From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

January 2009
« Dec   Feb »
Academic Positions. Religiously affiliated institutions
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Post-docs
Posted by: site admin @ 5:45 pm

A member recently asked about helping
him with
finding and preparing public
relations documents
for academic positions. 
He seeks a position in
physical or
general chemistry.

In our initial interactions he sent me his
first draft
CV and cover letter.  He promised
to send me
the current draft of a teaching

He also sent me an ad for a fine college
that has
a religious affiliation.  So, please
view the following

DAN TO J =========================

Hi J,
Please find attached a quick review of the
cover letter which you kindly sent.  I am sorry
to make so many comments.  Hopefully, you

understand that the letter must reflect excellent
scholarship and a good match to the needs and
philosophy of the
Interestingly, I was taught by the same religious
order …years ago … So I am familiar with …the

history of the religious order.
J TO DAN ===========================
Dear Dr. Eustace,

Thanks a lot for the help!  Thanks for the
corrections and directions.  I really appreciate
your help!  I checked the webpage of the school
and I will revise my cover letter…

Here is a general question I have for a long
time:  What does a “religiously-affiliated”
school look like, Do they require a teacher
be in the same religion as they hold?

Some of the schools on my application list
are this kind of school.  I have no idea about
this point. 

Thanks again and best

The reply went deeply into the topic.
First we addressed the college that J was considering
to point out how this affiliation forms the basis of
the school’s formation and education of all members
of the institution.

Then, we broadened the discussion, pointing out:

Religious affiliation indicates that a group of people
who founded the institution were connected formally
with a religion.  There are hundreds in the US,
many of the initial colleges and
universities [not mentioning
names, here].

They affirm in their purpose certain principles that
students, methods, faculty and administration
must adhere
and demonstrate.  While, it is generally
illegal to ask
questions of candidates about formal
affiliation, the
information may be requested
in other ways.  It should be
important for the
candidate to display an awareness and
for the principles [if they agree].  It would be

shallow of the candidate to do anything otherwise.

There are many faculty who are not formally affiliated
a religious conviction who teach or lead
institutions that are
religiously connected.  It is
because these faculty behave
with the same guiding
principles and observe with respect
their traditions.

Here are some thoughts about

  cover letters:

  job applications and interviews: 1  2 

 Hope this helps,


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Watch-outs 4. SS Estimates, FSA, Out of work stress
Filed under: Networking
Posted by: site admin @ 9:36 am

This entry gives three suggestions.
1.  Social Security estimates may be
high for some people based on the
way estimates are made.  Awareness
of this and what one can do to get
more accurate information is provided.

2.  Flexible spending accounts should
be used up.  Things to check and do.

3.  Losing a job can take its toll on
families.  Often not talked about, this
is a real problem that needs some
mention.  Thoughtful ideas offered.

1.  SS Estimates can be high
SourceWSJ  1-24,2009;  K. Greene
An online tool developed in 2008 is
available that provides better estimates.

Improved application tools are also
in place.

Know your next steps.  

2.  Rules about FSA and left-over money
Source:  WSJ 1-21-2009;  V. Knight
A significant fraction of people have money
unspent remaining in their FSA, whether
they work there or not.  Check with your
employer if they conform to the IRS rule
that allows using money through 3-15-09.

Examples of what it can be used on are
provided in the excellent article.

3.  Out of work stress
Source:  WSJ 1-21-2009  second question;
S. Shellenbarger
Stress when one partner is out of work
leads to loss of harmony.  This Q&A
article brings out the problem and offers
some coaching that could help some members.

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