Applying for a position in a Greek University?
From time to time I check out ACM’s Career Resource Center to see whether there any interesting academic career opportunities. Indeed, one can find there really interesting job offers. Interestingly enough, the only Greek University that has published their relevant job offers in these Web pages is the University of Crete. Of course all Greek Universities are announcing their job offers in their own Web pages, though, in almost all cases these announcements are in Greek only. Thus, indirectly, preventing potential applicants who do not speak Greek from applying for the positions advertised. However, it seems that this is practice is not followed by no other university world-wide, although many universities demand from applicants to either demonstrate fluency of or willingness to learn the language used in all forms of communication. For example, if Spanish is the communication language of some institution, then if one has to learn Spanish in order to teach, this is known from the very beginning. Nevertheless, in our case the real problem is not that people do not want foreigners to take the jobs. Simply, in most cases cases, the jobs are reserved for their own god fellas… Let us now see what one has to submit to just apply for a position.
Typically, anyone who applies for a university research and teaching position has to submit, usually by e-mail, a copy of his Curriculum Vitae and the best five (5) research papers the applicant has published. And of course, all North American universities ask for at least three letter of recommendation from each applicant. For me, even the three letters of recommendations are reasonable requirements. Now, let us see what one has to submit in order to apply for a position in some Greek University. First of all, the applicant has to submit at least four (4) printed (!) copies of all papers she has published. In other words, if she has published 10 papers, each having 5-10 pages in average, she has to print or photocopy 50 to 100 pages and submit 200 to 400 pages! In addition, she has to submit a number of printed copies of her Curriculum Vitae. Note that in this Curriculum Vitae she has to provide everything she has achieved so far plus the abstracts of all published papers. The number of copies is not fixed because it depends on the position one applies for and the number of stuff a particular department employs (in the end members of the stuff will decide who will be the successful applicant). Typically, one has to submit 25-65 copies of her complete CV. But this is not enough! One has to submit authorized copies of his degrees and an official document stating when the applicant was born and how she did acquire the Greek citizenship. Also, male applicants have to submit a certification from the Greek Army certifying that they have completed their military service. However, this is not necessary for other EU citizens, which however, have to prove their fluency of the Greek language. Now, the interesting question is: Why is it necessary for Greek citizens to submit a document that certifies the date of birth of the applicant and how she got the Greek citizenship?
After wasting tons of paper, one is ready to apply for the position. This can be done by posting an application and the tons of paper to the department’s secretariat or by submitting the application in person. After all this work has been done, in most cases the favored applicant will take job! And I am sure this happens in other countries too! However, what is really discouraging here is that one has to submit tons of paper for nothing. I still cannot forget that an applicant had to submit 2000 pages for a position at a department of environmental engineering! I guess this really counts as a definition for the word oxymoron.
It is not enough to say that one cares about something, one has to show that she actually cares about it. And here it is obvious that no one cares about the environment and meritocracy.