A revolving door of faculty is always a leading indicator of an institution with poor values and administration. EUR’s media and communication department advertises for 5-6 positions every semester because so many faculty leave its horror show. There is only one interview with the senior administrators, and as long as you have a pulse and the minimum quals then you can get thrown into their serfdom. You will be a nonstop grading machine teaching the entire year across four quarters with no breaks. You will have no time for research, and even if you did then the library resources are pathetic with so few books and many notable journals unavailable. The inter-library loan system does not work either so if you want necessary texts then you will have to pay out of pocket. Faculty are crammed into small ugly offices with 8-9 faculty assigned to an office with only 4 chairs. You will end up sitting in the hallway on the floor. The whole campus is a modernist nightmare of toaster buildings with no charm or community. Department and school administration are utterly authoritarian as you will have no choice of classes or schedules. You just have to shut up and take it as they ram down your throat multiple classes and dozens of thesis supervisions. You are there to be a grade machine and take orders, and nothing more. Don’t you even dare to speak up a little or you will be cut down by the administrators. The administrators have an entirely colonial mentality and refuse to listen to any dissenting cultural opinions of how things are done in other parts of the world even though they ostensibly claim to be an international program. They are international in name only as the administrators and most faculty have absolutely zero international experience. Erasmus University Rotterdam’s media and communication department is an utter sham. The administrators are pig-headed, culturally myopic eurocentrists who believe their racial and cultural norms should be made universal to bring the entire planet to their heel.
Multiple complaints have been filed against Acadia with the Human Rights Commission for discrimination. If Acadia wants to get rid of you, they will "forget" to send you your accessibility students' documentation and then weaponize those students against you when you unknowingly fail to accommodate them. Accessibility students will fail your courses, as they are disposable to Acadia. Record all of your conversations with the union, administration and equity officer and be prepared to file a human rights complaint with the commission against the union (in terms of employment and the provision of a service) and employer (in terms of employment) within 12 months of the date of the last incident of discrimination. The union will only file grievances for male professors, even without PhDs; even a female professor with a PhD will have no assistance from AUFA. The union will claim not to file discrimination grievances, despite that being in the collective agreement and their duty and obligation under the human rights act, if the equity officer infringes your rights, by retaliating against you for bringing forward allegations against the almighty Himmler for harassment (M.D.). The equity officer is homophobic, just like the dean and union officers. They were all fully aware of the harassment based on the protected ground of my sexual orientation by M.D. (AKA Himmler), a homophobic psychopath, chairing the department of sociology from classics, who was determined to make my life miserable upon my divulging my sexual orientation in response to him making me feel uncomfortable and hitting on me. It is a great department, if you are a white male or heterosexual female. The students will impress you, if they want to, but the large majority are inadequately prepared for university.
It's the most unethical, unprogressive, and toxic place at which I had been employed. Within three days of divulging my sexual orientation, I was harassed and belittled non-stop, and subjected to adverse treatment and procedures from all the other heterosexual faculty. I was not even entitled to a safe work environment. M.D. (like Himmler) is a psychopath. Don't let him fool you. M.D. will destroy any lesbian who comes to that department, and you will have no union, Dean of Arts, or equity officer to help you. The latter two will be retaliating against you, as they act as if they would be intimately involved with Himmler or head over heals for that disgusting smelly little ignoramus. People without PhDs have more power and protection at Acadia. If you were a bully in secondary school, you will fit right in. If you have good course evaluations, you make the others look bad and Himmler will sabotage you and your courses. The equity officer looks like a porn star. Her arms are covered in ink and she has a tongue ring. She's corrupt and clueless about human rights law. She and the provost will subject you to a malicious investigation and threaten to discipline you in response to your allegations against Himmler rather than allow you to file a formal complaint, which are all violations of the human rights act. The dean and accessibility manager will modify accessibility students' tests to weed them out of Acadia. It's deeply disturbing. I suffered two seizures within one week, I have no history of epilepsy. The only explanation was extreme stress.
The reason why this university is still referred to as a "public ivy" is beyond me. Honestly, even the president Greg Crawford's dog, ironically named "ivy", deserves this title a lot more.
The place attracts many garbage faculty with degrees from places you never heard of, yet still claims to be offering "first-class liberal-arts education". Your talent never gets valued here, because you are nothing but a teaching machine. The upper admins (particularly the current provost, Jason Osborne) do not care less about the well-being of the university employees, and will take every opportunity to make budgetary cuts while staying on a filthily high salary themselves. Since the ourbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the teaching load of most faculty has increased by 50%, and, guess what, the salary will be cut by 20%. You have got to be kidding me! How can anyone possibly commit to such a place as long as there's any marginally better option? Just look at the many houses for sale right now; the town is getting empty as faculty flee one by one.
With the huge budgetary issue aside, the place is overall poorly managed with extremely fucked-up hierarchy: PhD-level visiting faculty get paid like garbage (less than postdocs) and get disposed of like garbage too, no matter how hard you work and how well you perform; as if your life isn't miserable enough yet, you will be bossed around and bullied by colleagues with only a master's degree because he/she is a "permanent faculty".
Look elsewhere if you have the option. This place is so overrated.
---I agree with most, if not all, of the statements above. I also want to point out that this place has a very unfair dual-career policy. There is a crazy level of nepotism in the department I worked in; several teaching faculty only hold a master's degree (and not necessarily in the relevant field) but got the job ONLY because their husbands hold powerful positions in the department, and definitely not because they are competent themselves in any way. They have horrible teaching evaluations, but there's nothing that could be done; they are immune. It's a pretty nasty game of power. It's ironic that they insist on being called "professor XXX"; get a PhD first before you bluff, PLEASE! ---
(2021) Alert to international applicants: Miami has a long history of mistreating foreign faculty. They do not accept STEM OPT and are likely unwilling to sponsor you an H1B visa. You might have to downgrade to a J-1 visiting visa if you want to work here. During 2020 COVID pandemic, a few foreign faculty were ruthlessly fired while on an employer-specific H1B visa and had to leave the country. They could have stayed on their STEM OPT and work elsewhere if it were not for Miami's OPT policy.
(21 April) Finally Miami made it to this list. Recent searches in our department have almost all failed. Just google "Miami University AAUP" and you will easily see why... There is no shared governance of any sort. Shame on your so called love and honor.
Case Western Reserve University
This department is not a good place to work for non-tenure track faculty; over the years, tenure track faculty in English and History have become increasingly hostile towards non-tenure track faculty, especially towards writing faculty in particular. This culminated last year in tenure track faculty across the university voting to gut the writing program as a means of increasing precarity amongst non-tenure track faculty. The current situation is very bad if you do not have tenure here. In the next 1-2 years, 40% of the current writing faculty who are non-tenure track will be laid off. The department is currently running a search to determine which of the current 35 writing lecturers they want to retain, if any, and that will include outside candidates (i.e. forcing laid-off current faculty to train their replacements next year). When the proposals for a new general education program came out in 2017, they spoke of an "ethical transition" for non-tenure track faculty, by which they meant, laying off 40% of non-tenure laborers many of whom have families and have spent years devoting their time and effort to creating a strong writing program.
What is more, tenure track faculty openly disrespect non-tenure track faculty and speak of firing them all at most departmental meetings. The general attitude seems to be that since employing non-tenure track faculty is unethical as such, all current non-tenure track faculty should be fired immediately. There is no solidarity and no advocacy or support. We have been called "casual academics" who have "scholarly hobbies," for instance, just recently. Bullying is rampant. The department has invented rules and by-laws created to keep non-tenure track faculty from being able to advocate for voting rights, contracts that go beyond one year (all contracts are renewed yearly, but they have never offered more than a one year contract), and better pay. At the same time, the university itself has created a "special faculty" handbook that does the same at the university level - you cannot recieve grants, have almost no access to funding support, and will be judged solely on the basis of your student evaluations. The new job (currently posted, fall 2022 on the MLA), furthermore, will only involve first year writing, and has been set up as a means of further reducing the non-tenure track faculty over time. If you come here, you will likely have to reapply for your job at some point within a year or two and will be forced to compete against colleagues and friends.
Frostburg State University
Invited for an on-campus interview in early 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic began. I took every chance to decrease expenses associated with the interview. Despite having a positive experience interviewing, meeting faculty, and giving the teaching demonstration, the department called all of my references and then emailed me a day later to say that they had canceled the search--due to COVID-19--despite the glowing recommendations. Additionally, it has been hell to receive reimbursement for those pre-approved expenses, and Accounts Payable has used every opportunity to reimburse far less than previously indicated. Why waste my time and my references' time for a position that they weren't sure they would fill anyway, only to avoid reimbursement at all costs at the end of the day? The department was professional and accommodating; on the other hand, HR has been unprofessional and in need of a lesson on collegiality.
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater
Department of Languages and Literatures
(2020) Faculty were welcoming and easy going during visit. Before visit campus visit schedule not sent until last minute. Only communication throughout was with staff person, no communication with Search Committee Chair (invite to campus interview sent by staff person). After campus visit, no communication at all (in spite of me sending multiple emails) and no reimbursement either. They may not be aware of the basic etiquette of searches.
The department of three full time faculty members have no respect for their sessional and junior faculty. The one genuinely nice faculty member is currently on a leave. They expect you to just take their abuse and accept that is the way the world works. They put you down to make themselves feel better, particularly one senior faculty member. Since I cannot mention any names, I will call her "fake nails," the fake "nice" personality goes well with the nails. You will be in for a shock, when she reveals her true character. If you have good publications, you will see it sooner rather than later. While publications will get you hired here, they will not get you friends in this department.
This was a really nice, supportive place when the faculty needed me to fix their program, but that all changed once I finished writing the course descriptions for their course catologues, course names, and assisted the faculty in updating their degree requirements. Once they think they have their hooks in you, the corrupt institutional behaviour begins. The university and APBU president don't know anything about employment and human rights legislation in Canada. Their overt violations of employment law in Canada is unbelievable.
The faculty gossip with students about their colleagues' teaching. If a student is angry with you, they will actually use statements made by other faculty you thought were your friends. Most of the faculty get rewarded for teaching nothing in their courses. It's perfectly acceptable to play videos in your classes all semester. Even after holding two sessional appointments, the faculty never let you into their circle. You always feel like an outsider in this department and unworthy to be there. The faculty hold yearly teaching evaluations with the dean and two students. You know nothing about this until the faculty appoint two students who hate you enough to actually slander you on the committee. When you try to defend yourself and even receive letters of support from students to prove those were slanderous comments, the faculty will treat you even more like an outsider and call you crazy. This is, by far, the most toxic department I have ever been a part of and the administration is utterly useless in helping you. You have to make friends with people in other departments to survive Bishop's. The people in sociology are fake and get off on bullying junior faculty and trying to make them feel horrible about themselves. The only conversations you have with faculty involve them disparaging a previous instructor who taught your courses. None of the faculty have any experience teaching methods, so they base this opinion entirely on what students say, although they take opinions from students with the lowest grade in your course.
I feel so bad for the contract instructor who taught my courses. When she applied to teach the aging course in 2018, I was present when "fake nails" ridiculed her application. She made fun of her for talking about taking care of her elderly mother in her cover letter. This poor instructor has no idea how little the faculty of her. They make fun of her every chance they get. She teaches in the psychology and sports studies departments but has no idea that the sociology department will never hire her to teach a course again because of some rumours that probably are not even true. She teaches so many courses, there is no way there is any truth to what the faculty say about her. She's been casted out of the department of sociology clique. Once your casted out, your dead to the faculty.
A yearly evaluation can easily turn into a reputation smearing campaign if the two students hate you. The faculty will not tell you which students they select to assess your teaching to the entire department and dean (apparently withholding this information is a requirement) nor ask for your input on which students to appoint.
If they are out to smear your reputation, they will appoint the least appropriate students to the committee: two students who were the least prepared for the most difficult course you teach, out of 12 classes, an upper level statistics course. Yes, the university deems it acceptable to appoint students who have only taken one course out of 12 with you, have no actual mentorship experience with you to be able to present in the meeting, were not adequately preparred for your course, and (one student had the lowest course grade). This is considered a fair and just practice at Bishop's University.
You have no support. The APBU is useless. If you are a victim of harassment and bullying, you are on your own and have to remain sane somehow.
They use you to fix their undergraduate program and are nice to you when they need something from you. After they get what they want from you, they humiliate you and then expect you to be happy because you were selected for the position. You are lucky, lucky, lucky. You are lucky if you can keep your sanity. The faculty also don't care about their good students who are quiet. They focus all of their attention on the loud, outgoing students, so much so those students think they have complete control over you as a junior faculty member. The students and the university are not bad. The sociology faculty are absolutely toxic. If you have more scholarly output than they do, they (particularly one senior faculty member) will use students to make herself feel superior to you, while the other faculty follow. (Hint: Fake nails, fake personality). My entire class told me about how terrified students are of this one particular person. No one speaks in her classes. When one student questioned what she was saying in front of the class, he was never able to return to her class again. The faculty are all two-faced. They will act nice to your face but look for anything to smear your reputation behind your back. The worst part is that you will hear about it from students appealing their final grades in your course.
You will be stuck teaching the largest courses (130 students), the required courses students hate. Apparently, none of the full-time faculty are competent in research methods or statistics.
Other points: Eighty per cent of students plagiarize and instructors are stuck dealing with it. You can imagine how unmanageable this becomes in a class of 130 students.
Their retirement pension plan does not have enough money to support all the faculty currently retired, so you have to pay an additional 9% of your bi-weekly salary into their retirement pension plan (about 18% total). It keeps going up every year. Your salary will look amazing on the surface but expect about $20,000 in deductions for taxes and the retirement pension plan.
There is limited parking space. If you teach class after 9am, you will have to park all the way at the Sports Complex or spend 10-minutes waiting for someone to leave.
The university does not put any salt on the actual parking spots in their parking lots. Walking to your car in the winter is dangerous, plowed or not, and their winters are cold and long. They get an insane amount of snow. Don't come here if you are single. Sherbrooke is nice on the outside, but the majority of people living here are without a secondary school education, underemployed or on welfare, and many of the town folk don't speak English. Most of the people living in Sherbrooke are poor and in poverty. 4-litres of milk costs over $6.00 in Quebec. It is heart-breaking to see a father with his kids having to remove items from his basket, so he can purchase 1 litre of milk for his two children. I have given children cash at the grocery store, when their parent is not looking, to buy themselves something when I see how little their parent is able to purchase to feed two kids at a cheap store like Super C. The amount they charge for milk in Quebec is criminal. Most of the children here are living in low income homes, so you have to be okay with seeing kids and single parents that look like they would be living in a third world country.
If you still somehow naively believe that Furman is the right place for you to live your Dead Poets Society dream, my post may likely break your heart.
Long story short, Furman is simply a family school intended for a bunch of privileged yet minimally talented white kids. You cannot afford to have standards; you do not need to be accomplished; all you have to do is to be white, have a degree from a random place, make sure all your students are happy, and hold strong beliefs in the eternal glory of the south.
Academic integrity is a joke here, and publishing with undergrads is simply a way to rebate students (their paying customers) their crazily expensive tuition with free rides, so these kids can finally have something to show in their otherwise blank resume. The students may not even be aware of the project, but they magically end up in the author list. PhD and postdoc work of any new faculty can also magically appear as Furman's highlight of "publication with undergrads". Of course this makes grant application so much easier, particularly in South Carolina where quality liberal-arts education basically does not exist.
And don't even get me started on racism and diversity here. Just check a faculty page of any department. If you can find a black, a latino or an asian, you'd better head out and buy lottery now (foreign language departments might be exceptions since there's honestly not much choice). The limited number of minority faculty often suffer a lot from all the double standards they face on a daily basis. To cover up their pure whiteness, some departments even start putting black janitors on their faculty/staff page.
In conclusion, if you are not white, have no ties with the Carolinas, or simply don't want to see a confederate flag every day on your way home, but somehow got a job at Furman, RUN!
- [East Asian Studies] Feb 2020 - During my campus visit everyone in the dept was extremely welcoming and seemed quite happy with their work and the university in general. The dept is quite diverse and while wider issues with diversity and confronting the racist history of the university were obvious, everyone I talked to acknowledged them while also noting that things were moving in the right direction. Didn't have much interaction with the students, although the few I met seemed engaged. Research does seem to be not much of a focus, but this is a middle ranked liberal arts school that is focused on teaching, so not very surprising there. Sorry to hear the above poster has a bad time, but that was not my experience at all.
- While there were some good faculty, I had a pretty horrible experience a few years back. Mainly male search committee staring at my chest at dinner and then a faculty member casually mentioning that an administrator frequently "flirted with" (read: harassed) a junior faculty member. Odd place that needs some sort of diversity reckoning.
(2019) This university is fundamentally dishonest and possibly unethical in the way they conduct searches. First of all, I was part of a fake search, which I didn't pick up on until afterwards. Happens to the best of us, I guess? But more significantly, they are NOT upfront about the fact that they don't have a tenure system. I discovered this on my own by doing research after I'd already been invited to my (fake search) campus interview. Instead of offering tenure, they give you a series of three-year contracts. At some point you get promoted to "associate professor" or something, but you still have zero job security. Which is probably related to the fact that the university is not on solid ground financially.
Campus visit was rather strenuous, considering the fact that it was ceremonial (i.e. fake). Lengthy teaching demonstration was required. Taught someone else's 90-minute class the day before a major semester holiday. Glad to provide that professor with a "bullshit day" right before the break; less thrilled that I gave up a nonrefundable plane ticket for the pleasure of doing so. (The fact that the visit was held right before Major Holiday probably should have clued me into its fakeness, but what can I say, I remained stupidly optimistic throughout the process.)
But maybe that's not entirely my fault--the committee did throw me some mixed signals during the visit. I was given a tour of the building and told things like, "This is where your office will be--see, we've set it aside just for you!" And, "This is where we all eat lunch together every day--we have such a strong sense of community. You'll fit right in!" Found out through various contacts later that I was never a serious contender for the position.
Even so, it took the department two months to send me a "Dear Applicant" rejection letter in the mail. Was not reimbursed for campus visit. (Would have been nice to get a personal thank-you from the professor whose 90-minute class I taught right before Major Semester Holiday. You're welcome, asshole.)
But maybe it was a blessing in disguise--Holy Family U. currently has a C- from Forbes in terms of its financial viability, and I can't imagine things will get better with coronavirus shut-downs. It's a very overpriced private school that looks and feels like a community college or tiny branch campus. Four or five buildings total; library isn't even open on weekends. The nicest building in the vicinity isn't even part of the university--it's a high school run by the same order of nuns.
Tl;dr: Holy Family doesn't reimburse for campus visits; doesn't have a tenure system; requires its fake candidates for its fake searches to teach 90-minute classes; and doesn't have the wherewithal or graciousness to keep its fake candidates apprised of fake search updates. I wonder what it's like to adjunct for these people.
California State University Northridge(CSUN)
The CSUN English department does not value quality teaching or active scholarship. New hires are routinely told that their research will be supported. This is a lie. They are given an initially lightened teaching load, then after a year or two pressured into department-level, college-level, and university-level committee work on top of a 4-4 teaching schedule. When the 4-4 becomes too much, some of them are offered program administration positions in return for a reduction in teaching load. New hires rarely manage to maintain a research and publication program, and as a result, either those ambitions are abandoned, or the new hires leave. The last two people this department hired left for more supportive departments after less than two years.
This department will be hiring in 2019-2020. Let the candidate beware. The most active and credible scholars and writers in this department carry the heaviest teaching loads, while the lightest teaching loads are given to those who are favored by the administration, those who agree to join the ranks of the program administrators, and those whom the term "deadwood" fits neatly. Faculty meetings were an excruciating exercise in watching the deadwood squelch any and all ideas for change introduced by the more ambitious attendees. Do some digging. Find CVs, where you can. Find teaching evaluations, where you can. Ask, if you interview here, how much of a role your research will have in this department, and how much of a role the research, if any, of the search committee members plays in this department.
Also note that this department will have you do a "teaching" demonstration that amounts to little more than trying to run a class discussion with members of the search committee pretending to be students. I found it to be the most impossibly awkward experience, and it bore no resemblance to my eventual teaching conditions with actual students at the university.
If you apply here, be forewarned. The bright picture they paint for you does not resemble the grim reality you will find if you take the job.
- [8/21/2019] Not the person(s?) above, but can speak to the recent faculty losses. The campus’ students, and the department’s majors, are predominantly non-white, but the department's tenure-line faculty is overwhelmingly white, and the two who just left were among the very few faculty members of color the department had. Not a friendly environment for non-white students or faculty. There has been an ongoing pattern of reported incidents involving abusive behavior/language toward female students and students of color, involving several white faculty members.
- [8/24/2019] The faculty in this department has one or two good people who helped me and to whom I remain grateful, but as for the rest, it is mostly a refuge for sexist/racist underachievers and idiots and headcases. The fact that those people got PhDs is nothing less than an indictment of doctoral education. The one or two good people don't run things there, either. The idiots and headcases do.
- [8/25/2019] Academic grifters. How is it that a faculty that with rare exceptions does little or no research and publishing is supposed to teach us how to engage in research and publishing? Frauds. If you are looking for a job here, and you are a fraud, then you will fit right in. If not, look elsewhere. Unless you went through a PhD program in order to become a yes-woman who pushes paper rather than writes papers (or Goddess forbid, books), this is not the place for you. Any scholarly ambition you have will be crushed out of you.
- [8/30/2019] If you interview with the English department at CSUN, you might ask why the department has had so much trouble keeping new tenure-track professors, especially new professors of color. But better yet, run, do not walk, in the opposite direction. Leave this place's corpse to the buzzards circling overhead.
- [9/12/2019] Racism and sexism run rampant in that department. That's been an open secret for a long time. Practically every faculty member of color that place has ever had has gone running for the hills.
- [9/20/2019] This is an interesting portrait of the CSUN English department: http://textontrial.blogspot.com/2016/04/proposal-to-change-literature.html
- [9/20/2019] This is an interesting portrait of CSUN, and race relations there in general: "The university is a plantation that is run by white overseers that are getting increasingly defensive about their illegitimacy." https://www.facebook.com/XicanoInstituteforTeachingandOrganizing/posts/258177357667080/
- [9/25/2019] Racism is simply out of control on that campus. If you are a person of color, and you take a job there, you are in for a very nasty time. https://citywatchla.com/index.php/los-angeles/15696-why-should-a-public-supported-ca-university-be-allowed-to-promote-racism
- [9/25/2019] But wait, there's a whole lot more:
- This is getting a little bit over the top. This website isn't an investigative journalism website dedicated to one department of one university, with new addition every other day. Perhaps there is enough at it is now, so time to take a break?
- The situation there is what is over the top, but thanks for the intervention in the authoritative voice of Whiteness. Which member of the current faculty or administration are you?
- This is getting a little bit over the top. This website isn't an investigative journalism website dedicated to one department of one university, with new addition every other day. Perhaps there is enough at it is now, so time to take a break?
- [9/1/2019] I am a long-time member of the lecturer faculty, and I can say without any hesitation that this department should hang its head in abject shame at the way it treats its students and its faculty—especially its lecturers. Among the latter, almost no consideration whatsoever is given to expertise and experience when assigning courses--many are simply doled out to the favorites of the current Chair regardless of qualifications or lack thereof. (This new Chair is the first one that any of us can remember who has refused to meet with us to discuss our concerns.) This department rewards complacency and compliance. It is run via backroom deals made by a cabal of do-nothings and know-nothings. These arrant knaves cover their machinations with a thin pretense of democratic process that is abandoned whenever necessary to serve the interests of the tenured and talentless Baby-Boomers who have a stranglehold on everything in the department.
- [9/2/2019] I was on the tenure-track there. I left. My earlier comment was ill-considered and made out of frustration. But my current institution supports both my scholarship and my teaching. And that's all I really ever wanted. If you are there, best of luck to you.
- [9/13/2019] Same as above. It's just good to be in a more supportive environment now.
- [11/7/2019] I was also on the tenure-track there and left. Everything reported above is true. The department culture is toxic: many senior faculty are hostile to junior faculty who propose changes to any level of the department, dismissive of the lecturers whose grossly underpaid labor they rely on in order to entrench themselves in non-teaching service positions, and so forth. I would have serious reservations about encouraging any of my Ph.D. students to take a job there, even with the market as bad as it is.
- [12/10/2019] The students are noticing too: https://sundial.csun.edu/156057/opinions/the-english-department-a-relic-in-the-new-millennium/
CU Boulder presents an aggressively corporate front in their job searches, which are run by HR “talent acquisition” staff. The job ad asked for a wealth of materials (much more than usual), including additional essays in addition to a teaching philosophy. After putting in more time than I have on any other application, I was selected to do a “digital interview” which was outsourced to a company called HireVue. This company uses AI to rank candidates on such things as word choice, facial expression, and “eye contact.” I can see how this technology can be useful for large corporations who field tens of thousands or millions of applications per year. But this is completely inappropriate for an academic job search. I felt that after putting in so much work on this application, Boulder couldn’t even be bothered to do a real online interview. I was nervous during the “interview” in ways that I absolutely am not during real human interactions. I am not used to making “eye contact” with a camera. I can see how, in large scale, this tech can overcome biases in hiring, but it can also introduce new biases. It was obvious that half of the questions came from the department and the other half were cliched HR BS (along the lines of “your greatest weakness,” “where do you see yourself in five years”), which felt amateurish and misplaced in an academic job search. I was also very disappointed that I never heard from a single person in the department conducting the search. All I ever received were HR form emails. Very disheartening experience.
Arts - The dean's secretary was a mess and didn't send me any itinerary for my campus visit resulting in mega confusion. When I needed reimbursement, no response because she went on holiday. Don't expect anything to be done well the first time around. No idea where they hired this person given the astounding incompetence.
They don't sponsor visas for foreigners. Meaning, the job is de facto closed to anyone but Americans. While I think this is discriminatory, this is not really the problem. The problem is, this was not stated in the job posting, and, worse, they only informed me I'm not eligable to apply after I submitted my application. Worse still, they condescendingly suggested I "continue applying for openings on our website, jobs.indstate.edu, as there are positions in which we do provide visa sponsorship" as though I was applying to a specialized faculty position just for the chance to move to Terre Haute, Indiana. Huge waste of time for me and reference letter writers.
University of Chicago
(2019) I had a really enjoyable MLA interview in Chicago with 8-10 faculty members from the Department.
Unfortunately, the search chair never contacted me again to provide details on the progress of the search. I never heard about campus visits, whether a candidate had been chosen, or anything else. I wrote a message in follow-up with email tracking; the chair never responded, but they did open my message five times in one day.
I learned many months later from a departmental alum that this was a fake search and that the Department had hired the spouse of a faculty member they wanted to retain.
It's disappointing to see a fake search happening at the University of Chicago, which has a reputation for being one of the top two schools in the country for my field.
A few suggestions for universities doing this kind of hiring practice:
1) If it's a fake search (or even if it's a real search!), hold the interviews by videoconferencing. It's not reasonable or ethical to expect candidates to pay to attend an interview that has little/no possibility of resulting in their hire.
2) Any candidate who makes it to the interview stage (and ideally all candidates for the position) should be kept abreast of updates in the search. It was disorienting to be dropped completely by the search committee after the interview. The fact that the chair opened my message so many times suggests that they didn't know what to say. A simple 'We have moved on to other candidates, but it was a pleasure to speak with you and thank you for your time' would have sufficed.
Geneseo advertises itself as the "honors college of the SUNY system" to prospective hires and talks up its "liberal arts" culture. Beware of these claims. Class sizes are large for a liberal arts college, especially because there are no TAs. Quality of student is also falling, but student support services are severely lacking. As a result, morale is quite low among the faculty, and the lackluster and even disliked new president doesn't make things any better....
Also, the director of the college was demoted to Lecturer after faculty complained that he was blackmailing the more outspoken faculty. He threatened them (in writing!) with low teaching evaluation scores if they did not resign. This was in the Hong Kong newspapers in the Spring of 2017.
The search committee was made up of four men and only one woman, a pianist. On the first day of the interview, at breakfast, it was only the candidate and the woman SC member. WIthin five minutes, the SC member asked the candidate if she had children. When the candidate replied that she did, the SC memebr went on to say that she could not conceive. Later that day, the candidate was asked again by a male SC member if she "had family here." When the candidate replied that she was indeed married and had two kids, the committee member asked how old the kids were.The candidate was told many times how well she did, how her application "rose to the top," etc.. Being that this was supposedly a "Christian university," the candidate even turned down another job when she was offered that job two months before Indiana Wesleyan could finalize their search. The committee also knew that she turned down another job out of being "ethical."The SC chair promised the candidate that he would let her know the result either way. Fast forward a few weeks later, the candidate saw that the job posting had been taken down from their website, so she emailed the chair to find out what was going on. The chair then informed her that "after very careful consideration, the search committee decided not to consider (her) candidacy." Then, the candidate found out that they had hired a young man with MUCH LESS experience and achievements. Looking at the music department faculty list, it became clear that this department preferred hiring men over women. This was clearly a case of employment discrimination where the woman candidate with young children was not hired because of her gender and the fact that she had kids. The fact that the other pianist on the faculty couldn't conceive herself might just make her more hesitant to work with this candidate as well. But guess what?! You CANNOT sue this school because they had been sued before and they used that "ministerial exception" to argue that since they were a religious institution, their decisions were autonomous and candidates or employees were not protected under federal law! Basically, all in all, I would say that Indiana Wesleyan University is a hypocritical institution that uses their "Christian identity" to cover up whatever illegal decisions they may want to make in hiring and employment.RUN as fast as you can away from this school!
The Administration does not care about the faculty or the students. The President gets paid more than most Research 1 Presidents and never publishes (his "book" was ghost-written).Issues have included members of administration in black face for halloween, an official policy of "no fat people" on the website, faculty members having their book orders cancelled, a lowering of academic standards to allow more athletes into the College, and the President vetoing faculty votes on a whim.If your face does not fit you will not get tenure, all the LGBT faculty have to remain in the closet for fear of being fired, senior administration shout and bully junior faculty. There is no library budget, conference funding has been cut, and the roofs of the buildings are collapsing. The College is in debt and will likely be bankrupt within ten years.Run, run, run!
I found it odd and frustrating that the President harped on the fact that I received an A- in a previous doctoral course, a course that was part of my original major of higher education administration. I explained multiple times that after taking the course, I realized I no longer wanted to pursue that major, and changed to information systems. After what seemed to be the fifth time of her asking “…but why did you get an A- in that course?”, I could see the other committee members silently laughing behind her. Nonetheless, I finished the session and when she asked if I had any questions, I asked her how soon would it be before I hear about a decision, mainly because there was practically no time left to apply for a state medical practitioner license, one of the major requirements for the position. I could have opted to spend the $200 - $300 processing fee for the license well in advance, but did not want to gamble losing that much money in the event I did not get a job offer for that state. She stated she understood my concern, and would be in contact soon.By the beginning of August, no one had contacted me, despite the emails I sent. Two days before the job was to start, I finally got an email stating they chose a better qualified candidate. I have undergraduate degrees in biology, respiratory therapy, and computer science. I have a master’s degree in education, and am A.B.D. in information systems. I have worked over a decade as a clinician in multiple acute health care facilities, a few years as a software engineer, and eight years teaching in an advanced respiratory therapy program, but somehow I guess I was not qualified enough to teach in their respiratory therapy program…The entire experience interviewing with this school felt very haphazard and the president and her staff came across as unprofessional. I could never recommend anyone apply for any position at this school if these are the types of shenanigans and culture they have cultivated there.
At the time of the interview I waited, after 15 minutes the dean call from her skype account, we have about 15 minuets talk, she then said,we have other candidates, and HR will call you for a decsion within a week, this is two weeks from the starting of the fall semester. November 2015, they readvertise the position again. My cerdintials exceeds what they are asking for, including degrees from top 10 engineering school in the country, 9 years academic experience and 7 years industrail experience in the best conpanies in America.Now it is Decmeber 2015 and I am still waiting for the call, to say some thing about regarding candidates and professionalism at this college, plus other issues.
This type of schools have no regrad for people.
When I finally heard back from the search committee, they said they voted to give me the position but the department voted no because the original job announcement wasn't worded exactly as they had hoped. The revised version was even more closely aligned with my background. The search committee all resigned in protest. Now they are re-running the search. I'm definitely not reapplying. The department was in shambles and they expect too much of their professors for pretty terrible pay.
ABAC has a "Rural Studies" degree that's really nothing more than an umbrella for several degrees, including a Writing BA and a Business BS. Do not be fooled by any advertisements. Students are nice but they're mostly hayseeds. Little opportunity for advancement at this school unless you're a local yokel who's in on the prevalent "Good Old Boys" network. Tifton's a nice enough town, but there's nothing to do. It's mainly an interestate stop-over of chain restaurants and convenience stores. ABAC is where PhDs go to become irrelevant.Do not apply for a job here. Run away as fast as you can.
- Another bad experience with ABAC. They advertized for a position in my speciality, selected me for an on-campus interview, and then when I arrived informed me that I would be expected to teach in a completely different area. [posted Dec. 2013]
First night, the professor picked to have dinner with me spent the meal telling me that the Department Chair was a misogynist. I was shocked at her candidness, but it was a good warning about the lack of profesionalism and hostility in the Department. The next day, during an interview, the Chair asked me a (young, visibly queer woman) whether or not I could live in the South. I replied yes, I'd been living in the South for a while. He asked again "No, I mean it. Can you live in the South?" and then proceeded to tell me that his son sat in the same chair I was in ten years ago and told him that he never wanted to be in Arkansas again before moving to California. Nothing blatantly illegal, but definitely illegal implications. This atmosphere on top of a 4/4 load (with classes around 25-30 studies), colleagues that were visibly overworked, and no hope at all for a raise even after tenure (Chair said as much). Was grateful not to get an offer, but was surprised that I was sent a form rejection letter informing me I was not selected. Though should I have been? It required the least amount of effort.
- [October 2014] Saying nothing of the fact that this type of incident can happen anywhere, I'm a black PhD student and haven't encountered any racism from campus police, faculty or other students. In general, I think ASU is a great place to be and it has so much cultural diversity (American Indians, East Indians, Europeans, Asians and Latinos and African-Americans. Just my two cents.
- [January 2015] On July 9, 2014, the faculty member mentioned above accepted a plea deal and pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest. By doing so, she was able to shed three other counts, including a felony count of aggravated assault. On August 1, 2014, she was sentenced to nine months of supervised probation. Most ASU and Tempe community members never saw this as a racial issue. The fact was that she was jaywalking when the police car approached her. A courteous response of, "Oh, I wasn't aware. I'll get back on the sidewalk," was what she should have said. Instead, she launched a full-blown argument with a police officer. ASU police officers are full-fledged police, not security guards, and jaywalking is against the law, as the many people who have been ticketed for jaywalking in Tempe can attest. Her non-apology apology in court likely led to a more severe penalty by the judge. If she sincerely reckoned that she did in fact cause her consequences, perhaps the judge would have given her a lighter sentence.
- [January 2015] ASU does have a record of discriminating against faculty members with disabilities, especially those related to mental health. I experienced this, but I wasn't the first. My experiences mirror those of a tenured associate professor (like me) who exercised her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (like me) to take a medical leave of absence to recoup from an episode related to mental illness (like me) only to return to work labeled as lazy, uncaring for students or colleagues (e.g., the two faculty members who became instructor of record for my two courses -- and were paid quite handsomely for doing so [supplemental to their salary]), milking the system, and stripped of respect and support that supervisors should provide to all faculty. This faculty member was fired "for cause" because she plagiarized a syllabus. That was the worst dirt they could dig up against her, and the fact that ASU succeeded in court, twice, doesn't bode well for other employees who have a mental illness and "have the nerve" to go on FMLA medical leave. Like my predecessor, I requested reasonable accommodations under the 2008 Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, and, like my predecessor, all requests -- and they truly were reasonable and obviously relevant to my disability -- were denied. ASU spent more than four months providing excuses, only to say no to all of my requests, even though there was no undue hardship. In the mean time, my performance, which was fine and certainly on par with my colleagues, was deemed inadequate. My courses that semester were taken from me with no advanced notice one week before the students' final exam, and I was put on paid leave of absence, even though ASU's policy manual states that this should happen only when the faculty member would be considered a threat to the university community, which I am not remotely. I received a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC, but the fact that my predecessor, who is now dead and spent the last of her savings striving to regain her faculty position and dignity, had such a challenge in court makes me question my own success in litigation, even though ASU administrators blatantly have violated numerous federal laws since my FMLA medical leave.
- By the way, you should also note that the Assistant Professor Online jobs that are posted for this place are actually for Chair positions. Yes, that is right--you will think that you are applying for an Assistant Professor position and--if you take the job--you will end up being the Chair of their programs. That is right--you would be both an Assistant Professor (with little experience) and the head of a program who has to mentor numerous online faculty. [Posted March 2013]
- Effective July 2, 2013, Ashford has laid off over 800 employees, including its entire Adjunct Teaching Assistant pool and the Writing Services Center staff. Associate Faculty (their term for adjunct faculty) in the English and Communications Department are now being limited to one class per 5-week term, as well as being saddled with the responsibilities of the Adjunct Teaching Assistant role. This reorganization appears to be financially motivated, and it does not appear that the large Associate Faculty pool will be given a pay raise to accomodate this added set of responsibilities. [Posted June 2013]
The Provost also tells some of the department chairs to "get information about thei faculty members in case he needs to fire them." He has fired people before where the termination date is "this afternoon," without the person doing anything obviously wrong! He won't tell the person why he's letting him/her go; he just tells them that "we don't have to give you a reason."Also, this year they had a search where the Provost already chose the person he wanted to hire, before the search committee even met for the first time to look over all the applications. Basically, in all accounts, Chowan University is a joke! Not to mention that it is in the middle of nowhere - and they want you to live right there! There are faculty members who live further away in order to be closer to civilization, but generally the administration frowns upon that. They tell some new faculty that "there is no place to rent in this town, so you should buy a house here," just so that they would have more liability and less mobility once they move here. Of course it doesn't mean that they will necessarily keep you. Some people have fallen into those lies before and bought a house right in town, only to find five other houses on sale in the same neighborhood that can't get sold for over a year! Buyer beware!
-This department is toxic and dysfunctional to the nth degree. I used to work here and observed one bully of a colleague make an number of discriminatory statements about applicants' accents, race, perceived race, and assumptions about applican'ts sexuality. Even though the university and its administration pays lip service to equity and diversity, they only penalize whistleblowers and empower the aggressor. Steer clear.
When the appointed time arrived, I interviewed with the associate dean, because the "dean was in another meeting." The associate dean spent the entire time trying to draw out a confession of faith. Now I am a Christian, but not the denomination associated with this school. Upon reading the mission statement on their website, my understanding was that Bethune-Cookman is a Historically Black University that happens to be loosely faith-based. This appears not to be the case. I applied to other similar instutions and did not get the same response. Unless you are United Methodist, and prepared to make a confession of faith during the interview process, reconsider applying here.[Posted 03/05/2014]This institution is corrupt to the core. They are censured by AAUP and have one of the lowest graduation rates in the country. There are always constant investigations and scandals. Moreover, the pay is extremely low and the administration constantly uses fear tactics to keep the faculty docile. You really notice it once you leave this place. As a result of extremely low morale, most of the faculty do not care about their jobs(they are coasting) leading to chaos in the classrooms. Attendance is not expected in the classroom. Thus, while a great teacher may try to require it, the culture created means those instructors will not succeed in getting students into the classroom. I never had a problem with this before teaching here or after teaching here. There are some great and humble students. These are the ones to cherish and provide any help as they will be really thankful. Nonetheless, this institution will probably collapse unless the government takes it over. Avoid at all costs. Only those with connections and who side with the top tier get any respect.9/2015
Skype interview: during ths the Dean was visably yawning while listening to my answers about my scholarship and teaching. The only time she perked up was to ask me to respond to the university's mission, which in addition to the standard stuff -- student centered, excellence in teaching -- included "Christian". Attempting to avoid a discussion of my beliefs, I responded to the first two adjectives and ignored religion. The Dean then perked up and interrogated me on how my beliefs impacted my teaching. I tried to stay true to my own basic beliefs -- that diversity is a good thing for the classroom -- and assumed that I would not be getting a call for a campus visit b/c I wasn't "Christian" enough.Invitation to campus: in inviting me to campus, the Department/Search Committee Head'asked me first to respond via email to the university's mission statement and reminded me of the importance of the school's Christian identity. I complied, but again, was clearly not a Bible-banger, so I thought the plans for a campus visit could be squashed. They were not. I debated going and decided it would be good experience and I should not judge the school before visiting.Planning campus visit: When the invitation to a campus interview was confirmed I was explicitly told that I would be making 2 presentations: a job talk and a teaching demo, but not given any detail of the length, content, or audience for these presentations. With a month to go before the interview, I waited for these details (which I asked for upon accepting the invitation for the interview) to be confirmed. When they confirmed my flight plans three weeks before the interview I mentioned that I was waiting on details of my presentations and they assured me that they would be in touch asap. Two weeks before the interview I politely requested to know what class I would be teaching, what parameters I should know about for my job talk, and the length of each presentation. A week before the interview I asked again. Both emails received no answer. I emailed again five days before the interview and got a response immediately asking me to wait just a bit longer. The details came 72 hours before my flight and they changed my iterinary from two presentations to one 30-minute teaching demo. So the work I had done on the job talk was a waste and I had less than 72 hours to prep for the class. Pissed, but I handled it.Another snafu in the planning stage: during the phone call to confirm travel plans they informed me that instead of having a day and a half with the search committee (including dinner the night before my presentations, etc) I would only have half a day on campus. This was ostensibly an unavoidable issue having to do with flight schedules, but it was clearly implied that my interview would be half the time they alloted for the other candidates. Also at this point much of my communication started to be with a woman whose position in the department was unclear. Some of this communication was via email from the Department/Search Committee Head' email account, but signed by this woman. I later found out that this person was not in fact a member of the department or even employed by the university but was the Department/Search Committee Head' "girlfriend" and "just helping out". Not to put too fine a point on it, but she apparently was given the authority to cut my interview time in half!Interview Part I: First meeting with search committee and Dean was breakfast and the Department/Search Committee Head is late. The rest of us begin a messy and disorganized interview and the Department/Search Committee Head' stumbles in, interrupting me, and begins talking with the other faculty members about some personal business -- as if we are not in the middle of an interview. I stand to try and introduce myself, since its my interview and everything, and he barely shakes my hand before continuing his private conversation at the other end of the table. That goes on for about fifteen minutes, all the while I am trying to figure out a way to politely enter a conversation I am clearly not welcome to, until he stands up to leave saying "I forgot. I have a class to teach right now". He goes without saying another word to me. I spend the next hour having a tour of campus with another member of the search committee.Interview Part II: The next time I see the Department/Search Committee Head' he takes me on a tour of the Theatre Bldg, which basically consist of him telling me what he has done during his tenure. He does not ask me one question about myself, my work, or my goals. He never refers to what I would be doing if I accepted a position in the department. At the end of the tour he takes me to a meeting with students, which goes very well, but does not include any members of the search committee. In fact the only non-student besides the Department/Search Committee Head' is the "girlfriend" who helped with my travel plans who is "just curious to meet me" so she sits in.Akwardness: At the end of this, Department/Search Committee Head and Girlfriend take me to the Dept office, ostensibly on route to my teaching demo, which is schedule to take place in less than 30 minutes and I am assured I will have "plenty of time to set up and relax before my presentation". But while we are in the office, Department/Search Committee Head gets caught up with some personal or department business (I am not informed about what he is doing when he turns his back to me to work on his computer). This goes on as if I was not even there with occassional interuptions from students, to whom he does not introduce me. Generally I feel as if I am in the one in the way as he takes his sweet time on his computer, chatting with students, and discussing personal issues with his Girlfiend all while I wait to be taken to a classroom to set up for my teaching demo. Finally, he realizes that we are late for my teaching demo!Interview Part III: We rush to my teaching demo, he fiddles with the computer, there's a lot of confusion, and worry about if my materials will work on their OS -- things that could have been resolved if I had been brought to the classroom five minutes before the students arrived so I could set up in peace. But, I do my thing as well as possible -- I do have a fair amount of experience and confidence in this arena and had already done two interviews before this one, so things could have gone worse. At the end of the teaching demo students and other faculty who sat in give me positive feedback, but Department/Search Committee Head' says nothing about my presentation. He tells me we are late for lunch and we start rushing across campus. Here's Where it Gets Really Crazy: on our walk across campus we are joined by -- you guessed it -- the Girlfiend. And by now I am used to them talking to each other as if I am not there, so they do and I walk a bit behind them. At this point I know I'm not taking this job anyway.Girlfriend excuses herself from lunch since encroaching on that would be unprofessional (?) and I endure another uncomfortable half-hour where I learn that Department/Search Committee Head has basically built the department without any supervision, that he has always been the Department Head and that he has personally recruited all of his current faculty. Hmmmm. Final meeting with Dean: meeting with the Dean I am again grilled about my religion, couched in concern for whether or not I will be a good fit at a school that is "so student-centered, devoted to teaching excellence, and oh-by-the-way Christian." Search committee member interupts my meeting with the Dean to inform us that I am late to get to the airport. So my opportunity to talk about myself and my work is cut short. Aftermath: three months after my interview Belmont has not informed me about whether or not they would like to hire me; meanwhile I have accepted a position at another university. I have been in touch with the department about a hotel charge that appeared on my credit card, which to their credit they handled quickly. However, despite instructing me to send receipts for my incidental travel expenses (airport parking, etc), they have not reimbursed me for these petty expenses. I have emailed them three times and have been assured each time that they are being processed. I next will be contacting the Dean. I don't expect to get any money from them.RESPONSE: I need to respond to this to echo the original poster's experience. In fact, reading this I was absolutely flabbergasted because I could have written this about my own experience with this dept.I believe I may have been the only other outside interviewee for this job and we had the EXACT same experience. Dean actually looked to be asleep in my Skype interview. The Dept head was wholly unprofessional throughout my time on campus. Did not pay attention to my job talk. At lunch with other faculty members after my job talk he had personal conversations about issues I knew nothing about and al but turned his back on me to do so. It was so incredibly rude. And I should add everyone at the table but me was male. The dept head's girlfriend was present at almost all other times, which I found very disconserting, but at least she he some social graces.I considered writing the Dean to report what I felt was unconscionably poor treatment, but decided it would only make me look bad. Now that I read this I wish I had contacted them so they could know what an unprofessional dept they have. Thanks for offering this post.
I can't say I'm surprised that they're having trouble filling this position.
(Spring 2019) I was ghosted after the campus interview, still haven't been reimbursed for travel expenses. There was a strong indication that the college is in serious financial trouble. Whoever takes this job will be responsible for installing the fourth First Year Experience program in four years. From the above candidate's experience, I would imagine they're looking for someone desperate to railroad into a very bad position.
While this change in itself is not so bad, the stress and politics accompanying this change--coming from the top, President Kustra and Provost Schimpf's offices--diminish the contributions of individual faculty. We don't recommend applying for or getting a new job in social sciences in the near future. It is a disaster during this transition. Replacements of good faculty leaving or contemplating leaving may not occur.The communication department in particular is having substantial curriculum and pedagogical problems that are more than personality differences, but which are substantive differences over quality and the curricular routes to it. One contingent has for years resisted a robust MA program while growing the undergrad programs. The media production faculty and the comm arts faculty are at odds over definitions of scholarship, now a decade+ rift encouraged by bad management and poor leadership, which produced a smorgasboard curriculum fragmenting the department and its students. That failure to provide a common curricular experience for all students has confused students as faculty splintered over such issues. This led to the administration placing the department into a receivership with a dean-appointed interim head for two years, to end with a new chair from a national search. Meanwhile, the department is developing new plans to keep the department whole in spite of efforts to split the department. Over time, the department must make itself into better interconnections internally and with the new home for the department in the College of Arts and Sciences. In transition with histories to learn from and put to bed, I wouldn't recommend Boise State at this point in time to anyone in terms of long-term employment until the department knows what it is. In the social sciences in particular, this is a university to fear.
Boise State College of Engineering has a history of toxic work culture with a clique at its center. This clique has been culvitated with a former Dean couple at its heart, which engages in malicious treatment of competent faculty who are not aligned with their petty interests.
There is a pattern of workplace discrimination against faculty of international origin and their exploitation through various mechanisms. These faculty are expected to carry the 'priviledged ones' on their back, allow them to steal in broad daylight, include them in their grants and papers, while the admins selectively highlight the achievements of these moochers.
The administrators are groomed and promoted from the absolute worst performers without any consideration for their academic record or integrity, mostly from the above mentioned clique. The heirarchy is largely based on race and not performance. There are informers in the departments who have been systematically cultivated to ensure that anyone speaking out against mismanagement and ineptitude in a democratic manner is targeted and their interests are hurt. Several departments have turned toxic due to these policies and have seen a high turnover of faculty and staff.
Interviews and hiring decision have been based upon the clique's interests and several times these are fixed to hire from their own kind. Tenure, promotion and merit raise decisions have not been transparent and do not reflect academic reputation and productivity.
Unless you have other options, it may be a decent place to start a career but further career progression is not dependent on academic/professional performance but on your racial profile and obsequiousness.
Took over 7 weeks after my 2nd interview to get any information. If you feel it might be a long process, or if the process is taking a long time, please let candidates know. Please respond to their emails - a candidate sending an email 6 weeks after the 2nd interview is justified. A response is deserved. There might come a time when a candidate's employment is ending in a month or two, prompting the need for information and a new job search.Poor experience
I was not picked up or even taken to lunch. The Provost was outright rude and no meeting with the committee was scheduled. I met one of the professors in another department and had lunch together in the cafeteria (yes, the faculty are nice people). He told me his salary did not reach the 45K's (teaching 4 clases) which for Manhattan is really bellow poverty. Thankfully I was not offered the job and my travel expenses were partially reimbursed after an exchange of messages with the administration (they said the school would recognize only a $500 [a hotel in Manhattan can easilly cost that much]). Talking to a friend later on, he told me he had the same eexperience with them but he declined an invitation to interview there because the department who invited him would not pay the expenses and did not offer to pick him up (they should show a little decency; it's New York, not Nowhereville). Stay away from this school
I (a different person) had virtually the same experience. I'm not sure it was a fake search. I think it's possible that they just aren't interested in doing job searches the way many Western universities do. It was very strange, and annoying that they never bothered to tell me I didn't get the job, but at least I didn't have to spend two whole days in interviews.
-  I agree with all the above. I'm not sure if it was a fake search either, but they were condescending during the interview and did not end up hiring anyone.
I had a campus visit here. It was one of the worst vists I think a person could experience. RUN AWAY! The first professor I met for lunch asked me if the woman near us had a wedding ring so he could ask her out. The committee asked me so many inappropriate questions--my religion, what kind of political activities I would be involved in, whether I had kids and what race I was (one professor said I had "a hispanic face" and a "Native American nose"). Race is a huge issue here, and I felt like they were constantly testing me about it in a very hostile manner. Because the state has a negative reputation, they were trying to be hyper PC, but it came off as being aggressive and accusatory. Honestly, I don't know what exactly they were looking for, but I'm glad I wasn't it! I know this post is under administration and the faculty members were the main issue, but what kind of administration would tolerate this kind of behavior? [posted June 2015]
1. I felt that the members of the search committee, the other faculty and the students were very nice and welcoming. I had an overall positive impression of the campus and of the people. However, my first complaint is about the scheduling of the campus visit. The schedule was too tight. I had no breaks; there wasn't even time for me to go to the restroom! The schedule didn't take into account the time it takes to walk from Building A to Building B. I got off schedule pretty early on and couldn't get back on track. I had lunch with students and didn't even have the time to go to the resroom first; fortunately, I carry hand sanitzer with me. I noticed that they had a failed search for 2015-2016; I hope that this was not due to the difficult campus visit schedule.I had a campus visit at a different institution a few weeks later that was completely different. At this other place, the person who did the scheduling included several breaks throughout the day and plenty of time to walk from one building to the next. I was also able to go to the restroom at the other place. So my suggestion to the College of Idaho, and for others, is to make a schedule that enables the candidate to take a much needed break, even if it is just for ten minutes. Having a campus visit is incredibly stressful and the schedule should take this into consideration.2. My second comment is about my meeting with the president. I was late to this meeting (see comment 1 above) but I tried to put my best foot forward. The first question the president asked me was where I am from, which is illegal to ask. I have a non-English last name and a lot of people inquire about my origins. I'm especially sensitive to this question because I'm an ethnic minority. So I replied with something like "I get asked this question a lot" and then changed topics. I didn't even answer that question.I noticed in the "Dear Search Committee" section that a lot of candidates get asked questions that are illegal, such as questions about their origins or if they are married or have children. I didn't get asked this, but the question about my origins did turn me off.Other than these two issues, the College of Idaho is great and it would be a wonderful place to work.
Avoid this place like the plague.
I could go on and on, but suffice it to say this place should be avoided at all costs. If you are not one of the chairs favorites you will end up doing a lot of service work, and will intentionally have your career sabotaged if you are productive. While these are the words of a person who managed to escape that hell hole, after reading the sever year review that was conducted last year I know I made the right decision to leave. If you get an interview there, you should request a copy of this report and the unit's response to it. If I could figure out how to load it up here, I would. A very prominent criminologist (I do not believe I can name names) said of his assessment of the unit was that the place was in desperate need of leadership and the current working conditions were "deeply troubling."There are some decent people that remain at the university, although they have just lost another good one, but they are few and far between and who knows how you will find them as they are trying to keep their career above water at this point.If I had a student who was considering an offer there, I would tell them to consider brewing coffee for a year while strengthening their CV. Rumor has it last year the chair was secretly negotiating with his preferred candidate against the recommendation of the search committee and the faculty as a whole. What a situation to walk into.
Stay away from this college. Most of the newer employees are either sons, daughters, son and/or daughter in law of current college provosts, assistant provost and/or VP's of any department. Needless to say, Nepotism at that college is alive and well. The HR department is the worst department in the world. Charged an employee for dependant life insurance and then denied a claim when the dependant died refunding the premium to the employee, claiming the policy was not valid because the dependant did not provide a physical exam before applying. In reality, none was required for employees who chose that option on the first day of employement. Service award ceremonies are horrible, the HR department has someone create a video of the employees without acknowleging doctor titles for any of the faculty. They offer employees getting awards an opportunity to take a picture for the event with the college protographer. However, if they fail to show up, the HR office uses the very first picture that the employee took for their badge when they first started (even if it is 25 years old), regardless of whether there was a recent badge picture on the college's employee database. The award ceremony brocheres also fail to acknowledge faculty doctor titles. Most faculty member throw the brocheres away. Morevoer, the head of HR only has an AA degree and really needs to step up her game especially now that the college where she works offers students a chance to earn a BAS degree in Human Resources. Everytime there is a faculty or administrative opening, applicants fly in to interview but it is a total waste of money and time for them. They usually select someone's friends or relative for the position. Most who are less qualified than many other applicants that interviewed and/or not qualified at all. Additionally when people are offered a full-time positions, they are invited to the HR office for processing, but are not told that they will be there approximately 6 hours listening to endless PowerPoint presentations about employee benefits without compensation of any kind. If someone complains, HR immeadiately contacts their hiring committee or the new boss that they will report to let them know. Finally the HR department recinded tuition reimbursement benefits for faculty that had been negogiated buy our faculty union over the summer without consulting anyone. Did I already mention that the HR department of this college is the worst in the world?
2017. The Eastern Michigan University administration prides itself on exercising its prerogative to dismiss employees "at will" with no explanation even in the case of very productive individuals. Raises are sparse for non-faculty. There is a rampant cronyism. Find out who is married to whom. Beware. If you are thinking of relocating to EMU ask about the high turnover rate in the administration in general. Find out why the job you are applying for is suddenly available and what happened to the person who formerly held the postion. There most likely will not be any relocation expense support. Forget about a hire for your spouse since you aren't from here. Get everything in writing in your letter of hire. EVERYTHING. If you are eligible, you MUST negotiate your right to return to faculty, because you will be needing it. Read the AAUP contract and negotiate the right to assume those pay raises when they demote you. Better yet, stay far away.
Below comment refers to 2016 Illinios budget stalemate during which EIU laid off faculty and staff. The stalemate is over and stable state funding has been re-established. Current Governor has even pledged to increase state funding. The below described situation was a one-time occurence during a severe crisis imposed on the university by the State's former Governor.
Stay away for the near future. University is in a deep budget crisis and the administration has rescinded 26 faculty offers of employment after having issued them 6 weeks earlier. People turned down other offers and now scramble to find anything for Fall (contracts were rescinded 5 weeks before the fall semester). Administration only excludes tenured faculty from further layoffs, does not have a strategy, and is not honoring its commitments. Great place in general, but currently and under this administration, I would not recommend this as a place for anyone wanting to build a career.
I agree with the post above. A lot of faculty are interested in leaving, and many of the new hires leave after a few years (which applies to me as I'm on my way out). The university is really not a national or 'R2' as it looks like. It's now in the unranked category for national universities in US News. Support for research is mostly limited to sending the files for you: don't expect any help in identifying funding opportunities (you're on your own or you have to set up your own alerts), or in writing a grant. You'll commonly find yourself doing everything, including the budget. The research office is short-staffed, and the university's constant fall in enrollment over the years as well as poor finances (some university bonds are ranked as junk bonds) won't lead to a better support anytime soon. Even if you were to get a grant, its administration is a nightmare and the university can't be trusted (e.g., they 'lose' grant funds for months, they send wrong cheques by orders of magnitude and don't detect it, etc). The quality of the students goes from low to average for the most part. There is a broader distribution for undergraduate students, who attend essentially because they live in the Northern Illinois region. Depending on the department, graduate students can be really mediore, and your best best to do any kind of research is to identify the best 1 or 2 undergrads in a class. Some think of NIU as being "in the Chicagoland" even though there is not even a train to get to Chicago, and many students/faculty never go there. There are little prospects for improvements in this university and it should be avoided. Agree with all of the above. Financial management is not this university's strong suit. I organized a summer program for which student tuition dollars and a course fee were collected - that money went straight into some pot of money that I never saw, and I was only partially reimbursed for the expense of the program, and extra funds that should have covered my time on the project were never reimbursed. The quality of students is generally the lowest I have encountered in many years of adjuncting. I also had the pleasure of working with a department chair with the bad habit of offering courses for me to teach the following semester, then rescinding the offer a day or two later. If you are a visiting assistant professor, then you should know that the faculty are actively unionized against VAPs to prevent them from having more than a 1 year contact. Run, don't walk. And finally, NIU is not in Chicagoland, it is in the middle of a monoculture wasteland.
EOU is tremendously racist. They don't hire internationals AT ALL, but they won't say it in their job adds. Once they discover you need sponsor or help with your visa, they will stop emailing you and will never notify of anything further. Stay away from this place. It's so isolated and honestly if they don't wanna hire internationals: their loss! Their pedagogy, teaching style, and teaching focus is very old-fachioned. Again: their loss!
- Makes me glad that they didn't even bother to acknowledge my application for the 2011-2012 cycle.
- I have a friend on the faculty and, from what I hear, the OP is right on. I also went on campus there several years ago. I didn't sense that anything was amiss, but then I was young and inexperienced. At the time I was keenly disappointed to not have received an offer, but I now consider this a major disaster averted.
- This has not been my experience at all. I have been here for several years. I earned tenure, have never felt bullied and have not dumbed down my classes. On the contrary, I have worked at a few colleges and I have found the environment and faculty here to be the friendliest I've ever worked in/with and the tenure and promotion process is relatively humane. I like to think I earned tenure because I have been a good teacher, I've produced quality scholarship, and I respect my colleagues. I'm sorry that the OP has had a bad experience, but I would urge you to take the comments for what they are. S/he really isn't in a position to make claims about "denying tenure to faculty members who have stellar records," because tenure files are confidential and s/he has probably not seen any but her/his own. Nor is s/he in a position to make claims about what other faculty are doing in their classes. I love working at EC and I don't think the OP's experience is typical.
- Think _The Stepford Wives_.
- [February 22, 2013] In response to this post, 3/7 people who went up for tenure in the 2012-2013 year were rejected. Yes, tenure files are confidential and the decisions are privately made; however, this very high number suggests at least one of three options: (1) Eckerd is doing a poor job of vetting candidates when they hire them; (2) Eckerd is doing a poor job of nuturing junior faculty after hiring them or; (3) Eckerd is doing a poor job of retaining faculty.
- [April 15, 2015] Just finished filing my tax return and realizing how little I have earned at this school even only compared to my old classmates who are working at public schools. You would imagine this private school should treat its people better. You are wrong!
- [April 15, 2015] The Dean is indeed a liar. A few years ago, she put in my tenure file a letter falsifying a statement for which she could not provide any evidence. UNFORTUNATELY, I got tenure anyway. If not, I would probably have gone somewhere else, most likely a much better place. Now it is really hard for me to find a senior position.
- [April 15, 2015] The general education requirement, the one year long course Human Experience, is a complete joke. Most students hate it. Most faculty don't want to teach it. But they make it a mandatory duty for each faculty to teach it before their sabbatical leave and/or promotion. Then you get punished by the students if you are really serious because the students' evaluations are always terrible, especially if you teach out of your field. So if you don't want to teach one year Plato every 5 years then don't come to this school!
- [posted Feb. 2013] I do not know this person who is saying there is no bullying and there are no "cabals" (right above)-- but I have been at Eckerd for four years. I have been bullied-- by multiple people and have experienced a very different set of issues here at Eckerd. I have also witnessed very strong senior faculty efforts to affect and control junior faculty. I can only speak about my personal experiences-- and let me say that this college has some wonderful faculty members-- some whom I will treasure for what they model and gave to me for the rest of my life. It is unfortunate that I have to talk about the bad, but it is important to note it for those who wish to know about the college. I will briefly treat them below:
- TENURE PROCESS: Eckerd has an official clause in their tenure review. In addition to vetting faculty on teaching, mentoring, service, and professional development, there is a paragraph on collegiality. Now, implicitly collegiality is a part of the other four categories: if a faculty is not collegial with her/his students, then they get poor evals; likewise, if a faculty is not collegial with her/his mentors or with their committee work, they will not get good mentor reports or service reports. So this begs the question of why another separate category for collegiaility. Now, this category was not invoked that much until recently, and it has created an unfortunate ripple effect throughout the college.
- Let me also note, those who review for tenure-- the Academic Standards Committee and Dean-- are unable to assess this fifth category until the year you go up, as letters for/against one's collegiality only surfaces then. This creates an environment in which tenure could hang on "character" issues, which I find very disturbing-- for its purpose and its lack of transparency in advance.
- BULLYING: My chair had to approach me at one point and tell me that I had to be careful about what I said. He felt very sad to have to say this, but was worried about the negative repercussions (i.e., chances of tenure). While my chair was completely supportive of what I had to say at meetings and felt I brought valuable ideas/insights to the table, some senior faculty were upset. They apparently did not like having junior faculty voice issues. I was asked to tone it down-- partly because of the tenure-angst (see above). I was later told after two years on a committee by a senior faculty member that he was going to file a report about my lack of collegiality. When I asked if I had done anything to block or hinder the committee work, the faculty could not give one instance. But he had an issue with my collegiality.
- In addition, for three years I had two colleagues who told me in confidence about how they were bullied to a point of leaving and taking other jobs-- one of them in fact was forced to work with her discipline colleagues and an official mediator because of how horrible it was; the other had problems with sexism. The things the senior faculty made these junior faculty deal with is really awful. We do have sexist senior faculty members here, and I feel for junior female faculty in particular, this can create problems depending upon the department (but I must also say, I suspect this problem is probably the rule than the exception among U.S colleges and universities).
- DOMESTICATION OF THE FACULTY: We are in an era wherein the administration in colleges/universities are becoming more and more powerful at the expense of the faculty power. More administration hires, more pay toward administration, and less tenure-lines, etc., (this has been widely treated in the Chronicle of Higher Education). In order to mitigate this, I think it is imperative to have tenured faculty push-back. However, I perceive a strong domestication of the faculty at this college.
- We do not have faculty meetings-- we have administrative meetings in which we are lectured about what we need to do for the college. We do not have a space to collect and come together about faculty issues. Case in point: in an average faculty meeting that lasts 60-90 minutes, nearly 45-50 minutes of this is taken up by the Dean of Faculty, President, Dean of Admissions, and other Deans who make speeches.
- Due to the low pay-- many of our stronger faculty are lulled into taking administrative positions. The strange thing about this is that they are able to keep their tenure as administrators. Now, the argument they make is that this emboldens them to do more for faculty, but I have not witnessed any of this in the four years. Moreover, the allowance of administrators to have tenure empowers the administration-- these faculty-turned-administrated are indoctrinated into a different mindset and position while retaining the power faculty should have. We hired a dean in 2010 that began to make changes to this, and this was one of the reasons she was asked to leave (and we are now in a new search for a Dean).
- There is a strong Protestant work ethic at this college-- the idea that one should work because it is good and merits such. In this mindset, issues of salary and so forth should not mix with this issue. Because of such a environment, we have 8 office hours a week (it used to be 10, but the faculty found that some faculty were not doing 10, so instituted a mandate requiring at least 8). Our faculty will carry anywhere from 10 - 60 mentees, serve on 1-5 meetings (or more, because if asked, you say yes), we have a 3-1-3 teaching load with no release time except after 7 years you get one semester off (but this is contingent upon factors and not guaranteed). We have 50% salary rating for Assistant Professor levels at undergraduate liberal arts colleges. This college does not make counter-offers to jobs, and affords a $1,000 raise for tenure and a $1,000 raise for promotion (which explains why the Associate Professor level is also not very strong). In order to make ends meet, many of our faculty have to take overloads; an overload is only $2,000 overload for a course (and this includes summer courses). We also have pressure to do study abroads for our January term, but leaving the country and mentoring 10-20 students 24/7 does not come with any financial benefits other than fulfilling your service.
- The administration does not need to pay faculty more because the faculty does more, and the tenured faculty have shown no efforts to collectively repudiate/change this.
- [March 20, 2013] For those who work at Eckerd and are considering jobs outside of Eckerd, I would strongly urge you not to report your inclinations to any administrators (or probably faculty). Although some colleges and universities understand that junior faculty will need to look around during their interim years, the climate at Eckerd is such that faculty largely view this as a betrayal (or indicator that one is not a good 'fit'). Furthermore, if you accept another job, I recommend not mentioning that you took the job until the last day that the Eckerd contracts are due. This is because the current administration has made efforts to take away as many benefits as possible once they know a faculty member is leaving.
- Be warned: because this institution is in Florida, a right-to-work state, the whole pre-tenure and tenure process is simply smoke and mirrors. The institution can fire anyone at will and there is no legal recourse. Not a safe place for any self-respecting academic.
- When I did a campus interview last year, I did not realize that the department I was interviewing with had a failed search the year before. Now, they are on the third year of their search as last year's search failed, too. While I was on my campus interview, multiple faculty members warned me away from the job, making direct and very worrisome statements about the climate of the college. It's a shame as the campus is lovely and the students seem fun. However, I can see that they work you to death as faculty have a 3-1-3, plus advising of 30-70 students (depending on the major), and multiple, on-going service obligations. Also, when I asked about publishing requirements there was no clear policy and the Dean did not even mention the collegiality policy, which seems to hang a lot of people.
- The "Dean" is a fraud and a liar. These are third-rate minds trying to shore up their own power at every turn.
- [January 2015]. And it simply gets no better. It's unclear exactly how the school remains out of the SAC bullseye (they nearly lost accredidation a few years ago and rallied the troops to pretend they were doing real work). As a long-suffering golden-handcuffed member of this terrible place, all I can say is that you're probably better off leaving the profession than accepting a job here. When Pope Francis gave his curia speech this year, all I could think of was my school. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/22/pope-francis-scathing-critique-vatican-officials-curia-speech.
- Also, we hired one of our own to become Dean of Faculty in one of the most laughable hiring processes ever only to have her treat the school like an elementary school playground. She makes the rules (I suspect she is being manipulated by the head of social sciences, who is one of the most despicable human beings I have ever met, think Stasi) in the most arbitrary way possible...correction, it's not arbitrary, she gives favors to her friends and neighbors. Merit means nothing here. And the 'history,' as the old timers like to call it, is littered with personal vendettas.
- If you are a student affairs professional, be stronly cautioned against applying for a position at Eckerd. 1. The president and dean of students have a strong bias against applicants who have degrees in higher education, CSP or leadership. Sadly, the division lacks professionals with such data-based degrees. If you have such a degree, do not waste the postage to send your CV. 2. Most hires are by fiat anyway and are typically former students who the dean of students considers yes people. There is rarely a functioning search committee for responsible positions. When a committee is rarely formed, they are often overruled by the dean of students in favor of one of his favorites. Several current department heads were hired by fiat and not by legitimate committee such as CPAL, the dean of community initiatives, the director of special community initiatives, the director of service-learning, both chaplains, director of campus safety, the director of residence life, the assoc. dean for residence life, the director of the waterfront, the director of campus activities, etc. etc. None of these positions was hired with a legitimate hiring committee. A few were appointed in an acting role and then, in time, were transitioned into the position when the dean of students felt that it was politically possible to do so. 3. The dean of students advocates for what he calls a Mint on the Pillow experience for students which is more customer-based than educational based. 4. CIRP data reveals real substance abuse growth among students at Eckerd relative to other institutions in the sample. The dean will malign the sample group and complain that Eckerd is paired with bible colleges but the sample is actually quite large and most peer institutions are very much like Eckerd. Similarly, CIRP data often reveals that students are not very satisfied with student affairs. 5. Eckerd´s CIRP data, while embarassing for the student affairs division, should be expected. Most promotional materials for the institution portray it as a fun place on the water where recreational opportunities abound and students can sunbathe and skateboard around. Academics are secondary to the good times that can be had. 6. Work-life balance is difficult for many in the division. The dean of students likes to joke that employees who leave at 5:00 are only working a half day. Work in student affairs is not one´s profession, it is expected to be a lifestyle. 7. If you are a favorite of the dean, you´ll often be drawn into the daily crisis. Otherwise, you and your department will largely be ignored. However, if a parent or the president says something that might be seen as negative about your department, you may become a part of the daily crisis but you will not appreciate that sort of attention. 8. The president has an imperial air and rarely speaks to anyone below a VP level. He generally rules by fear and his cabinet does the bidding. As a professional, you will not be charged with creatively contributing to a department, rather, you will be successful only if you try and figure out what the dean and/or president would expect you to do. 9. There is a narrative that is to be followed at all costs if you work here: The college is great and problems are minimal. Critical questions are not to be tolerated and NEVER speak critically about the president. The emperor, of course, is not naked but rather is wearing wonderful new clothes. If you have the chance to go to a parent´s or prospective student weekend, watch the tightly controlled Q & A sessions on Saturday mornings. The president will talk for most of the Q & A time, the deans will hope that parents lead with a compliment or softball question and then they´ll talk about how wonderful the place is if there is a critical question. Really, if you are a thoughtful professional, keep looking at USF or SPC if you want a fulfilling position.
[May 30, 2017] Those who wish to assist in holding the EC Admin accountable can email firstname.lastname@example.org' .Please see below links for information on current efforts to hold this administration accountable for. We have retained counsel that will speak to anyone wishing to remain anonymous. https://www.change.org/p/petition-to-reverse-closure-of-eckerd-college-s-program-for-experienced-learners?recruiter=701760008&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petitionhttps://www.savingeckerdpel.comhttps://www.facebook.com/SavingEckerdPEL/
Aside from the above, FTCC (in violation of SACS) has no true faculty council or senate. All decisions are made by the president and AVP and then passed down with no faculty input. This applies to everything from how the Blackboard template will be arranged to class size to faculty time spent on campus. Almost none of the administrators have any academic experience--several come straight from the military, some have MBAs, some taught briefly as adjuncts before moving into administration. There is therefore little regard for the needs of faculty. An example of this--FTCC has no final exam week. The last week of school is a regular teaching week. Grades are due by noon the day following the last class period. Instructors carry a 6 class per semester load with each class containing about 35 students. If an instructor has 6 full semester classes, he/she must either give the final exam early or try to grade a phenomenal amount of exams in an 18 hour period. Likewise, many faculty are put in offices that are shared between 2-3 people or in cubicles. None of this is conducive to working--the preparation of class materials or grading--and yet the expectation is that you will spend a great deal of time in these crowded spaces. On 11/24, the Dean of Arts and Humanities emailed faculty the following: "Some things are best left alone. There are times when the benefits of an arrangement outweigh the cost. Notice that there is no such thing as an off campus day. I realize that some faculty are able to schedule classes, office hours, and division hours over four days and benefit from an off campus day. It is my understanding that day is still part of the 40 hour workweek. Please read the quotes from the policy and consider the implications. Faculty Handbook Pg. 43 "The "normal" workweek including instruction, preparation, and administration shall be 40 clock hours per week." "An instructional non-teaching work day is 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m." "A minimum of one hour per day must be scheduled on at least four separate days of the week. Exceptions to this requirement may be approved by the appropriate Dean." "Divisional Hours: In addition to five (5) office hours, full-time faculty is required to complete five (5) divisional hours per week. Divisional hours are to be agreed upon by the appropriate Division Chair/Department Chair/Program Coordinator and forwarded to the appropriate academic dean by the fifth day of each term. These hours should be conducted on campus unless approved otherwise by the appropriate academic dean. Divisional hours can be modified as required and communicated as described above." FTCC is also greatly expanding its "High School Connections" program. FTCC instructors are being sent out to the high schools throughout the entire county to teach dual credit classes. Some of these schools are nearly an hour away from the college, but unless one travels to the college then to the HS then to the college, no compensation for mileage will be given. Additionally, since adjuncts often cannot to go the high schools during the day, adjuncts are given preference for all online classes and classes on campus when full time instructors are farmed out. The high schools, not the college, determine what days and times classes will be held. An average schedule for many instructors Fall 2016 will include 2-3 college classes every morning and 90 minute high school classes every afternoon 4 days a week. The instructors who do best at FTCC are those who give only multiple choice exams and completion grades for all writing assignments and who show videos in class rather than actually teaching. As far as pay, FTCC is competitive, but once you are hired you cannot expect to get much by way of raises. And, you also cannot expect much by way of breaks during the semester. Faculty often are required to hold work days 8-4 when students are off. It leaves little time for getting caught up or for taking care of any personal business. There are some nice things about FTCC--the grounds are lovely and the buildings are clean. But, faculty have no voice--they can't weigh in on strategies to deal with retention issues or even on whether or not high school classes will be increased at the loss of our regular curriculum students. If you work here, you will be nothing more than a wage slave. Your degrees, the professional honors you have achieved, none of these matter. You are a cog in the machine and the view of the upper levels of the administration is that you are easily replacable--because it doesn't matter how shoddy the product we are putting out; it only matters that we increase enrollment and that, having admitted people who have no business being in a college classroom, we retain them at all costs to avoid federal penalties. The leadership of the college is broken but given the circumstances there is no way to fix it.
- I visited FGCU in 2017 for a job interview. It was much the same story. I was in touch with them months after the visit to ask what the situation was, only to be curtly told that the search had concluded and someone else had accepted. Guys: an email will do, just make it polite, engaged, and timely.-Just updating to let people know this is still a problem in 2018. Had an on-campus interview & then never heard anything again from the university, and it took six weeks to get a check in the mail to be reimbursed for travel. Their hiring practices are terrible.Professor here from FGCU: These complaints are legit, but the culprit is usually the HR department which controls all phases of the job search. Committee members, including the chair, are instructed NOT to communicate with job candidates. Once the search committee makes its recommendations to the chair, it is disbanded, and the job search is entirely in the hands of the Dean's Office and HR, and the finalists won't hear anything until after the contract has been signed for the new hire--and it'll be a standard, generic email from HR--and yes, it'll be months after the visit. FGCU is a wonderful place to work, but we have some serious issues with our hiring protocol, and we lose good candidates because of it.
I had a strange interview with this department for a postdoc, which I can only describe as bewildering and hostile. The first odd thing was a cold solicitation. One of the search committee emailed my former advisor and strongly but obliquely asked him to inform "one of his students" (no names used) about the position and encourage them to apply -- in the context, the prof meant me. So I applied and got a Skype interview. Day of the interview, they claimed to have technical problems. They could see me but I couldn't see them; they made no attempt to fix the problem. The chair of the search also had his infant with him during the interview so that our conversation was periodically interrupted. I fielded the usual questions. After answering a question about how I think my research is significant for the field, however, the same prof who had solicited my application started to talk. Actually, he said, what I was doing wasn't particularly novel at all but well developed (which is not true); I had not gone for obviously innovative topics but was instead propping myself up on the research of others. It took a moment to realize that he was undermining and putting me down. The rest of the interview played out and, no surprise, I didn't get a call back. So why would someone solicit an application only to belittle my work? I can only think that 1.) departmental politics were in play and I had strayed into the crossfire; 2.) the search committee had a favorite and wanted reasons to throw out other candidates; or 3.) I somehow inexplicably got on this prof's wrong side. In any case, it was a big waste of my time and still rankles.
Reply from the prof described: I'm sorry that what I did made you feel that you'd wasted your time. Perhaps an explanation will help you feel less mystified. 1) As part of our search, I contacted colleagues at other universities who'd recently run searches to ask if they had strong candidates they'd recommend. I was told that your advisor had a strong advisee, so I contacted him/her. I did this in an effort to broaden and strengthen our pool of candidates. 2) Sometimes technical difficulties and family responsibilities make things a bit less smooth than we'd like. We felt it was best to proceed with our interview. We felt that we were able to communicate with you despite the problems. I'm sorry that you experienced this as an impairment. 3) Clearly you were most upset by the tone of my questions about your work. You are right that I probed your novelty claim. I don't think it's fair to describe this as undermining or belittling. I'm not sure what expectation you bring to interviews or what "usual questions" you field, but I'm surprised that you would consider push back about your ideas to be a kind of personal attack. I always ask a sceptical question or two when interviewing candidates; it's important to evaluate how they respond to criticism. None of the three explanations you gave yourself applies. I've been an unsuccessful candidate many times myself, and I am also tempted to impute some personal animus onto committee members. The fact is, though, that in searches with dozens of viable candidates, each candidate gets only a fragment of attention, and certainly not enough to get on anyone's "wrong side." If you're invited to talk to a committee, it means most everyone likes your work already. I was working to engage critically and constructively, as I try to do with everyone whose work I read; I am sorry that I didn't present my interest in a way that lifted you up. [Spring 2020] My interview experience (which, for sake of anonymity, I will not date; it did occur some time in the last 5 years) exhibited enough parallels with the original commenter for me to add something here. I also felt a little bewildered by the changing temperament of some faculty members, who seemed very warm and friendly (and affirming of my work) in one setting and then asking questions in front of a larger group that felt beyond the normal level of challenging questions. In fact, I had been warned beforehand about one member of the faculty in particular who enjoyed this (or at least had a reputation for it). The takeaway for applicants, in my opinion: the department culture seems to value testing you, rather than asking questions out of pure scholarly interest. Be aware of/prepare for this as a potential candidate.
Looking in more depth, the two faculty dismissed at the end of the year (they found out at the last minute, though clearly knew their fate was insecure), were not dismissed for lack of performance. In fact, among the five new hires their teaching was just as consistent AND only these two had managed to secure book contracts at major academic publishers, and in a particular subdiscipline in which the faculty had expressed interest. What was their fault? It certainly seems as though this college (and this is not limited to the SLA) rewards faculty who justify their advanced/ing positions by writing and rewriting learning objectives or other administrative trivia but produce little by way of pedagogical or scholarly innovation, and punishes those who try to do more. The feather in the cap of this oblivious, business-minded college is perhaps that faculty whose contracts are not renewed are asked to do their own "off-boarding" paperwork for HR! You can dismiss this as sour grapes, and maybe, just maybe this place sounds like a refuge for you if you want to pretend you have job security and write nothing but learning objectives for the rest of your life...this may be the place for you. If you have other ideas about what scholarship is, perhaps reconsider!
Secondly, I simply needed some sort of full-time spousal hire if I was to come. Please don't get me wrong--I understand that no one owes me a spousal hire, but given the large numbers of professional educators who are married, departments should have some sort of proceedure for this. I brought this detail up with the chair who may or may not have shared this with his staff. The faculty member who took me around campus told me that they had actually lost the candidate for this same position from the prevoius year because "he/she wanted us to find his/her spouse a job; can you believe that?" That was good to know. I had hoped they had learned their lesson from their failure the prevoius year.Not the case.. When I told that I would provisionally accepted the job pending employment for my spouse and tneure confirmation, flown back in for my one-hour interview, and tried to press the issue, I was told they were now working on the spousal hire. Several weeks went by as other offers from other schools were coming in (all with confirmed full-time offers for my spouse) and finally GSU's department chair sent a simple e-mail forward from the department my spouse would have taught in. In that e-mail was the chain between the chairs that went like this (paraphrased, but not by much):Chair of edu: "I need a spousal, can you accomodate?"Chair of spouse's department: "Not now, but I might have some adjuct positions come open."Chair of edu to me: "Here's what I got back. Will this work?"After I explained that it didn't (duh!), the chair indicated that he couldn't do any more. Pathetic. I retracted my acceptance, which was accepted without any type of resistance at all. Other department chairs went out of their way to find opportunities and funding and ALL (save GSU's) found something. They certainly worked harder than a two-sentence email. Overall, just a complete waste of time from a university that's trying to make itself relevant. Good luck with that until you at least get to mid-20th century standard of operation...
It's very hard to break into local social circles if you aren't religious, white, and Dutch. Your colleagues will keep track where you go to church. Don't be duped by the niceness and fancy buildings. Hope and Holland have a very ugly undercurrent that is nasty against anyone who goes ahead the status quo.Teach more diverse students at a community college (and for better pay) in a real city. Avoid this place and keep moving on.GLBTQ candidates: run like heck away from this place. Do your research online about Hope and gay issues, and you'll see that the school has a long recent history of homophobic incidents.
The department was much more pleasant but all-in-all, the place is run like a small school in a small town. They have increasingly faced pressure to self-censor from Beijing and as a result, only obedient faculty are rewarded with tenure. They appear to be refashioning themselves as a (much less political) Public Admin department only.
I wanted to add my own story from a search by the History department recently. The formal parts of the campus trip were fine. But it all fell apart during the dinner. I was told to meet the committee at 5:30, having walked 45 minutes to get there (given the lack of accommodation options in NYC that were affordable under the College's guidelines). Nobody was there. I had to wait in the lobby for 45 minutes until the chair of the committee came downstairs and seemed a touch surprised to see me. We then went to dinner, at which I was asked precisely zero questions about my teaching or research. Instead, another attendee had just received a grant, and wanted to drink up. The other three people at dinner were drunk within the hour, and I felt like I was imposing on their time.
I have no complaints about the faculty I met while there, but beware the provost. If you get an offer, expect to be pressured into a decision quickly and don't count on being able to negotiate.
Their approach to negotiation (startup funding etc.): everything that’s in writing is negotiable, everything that’s not in writing, does not exist.On numerous occasions, a relatively senior member of the scientific administration commented on my “nationality”. (Actually it wasn’t my nationality the person was concerned with, but the country where I was born; not related to nationality, and only partially to ethnicity). Apparently, it was a “nationality” that did not fit in into the Western values. Given that I observed numerous instances of problems faced by the international, including European, students, I wonder what was meant by “Western values”.There is a very rigid, hierarchical, army-like power structure. Any initiative taken outside of this hierarchy is severely punished, at every level, except if you are a professor there. Then you can do whatever you want and your actions are not accountable to anyone.My advice: run as fast and as far as you can.(Note: KIT is organized in institutes; theoretically, it is possible that the problems were related to the few instutites I had been dealing with)
Lake Erie College
In terms of the on-campus interview, it was run very poorly and seemed designed to make a candidate as uncomfortable as possible. In the space of a few days prior to the interview, I was first told to prepare a teaching presentation to present to a group of faculty and staff who could pretend to be students, or maybe not, or whatever, it doesn't matter; then that was changed to a research talk about "anything"; then that was changed to whatever I wanted it to be, maybe a combination research and teaching talk, maybe to students or to faculty, or both, but whatever is fine, it doesn't matter. (It probably goes without saying that for three solid days I had to change and practice different presentations because of these last-minute contradictions.) Once on campus, I was left waiting in many hallways, outside of many locked doors, and at one point had to knock loudly three times over a few minutes before being let into a room where the search committee was waiting for me midday. Most of the search committee was "out of town or otherwise unavailable" during my visit, and those who were available had nothing but terrible things to say about the students overall (the bitterness was pervasive). One SC member was openly and aggressively hostile both to me directly and about the students, for whom s/he seemed to have nothing but contempt. LEC is, apparently, the college a student attends when community college seems too low-brow but no place else will take the kid (it's a pay and play establishment). The visit was brief, but included three meals, two with only an hour between them. The meals were well attended (unlike everything else), but the conversation was clique-ish and exclusionary with no questions directed to me, suggesting that the committee was merely using the opportunity to grab free nosh. The college-related questions I asked during the meals were ever-so-briefly answered but largely ignored.Regarding location, the campus is small and, for what it is, beautiful, but it's in the middle of uneducated redneck country, and that shows in the school's interactions with the neighborhood. None of the faculty and staff I spoke to lives anywhere near the college, and most expressed significant distaste for the area. The faculty are all older (a wrung-out 40 being the youngest, with most faculty in their late 40s, 50s, and 60s); if you are a dynamic and/or young(er) PhD, there is nothing here for you. On the plus side, there is one truly sharp female dean with what sound like great plans for the college; however, she spent significant time telling me that her plans will not be realized because of the tremendous faculty resistance and the absolute lack of funds to be spent on anything but athletics. Perhaps her frustration represents a reason for the recent exodus of faculty to admin positions at brighter and better schools.Using this one as a springboard to another job might be tough, especially if you want to move up in a faculty position. Both the lack of research support and the overload teaching will inhibit one's ability to gain employment at a better school with stricter publication expectations. In all, I am appalled by the truly terrible hiring processes exhibited here, and I am embarrassed for the search committee. If you interviewed here and didn't get the position, consider it a bullet dodged!
- Ditto some of the above. Plus, the search committee members asked me whether I had children and, if so, what ages. One SC member had a hostile retort to every answer I gave during the interview, yet she offered no input herself. This was a strange and uncomfortable process quite unlike any other search I've experienced. I went with another job.
Finally, and perhaps the best reason to avoid this place - discrimination. (Fall 2012) Women represent the chairs/deans of only 3 departments. There are only 2 women on the board of directors (30 people) and both are wives (Of the seminary and university presidents respectively). As of this writing there are no minorities (male or female) in dean/chair positions. VA is a "right to work" state, therefore HR makes it a practice to let go anyone who files a discrimination complaint. There is no student or faculty representation or organization allowed to deal with discrimination complaints, there is not stated policy in the faculty or student handbooks.Discrimination. Bullying. Ridiculous course loads. No research. Sexism. Avoid this place at all costs.
Unprofessional colleagues. Nepotism throughout the place. President and administration are inept. Saving face with evangelical anti-vaxxers throughout the pandemic. Athletic Director preaches about jesus in the middle of campus. Students think this is high school 2.0. Never imagined it possible for parents to be so involved in university children's day-to-day. During your interviews, you are told not to post on twitter. As if they know things are terrible and they need to control damage. No departmental meetings, no mentorship, no support for research. Those with tenure don't care.
Stay far away from here. Low pay, no leadership, backward administration, and football football football. Most emails are about the tech farm beef and pork sales. Extra courses pushed on faculty. High teaching load and mandatory enforced office hours. Classrooms are very dated with poor furniture. This school is stuck in the past. Continued instances of racism, prejudice, discrimination and more. Highly regarded women have been denied tenure without cause. Most young faculty leave after one year. The student press was shut down after inquiring about the lack of accountability for on-campus sexual assaults. Admin actively rallies against any vocal, outspoken or otherwise Democrat-leaning professors. See recent articles about two history professors and their experience. The highlight of this campus for students is the Chick-fil-A which is widely known to be controversial business anyway. If you are a women, single, or a minority of any type you will struggle to belong here. It is worth commuting from Shreveport like I did just to have access to basic necessities and to feel like you are leaving this place every day. Avoid at all costs.
2016: The interview process was terrible. Many of the Department members I met made jokes about their students (faculty complained about the 3/3 teaching load and clearly despised their students). Two of the participating faculty were rude and hostile during the interview, but nobody on the 6-person committee thought to stamp out the agression. There was some kind of weird gendered division during the lunch. All in all, I left with the impression that this is indeed an awful place to work.
Also - if you are moving to Macon, GA from someplace outside of the area - it is an extremely difficult transition. If you are not from the "south" don't even think of it. [May 2013]
They also have no tenure system.
- First, I did receive an offer, so this post is only to caution others (not about sour grapes).
- Second, this post is not targeted toward the Department, as they seem quite nice and productive.
- There was a complication to my application, in that I was already tenured elsewhere in applying for the TT Assistant position.
- I interviewed back in December and thought things went fairly well during the interview. When meeting with the Dean, he indicated (without any prompting) that not only was an Associate position a possibility for me but one with tenure (this was exciting, as I did not have high hopes for this).
- Without hearing anything for over a month, I figured I was not their first choice. However, the Chairperson contacted me a little while later and indicated that the time lapse was due to administrative decision-making (trying to avoid a lot of details here so as to not cause anyone undue problems in the Department).
- Another couple of weeks went by and some more dragging out. The Chairperson indicated that an offer was imminent (another several days went by). Then, the Chairperson notified me that the Provost was requiring that my references be called (one was already from my current institution) and that an additional person in my current Department be called to check the seriousness of my application. I did not want to burn bridges at my current institution, but I was serious about the position, so I provided an additional reference.
- After this hurdle had been passed, finally an offer came through with pressure to make a decision within 4 days. The offer was fairly insulting after all of the talk. Given the bad feelings of the process and the pressure to make such a quick decision, I decided to not chance it.
- The administration, from the Dean to the Provost, seem quite backwards and do not seem to consider the needs of the Departments or the students. For them, it seems like it is all about the bottom line (which is not in and of itself a problem). I worry that taking a position there (with the current administration) would be a struggle to get any support to do good work (it was indicated to me that the Dean was outgoing and that the Provost was older, so this may change in a few years).
- As insult to injury, I did not get reimbursed all of the expenses for the trip. However, this did not surprise me given the previous process. [posted February 2015]
Nevada State College
- As an addendum to the above post: They finally got around to posting something on their HR page about not sponsoring work visas..... then hired a faculty member who needed a work visa and granted it. While this is great for the faculty member in particular, how can you deny candidates so much as an interview because of your HR policy and then break your own rules? This information is publicly available. Total joke of a college. AVOID.
While it seems that the university leadership is aware of the specific things that need to be done to make improvements, they lack the operational procedures--particularly at the departmental level--to make real changes.As one who has run the gauntlet, I recommend avoiding this place.
Although their contract specifically says that paychecks are cut biweekly, payment (if it comes at all) in my experience is remitted randomly. The last course I taught for them, I had to beg to be paid, even though I did them a favor by taking on the class at the last minute. I received part of my check 7 weeks into an 8 week course. I am still owed money, which I probably will never see. Avoid this "university" if you expect to get paid. They are dishonest. I will never teach for them again.Problems at Ottawa go much deeper than that. Faculty is jumping ship. President and upper administration are wholly unqualified to run an academic institution (But they will make sure they get paid twice what the regional norms are for like institutions). Financials do not look good. Firing career staff a year before retirement. Avoid this place at all costs.
Pacific Lutheran University (Washington)
I interviewed with this university, and the first question that the committee asked me was "We are seeking to increase diversity by including more people of color. How would you fit within our mission?" Mind you, I already knew that they had a visiting faculty member from West Africa whose research fit the job description exactly, and I suspected hat this was a fake search. I am part Latina, so obviously the committee could not tell if I fit within their requirement of hiring a "person of color." When I did not state my race and instead focused on my teaching and research creditials, it was quite clear that the interview was over. I received a very specific rejection email from the chair a few days later documenting that they had asked a different first question (which was a lie) and that I did not answer it. She also went on to say that I did not mention anything about collaboration (although they never asked me a quetion about collaboration). It seems that the committee was covering their tracks. Increasing diversity should not involve interrogating someone as to exactly what race he or she is.
Palm Beach Atlantic University
...I second that emotion! Different department but same Provost. My interview with the Provost began with him asking "If it were a crime to be a Christian, what evidence would there be to convict me?" Wow. Silly me, I thought he might want to talk about my research. After I blew that question, he talked about a workshop in faith that he gave to the faculty and thought I could benefit from hearing a bit of it. Then he asked if he could pray over me. You read that right: Pray OVER me, not with me or for me. What's a nice Jewish kid from Philly supposed to do?
Chairs are all appointed hires at Pratt, which inevitably creates a position of administrator rather than representative of the faculty. In this case, it appears that a brand new chair had complete control over the process on his first hire at the school. This bodes very poorly for overall governance and faculty support. Many Art schools are an administrative mess but this was beyond anything I have seen, and I have worked at several of Pratt's competitors.
- Decisions about faculty appointments often seem to be made on a whim, and personal connections may matter more than your academic track record. If you apply, don't expect transparent or fair treatment.
- Adjuncts will be appointed on renewable one-year contracts. The problem is that these contracts will often be renewed at the very last minute, a week or two before they are due to expire. The department has a track record of arbitrary dismissals, and you may find yourself without a job a couple of weeks before the semester starts, with hardly any chance to find another job on short notice. By "arbitrary dismissals", I literally mean the personal sympathies and whims of the tenure-track faculty who call the shots. Again, qualifications and achievements don't matter here; qualified ESL teachers have found themselves dismissed on a whim and replaced with much less suitable candidates. There is no job security to be had for adjuncts here.
- Adjunts will face strong pressure through teaching evaluations. If you teach here, you are supposed to score at least a 4.5 (out of 5) in the teaching evaluations for all your classes. Otherwise, your contract may not be renewed. As classes are small, a couple of disgruntled students are enough to spoil your evaluations and endanger your job. All this causes a lot of stress and turns teaching into a popularity contest.
- There is no planning and proper organisation in the department. Most of the tenure-track faculty hail from non-academic backgrounds and lack a clear understanding of issues such as curriculum development. The department does not have a proper curriculum, and academic standards are generally low, in spite of a lot of vocal claims to the contrary.
- The working climate is very (!!!) poisonous. There are major conflicts among tenure-track faculty, leading to regular confrontations and showdowns in department meetings. Adjuncts are ignored by tenure-track faculty and treated with contempt by administrative staff. (Strong words, but I am not exaggerating.) The department administrator may for instance refuse to place the book orders for your classes or block your work in other ways. This is not a happy place.
2016-17 Similar experience, though with a different department. Five emails over the course of six weeks and even a phone call regarding entirely reasonable reimbursements (did they expect me to sprout wings and fly from the airport to campus?), all disregarded and by faculty and staff both.
- It is called the College of Business and Management (CBM) but it should be called Mismanagement
- This is an odd and incredibly dysfunctional University. It operates more like a High School
- All tenured faculty appear to be members of the original faculty when it was a community college in the 1960's. Most are in their 80's -- which is okay unless you are looking for friends to play golf or tennis.
- They are constantly recruiting new faculty. The turnover rate is incredible. They put you on the "tenure track", but apparently the track is a big wheel-- kind of like what guinea pigs run on. No one gets tenure. Most gladly leave before they have to apply. Those that apply get denied. I guess that is how they keep their costs down. Keeping the quality of the faculty down does not appear to be a concern. Actually, looking at class schedules over the last 2 years I noted that the majority of classes are taught by adjuncts for a few hundred dollars per course.
- Students are disgruntled. They have increased the student body enormously over the last few years but have not increased the number of class or section offerings so students cannot finish their degrees in 4 years. Many required classes are offered but then cancelled before they begin.
- "They have increased the student body enormously over the last few years but have not increased the number of class or section offerings so students cannot finish their degrees in 4 years." This is simply untrue. Current enrollment is under 10k students, which is actually lower than it has been. Current enrollment is about the same as it was several years back. Where are you getting your information?
- No culture and no major league sports unless you want to drive 2.5 hours each way.
- Horrible place. Take that job at McDonalds and wait for an offer from a real academic institution.
- [Different poster from above]. I caught a similar vibe when I interviewed there a few years ago in a different part of the university. The faculty I interacted with were professional for the most part (and definitely not in their 80s), but they didn't seem to have a good sense of what they were looking for or a coherent explanation of where the university was headed. The provost lectured me for 5 minutes on why they were not a research-intensive institution.
- [Yet another poster] My campus interview was poorly handled by young and inexperienced faculty, left to flounder because senior dept members were clearly just marking time to retirement. The SCC had never been on an SC before and broke all kinds of HR rules, even gave me a rundown of the other candidates' performance and everyone's rankings at different points in the interview process! This was topped off by a job offer and negotiation that were bungled when the dept chair and SC gave conflicting advice, and the administration behaved in a weirdly paranoid manner when they found out I had other offers. The provost likes to play hardball with job offers, and outright said at the interview he'll just rescind one if a candidate asks for more than a week or time to finish interviews. My read was that they're so afraid of a failed search, they'll take any candidate who's a sure thing rather than give a top candidate time to negotiate and make a considered decision. Because they're convinced no candidate would pick them over anyone else, they see any negotiation as stalling tactics or gaming the system to increase 'the offer the candidate is going to take in the end'. Overall impression: last resort only. A bare nudge up from a community college in terms of teaching load, quality of students and any kind of research life. For the record: this is not sour grapes. I accepted a better offer and am happy there. But candidates dealing with SVSU as their only offer should be aware how weird the administrators are when it comes to negotiating.
- [New Post Feb 2016] A few years ago they rescinded their offer to me when I tried to negotiate for a little travel money. It was a total nightmare, and they were very unprofessional about it - suddenly no one would take my phone calls or answer emails. The search committee and department head that had assured me negotiating for small things was fine. But when I asked, the dean's response was to rescind the offer. Looks like the search failed in the end, so maybe more was going on than I knew. Still, BEWARE if you get an offer from here.
[New Post February 2014]. Interviewed at SVSU last year. As previous posters note, there is a strange 'vibe' there. Not a scholarly place. It is like a community college. They list faculty publications online and they average less than one paper per year per faculty. And most of those publications are in journals you have never heard of. There is a certain small town culture -- but not in a good way. I looked back at the faculty roster for the past few years and the turnover was incredible. New faculty do not seem to stay more than 2 or 3 years. That is a bad sign.[New Post March 2014] While a campus visit here sounds unpleasant, there are teaching schools where facuty do 4/4 or 5/5 loads, and perhaps one conference or paper a year. I hope that is not a mark against a university.
More background: This was for a biological psychology position that emphasizes teaching but was also to include research involving undergraduate students. During the first conversation about the offer Tues., the Dean was caught off guard when I asked about research support, which he thought would be satisfied by an office with a computer. When I explained that I was inquiring about equipment and supplies that would make my research possible, he said he would need to find out and discuss it with others. The next day, I got a brief e-mail from the Dean stating "...regarding your question about research support[:] We do not have a standard research package that we offer and support depends on the research area and funding available. Every new faculty member is issued a computer...[and the travel support is...etc.]" In my next conversation, the Chair seemed to think the Dean as an interim dean may have been unfamiliar with "start-up" vocabulary and budget, apologized for communication problems with the administration (the VPAA had told me all research facilities in a new life science building would be general use with Biology, when in fact the Chair had planned with architects for dedicated spaces like an observation room) and said the research support was negotiable. She told me to send the VPAA an itemized list of my request for research support. She couldn't offer a ballpark figure. She said someone in the administration would go through my list to ensure I was not asking for "the best of the best". The VPAA didn't respond to my phone messages. Thursday afternoon I e-mailed the VPAA a research request list that came to the smallest total I've heard of anyone being offered for this type of position at an SLAC in recent times, and indicated the most essential equipment. I never received a reply or any acknowledgement of the email. On Friday the Dean e-mailed rescinding the verbal offer. He had also accelerated the deadline to Monday based on the "strong applicant pool", even though in our first phone conversation he had agreed to a week for a decision deadline after HR would receive details for a written contract. If you consider a position here, I recommend that you anticipate being rushed and being screened based on your ability to guess an upper limit of research support that even the department and search committee may be unaware of.
- I also had a similar experience interviewing at Sam Houston in 2013 (I believe for the same position). While many of the professors were nice and inviting, some of the comments that certain members of the committee made were entirely innapropriate and, technically, not in line with the ethics of a job search. I was also told point-blank that this was an inside hire (although I had come to that conclusion on my own) and some professors continued to reveal specific details about the politics behind this search---and the politics were not pleasant. I was never able to get an informative response on questions I asked about my teaching demonstration/research talk and, in fact, was told to do something entirely different than what they had originally asked for the night before my interview. I spent all night rearranging my presentations and for little good because during my teaching demonstration, there were professors in the back of the classroom snickering and checking their phones constantly. Don't get me wrong: the department chair and search committee head were wonderful and many of the professors were very nice. Also, the job itself would have been great (as far as reasearch money and teaching load goes), but the department seemed problematic and Huntsville did not appear to be a very promising area to live (in fact, the professors drove me to a popular town that most professors lived in---about 45 minutes away from the college!). I wouldn't say to write off Sam Houston, but rather proceed with caution. The entire search was just unprofessional and odd.
One of the prospective faculty members used the n-word, and later made a casual rape analogy/joke. The director responded to this by saying that he did not want the center to be a space for "political correctness," and wouldn't condemn what had happened. (Perhaps related: the search committee was 10 white men.) [posted 2018]
I'll add to the above true story that existing faculty had next to no input into candidate selection. The Director has his primary posting at a far-right management cult in Moscow called Skolkovo Management University -- said by Garry Kasparov to be a money-laundering front -- and he and his Skolkovo cronies decide on who gets hired. SAS is managed according to Skolkovo principles and is not about collaboration as they would have you believe. It's a right-wing collectivist autocracy. The first faculty cohort were lured there with promises of three year contracts at European salary levels, but the contracts conveniently kept getting delayed until after they had moved to Russia. It turned out around 80% of the salary was made up of performance bonuses but having already moved there they allowed themselves to believe this was a Russian legal formality they didn't need to worry about, and signed the contracts. After two years four of them had had their salaries reduced to subsistence level and everyone who could had moved to other jobs. The remainder are in a state of near insurrection. Meanwhile new faculty have been drafted in and flattered into thinking they're there to fix the problems created by the first cohort. As they realise the truth a new recruitment cycle is already underway, and so it continues. They're all made to do research according to a crackpot multidisciplinary formula that has no track record of ever working anywhere, and to do it in an impossible timeframe, and the halfbaked results are then used as kompromat: if you complain they threaten to ruin your reputation by making your damning peer reviews public on their website. In fact the only people who survive the annual peer review do so by a combination of flattering the Director and then ignoring his rules and working in their disciplines, then spinning it as interdisciplinary work, a stratagem the Director has had to go along with to keep getting his federal grant. He's getting wealthy on the latter while treating his western faculty like serfs. He's able to count on the fact that there's always been a critical mass of faculty who are too new or too cowardly to take part in strike action, and so he's able to divide and rule them. Maintaining a constant state of crisis is an intrinsic part of the management ideology behind the school, something he doesn't tell you at recruitment. Avoid this outfit like the plague. What Peter Pomerantsev said about this pervasively corrupt country is preeminently true of SAS: nothing is true and everything is possible.
Sewanee:"University of the South"
This post is a warning for persons of color who will have the misfortune of being short-listed for jobs at this department and this college. This college and the department will be a waste of your time. The English department at Sewanee has not hired a person of color for nearly 150 years. Such is the case with the majority of the liberal arts programs. This is a racist department and a racist school. (You might also run in to a few locals working at that Inn and might experience racism from them too. One of the people working at the Inn deliberately gave me wrong information to cause me delay for a meeting.) The only reason you will be short-listed here is so that they can fill the EEOC form. Even if your research and teaching are way superior to the next white guy in line, you will NOT be hired. White privilege here runs deeper than that valley surrounding the school. If you are short-listed here be warned that you will not be hired. Either use the experience to learn how campus visits happen or simply do not bother to apply at all to this school. In either case, run as fast as you can from here. This is not a place where critical thinking happens. [posted June 2015]
Sewanee's discourse on diversity is laughable. After speaking with many employees, I realized that there are some isolated efforts led by a few facutly members to improve things for the school. However, the University of the South does NOT have any policies in place (or intention to implement any) to support faculty of color, international, and/or members of the LGBTQI community. I agree with the previous post that white priviledge runs deep here. The institutional racism is evident in the demographics of the school (more than 93% white) and the retention rate of diversity hires. Be aware of this place. [posted June 2018]
Faculty morale at an all time low. Tenure process is broken. Junior faculty scrambling to find other positions. [June 2019]
Sewanee is no longer a sinking ship. The ship has sunk. Former VC tried to turn the university into the "Aspen of the South", completely gutted morale by increasing admin positions by 25% during the pandemic while suspending retirement contributions for faculty. No one remaining in the upper administration is concerned about the quality of education. Sewanee is still in a hiring freeze from the pandemic. 20% of classes are taught by adjuncts. Faculty can't afford houses in Sewanee and either commute an hour each way or quit. 18 faculty/staff in university-owned houses were told to vacate with 30 days notice, including faculty of color, despite the area outside Sewanee being not welcoming to POC. Students can't get the classes they need to graduate on time. Acting admins wont do anything. Professors getting refused tenure for political reasons. If you have offers anywhere else, take them.From the student newspaper:https://thesewaneepurple.org/2022/04/11/faculty-address-hiring-crisis/https://thesewaneepurple.org/2022/04/25/hiring-freeze-causes-crisis-in-psychology-department/https://thesewaneepurple.org/2022/06/04/student-leaders-demand-administration-accommodate-academic-staffing-needs/
I had the exact same experience as above- so much so I assume it was the same search. The position ended up going to an inside hire; maybe the chair was just going through the motions.
I had two interviews and during both the phone and on-campus interview there was no interest in asking me anything other than stock questions. I was shocked to be invited to an on-campus interview after the very bland phone interview. During the on-campus interview, my interaction with the other faculty was very limited and during an hour with the department chair she spoke only of her own journey to SEMO and then described the position leaving no time for me to ask questions or to ask me any questions. Very odd. This was also for a lecturer position and they twice asked me about my resaerch plans in the second committee interview (which lasted only 15 minutes), which was made odd by the fact that in the first round interview they made very clear that there would be no focus on my research as this was a teaching only position. When I met with the Dean, he started with, "what questions do you have for me," which I also found extremely off-putting. (2019)
- It sucks that you had such a bad experience! However, this experience doesn't reflect poorly on the college (and thus maybe should be moved to the "Venting" page instead). For what it's worth, the OP's experience reflects standard procedure for CCs (and is even generous as far as CCs go). Many if not most have two on-campus interviews in the hiring process. The first-round on-campus interview, which is what the OP seems to have had, is usually with faculty and most often includes a teaching demo (generally 10-12 candidates). The finalist-round on-campus interview is with admin (2-4 candidates). The vast majority of CCs pay nothing for travel expenses no matter how far a candidate travels. Frustrating, but true. That this visit wasn't preceded by another type of interview (Skype, phone, etc) was a tip-off that the candidate pool was going to be larger than in the finalist round--and I'm surprised it wasn't larger--so keep that in mind when applying to CCs.
The administration is downright hostile towards faculty, who are routinely ordered not to flunk students who are caught cheating/plagiarizing (we're supposed to give them a chance to redo it). They also do not enforce their own code of conduct...students can and do get away with behaving any way they want towards faculty. The administration does not enforce any sort of academic integrity or conduct expectations. Faculty are also subject to regular harasssment by (typically under/unqualified) staffers who send rude, condescending, and frequently downright libelous emails. Any time a student has a complaint, no matter how dubious, the faculty are instantly accused and their job threatened, even if it would have taken 20 seconds of research on the administrator's part to discredit the claims. (Such as reading the syllabus!)Grades are also a joke. If a student complains, you will receive an email from the administration ordering you to change it, even if you followed their rubrics.They demand that their adjunct faculty participate (unpaid, of course) in endless online workshops designed to reinforce that the students are "customers." Be prepared to spend several hours a month, with little-to-no notice, on these poorly-taught customer service training courses and redundant Blackboard trainings. If you decline to participate, you are deactivated. The administration (most of whom have dubious online terminal master's degrees and no actual scholarly credentials) are rude and unprofessional. I had a dean who demanded to sit in om my class and then spent the entire class loudly texting and playing on Facebook, to the extent she was disrupting not only me, but my students couldn't concentrate. Unsurprisingly, the worst offenders are all SNHU alums. [posted May 2013](Oct 2015) I agree with the above post. Things have not gotten better: I taught at SNHU for one quarter. That is all it took to convince me that it is a For-Profit hiding behind the 'Not-for-profit' marketing (they are trying to imply that they are not a tuition seeking degree mill). Guys, they are a degree mill and here is why. Professors are hounded weekly via email from the Dean and the Lead to 'forgive late penalties' to 'help student success' (read, make sure they pass the class or you won't get hired for next term),to allow 'resubmissions of crappy work for a higher grade' and if the student fails the class he/she can always submit a grade appeal and get either tuition forgiveness and a chance to redo the class for basically free or a passing grade. If they submit an email to the Dean and complain about a 'mean' professor they'll get the AVIS treatment of 'of course that professor was a meanie for pointing out that you can't write at the 10th grade level, how dare he, here is your money back, so sorry for inconveniencing you with such a curmudgeon'. The professor then gets a full investigation taking up hours of his time and if he is desperate for money he will never ever give a student less than a B- and if he is financially OK he runs away. So the people left teaching for SNHU are financially desperate adjuncts with no other options. Do you really want prof. desperate grading your work? Grade is all they want to do since they get paid 2500 for a 10 week class of 30 students. Do the math - that is 8.30 per student/week. Less than working for McDonalds in most states. Instructors have to send out a weekly email where the profs. are 'reaching out' to students because of their crappy grades and it's not because they care, they are required to write these emails. It is CYA for the school in case the student complains later that 'I didn't know I was failing so give me my money back' as well as an opportunity to offer the student an out of their self-inflicted failure by allowing for submission of work without late penalties. If they pass the class, they'll pay tuition for the next class.. If a certain number of students fail your class even though you are using the ridiculously easy grading rubrics (you literally have to submit nothing for 10 weeks to fail) you get an email and then a phone call from the dean. Who has time to listen to that? So profs. try super hard to not fail anybody - if all are passing – for the prof. that means no weekly outreach emails they have to send, no annoying calls from the micromanaging administration and oh boy, more classes to teach in upcoming quarters. Upcoming attractions - you will be required to reply to all initial discussion board posts starting 2016. If you have 30-33 students you are going to have to come up with 30 replies to insipid posts, grade 33 DB posts and one other assignment (short paper, drafts of the final paper) all for 8 bucks per student per week. RUN AWAY! Also, students feel free to copy/paste most of their papers, SNHU's plagiarism policy is only for the auditors, it does not apply to the students.[Summer 2017] I had a very telling phone interview with SNHU for an administrative position. The Dean spent a majority of the 30 minute call defensively clarifying details that could have been included in the job posting. While there were 9 people on the call, almost no one spoke or could tell me what they liked about working there. They also continually referenced how "different" their school was and how it was nothing like any other school. I wasn't entirely sure what they meant. I can only imagine this might have been their attempt to reference their for-profit school hiding as a not-for-profit model as the previous poster noted. The clencher was when they contacted me afterwards and the Dean misspelled the name of the institution. Avoid at all costs.
I'll also add that this is a small, rural town in upstate New York, which I obviously knew from my pre-application research, but I don't think I was prepared for *how* small or rural. I personally experienced identity-based street harassment while walking "downtown" (one street, three blocks) immediately following my campus interview. Candidates seeking to live in a place where various forms of diversity are affirmed and valued (or even apparently present) should look elsewhere. And I'll say again that everyone I met and interacted with in the department was perfectly nice and pleasant, so at the end of the day, the issues I experienced were really with poor travel coordination and unsuitable location (for me). For a candidate interested in a position at a teaching university in a small, rural environment and who has the benefit of having extra money to spend for up-front travel costs, this could be a fine place to work.I did receive a reimbursement check (about 1.5 months after my campus interview). I did not receive an offer, apparently, as the wiki has been updated to reflect that both positions have been filled. I've had no communication with the search committee chair after my campus visit.
I think one major fact about this university that you don't realize is an issue coming in, but becomes more of an issue the longer you are there, is that a huge majority of the employees are alumni. It has created an environment where you are not allowed to openly voice concerns or genuinely constructive criticism. There just seems to be an attitude that everything about Taylor is wonderful, and if you might feel differently, then you are not "Taylor Quality", or in other words, you are just not ever going anyplace here. Many people working in offices, as assistants, and in other roles are spouses or children of the current faculty and administration, as well. Nepotism rules. This also happens because there are no opportunities for those folks to work elsewhere. The town is very small, in a very economically depressed region, surrounded by agricultural areas. In addition, the pay rate is very very low, which is why so many faculty wives have jobs. Making it on the salary they offer is a real challenge. The faculty handbook is a joke. They promise regular (and economically necessary) pay increases, but those are dependent on approval from a committee. And they just might not approve them. Which means your pay may start at $40K (I am not joking) and the next year it might be $40,500. Maybe. The folks who live here are generally here because either 1. they weren't able to get a job elsewhere 2. they are alums and there is no other place on earth as perfect and wonderful as Taylor University 3. they bought the idea that living in such a small town is perfect and wonderful and ideal and they wanted that dream - and it is just that - a dream - because the reality is that Upland is like being on an island covered with Taylor University Alums and no way out. In all of this, the university itself has little committment to their people. The University will arbitrarily close departments and leave folks they have brought in with no opportunities for hire (and they don't help them find jobs), nobody to buy their homes (a mistake many people make moving to the area is to purchase a home here - there is no selling of homes), and no hope for the future. The area is littered with people who "used to work at Taylor", until their department was shut down or their position was discontinued. Some folks get lucky and get hired at IWU (a 30 minute drive away) or Ball State, but most end up struggling to make it and end up having to take any job they can(painting houses, waitressing, gas station work, hair cutting, blue collar work, etc) just to keep food on the table. The interpersonal issues here are unbelieveable - never before have I seen such unprofessional behavior between academics. Professors backstab each other, set each other up and then use "gotcha" tactics (especially in front of students), and it seems that a lack of leadership is rampant among the department heads - leaving the strongest or most willful personality to drive and control the group - so passive aggressiveness is a familiar trait among faculty. There is a persona of "good christian behavior" which means everyone will be nice to your face, but will go behind your back to get what they want, even using students as excuses for their bad behaviour. And everything about this university is for the students - all of your time, all of your extra time, weekends, any extra time you have. You are expected to perform backbends in your life for students - giving multiple opportunities for them to hand homework in, extendend deadlines, and pass students who are inadequate performers. I would recommend anybody who considers taking a position here get the contact information for previous professors (who have managed to get out) and ask them clear and specific questions about how the groups really function (or how dysfunctional they are). Ask directly about each person you will be working with, and get a clear picture of those people and how they work. You will be stuck with them while you are working at Taylor, and lucky to get hired anyplace after, if you do manage to get an offer after this. Remember, those people will be your job references. Pay particular attention to groups that have heavy turnover (especially in the sciences & physics/engineering). These departments have had a steady stream of quality hires that they have been unable to hold onto. There is a reason for that. Also - talk to the people in the town about living in Upland. I would recommend stopping at the post office, the bank, and the grocery store. Ask them what they think, honestly, about Taylor and the people there. Don't let the "niceness" of the folks at Taylor dupe you into a position that really is a dead end black hole. Be very wary and be sure this is where you want to stay for a long time, even if you end up not working at Taylor (remember - you are a disposable commodity). And be careful when they tell you to "walk by faith and not by sight" - what they mean by that is keeping your eyes closed about the problems here is the only way you can survive. [posted April 2014]
- (Posted February 2020) All of the original poster's notes about Taylor University ring true. Run fast and hard away.
[Updating April 2014]: I am not the same writer as the person(s?) who wrote the previous blurb, but I can confirm the above statements. I can also report that a year later, the departmental climate here remains strained and dysfunctional. It is a challenging place to navigate as a woman, person of color, or vulnerable-status department member (think: junior faculty, staff, graduate students). The department-level Diversity Committee which was formed to address the issues the last poster(s) mentioned? It never meets. (This is not hyperbole. I mean that the committee literally has not been meeting.) Finding people who are willing to serve on it has also been a problem.[Updating April 2019] I am not the same writer as either above post, but can confirm that this is a college-university wide issue. There's been a mass exodus of POC (most visibly Tommy Curry) this year and reports of physical violence and abuse by department heads towards junior faculty and graduate students in at least two separate departments under the current dean.
They will woo you with a location on an island, close to the beach, and beautiful scenery and weather, but do not be fooled, Corpus Christi is a small town that does not support the University. The University has seen a major change in leadership over the past six months with a new Provost, Interim CLA Dean, Interim CLA Associate Dean, and within the past year a new Department of Art Chair.Why I suggest to avoid this university and department. The university lacks a since of identity and tradition. It seems to escape the leadership, but the students are well aware of the lack of identity. Turn over of faculty—retirements, resignations, non-renewals—have been staggering in the three years I have spent at this school.My own experience justifies caution in pursuing a position within the Department of Art. As TT faculty I was guided through training and orientation during my first year and half. Completed adequate service and had average reviews from student reviews (note: at no point did I receive a rating of "poor" during my annual review in any of the outlined areas). Promotion and Tenure requirements are a moving target campus wide, however the Art Department has never voted to accept any guidelines for their junior faculty. Furthermore contradiction runs rampant within the department on what can and can not be counted towards your 3/6 reviews.Onto June 2015, received a request to discuss personnel matters with my chair. Was given the "your contract will not be renewed". Mind you at this time I had not received my 3-year review, had not been asked to defend myself against any allegations that led to this decision, and had just received a annual review that listed my progress as "standard". When asked, the department chair refused to expand on the reason of my termination, offered no guidance, and asked to make this situation as easy as possible for them.The entire process was completely unprofessional as I was refused the opportunity to improve. After this meeting I discovered that the chair's treatment of faculty was not reserved to myself that other faculty members had issues with the our new "leader" and their handling of departmental matters.If you thrive in a dictatorial department within an environment that does not accept different opinions and forces the hand of all the professors, then this department is for you. But please air on the side of caution, do your research, understand who you will be working for both within the department and the university as a whole.
- Copenhagen seems to have a problem with some of its humanities departments. My experience (dating to roughly the same time as the above) involved the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies. I was hired on a temporary contract to cover project research leave for a full professor who had allegedly taken the leave after falling out with the project director (also a full professor), and I was offered the job without even being interviewed because they were desperate to fill the position at short notice; I wasn't comfortable with that scenario, but cautiously accepted the offer. A few months later, the faculty member on research leave decided to cut his leave short. My contract therefore wasn't renewed after the initial 3 months even though the job advert had specifically stated that the position offered the opportunity of several years' involvement after the initial contract term; the reason given was a 10% cut in external commercial funding. They had every right not to renew my initial short-term contract, but many aspects of the situation weren't handled well. Several members of the team I was managing had wished me luck when I started because I'd been given 'an impossible job', and other colleagues had warned me in advance of the difficult internal feuding - so at least I'd been forewarned.
- Weak (or non-existent) leadership: their default setting is to play it safe. There is an irrational fear of conflict (productive ideological conflict) and a ludicrous desire to preserve artificial harmony. The blind leading the blind. Being politically correct (or doing what is easy) does not solve problems. It exacerbates them. You can’t be all things to all people
- Lots of talk about values but not enough action.
- Total lack of clarity around a vision (non-existent) and mission
- False consensus and lack of integrity: people agree to what’s been said in meetings, but when it’s time to take action, nothing happens, or even worse something different to what was agreed upon is done
- Meetings are stifling and ineffective
- Lack of focus and attention to detail. Scattered
- Poor communication
- No departmental cohesion
- Gossiping. Trust is shattered
- Backbiting and backstabbing. Petty, spiteful, whining, and childish behavior
- People do the bare minimum and interpret the few regulations and policies that are actually in place in whatever way suits them best
- The pursuit of individual goals erodes the focus on collective success
- Change is met with defensiveness. The pervasive ingrained cultural cues that are the direct result of decades of stale and stagnant DNA lead to resistance of "the other" and new ideas and innovation --resistance that often has very little to do with the actual worth of validity of the innovation itself
- Unfriendliness and hostility
- Lack of common courtesy and professionalism
- Tribalism: (riddled with passive-aggressive cliques) these disruptive groups are what make this place a joke. People are constantly testing the patience of the authority. There is a “philosophy” of self-governance that backfires constantly. The choice of “governing” groups revolves around this tribalism, which leads to underrepresent many others and pit people against each other. It’s chaotic!
- Excessive teaching load
- Grade inflation is rampant. Students? Highly abnormal cases of academic dishonesty. You do the math.
- Salary? Abysmal. Annual “merit” increases? Insulting.
- Job ads are vague. Make sure you ask all the right questions and brace yourself for what lies ahead should you decide to pursue a position in this place.
- Upper administration is reluctant to intervene in any of the aforementioned problems. The reputational damage of this place is beyond repair. Run..., run for your life!
- I was expected to be on the main campus at least once a month if not more often for faculty meetings, seminars etc. There would be no effort for faculty to visit the satellite campus, set up Skype meetings etc. Also, I would not be given office space or even a desk on the main campus. So basically I would be expected to work on a laptop sitting on the floor in the hallway or in the library. This is made more complicated by the fact that my students would have been on the main campus so advising would be very difficult.
- You know that feeling when couples are being so over the top nice that you can tell they just had a massive fight or they're always on the verge of breaking up? Yeah, that's how this place felt. Picture Michael and Jan in the 'Dinner Party' episode of the Office. It felt like there was a ticking time bomb. Folks at each campus were talking smack about each other. It was obviously a drama filled dept.
- Talk about an inappropriate interview! I was asked whether I was married, if we had kids....all kinds of stuff. At one point a couple faculty were taking me on a driving tour of town and said, as he's pointing out the car window, "we tell people to move to this side of town because the other side of town is a bit.....colorful". That right there is really what did it for me.
- I did get the offer and it was for a lot of money but I just couldn't do it. I never thought in my life I would turn down the amount of money they offered me. Afterwards, several people told me that they were happy I said no and that I would have walked into something bad.
University of Iowa
- I'm glad the above poster commented on this, so I will add my experience as well. I was hired into the DWLLC recently (am no longer there now) and it was an absolute nightmare of destructive politics and a hostile administration. All very sad b/c I think Iowa used to be a good place to start a career (I joined the university with that belief and knew lots of older faculty who had fond memories of the uni). Great faculty, but the admin was toxic, and in certain circumstances I would advise better no job at all than a job here. These comments only apply to DWLLC & Comp Lit.
- I will third the call to stay away from University of Iowa's Division of World Languages (and the university in general). The administration rewards certain units for their loyalty and punishes others for not being compliant enough, so if you take a job there, get used to having a brown nose or to being bullied. I have heard rumors that positions have even been created for administrators' family members. As the poster above has noted, the administration is hostile, and they have destroyed strong humanites programs. As for the Division itself, it seems to lack a clear vision and strong leadership. In the Division and the university in general, there is a lack of transparency, rampant nepotism, and a lack of mentoring (and for lousy pay at that).
1. In terminating the appointments of sixty of the 250 full-time faculty members and eliminating, reducing, or consolidating numerous academic programs, allegedly on financial grounds, the administration of the University of Southern Maine acted in flagrant violation of the joint 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure and its requirement that when terminations are attributed to financial exigency, that condition must be demonstrably bona fide.2. The administration’s actions disregarded the major provisions of Regulations 4c (Financial Exigency) and 4d (Discontinuance of Program or Department for Educational Reasons) of the Association’s derivative Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure, with the sole exception of the provision on severance salary, where the collective bargaining agreement required that tenured faculty members notified of retrenchment continue to be paid for a year and a half.3. The administration also acted in brazen disregard of key provisions of the Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities, despite reference to this fundamental document in the preambles to the governance constitution of USM. Moreover, the bylaws of the senate state that "the administrative officers of the university should consult with the faculty and rely on advice and assistance from the faculty in the performance of their administrative responsibilities, particularly where administrative officers are called upon to make decisions bearing directly on the central academic functions of the faculty." In its pattern of confining its communications with the faculty on programmatic matters to announcement of accomplished fact, the administration has ignored not only AAUP-supported governance standards but also its own published statements. The program closures at USM are not merely matters of bookkeeping; they impinge on matters of curriculum and instruction, for which the faculty should always have primary responsibility. The administration’s ignoring the faculty senate, repeatedly and apparently deliberately, is at odds with generally accepted norms of academic governance in American higher education.These conclusions were followed by a 50-page financial analysis of the University of Maine System, which found that the system is in "robust financial shape" with no need to fire faculty. On the basis of this investigative report and the financial appendix, the AAUP voted to censure the University of Southern Maine. One other tidbit: administrators pushed through a devastating change---emeritus status can now be REVOKED if administrators decide that a faculty member has been critical of the university or adminstrators (and being critical of stupid decisions is what we RELY on emeriti professors to do!). Now the University of Maine campuses, including the flagship in Orono, are having failed searches left and right. Candidates know that the administrators there will ignore tenure and fire faculty who dare to question administrative policies and initiatives.
University of Maryland Global Campus
(formerly University of Maryland University College)
Yes, UMUC is a diploma mill. No, it’s not just that they advertise on the sides of buses or they go out of their way reassure you they’re accredited (look at the tab on their webpage). For students, UMUC is a bait-and-switch because educational quality has declined so far so fast. The reason is that you have admin, many of whom lack PhDs or have questionable academic experience, who claim a lot of power over the curriculum. We in Asia can go down the organizational chart and find only two people between us and the president who have doctorates, and both of them were recruited from for-profits. UMUC is a big administrative shitshow, and that’s why morale is so low. Examples: The Enhanced Learning Model (ELM) mentioned above resulted in a lot of student and faculty anger, so admin did a half-assed rebrand: now ELM is “Enhancing the Learning Model.” New and improved! Aside from being a reason to keep lots of staff and administrators busy, ELM turns all UMUC courses into canned content to be delivered by “unbundled” professors. If you don’t like something, there is a survey at the end you can fill out. Another problem: As said above, we a university where you can't use books. Instead we use open educational resources, aka OER. But many of the online materials we have to use instead of real books are crap. Someone either pulled them from a Google search or they were written by people who may or may not have a background in the field. A person with a terminal masters in a completely different subject put together the materials I am forced to use. Admin denies that ELM is causing a decline in the quality of education at UMUC, but they apparently think it’s enough of a problem to have an academic quality committee. Another problem: we are 95% adjunct, and admin makes up reasons why it's okay to pay them exploitative wages. The full-timers in the overseas divisions only get one-year contracts for up to four years. The president’s stated rationale is that faculty can’t stay around for too long, because that causes scheduling and enrollment problems. Besides being not true, it was tantamount to blaming leadership problems on us. If you dare criticize, admin gaslights you by telling you “we’re different,” “students first,” and then confounding you with empty managerial blah blah. It goes on and on: staff undermine faculty by advising unethically, some colleagues have degrees from shady fly-by-night institutions, the feckless and incompetent are regularly rewarded, etc. Read the reviews on this page about Southern New Hampshire University, a lot of what is true there is true about UMUC. But we’re regionally accredited, they like to say! The accreditation process was an ethically questionable farce. I wouldn’t recommend UMUC to either students or colleagues. A lot of us are ashamed to work here because good teaching happens in spite of the university, not because of it. (August 2018)
Note: UMUC to become University of Maryland Global Campus as of July 2019. Same shit, different brand.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
School of Social Work
Search committee chair repeatedly ignored requests of other faculty to schedule me for an interview. He finally scheduled a screen interview with me to take place at a conference, but never finalized the time or location despite agreeing to follow up with this information. At the conference, repeated attempts from faculty to obtain this information were ignored. Search committee chair eventually claimed that he didn't have my contact information, despite my name, cell number, and email address being included on my cover letter, CV, and other application materials. While other candidates were interviewed the day before by 5+ faculty, my interview took place with just the disinterested search chair and lasted less than 20 minutes. The search chair made a comment about my personality endearing other faculty to me as a candidate, implying that I was charming, but not competent.
2015-2016. I completed a phone interview with several search committee members in November. I thought it went well. I received a follow-up email in December, hinting at an in-person interview. The email noted that I was a "strong candidate", asked about my availability to travel in late January, and said they would "continue to be in contact". I replied enthusiastically, noting my travel availability. But they did not continue to be in contact. I heard nothing from them. I did not want to be too pushy, so I waited until early February to send another email. In that email, I noted that I was still interested, but that I would need to know about any interviews ASAP as I needed to decide on other offers. They didn't respond to that email either, and it's now April and they still haven't responded. Even a brief "you're no longer being considered" would have been nice. So perhaps not a department that should be staunchly avoided, but beware of poor communication.
May 2019: And once you get in, you discover grade inflation is alive and thriving. I was told by the chair (both in person and in an email) that students view a C as failing and that my class averages needed to be at minimum a B and no less than a B- or the students would complain and file grade appeals which they would lose (because the grading wasn't unfair--just hard) but it's such a hassle so it's just easier to alter the grading scale to give the students what they want, even if they didn't earn it. Entitlement runs rampant among the not-highly-skilled students, and the department seems to bend over backwards to accomodate them. I wish I had known this before I quit my prior job and moved here.
RUN AWAY!! Nightmare and bizarre interview! This, by far, was the most unprofessional interview and I have ever experienced. During the formal interview portion of my campus interview I was asked one single question-ONLY 1 QUESTION-- which of their courses could I teach. The search chair literally pulled out a list and made me indicate course by course which ones I could teach putting my name down next to each one. The search chair was especially difficult while I was making my travel arrangements and displayed downright peculiar behavior during my interview. At one point in the day she (the search chair) informed me "Wilmington is very racist" and suggested I might have trouble adjusting to the racism. And, by noon she disappeared leaving me to fend for myself. I not only ended up walking around trying to find various faculty offices and meeting rooms by myself, but introducing myself as well...Awkward! It became rather obvious to me during the course of the day that I was not really being considered and that they likely had an internal candidate. This was practically confirmed when the Dean (who was actually very nice) said "you should be very proud of having gotten this far in the interview process" not once but TWICE! He also indicated that however much he might disagree with a search committee hiring recommendation he would still follow it. Given I was not really being considered, what I found most upsetting was that I ended up sitting in the airport for hours b/c the chair had insisted that I take a later fli
+gt claiming I would never make the earlier one even though the tiny airport was a whopping 15 minutes away. Instead of getting home at nine, I got home midnight and had to pay a fortune in babysitting b/c of the additional hours and time of day. If they had let me go even just 15 minutes earlier I could've easily made the earlier flight (perhaps they could've deleted the 45 minutes I was scheduled to sit in a room by myself so any faculty who couldn't make my talk could meet me...you know exactly how many stopped by). [posted May 2013]
in October 2018 without warning, despite consistently positive performancereviews, decades of teaching experience, and many service contributions to thedepartment. The rationale: the department needs to make fyw more “current,” givensupposed complaints about inadequate instruction. No evidence was supplied forsaid inadequacies. No opportunities for improvement were offered (toolabor-intensive). Chair and WPA discussed freely with tenured faculty indepartment for weeks before firing, but refused to tell impacted instructorsuntil replacement plans were in place. Department is advertising forreplacements (also contingent) with PhDs in rhet/comp. Applicants for thesepositions should be aware that department is not dynamic and has a long historyof treating contingent faculty badly, that the university is facing a budgetcrisis, that they will have very few rights, that they could be fired withoutnotice or cause, and salaries are low.
Administrators are not afraid to misrepresent just about anything to your face so make sure everything is in writing and hope that person still has authority when you have problems. The administrative turnover is so great at UO that getting agreements in writing is almost useless since the incoming administrators have no requirement to uphold the deals they inherit. Retention of well funded faculty is often done with a strong armed approach involving threats to keep external grants or just give them back to the funding agency.For more information about how bad this place is please see the following webpage or check local news for the latest rape scandal, etc.: http://www.uomatters.com [posted Nov. 2014]
CS and the SCS college: very unprofessional. Retracted offer a few hours after sending the official letter since they did not want to negotiate the terms. Ghosting behavior afterwards.
Too many redflags!
Last March, administration released a proposal to eliminate thirteen majors, primarily in the humanities and social sciences. The proposal was revised this fall, and now the institution is slated to lose six majors: French, German, History, Geography, Geology, and 2-D and 3-D art. Other majors, such as Art History, are not listed on the new proposal but are also disappearing nevertheless. Administration insists that only the majors are going away, and the disciplines will be absorbed into the general education program. They keep insisting that faculty will stay, even without a department. The provost has suggested, more than once, that any faculty who leave as a result of their department's elimination do not care about teaching and students, only about furthering their own careers. He has made statements to the effect that, if faculty leave, they are easily replaceable with adjunct labor. It's unclear how he expects to draw enough adjuncts to rural Wisconsin to cover the university's general education program. The university is also in the process of raising the full-time teaching load for adjunct faculty to five courses rather than four--which means that it will be difficult for all of those contingent faculty to get benefits than it already is.
Once majors are eliminated, UWSP can enact Wisconsin Regents Policy 20-24, which permits the firing of tenured faculty. UWSP will be the first university in the Wisconsin system to go through with that policy. It is the canary in the coal mine. If 20-24 goes through successfully, tenure no longer has meaning and everyone is vulnerable.
Junior faculty across the university are at risk of being laid off. Department chairs have been given a dollar amount to cut from their programs, which is then translated into faculty positions. The number of potential layoffs keeps changing. At one point, it was upwards of 70 people. Many assistant professors, particularly those in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, are either on the market or looking at alternative careers. Morale is in the toilet.
Over the course of the last eight months, three different committees have been formed in an attempt to advise administration on possible fixes to the budget crisis. Those committees seem to have been nothing more than a charade to give the appearance of faculty and staff buy-in. Both the committee that met over the summer and the committee that met this fall were never given complete financial information or explanations for the proposed cuts. At the final meeting of the fall committee, members asked to see a draft of the administration's proposal, which was slated to be released in the following weeks. That meeting was on a Friday, and members were told no draft existed. Lo and behold, the media had a complete draft on the following Monday morning. Adminstration had outright lied to those committee members. Throughout this process, the provost and chancellor have pushed ahead without listening to faculty who were attempting--in good faith--to help solve the university's problems.
In addition to cutting majors, administration has proposed a massive restructuring of the university. The College of Letters and Sciences will cease to exist, and those majors will be scattered throughout the other colleges. Departments will also cease to exist, and the university will be structured around "interdisciplinary professional schools." No one is really sure how this is supposed to work. It certainly won't save the university any money. Simultaneously, UWSP is investing in multiple new, expensive, "career-oriented" degree programs that administration believes will draw more students to campus. They have never produced any market research to show that those majors will actually increase enrollment or solve our budget crisis. This fall, for instance, the university just approved a PhD in Physical Therapy that will cost $1 million, and will take years to become financially solvent. It's unclear how this can be justified.
In light of these facts, over 300 faculty, staff, students, and community members signed an open letter to the Wisconsin Board of Regents asking for the chancellor and provost to be fired. Administration has responded primarily by denigrating those who object to the proposal--and in some cases there has been direct retaliation. The provost has also been very good at pitting faculty against each other. The university has been compared to The Hunger Games too many times to count. Everyone is trying to carve out their diminishing piece of the pie.
Finally, unless you can get external grant money, there is no funding for research right now. Sabbaticals have been suspended for the foreseeable future. Travel funds have been swept, so you'll be paying for conferences largely out of pocket. For some reason, the university is still hiring new faculty in spite of all this, which is incredibly unethical.
If you care about your sanity, stay away from this place.
- I had a very similar experience: all 3 letters emailed to department head well in advance, then I got a snail-mail notification that my letters were missing - I am overseas, so this took >3 weeks to arrive (I was not afforded the courtesy of an email, which the above poster was!); by this time phone interviews were taking place (according to wiki site). I emailed search chair and cc'd department head about missing letters. Search chair insisted that they did not have the letters; department head found 2 of my 3 in his email but no apology - just a confirmation that letters were found (it does not seem like they communicate; the search chair would never cc the department chair on her responses to me); I had my third reference re-send his letter, and they emailed back and questioned who he was, who the letter was for, and whether the letter was genuine - the reference put my name in the subject line of the email, in the text of the email, and on the letter! I was so annoyed about the lack of responsibility by the department (i.e., no apology for letters they lost, and I could tell from wiki site that this was a common problem with other applicants) that i contacted HR. they blamed the problem on a new "system" they have, despite the instructions indicating that all application materials be emailed to the department chair (who was not on the search committee itself and he had to pass them to someone else). The only upshot is that I did not get asked to interview; I would have declined! I applied for a different job in the same department a year earlier and the same thing may have happened - I have no way of knowing! Again, no communcation with applicants even when they had stuffed up my application materials, obvious communication problems in the department, and a lack of responsiblity for losing application materials. Run away, fast! [March 2013]
Phone interview was tense but I got a campus interview. The Search Chair picked me up from Salt Lake City and drove me to hotel near Orem (about an hour south). I was not offered dinner, so I went to the nearby Winco for ingredients and cooked a meal in my kitchenette. Search Chair told me she was Methodist and not allowed to live in Orem County as an unmarried woman who isn't Mormon. In the morning, she seemed disorganized - I met with the department chair whose college-age son was in her office. Our meeting ended very early and the Search Chair was flustered that she needed to occupy my time. She told me to sit in a lobby near couches and maybe faculty would meet me while I waited. One department member came to me and told me he noticed I was not Mormon based on my CV and wanted me to know he was a black sheep because he was gay and could not live in the county around the institution. That was how he introduced himself. I waited around a lot and then had a teaching demo on a challenging topic in the department chair's section of the course. Faculty members sat on the floor between students' desks, and I tried to incorporate them into the activities. I went to lunch with a big group of people to P.F. Chang's and ordered my usual iced tea. Everyone gasped like I was out of my mind when the server informed me that no caffeinated beverages were served at that location (I guess that my daily iced-tea drinking could get me arrested)! I was told that the teaching load is 5-5 and I could get one course release to 5-4 for research. I was under the impression that I would be teaching 10 sections of the SAME CLASS every year, which would be...tough. UVU was a two-year institution initially and most of its students come freshman year and then go on two-year missions before returning so there is a lot of college transition struggle. Another faculty member drove me around Provo since I had never seen that area or BYU's campus. I noticed the single gender apartments and mentioned something about never seeing that before. He was very offended as a BYU grad and made sure I knew he did not approve of my comment. I had an awkward phone call with the department chair a week after my interview and did not get the job. They hired a BYU graduate, which did not surprise me.
Campus interview was schedule for a short two days. Flew nearly across the country for a less than 24 hour stay. I arrived (after getting up for an early am flight) in San Jose in the early afternoon (already a full day of travel). My accommodations were on campus in a DORM, which I could not check into until two a hours after my arrival. I was responsible for my own transportation. The Search Committee had set up a tour and dinner that evening. It was quite a LONG day--I was about to fall over from exhaustion. At dinner a recent faculty hire had talked about the hotel he stayed at for his interview not too long ago and asked where I was staying. I experience second-hand embarrassment for the committee itself to reveal that I was staying in a dorm. My interview begin at 7:30--no breakfast and the student store did not open until later. Imagine doing a full day of interviewing with no fuel! The interview with the search committee was odd--they asked the same questions they had asked in my phone interview (red flag #2). Next up--the presentation they had asked me to prepare. What I covered was news to the dean of the library and most of the faculty--huge red flag. They asked me to prepare a presentation and where unaware of their OWN universities protocol. Lunch was covered and people were generally nice. Months went by and I emailed to inquire about the status--an offered had been accepted. They ghosted me without so much as a courtesy email. **I've kept my eye out on who was hired for the position, expecting a seasoned business librarian from Yale (given the role they were seeking to fill) but it appears that they hired a recent library graduate with little to no experience. I do not think they had any intention of hiring me when they brought me to campus. I took the committee's questions, the presentation request, and the role they were hiring for very seriously. I am currently in an academic position, and I took time away from my current post out of an interest in the position and the university. That is probably the biggest insult--the blatant wasting of my time and energy when I have continuous academic and scholarly commitments.