Tuesday, March 31, 2009

P is for PhD!: An Update

Here’s the PhD app count.


Ohio University

Silent As The Grave

In But No Word on Funding

Through MFA Blog and P & W Speakeasy prowling, I have determined that “no word,” translated from Admin-Speak to Applicant, probably means waitlisted. I’m not sure if that means waitlisted for funding or just waitlisted. Technically, I have heard nothing. Some people have posted in these forums FSU acceptances and others FSU rejections. Maybe there’s an unofficial waitlist and an official waitlist. Or maybe a baby alligator hatched in the hard drive. Or maybe…where are Gogol or Kafka when you need them?

I should probably contact the English departments but don’t want to be the one person who cracks the fragile eggshell mind. I feel badly for admin workers not paid enough to put a face on the unwieldy, disorganized, underfunded clusterfuck that is the American public university. You know they keep sawed off shotguns under that growing pile of manila folders. What if it’s my call that activates the inner sniper? Jo Ann Beard wrote the defining essay on the collegiate spree killer, so there’s not even a Best American in it for me.

I have noticed a general trend this year, in that lack of funded spots are now (at least partially) blamed on “the economy,” although I am suspect. After all, it was my understanding that PhD progs admitted hardly anyone to begin with. Does that mean Tenn cut back from one to zero spots this year? FSU (according to anonymous internet sources) apparently cut back “one or two” spots due to budget constraints. UNL has “two or three” funded positions.

These “this or that” numbers, however, appear to be the best investigators can do. I know times are hard for educators, because I’m guessing schools don’t want to accept people only be stripped of funding later.

I would nonetheless like to make a plea for answers that are direct as possible. I suspect the caginess stems from the fact that writers and educators are in charge, and no one wants to be the meany. Confront liberals with hard questions and they bury their heads in the organic, fair trade sand. Still, it’s wrong (wrong, I say!) for PhD progs to be even less forthcoming with funding info than MFAs. It’s one thing to decide you are willing to wing it and risk loans for 2 years. But five?


Trina said...

Dear God, just call FSU already so I can know whether I'll be moving back to Florida and homesteading my dad's land so you'll have a free place to live where we can be creative and free and terrified of the bugs and snakes and alligators together.

I need to know! Because this is really all about me! You know that, right?

Kelly Kathleen Ferguson said...

I don't mean to taunt you. Florida homesteading sounds exotic and horrifying. But we'd make it work together with love, determination and a Costco membership.

OK I'll email. But don't blame me for the next CNN headline.