shipping costs, stationary, phone lines, IT services) are fully covered:

Faculty start-up packages. Startup costs vary widely due to different research needs across different subdisciplines in psychology, but you should negotiate for what you need to be successful in starting your research program at Skidmore for your first three years. This includes (but is not limited to): instruments/equipment, consumables, software, computers, travel funds, services, funding to pay undergraduate researchers for summer collaborative research, participant compensation, etc.  

Conference Travel. Skidmore offers the Travel to Read/Represent fund, which reimburses full-time faculty up to $1600/year for conference travel. 

Departmental operating budget. This includes an annual per-faculty departmental budget of $1000. 

Internal awards.  Faculty can apply for a number of internal awards to support their research, including Capital & Minor Project Budget Requests, Internal Awards for summer research, and Faculty Development awards.

External grant awards. Recent psychology awards include funding from NSF, NIH, Grammy Museum Foundation, James S. McDonnell Foundation, etc. The Office of Sponsored Research helps in applying for and administering funded grant proposals.

Students are encouraged to participate in research opportunities, both during the academic year and during the summer. Each semester, the Department invites students in psychology courses at all levels to attend our Research Open House. At the Research Open House, faculty members briefly introduce their research, and then students are free to explore tables hosted by current undergraduate researchers from each lab. Following the open house, all students are emailed a form where they can indicate their interest in different labs. Faculty interview interested students and consideration is given to maximizing the number of students who have the opportunity to participate in collaborative research within the department.

During the academic year, students may earn academic credit for conducting research with faculty. Students who contribute to research for course credit earn between 1 (exploratory research) and 4 (senior thesis) research credits per semester. The department budget also allows each faculty member to supervise a paid student assistant who works on research for a maximum of 10 hours/week. Students doing senior thesis research present twice during the year: oral project proposals at the end of the Fall semester to the department, and poster presentations at the end of Spring semester, during the campus-wide Academic Festival. Although we encourage students to participate in research, doing so is not required to graduate with a psychology major.

During the summer, students doing research are paid a stipend and are provided room and board. Funding comes from internal grants, start-up funds, or external grant funding. For the internal awards, the research can be 5 weeks or 10 weeks long. Students are expected to spend 35-40 hours per week on research, and attend a number of community-building and training experiences throughout the summer. Their experience culminates in a research symposium where students present their research either as posters or as talks. As a follow-up, Skidmore participates in the New York Six (NY6) Undergraduate Research Symposium held annually in November, which enables students to present their work to a wider audience and to hear about research by undergraduates at other NY6 colleges.

As can be seen in our Scholarship Guidelines, mentorship of undergraduates in research is an essential expectation of tenure-line Psychology faculty. The number of research students mentored by a faculty member varies depending on the needs of the research program over time. Tenure-stream faculty in the department typically mentor between 3-20 students in their labs each semester, although there are no firm numerical guidelines. 

To compensate faculty during the academic year for mentoring students in research, Skidmore has the HELIOS program. Faculty members earn HELIOS credit for each academic credit of collaborative research supervised each semester. For example, if in one semester you supervised 3 students in PS275 (3 x 1 credit), and 1 student in PS375 (1 x 4 credits), you would earn 7 HELIOS credits that semester. At the end of the academic year, your HELIOS credits are tallied. At that point, you have a choice of either cashing out the HELIOS credits for a stipend ($805 for that semester) or banking the HELIOS credits to withdraw at a later time. Instead of a stipend, you can choose to reduce your teaching load by 3 credits for every 60 HELIOS credits you earn; you may take such a course release twice per sabbatical cycle. During the summer, faculty members who supervise research through the internal Faculty/Student Summer Research Program are compensated with a modest stipend. A faculty member can also build a summer salary or course release into the budgets of external grant proposals (e.g., to the National Science Foundation) to support research. 

Service/Mentoring

Skidmore College is a small liberal arts college, and as such, faculty members play a substantial role in supporting undergraduate students through advising, and in governing the college through both departmental and all-college service. We rely on our tenure-stream faculty to provide this service in accordance with their rank (i.e. Assistant Professors have lower service expectations than Associate Professors; Full Professors are “expected to play a leading role in the service that sustains the college community“). 

Psychology is one of the largest majors on campus. Tenure-stream psychology faculty routinely provide advising to our majors. In addition, psychology faculty serve as advisors to the first year students who were in their Scribner Seminar. Advising load varies depending on rank -- the typical 1st year tenure-stream faculty will have 0 advisees and then have 20-25 advisees during their remaining pre-tenure years. Associate Professors typically have 25-30 advisees each year and Full Professors have 30-35. Faculty meet with their advisees at least twice per year. 

In order to run such a large and awesome department, all tenure-stream faculty contribute to departmental service. Departmental service requirements tend to be relatively light (~1 hour per week most weeks, unless you are Chair or Associate Chair), but are an important part of shaping our department. Examples of department service include managing our SONA participant portal, updating our departmental website, serving as the faculty mentor for our local chapter of Psi Chi, working on our annual assessment projects, or coordinating our senior thesis presentations. As with most departments, we also have additional service requirements as needed, including contributing to departmental job searches (for individuals in at least their third year of service) and contributing to any personnel decisions or departmental accreditation requirements.

Skidmore College is faculty governed. This means that Skidmore faculty play a core role in shaping the procedures and policies that exist on campus. Tenure-stream candidates may contribute to all-college service prior to tenure, and are expected to contribute to an all-college governance committee once (typically for a three-year term) every 7 years. 

Faculty Support

Skidmore offers support for faculty development in many ways, including competitive start-up funds for research, a pre-tenure sabbatical, internal grants for collaborative research with undergraduates, a learning community for new faculty, funds to travel to present research, writing groups, and a course release in the first year. Our Center for Leadership in Teaching and Learning provides ongoing programming for professional development, with particular attention to helping new faculty make a successful transition to working at Skidmore.

Skidmore offers competitive employee benefits including health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, retirement contributions, tuition benefits, parental leave, and an Employee Assistance Program.

Overview of Department/College/Area

The Psychology Department offices and labs are currently housed in Tisch Learning Center, alongside American Studies, History, Social Work, and Sociology. By the fall of 2024, Psychology will complete its move to the Center for the Integrated Sciences (CIS), to join the 9 other Natural Science Departments and Programs at Skidmore. Notably, this will allow us to share teaching and lab space with the Neuroscience Program, to which Psychology contributes significantly. Currently, Psychology faculty labs include technology for human behavioral experiments, working with rats, eye tracking, mobile electroencephalography, hi-fi audio recording, and more. Although we do not currently have any formally shared lab resources in the department, Psychology faculty are consistently involved in sharing space, sharing equipment, and collaborating on research grants and projects.

Skidmore College is located in Saratoga Springs, NY with a population of over 26,500, nestled in the foothills of the Adirondacks just 30 miles north of Albany, NY. Faculty in our department typically live in and around Saratoga Springs and the surrounding Capital District. 

The downtown is full of restaurants (top five in the US for restaurants per capita!), shops, spas, galleries, hotels, and venues like Caffè Lena, where Ani DiFranco and Bob Dylan got their starts. Congress and High Rock Parks host some beautiful but aggressive ducks, a few of the mineral springs the city became famous for during the 19th century, a historic carousel, and a farmer’s market. Just west of downtown lies the Beekman Street Arts District, which is home to additional restaurants, galleries, shops, and the historic Frederick Allen Lodge

A major draw during the summer are the horse races at the Saratoga Race Track. The races go from mid-July through Labor Day. On the southern edge of the city is Saratoga Spa State Park, where the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) is located. SPAC is the summer home of the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, New York City Ballet, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. SPAC also hosts a number of Live Nation Concerts (Rock, Country, and Hip Hop) and is the venue for Skidmore commencement each May. Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center also hosts a number of performances and events. Nearby is the Saratoga National Historic Park, site of the Battle of Saratoga, as well as Saratoga Lake. With the Adirondacks nearby, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Lake George and Lake Placid are short drives away. For skiing, Whiteface and Gore Mountains in New York are nearby, as are Killington and Mount Snow in Vermont.

Saratoga Springs is part of the Capital District metropolitan area, home to over 1.1 million residents. Albany, Schenectady, and Troy form the Tri-City core of the region. The region boasts a number of museums and major performance venues (e.g., the Egg, the Palace Theatre, Proctor’s Theatre, and the Times Union Center). CDTA runs buses throughout the region which are free to ride with a Skidmore ID. Albany International Airport is served by a number of different carriers. The Capital District is also served by Amtrak (with stops in Rensselaer-Albany, Schenectady, and Saratoga Springs) with service to New York City, Montreal, Boston, Chicago, Toronto, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo and Niagara Falls. Within a three-hour drive are New York City to the South, Rochester to the West, Montreal to the North, and Boston to the East.