The load is back on my shoulders: we advertised for a tenure track job opening a while back, and this is the week we’re reviewing all the applications — that great mass of applications. That’s what I was doing yesterday, that’s what I’m doing today.
I just want to thank all those applicants who didn’t read the job description. We are a liberal arts university, and the ad emphasized teaching, because that’s what we do, and yet so many applicants wrote fantastic great treatises on their research, talking about all the fabulous high tech gear they use, and their letters of recommendation write glowingly of their amazing commitment to research, nothing but research. We can read them admiringly and appreciate the really cool stuff they’re doing, and place their application respectfully on the honorable pile of file folders that we never need to look at again. It’s a tall stack. Good luck at the R1 universities to which you’ve also sent applications!
There are also applicants that talk enthusiastically about their teaching and how their research can be carried out at an undergraduate university, and we reverently set those aside in a much smaller stack that will be opened repeatedly in the next few days, and that we’ll probably quickly narrow down to a dozen or so and we’ll moan in despair that we can’t hire them all right now, and then we’ll argue bitterly over which ones we’ll invite to a phone interview, and then we’ll agonize more over the few we’ll get to invite to campus, and then we’ll decide which one will be offered the position in a knife fight between their faculty advocates in the Ring Of Death out back, and then our first choice will probably turn us down and we’ll wallow in despond, drooling out rivers of tears that, given that this is Morris, will freeze into crystalline shards that will festoon the building to mock us until spring.
Aren’t job searches fun for both the applicant and the search committee?