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university universe - 29 07 2003 - 12:31 - katatonik

Migration antics, academia-wise

A German PhD gets an associate professorship at a prestigious university in the USA, after the usual comprehensive selection process during which his work had been evaluated and his credentials examined. He also had to go there, of course, to deliver a lecture and talk to his future colleagues.

Now the contracts are signed, and the university has filed all the necessary paperwork so that he may start his job on September 1 as planned. The movers have already been at his place, to check out how many cardboard boxes they will need. Professional movers, you know. The university finances the move.

Enters immigration. To get the required visa, our aspiring genius has to supply not only translations of his MA and PhD certificates (one wonders why they want the MA, given that you can’t even get a PhD without it), but also – get this – complete transcripts of his entire student career.

The poor man is now sifting through his records beginning somewhere in the end of the 1980s, trying to establish when exactly it was that he took the introductory class for Klingonian grammar, and so forth.

Prospects for him starting his job in time are dim. Most probably, once he arrives it will be too late for him to still teach during winter term. The university will then have to pay his salary without getting his teaching capacities in return.

And he? In a way he’s still lucky. He still has a research project going on in Germany, so he won’t have to dig into his savings. He just has to wait, wait, wait.

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