I have recently begun to skim the Inside Higher Ed feed, and this article about Stamford's study of shortening the PhD acquisition time came up today. While interesting, if not needed, I cited the following comment:
Mayra, sad to say, is right on target. One important aspect not considered in this discussion is not only the saturation of PhDs on the open market (and I disagree with Hoosier who says that the mass retirement happened), but the saturation of lesser-brand PhDs on the market.
No doubt there are name-brand humanities profs searching for tt positions, but multiply that number by a factor to get the number of total PhDs on, in or hiding from the market. Adjuncting, the preferred business model from everyone from Land-grant State U. to the University of Phoenix will continue to grow because it makes economic sense. AND as long as the supply is full, there will be enough Stamford and lesser-brand PhDs to fill the slots, semester-by-semester, class-by-class.