What we want are young fresh faces

Via SEK I read about a job ad at Colorado State which specifies that applicants should have received their PhD from 2010 onwards. Sorry 2009-ers, you’re not eligible.

According to the Colorado State jobs site:

Colorado State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.

Because I was interested, I called the Office of Equal Opportunity at (970) 491-5836 to see if their office had vetted the ad and whether or not requiring a post-2010 PhD constituted age discrimination. This is what they told me, not specifically about this position, but in general about ads of this type:

  • Fort Collins is a nice place to live and they get lots of people who apply to jobs who have more experience (even at the associate level, so they claim). They want to make it very clear that those people are not welcome to apply.
  • It’s a salary thing where they don’t want to pay for the experience of someone with a PhD pre-2010.
  • They want to be “very clear about what they are looking for” (sounds ominous!)
  • This is a way of cutting down on the number of applications they have to read. Sure they may lose out on some qualified candidates. Implicit in this is that it’s an employer’s market out there.

All in all, this is not a sanguine situation for job applicants. I bet it would be nice if Michael Bérubé could weigh in on this in his capacity as MLA President.


6 thoughts on “What we want are young fresh faces

  1. That’s what the OEO responded with? An Equal Opportunity Officer stating that they’re behind a search where the department wants to be “very clear on what they are looking for” sounds to me like a complete abdication of one’s Equal Opportunity duties.

  2. Pingback: old phds need not apply « parezco y digo

  3. Being in a department where our incoming PhD students range in age from 21 to 40, and having been in a dept with students even older than that, I guess age discrimination doesn’t occur to me. But that obviously varies by field – I have no idea how many history grad students are older.

    • I mean it’s certainly not *age* discrimination, but it’s definitely a way to screw over people who didn’t toe the line lifestyle-wise. Taking a year off to have a kid or to go and do a fellowship / postdoc could make a big difference in your “eligibility.”

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