My name is "Benjamin Harrison" (a pseudonym), and I’m jumping off the tenure track. For the last few years, I’ve been an assistant professor in the humanities at a non-flagship state university. I was one of about a hundred applicants, so when I got the job I felt lucky. I moved my family here, and we thought I/we could be happy, but it has turned out otherwise.
The largest issue is family. I just can't raise my kids here. The state is incredibly insular: the top grads from the top high schools go to, not Harvard, or Berkeley, or Williams or anywhere else that requires an essay portion on the application, but to Huge State University because they have a famous football team and are the only school on anyone's radar.
There are also financial issues. I have not received a raise in four years, and none are on the horizon. (When I earn tenure, that raise will be about 5%, so I'll get back a bit less than inflation has taken away.) There is little institutional money for archival research, and nowhere near enough for a trip overseas - which is where my archives are. While my children could attend the university at which I teach at a 50% discount, I would pay full-freight to send them to a university in the same system.
Obviously I am far from alone in this situation. The good news for most third-tier institutions such as mine is that the majority of humanities faculty have concluded that the sacrifices are worth it. They may not be happy with their current situation but if that is the only way to stay in academe, they are willing to do what it takes.
I have come to a different conclusion: In the coming academic year I will search for a job teaching at the secondary level, and blog about my experience here. My goal is to provide some insight into the process for other Ph.D.s and A.B.D.s who are considering a similar move, and perhaps a forum for discussion.