Here is the hilariously casual email correspondance between the people behind unemployedprofessors.com and our senior news editor.
Q: Is the site based in Montreal? How did it begin and how long ago?
A: The site is indeed based in Montreal although our writers have a far more significant geographical spread. It started last autumn when, as our cartoon depicts, a businessman ran into an underemployed professor. They hatched up the idea, and have been rocking out ever since.
Q: Gawker and the National Post articled the site. Did that bring in a ton of traffic? What other press and attention has the site received?
A: More than we expected. We simply sent a press release to the Montreal Gazette last year to see if we could get some exposure. With the Quebec tuition fight (we’re red squares all the way ironically), they didn’t cover it at the time. Then it seemed to go slightly viral once the nice lady from the Gazette wrote about us. We’ve since received inquiries from college newspapers across both the US and Canada, and several major national news networks including the CBC, NBC, and some newspapers of record.
Q: Have there been critics who are pissed off about the ethics of it all?
A: Yes. It’s slightly amusing. We don’t see an ethical dilemma on our side. The ethical burden really is on the students. We produce custom research; it’s up to the user to do with it as he or she sees fits. The true devil here is the contemporary academic system. It’s simply producing too many PhDs, and creating analogs to indentured servants who will spend a good part of their life working as lecturers or adjuncts and earning wages below the poverty line.
Q: How many people are working for the site and what’s the hiring process like? Have there been a lot of inquiries?
A: About 30 ghostwriters are the current time. The hiring process is pretty thorough. In involves independent credential verification, and rigorous writing sample examinations. Interestingly, we’ve received way too many applicants since this story broke - mostly from highly qualified people who would otherwise fit in. Given the media attention that we’re receiving right now, however, we’ve implemented a temporary hiring freeze.