I applied to a newly-posted VAP position as a backup in case my other offers don't work out.
I'm curious about a few things related to the timelines for a VAP search and what the expectations are.
The VAP is listed as a one-year position, and it is at a excellent private SLAC - small department, lower teaching load, etc. The teaching load listed at the position is 3-2 ("equivalent to 5 courses/year"). Another interesting thing about this department is that there are currently 3 VAP professors there, which to me seems high, and very few assistant professors. A quick perusal of the current VAPs' information yields that some have been there multiple years (one >6).
My questions are:
1. Is the search timeline similar to that for a regular SLAC TT position, i.e., first phone interviews, then on-campus? I would assume so, but I would also expect that it could be accelerated given that there's less time before the next academic year starts. Also, I would imagine there could be fewer competitive applicants left, as many have taken other positions by now.
2. If there is an on-campus interview, would a job talk and/or teaching demo be part of that? Which would be more likely?
3. Given that this is nominally a 1-year position - which is a little puzzling given this department might keep VAPs longer, how much should interviews and the job talk (if any) mention plans for the future beyond the 1 year? Right now I am operating under the assumption that this is kind of like a "trial run" for a longer-term position (maybe TT maybe not). Other threads on the forum have addressed whether a VAP is a stepping stone to a TT position at the same institution or not, but I am wondering, would it be perceived strangely if one presented oneself as TT material when applying for a VAP?
4. Related to #3, when evaluating applications for a VAP, is it less of a concern for a SC that an applicant is likely using this position as a backup? After all, I doubt that a VAP is likely to be anyone's first choice - everyone would like to have a TT position over a VAP, all other things being equal. So do SCs take less of a jaundiced eye towards people who might use the VAP as a stepping stone to a TT elsewhere? From these forums, I think there's a perception/worry at some places that applicants are using certain types of positions ("lower tier" SLACs, regional universities in out of the way places) just as a temp spot due to the terrible market, and that this attitude is not appreciated those places. However, with a VAP, is this expectation reversed?
5. Finally, this is more of a broader question about the state of the job market in general, but also about this (unnamed) institution. What do people make of the high VAP to TT asstprof position ratio? There are actually more VAPs here (3) than TT asstprofs (2). Is this normal? Is this a "red flag" for this institution - e.g., they don't often create tenure lines, or don't support their faculty well? If so, it seems a little more odd for a private institution to have trouble with creating TT lines, as compared to a public institution. There are a lot more full professors (more than twice as many as the VAPs), and some associates (twice the number of asstprofs), for reference.
[I wonder if there's enough info here to identify the institution - anyone have any guesses about the institution and position? If you guess right, I will reveal it.]