Small Demon
May 032010
 

Warm today & I just finished entering my grades for the semester into the computer, so I’m free until my online class starts up. Or I would be except for the job search I’m in charge of for my department. Looks like we’ll now be searching for two candidates since one candidate is about to turn us down & a current colleague is leaving for another institution. Seems like I’ve been doing this forever. The good news is that we have some strong candidates who are still interested in us, even this late in the cycle. It’s testimony  to the crappy job market that these folks haven’t already been snapped up.

The search has the department on edge because it brought out fundamental differences among members of the faculty that we usually don’t need to notice in order to work together. And unfortunately, those intellectual differences in some cases became personal. As Chair of the Search Committee, I’ve tried to keep the search transparent and the decision-making out in the open & democratic, but that has not stopped some of my colleagues from making charges about the fairness of the search, which involved, just for added excitement, the partner of a current faculty member. Concern about ethics has been used as a cover for political sentiments

I guess I really do believe in that hoary old concept, collegiality. There was a time in my life when I would have relished being in the center of an emotional & intellectual maelstrom like this, but not any more. I’ve been surprised & disappointed by the bad faith exhibited by some of my colleagues & at their willingness to attribute ulterior motives to members of the search committee, including me. Can’t help but take it personally.