The Job Search Process for Assistant Professors in Recreation and Leisure Studies Programs

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academe job search, assistant professor, faculty appointments, recreation, leisure


There has been significant research on the job search process in other academic disciplines aimed at a better understanding of the job search process for assistant professors, as well as the desired competencies of assistant professor applicant. In the recreation and leisure studies discipline, however, there has been no examination of the job search process for assistant professor positions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the criteria used to make assistant professor hiring decisions, as well as to gain a comprehensive understanding of the job search process itself. This research was aimed at gaining knowledge that could help doctoral students to understand the job search process and the competencies that will be expected from search committees during the screening process. Descriptive and reliability analyses were conducted on the results of a questionnaire mailed to search committee chairpersons from institutions that had advertised an assistant professor position in recreation or leisure studies during the 2001-2002 academic year (N-23). The findings indicate that students need to be involved in teaching, research, and professional service during their doctoral studies as search committees desire proven skills prior to the first academic appointment. Though the expectation varied based on the institution's Carnegie Classification, all institutions desire exposure to each of these areas, and during the interview process will be required to demonstrate these skills through teaching and research presentations.


This article was originally published as Elkins, D. J., Ross, C. M. (2004). The job search process for assistant professors in parks and recreation programs. Schole, 19, 51-63.