Taking advantage of the summer break, and to minimise the costs of my imminent transatlantic move, I’m clearing out my office at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and I wanted to return to you a few documents that I will no longer need.
…I am also returning the official validation of my US PhD degree, along with the dozen documents that were necessary in order to process it. All the documents come with the Apostille certification under the Hague Convention, the signature of the State Governor, the official translation from English into Spanish, and the official certified copies signed by the Spanish Consul in New York. Also included are detailed descriptions of all the courses I took while working towards my PhD; I’m sure these were of great interest to both the Governor and the Consul. We’re fortunate that Spain leads the crusade for academic degree validations – beyond our borders any academic degree from a reputable university is valid, a real scandal….
… I am also sending you the 700 pages of certificates and documents requested to certify the veracity of my curriculum vitae, which, due to the hiring freeze, I will no longer need. Collecting all this documentation was a tremendously satisfying research project. You should know that, with the many jobs that I have applied for outside Spain, the requested documentation is slightly briefer, approximately 10 pages: a research plan and a short curriculum vitae that does not need to be backed up with certificates, because the research community operates on an honour code (I am happy to explain this principle to you if you wish).
You should know that I have never been able to apply for a faculty job in a Spanish university because I do not have the official accreditation from the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation (ANECA), an accreditation that can only be obtained if one has a previous link with a Spanish university. Strangely, neither Princeton University nor the University of California at Berkeley complained about the lack of such an accreditation when I was interviewed, years ago, for faculty positions at those institutions. Perhaps we should explore the relationship between permeability and excellence, now that we are so worried about the international rankings of Spanish universities?