Thanks to The Atlantic for several recent articles on this topic, and for the continued discussion in Notes. They really struck a nerve with me.
I want to point out two major elements that are missing from this discussion. First, as I experienced it, there were two distinct cultures in the academic world, starting in grad school. There were “writers” and there were “teachers,” and the writers were supposed to be the elite. Teaching was slightly beneath the writers. The writers were expected to do original research, publish articles in leading journals, publish books, and publish at least one “master” work, hopefully winning the Pulitzer Prize.
I have no doubt that these people provide the highest and most stimulating work in our profession. However, some of us just prefer to teach.
Secondly, there was no mention of jobs at private colleges, community colleges, or state colleges. This omission betrays a prejudice in our professional culture.