Notice: The work of the Hiring, Evaluation, and Promotion Task Force is suspended pending the outcome of the AAR Presidential Futures Task Force.
Our current professional environment in the study of religions faces a broad set of challenges: a shrinking job market, an increasing reliance on adjunct labor, income inequality within the academy, and a need to articulate the value of a PhD in professional settings other than academic institutions. We are also aware of a growing literature on conscious and unconscious bias within the academy in all forms of evaluation and hiring. Given these challenges, the Hiring, Evaluation, and Promotion Task force will undertake the following tasks and make recommendations to the AAR Board of Directors as appropriate:
- Assess processes and practices around hiring, promotion, tenure, retention, and ongoing evaluation for all faculty labor with a view toward drafting a best practices and processes statement for consideration by the board
- Focus on increasingly pressing questions of career transitions, the life cycle of a faculty member, and hiring candidates with diverse professional experiences and care-giving responsibilities
- Develop strategies for fostering cutting edge scholarship and work by all scholars with a view toward making recommendations about what counts as scholarship credited towards promotion
- Develop approaches for assessing quality and impact of public forms of scholarly communication, including recommendations for selecting qualified reviewers of public scholarship
- Assess the need for graduate programs to train fewer PhDs and to fund fully those PhDs they do train
- Assess the need for training in all PhD programs that focuses on positive career trajectories in multiple work arenas