Universities to fear (2023)

University of IowaCollege of EducationEXTREMELY HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT FOR FACULTY OF COLOR! Look at the HIGH turnover rates. I f you are a yeoman or token, feel free to apply. If you value your sanity and self-worth, RUN AWAY. Extremely TOXIC environment. Dean, Associate Deans, DEOs ALL contribute to the culture! if you speak up, you WILL BE targeted and retaliated against. Be ready to DOCUMENT EVERYTHING to protect yourself! You will be expected to do illegal and unethical things. Apply and accept a position at your own risk, you have been warned!Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)Media and Communication

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.

Acadia UniversityArtsFaculty of Arts/Classics/Sociology, WHITE, CAUCASIAN, PATRIARCHY, HOMOPHOBIA, LESBIANISM AT THE EXTREME. The equity officer and dean of arts will punish you for bringing forward allegations about harassment and bullying ON MULTIPLE PROTECTED GROUNDS against M.D. (the homophobic and sexist chair from classics in sociology as they could not get a male from sociology to chair the department) by humiliating you to all of your workmates and subjecting you to a malicious work investigation. The dean's way of dealing with bullying is by prohibiting you from communicating with your departmental head and alienating you from your work colleagues. The union will say homophobia is not their problem, but the employers to deal with. Multiple instructors have left this institution traumatized, unable to ever return to work, if they did not take their own life from the overwhelming sense of powerlessness and humiliation. The students are great, but you have to be a male caucasian or heterosexual woman, who is okay with Heinrich Himmler (M.D. looks and talks exactly like that psychopath who orchestrated the murder of over 7 million people) hitting on you. The dean has less power than a departmental chair, just because she is female. Her looks (she wears a white minidress to a departmental meeting in -20c), heterosexuality and submissiveness are the primary reasons she got that position.

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.

Monash UniversityArts(-2019) This is a high-ranking R1 but it is a bullying/micro-management culture. Management is obsessed with surveillance of faculty and imposes increasing loads of self-reporting tasks. E.g. lose an hour explaining why you submitted your paper to a certain Q1 journal. If the committee disagrees with your logic, the paper doesn't count in metrics. It's been in decline for some time, but has never been worse than under the current Dean of Arts, who openly despises many disciplines in her remit (go figure). In her reign it has become a stridently anti-intellectual environment. Management favors Facebook likes over scholarly achievement. Promotion is a system of vassalage, with failed scholars elevated into positions of power in return for loyalty. Class sizes doubled, in some settings, in my time - FIFTY is considered viable minimum for a seminar class. The institution dreams of replacing all teaching with videos. Students know they are being conned. Faculty operate in a culture of fear. Many had enough in 2018 (if not before) when all electives were cancelled, removing any option from the major. The Dean sent an email to faculty alleging that students benefit from fewer choices. A basket case. I have never seen so many unhappy people.Miami University (Oxford, OH)All

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

Department of English: Writing Division

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

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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.

James Madison University (Virginia)College of Arts and LettersMy significant other was offered a tenure-track job here and we enthusiastically moved. It has been four years and despite there being a "dual-hiring program", I have yet to find a full-time job (and this is not an isolated incident - unfortunately, I have met many trailing spouses who have been here even longer and have yet to find something full-time). Adjuncts in the College of Arts and Letters are paid $3500 for a three-credit course. This is half of what adjuncts at the University of Virginia (one hour away) earn per three-credit course. The students here are great, but this is a very insular, nepotistic, top down organization with little upward mobiliy unless you're a white guy. Even the women in positions of power seem to pretty much bow to the patriarchy. There is very little diversity on-campus and in town. The general mentality towards trailing academic spouses (which is the main reason I post in "Universities to Fear") is to max them out with part-time work and never offer any opportunity for upward mobility. My department has roughly 75 faculty, about 70% of whom are part-time, contingent, or non-tenure track. It's such a mess here. There are people in my department with inadequate credentials teaching all the courses for an entire program (which violates SACS accreditation standards). I had a successful academic career before we moved here. Now I have no idea what will happen, and I definitely do not trust JMU for the long-term (for a variety of reasons I don't want to share publicly). Also, the town is lousy. Don't waste your time, particularly if you're part of an academic couple.

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.

Lingnan UniversityFaculty of Arts[2020] The position is an inside hire. The department uses the title "postdoctoral researcher/research assistant professor" to hire its own PhD students. The departmental big guns have not produced anything scholarly in recent years and no surprise that Lingnan ranks the lowest in Hong Kong.Bishop's UniversitySociology

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.

Furman University

All

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.
Holy Family University (PA)Humanities

(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)

English

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.
  • [9/1/2019] 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/
Lycoming CollegeModern Language Studies(Spring 2019 phone interview) -- The search committee was rude and unprofessional. It was obvious that a particular candidate was favored and everyone else were warm bodies for HR. Aside from rushing the interview without having introduced themselves or having asked me about my background, etc., the search chair was rude and dismissive from the very beginning. None of them seemed to know who I was, i.e., name, institution, experience, nor did they seem to care. Moreover, there were equally snippy exchanges between the search committee members; one of the junior professors let it slip that they lied in the original announcement about both the teaching load and the opportunities for teaching upper-division courses.Santiago Canyon CollegeCommunication StudiesApril 2019--The search committee for the TT assistant professor/forensics position was the most unprofessional group of faculty I have ever encountered. When I accepted the interview invitation, I was told that there "may" be a behavioral component involved in the interview. But when I arrived at the appointed time/place, I was told that I had 30 minutes to prepare an 8-10 minute teaching demonstration on a specific topic AND an 8-10 minute forensics coaching demonstration using nothing but an informative speech manuscript. This "test" was clearly designed to favor candidates who were involved with the school already and wouldn't have been stressed out by the format. It made for an extremely stressful and embarrassing interview for me, and not to mention was a waste of my time. I'm sure they designed the interview to be compliant with legal requirements, but that doesn't make the format they used ethically justifiable. I would strongly urge anyone NOT to waste your time interviewing at this place unless you're adjuncting for them already.University of Colorado BoulderEngineering

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.

Emory & Henry CollegeAllDuring the spring of 2018, at least three people were hired to be tenure-track Assistant Professors in departments ranging from the natural sciences to the humanities. Four weeks after beginning their positions during the 2018-2019 academic year, these people were laid off effective the 2019-2020 academic year. A tenure-track job at this college is not an actual tenure-track job.University of TorontoBiologyMembers of the faculty were hostile and more than condescending during my interview. Asked if I had children. I was told by someone on the committee after the process that the committee used second hand gossip to help make final decision. In this case, it was about me (they heard from someone that I was going to get hired elsewhere - not at all truthful but that isn't the point and I remain without employment).University of ManitobaBiologyMade the shortlist, went for an interview, interviewed for two days, went home, was asked by chair to submit all teaching materials. Never heard from them again. Not even after polite follow ups, including one to the Dean after six months' waiting. Winter 2018.

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.

Indiana State UniversityHistory

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

English

(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.

Kean University (?)All (?)Administration attacks faculty and very adversarial; President caught plagiarizing most off his CV; Majority of tenure applicants rejected. Etc etc. Google "Kean university contraversies " for more.SUNY GeneseoSpanish, GeographyThey hire people who have been there as VAPs but who have objectively worse CVs than the other external search candidates.

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....

Hong Kong Baptist UniversityCollege of International EducationThe hiring committee did a bait-and-switch with the job ad: they advertised for a Senior Lecturer. I applied for same, but just before the Skype interview (which was the only interview), they switched it to a Lecturer job, which pays a lot less. When I emailed to ask what happened to the Senior Lecturer job, their HR person replied with a vague "that position is no longer available." They also offered the job very late in summer which caused a LOT of problems with my previous job. Working there entails teaching a six-course load, yes, that's right, a six course load.

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.

Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyBiology[Autum 2017 and earlier] Beware of research proposal fishing. Many openings for RA, post-doc and higher often require you to submit a research proposal. However, you would not hear them back. Instead, a week or so later, you would find a new postgrad opening with a theme VERY similar to what you've submitted.University of Wisconsin PlattevilleCriminal JusticeThere have been many problems with UW Platteville lately. Some of the problems are shown on http://UniversityCorruption.org/. This website contains an amazing story of corruption, cover-ups and retaliation. It all began with a sexual harassment complaint that the administration decided was too embarrassing to address properly. They instead decided to retaliate against a faculty member whose only sin was helping a female student properly report an incident of sexual harassment. Students are not safe and neither are faculty members who come to their aid.California State University San BernardinoEnglishPosition beginning Fall 2016 in English (Creative Writing) department. As per the 2016 Creative Writing Wiki: multiple complaints by multiple candidates of poor treatment during initial interviews and campus visits. First round interviews required the submission of course curricula for specific CSUSB courses without a clear statement for how intellectual property would be treated or preserved. The candidate who accepted the position was disparaged online by a member of the CSUSB system (including a statement *incorrectly* pointing out the candidate's ethnicity) as documented by IP address.Indiana Wesleyan UniversityMusicSpring 2016. Piano position.

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!

Adrian CollegeAllSince 2005.

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!

Rollins CollegeBiologyPosition was to begin Fall 2016. Applied and was contacted for a phone interview. Cell phone crashed when search committee called, and I immediately emailed to let them know what was going on. Asked to reschedule later in the day. Got the phone working again later that day. Sent another email to follow up, and they wrote back that they had moved on because they were on a tight schedule. Would have been nice to have been given a fair shot, considering the phone malfunction was not my fault.Alamo Colleges: St. Philip's CollegeRespiratory Care Technology Program[Fall 2015] The school posted the position in December of 2014, and I applied. I was first contacted in the spring of 2015 to arrange the first round of interviewing, a conference call with the respiratory therapy program director and a few other managers of other departments. After the call, I was told if I advance to the second round, I would be contacted within a few weeks. Nearly two months later in June I get a random, urgent email from the program director stating I did not send official transcripts and that I needed to get them sent ASAP. No one ever requested official transcripts during the initial application process, only an unofficial copy. According to the instructions the school posted, once an offer was given and accepted, then the candidate would need to submit official transcripts.So, I’m assuming I made it to the second round, and spent $65 overnighting the transcripts to the school. A few weeks later I get another email from the assistant to the campus president stating that I was to appear in person in less than a week for the second interview with the president and the rest of the committee. At the time, I was living in Los Angeles and could not drop everything and spend a small fortune on a round-trip ticket to Texas and other expenses on such short notice. The response I got was that the president agreed to conduct the interview over Skype. It’s now the middle of July and after a few initial technical problems on their end were resolved, we got through the Skype session.

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.

Mass Bay Community CollegeEngineering[Spring 2015] I responded to an add for a teaching position in EE at Mass Bay Community, around june 2015 i recieved a phone call from the departemnt chair asking me to schedual a skipe interview with the committee, i agreed. The interview took place for around one hour, they mentioned that the HR will let me know about their decsion withinn a week. Three weeks later I recieved a call from the college HR, but could not take the call, to my surpriese they did not leave a massage. I emailed the chair, she send me back an email saying this is to schedule another interview with the dean, please call HR to do that, I called HR, and scheduled a skype interview with dean.

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.

Bowling Green State UniversityEngineering Technology[Spring 2015] I responeded to an add for a tenure track assistant professor in engineering technology. Recieved an email from the chair of the search committee, to schedual a phone interview, but the position now is a temp position for 9 months without the possibility of renew. I know there is some kind of a game, but I agreed to schedule a time for phone interview, the chair confirmed the date in an email. The time of interview came and I was waiting for some one to call but no call was made, I waited for more than an hour, but no call, no eamil nothing.

This type of schools have no regrad for people.

Bradley UniversityWorld Languages & CulturesAfter a warm, welcoming, and positive experience at an on-campus interview, I did not hear anything from the department with which I interviewed for 2.5 months. Not a word. I found out that that they had hired someone for the position after going to their faculty page. I emailed them just to get some closure, and I recieved a response that said the position had been filled and that I would receive a letter from some adminstrator soon. I'm just so disappointed that after spending so much money out of my own pocket (it took them about 1.5 months to reimburse me, but I suppose it's a good thing that they did finally reimburse me) to go there, so much energy put into preparation, and so much hope after what I thought was a great interview, I did not hear anything until I finally confirmed for myself that the position had been filled by googling around a bit.California State University, StanislausBiology[Fall 2014] FIrst off, this is a commuter campus and is a major safety school in California. It is probably the least prestigioius of the Cal State system. That being said, it was a job interview and, like most of us, I was desperate for anything. The phone interview was fine but the on-campus interview shed light on a very disjointed department. There seemed to be a lot of infighting and general animosity. The search commitee was great, however. There was little to no research space but it was abundantly clear that research was a priority though there was almost zero funding for support and no startup. They also expect a 4x3 teaching load and labs count for 2/3 of a lecture. So, you're looking at 6 hours of lecture and nine hours of lab in a semester.

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.

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural CollegeAll[December 2013] Run--do not walk--run screaming from any job offered at this institution. The president is a dictator and micro-manager. Deans and chairs kowtow to his every whim. He recently appointed two uncredentialled deans to ABAC's "Stafford School of Business," a fancy name that means nothing more than a fancy building on campus. SACs will surely have something to say about this soon. Administration regularly bullies faculty, who all teach a heavy duty 5/5 course load and are required to publish, too. The Dean of my school lied to me about the kinds of course I'd be teaching when he/she hired me. Then, when I complained, basically told me, "Too bad. Suck it up." For what it's worth, the faculty senate is useless.

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]
Arkansas Technical UniversityEnglish[Spring 2015 Interview]

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.

Arizona State UniversityAny non-white individuals / Any non-disabled individualsEnglish faculty member confronted by campus police officer who demanded to see her papers, then threw her into his car. She's being charged with assault, even though the video shows the officer was the instigator of the assault. The university says they see "no evidence of inappropriate actions" by the officer. If they do this to high-visibility targets like a faculty member, one can only wonder at the level police brutality non-white students and staff are exposed to. [posted June 2014]
  • [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.
Ashford UniversityAllFirst of all, anyone who is considering a job with this company should realize that it is not a real school--it is a business. The faculty are treated no huneter than other employees and are "at will" employees which means that they can be fired at any time for any reason at all (or none at all). The "school" is owned by Bridgepoint Education which is only in this business of for-profit higher education for the money. This is demonstrated by the fact that Ashford has been replacing textbooks used in its "classes" with in-house texts produced by Bridgepoint. The full-time faculty are also forced to work long hours, teach online classes with large numbers of students who can barely write, attend numerous meetings to plan for other meetings, and serve on various useless "committees" that focus on making cosmetic changes in an attempt to gain accreditation from WASC (Ashford was denied accreditation last year) and keep accreditation from HLC in the meantime. Ashford is also obsessed with student retention because a lost student means a loss of profits. They all but encourage the faculty to "kiss up" to students and give out good grades simply so that they will receive good evaluation and be able to keep their jobs. There is no emphasis on research and faculty are kept so busy with administrative work and meetings that they don't have time to do any research. The only faculty who receive support for research are those in business and those who decide to break down and study online education. There is no support for research in other fields. In addition, the place is so disorganized that they ask faculty for their CVs every month. If you are a new graduate, then I suggest that you avoid this place if you are looking for something that is more long-term than an "at-will" job that has about as much stability as a greeter job at Walmart. If you are working at a real university or have tenure, you would have to be legally insane to leave a job like that to accept a job with this place. The degrees being handed out to students who have done little work while attending this school are basically devaluing higher education across the country.
  • 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]
Chowan UniversityAllOnly consider this university if you want to teach really bad students! Chowan University's mission is to accept the worse-than-average students who probably don't get into 99% of the other colleges they have applied to, and to "give them a chance to succeed." However, most of the students don't want to do anything, and the Provost has his own pet-students that he would call into his office for "friendly talks" from time to time, so that he can get information to be used against faculty that he wants to fire. So if a student doesn't like you because he/she thinks your class is difficult, you can get into trouble just like that.

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!

Auburn Universityany HumanitiesThis is where Humanities (any discipline) faculty go to wither on the vine and die. This College of Liberal Arts is tiny, and way behind the times, even when compared to other Us in the region. If you're in the Sciences, Engineering or Business fields then this would be a great place. If you're in Humanities though, just move on. Little opportunity, little culture, and geographically isolated. Unless you're a rock star who spends all of your free time travelling to do research/presentations/exhibitions (which will be next to impossible given the work load), don't ever plan on escaping. [posted May 2014]Baylor UniversityArt & Art HistoryI applied for a job at Baylor in the Department of Art in fall 2014. I was granted a phone interview and asked to prep for it by reading the university's mission statement. The first question I was asked in the phone interview was whether or not I was affiliated with any religion. When I told them I was not religious, they said that religious faith was a requirement of the interview and terminated the interview. Do not bother to apply to this school unless you subscribe to their very narrow worldview. I am sorry I wasted my time on prepping the application and interview.

-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.

Baylor UniversitySociologyIf you get an interview, be sure to ask them why they lost 5 people from the department in as many years. If the words "health" or "choice" come out of their mouths, they're lying to you. This place is a great place to go if you can tow the party line and are a white male, but you can forget it if you're a minority or a woman, and especially if you have any viewpoint beyond the very narrow ones of the crusty old white administration. The department itself has some nice people in it, but the administration is a nightmare and isn't going anywhere. It's a shame because the students have a lot of potential. (2015)Bethune-Cookman University EnglishI should say, first of all, that the English faculty seemed very nice, professional, and put together. We had a great conversation over skype. But the administration should give one great pause. After skyping in December, I was emailed that the Dean would call me "sometime the week of January 6." I actually did not get a phone call until the first week of February and this was the search chair setting up an appointment for a phone interview with the dean. I was then called a day earlier, because she mixed up the dates. Clearly, disorganized, which probably is not all that uncommon.

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

Belmont UniversityTheatre[March 2013] Several issues mostly concerning Department/Search Committee Head's unprofessional behavior toward me (possibly sexist, but certainly personal), but issues also relate to the School of Performing Arts Dean and the university in general (since they allow the department head to behave so unethically). Generally speaking, I know this school would not have been a good fit for me because their Christian mission was not in line with my personal and professional temperament. However, their actions suggest deeper problems that would impact a new hire no matter what their personal affiliations may be.

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.

Blackburn CollegeEnglish(Spring 2019) The department itself seems lovely, though small -- you'd expect this of a tiny college. Negotiations, though, were a nightmare: upon the initial offer, I was told that there's zero room to move on salary and then was given four days (over a holiday weekend) to think about it, leaving no time for my partner and I to make travel plans for her to see the place. Two days after the offer, I emailed to ask for a) the MLA's two-week window of time; b) an insurance plan that would cover my fiancee until our wedding [two months after the semester begins]; and c) a phone call to discuss what options might exist for my eventual spouse to find a staff position at the college. A) was sort of met -- the window was extended from four days to eight; b) was outright denied; and c), instead of a phone call, it was suggested that she make an hour-long commute to the nearest city as they couldn't make up a position for her. We did some research into open positions, she applied to one, and then I pointed this out in an email seven days post-initial offer, saying that while I didn't expect them to create a position, one existed that's perfect for her and that finding her a job in this tiny town was my priority. The reply came that evening that a guarantee could not be made and that applications would not be reviewed for another three weeks; five hours later (at 11pm), the offer was rescinded. I had not replied in the interim.

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.

Boise State UniversitySocial Science departments (in the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs--SSPA)(Fall 2014) The College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs (SSPA) is being eliminated at the end of the 2014-15 academic year. It has been in operation for 29 years. The eight departments in the college will go to health sciences (socialwork), a new college of social policy (public policy, poli sci, crim justice) and the rest will go to Arts & Sciences (history, anthro, communication, sociology).

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 UniversityCollege of Engineering

[Fall 2017]

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.

Borough of Manhattan CC (CUNY)English[Spring 2014]

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

Borough of Manhattan CC (CUNY) Bowie State UHumanities DivisionFirst interview on Skype went pretty well and the faculty seemed kind and professional. I received an e-amail informing me the committee had reached a decission and that now it would be a provost decission. So I was offered a campus interview with her but no teaching demo or meeting with the committee was even mentioned. At the bottom of the email a note said "the college would not be responsible for travel expenses but I was confirmed by the secretary that they would.

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

Bristol University (UK)EnglishNot sure about other departments, but don't bother applying for a job in the Dept. of English unless you have some very firm connection to Oxford or Cambridge, since they only hire people who have done degrees or postdocs at Oxbridge. I went for a campus visit and they made it fairly clear during the process and abundantly clear afterwards that the decision was a foregone conclusion. Needless to say, it is frustrating to waste your time travelling, delivering a job talk, and preparing for an interview only to realize you never had a chance. (December 2015)Broward CollegeSocial ScienceI made it to the phone interview stage. I fielded the call right before lunch, and it seemed that the entire committee was out to lunch during the call. They raced through the questions, showing no care or evidence of active listening during the call. Talking to dead air the entire time was awkward to say the least. When it came to ‘my turn’ to ask questions, I said I had two. I got one out before they tried hanging up on me. If a search committee is going to take the time to call a candidate, they should at least take the time to listen to that candidate. [posted May 2014]Cal State BakersfieldEducationI had a very bizarre experience with Cal State, Bakersfield, First, one of the professors lied about knowing my mentor. Why? I don't know. It made no sense why someone would lie about something that could be verified easily. The chair said that the professor in question had "exaggerated" about knowing her. Second, two of the professors argued about who would taking me to lunch within the first five minutes of the interview. Third, the search chair was extremely rude to me. He implied I was ignorant because I had never heard an obscure Cuban song he was singing. Instead of taking me to dinner, he had me eat at his house, where we had beef tacos. I don't eat red meat ( he made a comment about my not eating red meat during lunch). He then had me sit in his living room for two hours while he ignored me. Third, they asked people at my university about me after I explicitly told them not to. Finally, they told me that they were interested in me, but I would have to sign an affidavit declaring that I would not cause trouble for their university. it was a bizarre experience, to say the least. Avoid this place at all costs! [posted Feb. 2013]Chinese University of Hong KongFaculty of ArtsI was invited for a campus visit in 2018, but it was a fake search. Other than a job talk and meeting with a brief meeting with the search committe, I had no interaction with the faculty and the students there. I ate all my meals by myself at the school cafeteria and had to pay for them myself, so was the expenses for local transportation--I was not even reimbursed for the taxi fare from the airport to the hotel. After my visit, they never contacted me, even though the department head told me that I would hear from them within 6 weeks. I invested so much time and efforts into the preparation, but in retrospect I know that I never had a chance in the first place. It was such a waste of my time, and yet they didn't even have the basic courtesy to contact me again. It leaves me with such a bad impression of this university.

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.

  • [2022] 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.
Christopher Newport UniversityCommunicationTime to make a note about this department/university in this wiki. For more information about the issues related to this department and the university in general, see the notes in Academic Job Wiki Communication and Media Studies 2012-2013Clemson UniversityEducationI was thankful to have been invited for an on-campus interview. The reputation of Clemson preceeded me and I felt that I was going to be treated to a top flight experience. OH MY! The first red flag came rather quickly. I had an appointment with the department chair. I figured this person would discuss courses to teach, reserch and service expectations. Alas, I walked in his office and he flatly said, "Look out my window. You can see the Blue Ridge Mountains from here." OK. And? That was literally it. We looked blankly at each other in silence for a few minutes. After 15 minutes, not a SINGLE question about the position. Right then I had the sneaky feeling that I was the obligatory "other candidate we have to bring on campus." And this hunch was confirmed as, while I was waiting to go to another department chair for an interview, I overheard members of the committee talking about how the "other" (i.e. real) candidate has just arrived on campus. Double-booked they were. So, at dinner the two committee members did not ask me a single question about myself, my aspirations, my experience. Nothing. Actually, they sat talking to themselves as if I wasn't there. If the chocolate cake wasn't so good, I would have excused myself right then and there. I called home that night and told my spouse that there was no way in hades we were coming to Clemson. It was a complete joke. I get that I was clearly the "second choice" but, darn, to treat any potential colleague with such complete disregard showed that, in this instance, they were about as unprofessional and sophomoric as they come.Clemson UniversityOverall administrationThis isn't so much a recruitment issue as I have been at the university for a while, but it is something you should be aware of if you are negotiating for a job here. This year I was offered two job offers at other universities. I brought these offers to my department chair. Neither was for more money, but both were at better schools in a better geographical location. My department chair spoke with the dean and was greenlighted to give me a raise if I turned the other offers down. This information was provided via e-mail so there is no possibility I was confused on this. For the last 4 months I have been jumping through hoops trying to find out when my raise would begin. I was finally told that even though I followed through on my end and turned the other jobs down, HR deemed them not competitve job offers so I would not actually be getting the raise after all. They recognize that there are factors other than salary, but that is all they will take into account. That decision seems reasonable to me if one is informed of it before the other offers have been turned down, but to wait until the other offers have been turned down and then yank the raise is underhanded. I likely would have taken one of the other offers had I known this. I would strongly caution anyone from taking a job at Clemson as this type of underhanded dealings from the administration is common. I will certainly be on the job market again next year! [posted June 2015]

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]

Cleveland Institute of ArtTried to negotiate terms of the offer and they rescinded without any discussion. Also, there were a few of unprofessional moments throughout the interview (in one case, a sexist email to an admin assistant was accidentally sent to me). I checked with others in the field, and they are notorious for poor pay. [posted May 2016]College of IdahoThese comments are in reference to a campus visit for a position to begin fall 2017. I have two main comments:

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.

Dalton State CollegeAll DepartmentsDalton State looks like a desirable 4 year college from outside of the institution but it is still run like a 2 year college which it was for a long time. In fact managers (can't call them administrators) take their cues from the way workers are treated at nearby carpet mills. A former VP once stated that professors think they are going to sit in their office and read a book between classes. However, the college has other plans for those faculty---overload classes of a 6/6 load with 2 courses in summer as well. Science faculty--this includes you as well with those labs. Faculty who insist on teaching a 4/4 load will be told they need to "show more enthusiasm" which is the school's way of saying overloads which is the price you pay to get tenure. Most chairs and deans were unable to ever publish and take out their frustration on faculty who do. A few female chairs and deans truly hate males and get their revenge. When the lower level administrators turn on you, don't expect any help from other upper level administrators. These folks all work in tandem to make the school a place where faculty are always a little fearful of their job. The college is famous for hiring people ABD and giving them a 5 year contract cutting them loose if they don't finish the degree in 5 years----guess how many finish with a 6/6 load. See description of ABAC for a similarly run place. This place has their own teaching conference because their people don't get accepted at real conferences.

Avoid this place like the plague.

Drew UniversityHistoryA friend went through the whole job search process for a TT position, was actually told he got the job, told them he'd accepted it... but before the paperwork was finalized (but not before he was told he could announce that he'd start working there in the fall, in public, at conferences, etc.) the administration came in and killed the job. Completely insane, sadistic, the WORST kind of academic job market horror story. Boycott this place. Save your time for schools that respect it, for departments that have their shit at least slightly together. The department deserves to suffer, if only so that their administration can see that axing jobs after they've been offered and accepted will have long-term consequences for the future. As far as I am concerned their name is mud. They are dirt. Anyone who works there should feel ashamed that this was allowed to happen. [posted April 2014]East Carolina UniversityCriminal JusticeThis department is a disaster. It is the perfect example of the worst possible environment to work in It has it all: 1) crappy pay (with no hope of improvement in the foreseeable future. I was told I would be "fotunate" to get a P&T raise in the time I was there); 2) terrible administration (the deam of the college and the chair of the department are the worst! If you are not a heterosexual white male, be prepared to do more work that colleagues who are white males. I understand that the dean situation has improved since they sacked the lady who was the dean before who used to tell use young female assistants that we were dressed inappropriately to go into the classroom when we were in slacks and a blouse! Additionally, be prepared to work in a micromangagerial environment with someone who will remain the chair for the forseeable future and has ZERO ability to lead or strategically plan. Further, the current chair likes to pretend that he is a researcher yet he has not written anything since prior to coming to ECU in 2009 and in his CV counts encyclopedia articles as peer reviewed articles); 3) faculty drama (the department is in an ever lasting state of civil war because there are 4 people in the department who went to graduate school together (incidentially they might as well call ECU Sam Houston East, and most of the folks there are not the productive SHSU scholars--with the exception of one) and they all seem to be working stuff out from graduate school. While I could tell you a lot, the summary statement is tthis: the former chair of the department was ousted in a coups before I arrived and he remained on the faculty and the scar tissue from the battle years remains and the wounds consistently reopened. One of my friends who went there after me reported that some of the new hires are real "snakes in the grass" and those folks who are decent and productive are either looking to leave or have left. They have lost almost 10 assistants in the past 5 years alone and almost 2 dozen in the past 10 years).

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.

Eastern Florida State CollegeAll DepartmentsAugust, 2018.

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?

Eastern Michigan UniversityCollege of Education and AdministrationThe Dean asked me after my interview with the faculty how soon I would move to Ypsilanti ( I lived less than an hour away). He told me that a 45-minute commute was out of the question. I was under the impression that I would be getting a job offer soon. I waited five weeks, and the only reason I heard anything even then was that I called them. The search chair just told me that they wouldn't be hiring me, with no reason. After I hung up I called back and asked why. I was told that I had "a bad attitude toward students." I had just received a teaching award that same year. I wasn't sure how they could infer that I had a bad attitude toward students. I told her that what the Dean said. She told me he shouldn't have said that. I then informed her that it was unprofessional to make me wait five weeks for a response and I had to call them. I thought they were very unprofessional, which is ironic because they were implying that I was the unprofessional one. [posted Feb. 2013]

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.

Eastern Illinois UniversityAll

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.

Northern Illinois UniversityAllThings are not nearly as bad here as Eastern Illinois University, but NIU has extremely high turnover, and for very valid reasons. NIU prefers to hire mediocre people with family in the area that won't want to or be able to get other jobs elsewhere once they discover the degree of incompetence lurking below what is a nice university on the surface. They also lose a lot of good young people because they are absolute shit at spousal hires (they don't even try, because they think DeKalb is in Chicago.) The good thing is that this turnover means they are always hiring!! P.S. I respectfully disagree with the below poster (a friend) about grant support. I got great grant support. And there are some departments, like Psychology, that genuinely have their shit together and have real grad students. But many departments... are not and don't.

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.[2018] 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.

Eastern Oregon UniversityAdminThis university is the weakest in a now-defunct Oregon University System, which was disbanded a couple years ago. It has its own board and a President/CEO who came into the position from the local wood products plant (Boise Cascade). The business model is in full force there. As someone who applied for an administrative position, I studied the school online as much as possible. I also understand the more general shift in public higher ed toward a business culture. Nothing could prepare me for this though. The search viewed administrators as "enrollment managers" first and foremost. This from a university that has not even hired a professional in that capacity (Enrollment Management). They seem to think it is more efficient to slide that work to the Deans' offices. The conversation around academic programming was consistently framed in terms of utility and jobs. Liberal Arts are dying there and won't be revived, as they are not seen to build skill sets required by the regional job needs. I was ready to move into this kind of position and accepting of the fiscal realities that hamstring small public schools like this, but nobody at that university (save for faculty, who seem beleaguered by the many cuts and "efficiences") indicated that they aspired to be more than a degree mill and a certficiate granting institution. If you value higher education, liberal arts, or your sanity, you should look elsewhere.


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!

Eckerd CollegeGENERAL (not departmental specific). However some information pertains to Religious Studies, Environmental Studies, Spanish, Anthropology, Management, and EconomicsThe climate of bullying junior faculty and misleading job candidates is well known. Senior faculty, many of whom have done little or no scholarship for years, demand that junior faculty commit unreasonable amounts of time to petty administrative matters. Classes are dumbed down to achieve "retention" based on the institution's theory that their students will not stay unless they get an easy pass and faculty members who question or challenge these assumptions are punished. Their tenure process is utterly without merit, denying tenure to candidates who have stellar records and who have met all of the academic and professional standards, but who do not respond to bullying and granting tenure to faculty members who are not good teachers, produce little or no scholarship, but respond well to bullying. This school will eat your career, tax your time, underpay you and leave you miserable. I've watched it happen here for years and have suffered the professional and emotional consequences. Do not bother. [posted Nov. 2012]
  • 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 admin@savingeckerdpel.com' .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/

Emory University/ Oxford CollegeClassicsApplied Spring 2014, never heard back. Contacted multiple people there multiple times by phone and email, never heard a word from the Department.Fairleigh Dickinson UniversityEnglishI was shortlisted for a position that was to begin fall 2015. I received a voicemail asking me if I would come for a campus visit. I couldn't reach the department secretary (who had left the message), so after several tries I left a voicemail saying yes, absolutely. More phone tag later, the secretary left a message suggesting some dates. I needed to figure out what date would be best and, of course, could not get through and ended up leaving a message confirming one of the suggested dates two days later. The next day I received another voicemail telling me that the department had changed its mind and was rescinding its offer of a campus visit.Fayetteville Technical Community College

(Fayetteville, NC)

AllFirst, let me mention that some of the problems at FTCC are systemic--the NC Community College System has no tenure. Everyone works on a 1 year contract. That means that one need not be fired to be fired--the contract is simply not renewed. And, since contracts are rarely available before Thanksgiving, it also means that the job you think you have can be changed midstream. For example, halfway through Fall 2015 the administration eliminated the Chair position for English, demoting the chair to a regular faculty member and decreasing her pay accordingly. No contract entering the year meant she had no recourse.

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.

Florida Atlantic UniversityEducationI was shortlisted for a TT job at this university following a phone interview with the entire search committee. I had to travel to the university for the interview/job talk at my own expense. I was not provided air travel, ground transportation, or lodging. Two weeks after the job talk, I was offered the position and given five days to consider it. During that time, I asked if I could summarize my thinking and questions about the offer and send it to the department chair. He had made it clear that he could not respond in writing (no aspect of the job offer was in writing) but he would call me to answer questions after he received my written summary. Upon sending my questions and considerations two days later, about 90 minutes passed when I received an email wishing me well in my further job pursuits. My questions were for clarity, and despite calling and emailing to inquire what happened, the department chair has refused to take my call or acknowledge my email. This is how we are now treating each other within the Academy? Despite the fact that we are supposed to collaborate, research together, build better tomorrows, engage in conversations and interactions, our leadership/senior faculty treats us like this--and we continue to find that acceptable? Apparently, those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an offer need more mentorship on how to negotiate. I wasn't willing to merely accept any condition/offer (probably my "mistake,") but if higher education is about dialogue and inquiry, why are we denied the respect to do this during the negotiating process? It's dangerous to go through the entirety of a job search, interview at one's own expense, be offered a position, and then have it rescinded merely because a question was asked about the offer. It's unethical and unprofessional. If higher education continues down the path this entire page makes clear that it is moving, it will have larger and larger societal implications and not for the better. (February 2014)Florida A&M UniversityCommunicationsI was shortlisted for a TT job at this school and had arranged to participate in a telephone interview. On the day of the interview, I called the designated number as was requested, but was unable to have the interview "because of emergency staff meetings" or something along those lines that threw off the search committee's schedule. No problem because things happen, right? So we arranged to have the phone interview at a later date. On the day of the rescheduled interview, I called the designated number and the committee member apologized AGAIN and said they couldn't go through with the interview on this day because not all the committee members were on campus. Really? Was this department serious? Anyway, the committee member told me that he'd get back to me later with a rescheduing date. About 15 minutes later, I received a call from the same committee member asking if I could do the interview on the spot. I told him I could since I had already been prepared to do the interview on this date. So we began the conference call. However, I was told that two of the four people who would interview me were NOT even on the search committee! So half of the SC might not have even seen my CV and yet they were interviewing me?! After the interview finished, the primary SC told me that "I'd be hearing from him soon" and that "he was impressed" before hanging up. Well, it's been about five months and I have not heard back from this school since. That's okay because I wouldn't take this job even if offered, but I'm surprised at how disorganized this department was. (Oct 2012)Florida Gulf Coast UniversityHistory & EnglishJob candidates who visited campus in January were left completely in the dark until July 2015, and this despite several attempts to contact HR (since the chair of the search committee made it quite clear they did not want to be bothered with interviewees' questions). All in all, an unpleasant experience with an unprofessional search committee. Upon hearing the full story (mostly excluded here), my doctoral advisor (who remains my mentor) was convinced that this dept. was in violation of several AHA hiring policies.

- 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.

Florida State UniversityHistory

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.

Georgia Gwinnett CollegeSchool of Liberal Arts (and all)I want to begin by stressing that there are some excellent people at this college, both among the faculty and certain administrators (Dr. Laurel Holland, for example, is a wonderful person). But the system here--which is, unfortunately, the corporate model of higher education towards which the country is moving --is broken. There were five new faculty hired in English last year (for the 2014-2015 year). All five excellent teachers--I have every reason to believe that their teaching evaluations were all consistently strong. Two were dismissed. To clarify, the university does not have a tenure system (and the fast-talking president likes to flout how the faculty voted this non-tenure, rotating contract system into place itself), and the two faculty members who were dismissed simply did not have their contracts renewed. All very legitimate business to the suits who run the place--new faculty receive a lovely letter about two weeks into their year informing them that they are not guaranteed a new contract and are essentially fired at the end of the contract. All admins have CYA'd. But the faculty, even the senior faculty on longer 3 or 5 year rotating contracts, firmly believe their jobs are secure and renewal is almost automatic and try to pass this belief on to the junior faculty. Clearly no one's job is secure here.

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!

Georgia Perimeter College?In many ways, this is an excellent academic environment, although there is much variance between campuses. The main thing I wanted to warn possible hires about is that the university is in severe financial trouble including warnings from SACS about their poor financial management. There have been no raises, neither merit nor cost-of-living, not for tenure or promotion, for four years and instead of disdussing this, administration is discussing how to pay less for summer teaching. The cost of required benefits rises every year, so with salary compression I am now making less than when I firsr arrived here. Further acerbating the situation is that even tenured senior faculty members often cannot obtain summer teaching. One campus with 800 students is only teaching six English courses this summer because enrollment is so bad and only a couple of those classes actually filled. 10% of annual salary is given per filled summer class, but a class with less than 18 students only makes part-time salary of $2100, and below that the payment is per student. Since no one is allowed to teach more than one summer class under these conditions, many tenured senior faculty would be taking home less than $1500 total for three months teaching. The assumption is that you will be married and have a two-person income, have family to support you, or be financially well-off. For those who have medical situations, family dependents, or similar situations, it is even worse. The college has set up all its retirement options so that faculty members, even when they have not been given teaching for the summer and face three months with no pay ahead, even with severe emergencies or life-threatening conditions, cannot loan from their retirement funds and cannot access their retirement funds unless they quit their job permanently. I've talked to people at (and worked at) many other institutions where this is not the case; the administrators who set up the retirement options just don't understand that some of us make less than a six-figure salary. If you have a steady income from another source or secure savings and do not normally teach summers or require raises and the salary compression doesn't bother you, this can be a fine place to work, but if this does not apply to you, you can find yourself in a dire situation.Georgia State UniversityEducationThis isn't completely about "fear," but it is to inform those who are trying to get a job here what they might be up against. The department I applied for at Georgia State is very, very bottom heavy as most of the tenured faculty have left for much greener pastures. The department that hired me told me that I would have to come in one year as an UNTENURED faculty member subject to review. If I passed review, I would regain my tenure status. This was wholly unacceptable and they didn't tell me this until my on-campus interview that I had to fly in for. After a lot of prodding, they finally admited that they had lost many, many candidates thanks to this policy and were instituting changes and would let me know how those would affect me. Well, the changes? I had to fly back in for a ONE HOUR interview with the Provost. They couldn't even let me phone this one in? On top of everything else, I had to actually accept the job before I could have this interview, meaning that there was a chance I could actually back out if I didn't get my tenure status carried over. What a pain and I suggest anyone with tenure bring this issue up immediately with them during the phone interview process.

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...

Hope CollegeCommunicationHalf of the Communication department (including two tenured, several tenure-track, and a much-loved full-time adjunct) have left in the past few years. They can't hang on to most of their quality hires, which is a red flag. About the only ones left are either close to retirement or can't go anywhere else. The problem is the combination of administration (a bully provost, as one factor), a very conservative institution and city, and the department culture has shifted downward in recent years. Contact former faculty who've been able to get out before taking a job here to get the real picture.

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.

Hong Kong University (HKU)Political Science[2012-2013] I have always wanted to share this experience and save others from something similar. HKU (also called the University of Hong Kong) recruits both faculty and students from overseas as the medium of instruction is English, and they pay/fund rather well. So be warned--the university administration is the WORST. I have never encountered such gross incompetence. Be prepared for blank looks and "I don't know"s in response to basic questions. I ended up pursuing a formal complaint which culminated in a conversation with the dean/vice dean of the university. The dean was apologetic but left shortly, and the vice dean was atrocious. Clearly hadn't read the text of my complaint closely as s/he had the facts all wrong, but came prepared to argue at every turn. Nearly killed her/himself laughing at a mistake I'd made on some paperwork that was written in poorly-worded English--a mistake that had caused me great hardship. Followed up with comments like, "You're an adult, you should take responsibility for your own behavior." Thus the reason for atrocious admin was made eminently clear and that incident stands out as the most juvenile, condescending and insulting interaction I've ever had in academia.

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.

Howard UniversityBiology[2018] This is supposed to be one of the premier HBCUs but it is really an awful place. This was by far the most disorganized, unprofessional interview that I have ever experienced. The search chair constantly changed the date of the on-campus interview. When we finally agreed on a date, I heard nothing back from them until about two days before the scheduled interview saying that they needed to reschedule. Then they assigned me an interview date only a few days ahead of time without even asking me, and knowing very well that I teach, so I had to cancel my class. At this point, I should have just told them no out of self-respect, but I went ahead. They asked me to prepare a 30 minute research talk and 30 minute teaching example. The teaching example was not related to the job description and I quickly learned that is because this department knows nothing about biology -- they couldn't even bother to pick up a textbook. Finally when it came time to give my talk, they told me I had only 50 minutes for both parts including questions (not an hour as in my itinerary), but then they didn't have a computer set up at the start time, so I lost another 15 minutes while they scambled to get a computer. Instead of apologizing, they were upset with me because I did not bring a computer and have it neatly set up for their audience ahead of time. Then they told me we actually had to be out of the room early. So I had about 35 minutes for an hour talk. Only three of the department faculty showed up -- with almost no engagement. But by far the worst, most demeaning part of the interview was that the African-American faculty barely spoke to me. As a non-African-American, this made me very uncomfortable and was humiliating because I came all the way there and spent weeks preparing an engaging talk and lecture only to be treated very poorly. When the interview was over, no one asked me how I was getting back to my hotel. They just showed me the door. The only highlight of the interview was the students. Many of them were incredibly bright and funny and they told me they really enjoyed by talk; frankly, these students are getting ripped off by their terrible faculty. I can't help but feel that this was all a set-up. I can't prove that there was bias against me, but at best I will say this department is incompetent, but possible there could be soething much more sinister going on here. Oh, and they did not even bother to respond to my post-interview email. The chair, who was not part of the search process, sent me a form letter about having too many applicants -- not even a thanks for spending 2 days of my life there. It's clearly not my abilities because I have landed two tenure-track positions. Avoid this place.Hunter CollegeFilm and Media, HistoryOne student explained to me that the department had lost a lot of majors because the teachers in the media department are the worst at the school. I met the members of the search committee, and they look tired, bedraggled and unhappy. They couldn't even feign being content at their jobs. All evidence of a demoralizing work environment. I wouldn't risk going there.

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.

Illinois State UniversityLanguages, Literatures, and Cultures1. Committee member in skype interview kept gesturing "hurry it up" even though they asked four two or three questions that could not be neatly answered in two minutes. (Interview was only scheduled to be 20 minutes long.)2. When invited for campus interview, they did not want to pay for international flight, so asked if they could hop on to any travel plans I might already have (to save them money).3. After asking me to drive to Normal after an international flight arriving at 11.30p, finally agreed to house me in Chicago overnight and then have me rent a car in the morning to drive down, only to change their mind and and renege offer to stay in Chicago.4. Had this portion go back and forth multiple times between admin and chair (changed no less than 6 times). Only 10 days out (despite invitation to campus being 1.5 months before) finally learned how long I'd be on campus. Travel and hotel provided 6 days out, with no schedule or information on teaching demo. Schedule draft only arrived 3 days before visit.4.Eventually, was flown internationally, had to rent a car to drive from chicago, arrived at hotel at 2.30a, and had to be at school to begin interview at 8a. (so, no regard for 30 hours of travel, jetlag, exhaustion, or the value of a full night's sleep. 5. No breakfast at hotel on 2nd day of interview.6. They wouldn't cover tolls ($7.20), car insurance for rental ($18), gas ($19), food at airport $13.5, and they wouldn't pay to get me back to my home city -- only to the city that I originally scheduled my ticket to fly home and that they piggy-backed on in order to save the cost of an international ticket, even though I drastically changed my schedule to accommodate them.(2019)Indiana State UniversityCommunicationMembers of other departments call it "the viper pit." Some senior faculty members have developed a campus-wide reputation for forcing department chairs out of office. Faculty interactions are marked by distrust, anger, and pettiness. Faculty disagreements have led to countless complaints to the administration and to threats of lawsuits against each other and the administration. Junior faculty members are caught in the crossfire between the chair and opposing senior faculty members. Two junior faculty members have left in the past year, as well as 3 full-time instructors. The university administration resorted to bringing an outside consultant a yar ago address the department's problems, but little has changed. The department's reputation as a whole across campus is abysmal. (2015)Indiana University - Purdue University, Fort Wayne (IPFW)Physics(Fall 2017) If possible, run! Run with a bag-pack full of energy drinks and never stop till you are so far away, you can't think of IPFW! Yup! A lot of politics is going on in the department - they brag about how the geology department was completely useless and they shut it down. During the interview, the chair and other faculty members (except one, whom I mention later) were conversing with me with their eyes on their cellphones. The department-chair asked me questions without even looking at me - constantly fidgeting with his cellphone and replying to emails. The search-chair on the other hand was comparetively nicer to me, and hospitable. Over all, they are very unprofessional, and said a lot of "evil" things behind each other's back! An example is, "ABC is late -- aah, he must be handling his children. He has another one on his way in spite of being unable to handle all the previous ones!" or "XYZ is not coming today. He is not feeling well. Isn't it strange how he falls ill just after the finals? I wonder if he is really ill?" During the mock-lecture, I was interrupted so many times by faculty members, I couldn't get past 25% of the lecture. And the questions (they were acting as students) they asked were incredibly stupid - no college student (or even an elementary school student) in their right mind would ask such questions. When a folly in one of their questions was pointed out, instead of admitting it, the faculty member said something nonsensical. During both the lectures (research and physics), one of the students had a cooing baby in the lecture hall who had to be constantly consoled, and (during the research talk) another faculty member had his leg on the desk with shoe pointing directly at me. A lot of bragging is going on - they were very arrogant, and no one is ever on time (except the search-chair). It was a very unpleasant experience over all. It felt as if I was invited to be insulted and looked-down upon. If possible, avoid it at all cost. And if that was not enough, this university is going through a political crisis - its splitting up into two different universities - Indiana University FW and Purdue University FW (with physics dept going to Purdue). I must point out that their newest/youngest faculty member was professional and very pleasant to converse with, I had a great time interacting with him.Kansas Wesleyan UniversityAdmin/all hirings(May/June 2013) Had a very pleasant phone and campus interview and was offered the job (instructor, non-TT) the day after I returned home. I asked for the details of the offer in writing and requested one week to consider the offer. The written offer never came and when I inquired about it almost a week later, I was told they were waiting for my verbal acceptance. However, my questions were answered in a phone call. I asked for an additional two days to consider while I made one more campus visit (already scheduled). After deciding that I could not wait for the other school to decide, I contacted KWU to inform them I would be mocing forward with their offer and inquired about the possibility of a salary increase. One day later, I was informed that they had offered the position to the other candidate, and when I asked, I was told that they had interpreted my salary request as an ultimatum. However I was never given a chance to "take it or leave it" on their initial offer.

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.

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), GermanyNatural Sciences and EngineeringIn 2006, KIT won the Excellence initiative on the on the idea of a merger between the southern (University) campus and the Northern (research center) campus. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Universities_Excellence_Initiative . In 2012, KIT no longer appears as one of the 11 “excellent” universities. Now think how common households manage their income in anticipation of a juicy bonus, and do the math.

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)

Kutztown University (Pennsylvania)CommunicationI did a campus interview there in the Spring of 2013. The town is extremely rural and has absolutely nothing going for it. It was described as "quaint," "charming," and "old-fashioned." In reality, the town was depressed, lugubrious, and morose and that is putting it nicely. It is literally in the middle of nowhere. The town itself reflects both the university and its low quality faculty. From the moment I got there, the faculty bad mouthed the town, the students, and even other faculty behind their back. Nobody and I mean nobody wants to live in Kutztown. The faculty themselves live far from the university, some commuting from as far as Philadelphia and NYC. The Comm building was run down and faculty were placed in closet like offices. I was told on several occasions that the students "lack critical thinking skills" and have "writing skills at a junior high level." Although the faculty said they were "concerned," I was told it was not their problem and that they "just play the hand they are dealt." In meeting with the faculty, I was anything but impressed. Faculty had their phds from universities that some might consider to be degree mills. During my research presentation, one of the male faculty members was a total dick to the other members of the committee by always publicly disagreeing with them on very petty issues. Some of the faculty were tenure track not because they earned the position, but from what I was told that if you served 4 years as an adjunct teaching 4 courses per semester, it automatically converts into a TT position. There were quite a number of faculty who fell into that situation. The search committee chair was a step above trailer trash and had 0% social skills. S/he was laconic the entire time and barely opened her/his mouth other than to ask scripted questions that were required to ask. To top it off, in my rejection letter, I was addressed as "Mr." which shows tremendous disrespect to the candidate while the search committee chair had no problem signing her/his name with the title "Dr." In addition, in meeting with the Dean of the College I found that he had the personality of a can of paint. If this is the only job you get it take it and get back on the job market. Bad living area, bad faculty, bad students, bad vibe all around. There is a reason that faculty get hired and leave this place all the time.

Lake Erie College

General: this school has no departments and only one faculty member per subject (e.g., "history," not "American history" or "European history")(Summer 2013) If you value academic integrity and freedom, this is not the college for you. Increasing enrollments is a huge push here, and over 60% of the enrollment at this school comes from athletes, even though the size of the school prohibits any serious athletics standing. The faculty and admin have struck a "deal" with the athletics departments to maintain college enrollments: athletes can't fail courses. Instead, no matter their performance or attendance, they are given grades of "C-." This "deal," I was told, is an effort to stop the flow of always-successful grade challenges that result from the loss of athletics eligibility and GPA requirements. The school has absolutely no online platforms (Blackboard, ANGEL, etc), has antiquated on-campus electronics, does not participate in the OhioLINK library system (one of only two colleges in the state that doesn't), and provides no teaching support (no sabbaticals or course releases, plus expected course overloads each semester). Not only is the faculty pay among the lowest in the state (average of $39k), the school provides no research support in time off or in funding, though for tenure one is required to publish a rather amorphous "something." Tenure is based mostly on teaching evaluations; however, these are completed online, and most of the students do not complete them unless they do not like the course and want to complain (or so I was informed).

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.

Liberty University

Many DepartmentsBe very careful before considering this university, especially women. Along with some of what you might expect from a university founded by a very conservative religious church, the place has issues with admitted students, grade inflation pressure, administrative interference with student grades, and discrimination against women and minorities. 1.) Religious pressure to believe as Jerry Falwell believed, and many departments (especially religious studies and the seminary) are notorious for only promoting faculty who attend Thomas Road Baptist Church (Falwell's congregation, now run by his son). 2.) In trying to grow (now the 4th largest university in the world through online programs), the university admits students with any highschool GPA over 0.9. AKA, students who fail highschool are regularly admitted without additional testing or placement. 3.) Faculty are regularly pressured to pass students, pressures include: a.) direct e-mail from the university president who communicates with individual students through facebook, b.) at-will employment with "up to" 50% of decision based on student evaluations c.) threat of being "included" in the online teacher pool, this can mean having to agree to teach a 4-4 on campus load, and a 2-2-2-2 load online [the online school and the residential program do not consider each other in course load assignments] - failure to agree results in termination of contract at the end of the semester. 4.) At least 4 professors in the department of communication have been directly contacted by the university president (also one of Falwell's sons) and told that a specific student "will pass" their class.

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.

Louisiana State UniversityHumanitiesIneptitude on every level. I was a finalist for a tenure-track assistant professor position. The search chair sent countless identical emails requesting an interview but never responded to my replies. Worried that I'd miss my opportunity, I called the department's admin who intervened for me. After some phone calls, she determined that search chair was not proficient with the computer and was directing multiple candidate responses to a junk folder. Finally an interview was arranged. After a long and friendly interview, search chair explicitly told me the job was mine if I wanted it and promised an update within two weeks. Months passed. I inquired about the status of the interview and was assured that the search was just on hold while the department wrapped up an other search. That next day, I learned via a social networking web site that an acquaintance had been hired into the position to which I'd applied. To this date, I have received not a single word from LSU. I'm left to imagine that the SC is either a liar or inept. Either way, what a total waste of time and energy.Louisiana Tech UniversityCounseling / Liberal Arts / Social SciencesI worked there for six years. No one receives pay increases, no one receives support from administration. You're expected to "do more with less" which really means do more work with less money. They pay a below bottom 10% wage for the work that you do. I didn't want to leave but I had to do something to support my family. They indoctrinate you with talk of the "Tech Family" but the minute you express that you're exploring work elsewhere then you're dead to them. They try to explain the "low cost of living" in Ruston but it's really not that low. Property is high, the cost of health insurance through the state is high, I do not recommend it. There are better places to work and certainly places that are less expensive to live in. I'm much happier where I'm at now.

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.

MacEwan UniversityEnglishBe warned, this department treats job candidates terribly. They think of the interview and the job talk as an opportunity to attack the candidate and his/her research. The department is plagued by academic bullying. [posted Nov. 2014]

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.

Mars Hill UniversitySpanishThe people were very nice to me, but it wasn't enough to convince me that working here was worth it, literally. Between the fact that the in-person interview was disorganized and, more importantly, that I was asked to accept a salary that I earned 20 years ago as a new educator, I strongly warn you to think twice before coming here. [April 2015]Mercer UniversityEducationThis is an extremely disfunctional department. It has about ten faculty on the Macon campus, three of whom are leaving the school this year and two others who are looking for new jobs. There are 5 faculty who are retirement age and need to retire. If you are looking to work here, be warned that this place is toxic. You will be asked to do more work than humanly possible and be asked to bend ethical rules and lower standards. The new doctoral program is seen as a cash cow and be warned if you are a student looking to come here for this program. If you are interviewing, ask why the turnover is so high. As for the undergraduate program - it is quite good, but the students make it this way, not the faculty or administrators. [April 2013]

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]

Mercer UniversityEducationMarch, 2016: First, the search committee scheduled my flight leaving at 5:30 am to arrive in Atlanta at 10 am and then I was to interview with the Atlanta Mercer campus at 5 pm. So I had 7 hours of down time in Atlanta. However, due to issues out of my control, I was booted off my flight and did not arrive in Atlanta in time to make that interview. When I called my contacts at the Atlanta campus to tell them what happened I was asked what time I got to the airport that morning. (I got there two hourse before the flight was due to leave.) As if I just blew off the departure time. The position, by the way, was advertised as being on the Macon campus and was never indicated as having anything to do with the Atlanta campus until I got my interview schedule, so that was a big surprise to me! Apparantly they were hiring for two positions, one at each campus, and were killing two birds with one stone. Next on the schdedule was dinner in Macon at 7pm, which I barely made, and would not have made if I had gotten to the 5 pm Atlanta interview. Traffic between Atlanta and Macon was terrible. I was picked up the next morning at 7am for breakfast and the long day of interviews. I gave a teaching demonstration and a research presentation. My teaching demonstration was to a class completely outside my teaching subject area, which was very awkward. My research presenation was attended by only two search committee members, the same two I spent the evening dinner with, who were also the same two (and only two) who attended the final meeting. The entire day I was given numerous hints that I was THE one who was going to be offered the position, was shown "your new office", etc. Upon return home, I never heard from the committee again. I was charged the bill for my car rental, which was significant, and I submitted it to Mercer and asked for confirmation of receipt. No answer. Asked a second time. No answer. I don't mind the incidentals, such as meals and so on, but the car? Really? Don't waste your time with Mercer. Completely unprofessional from beginning to end.Menlo CollegeEnglishInvited me for a campus visit after the initial Skype interview. Wanted me to prepare a teaching demo and another talk on how I teach and how my research intersects with my teaching. Halfway through the day, one of the search committee members told me there was an internal candidate for the position and that they were only running the search "as a formality" to impress the president with the caliber of candidates they could bring to campus. (In fact, when they later called to reject me, the [actually very kind] search chair confirmed that "the president was extremely impressed with the quality of all the candidates.") After informing me of this internal candidate, the faculty member then escorted me to the threshold of said internal candidate's office and said, "here's his office. Do you want to meet him? He's really great and did his PhD at [Ivy League]." Then, after what was a long and unnecessary day for everyone, they decided to skip dinner, so I was on my own.

They also have no tenure system.

Molloy CollegeHumanitiesFall 2018: The college has decided to move to a school based system and move away from divisions (smart) but as a result, the transition progress and institutional changes have become fully opaque. The president oversees all curricular shifts and controls the communication of all vice presidents. The president would rather be provost than president. The humanities in particular are mobilized as resources for the college. Any new faculty hired into Humanities since 2015 have been used and exploited for new ideas with little to no instituational support by the administration. The upper administration completely disregards the scholarship of all Humanities faculty. (Scholarship is not required for tenure and promotion.) Lastly, despite record enrollment increases, faculty's cost of living raises are being withheld indefinitely as the president keeps the money in holding to increase the endowment.Montana State University- BillingsPsychologyApril, 2014: The search committee chair was incredibly friendly and sweet, and it seems like a very low-drama department. However, I wish I had taken a more active role in helping to plan the interview day. I wound up using two vacation days, on the recommendation of the SCC, to come to campus for two days. However, all that was scheduled for the second day was a campus tour (which I actually accomplished the first day) and a one-hour meeting with the grad students, which could easily have been fit into Day 1. Also, I prepared a job talk/teaching talk for a Master's level audience, then found out at the last minute that I was to present to a group of undergraduates (who mostly just sat there giving me the stinkeye for suddenly taking over their class, with little advance warning or context provided by their professor). So I'd recommend asking a lot of questions to make sure the plan for the interview is clear.Montclair State UniversityPsychology
  • 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

HumanitiesStrange, surreal campus visit that seemed entirely structured around ascertaining my marital and family status. I am almost certain they Googled me extensively online prior to the visit, and desperately wanted me to give up this information so that they didn't "have" to ask illegal questions. Anyway, here we go. The whole thing started off weird. For starters, they put me up in an awful, loud, smoky casino in a smoking room (ugh). The place got really rowdy at night, and I resorted to banging on the wall at 3am the night before my interview in a (failed) attempt to silence the loud sex transpiring next door. In the morning, the SC member was 15 minutes late to pick me up for my interview (no breakfast-we went right to the SC roundtable interrogation. Luckily the casino had Starbucks.), leaving me standing outside the casino in the 100 degree Nevada heat. The car was cramped and covered in dog hair, and the AC was broken, leading both the car and him/her to reek of BO. This was bad enough, but the discomfort was compounded by the inappropriate, weirdly quasi-sexual questions that s/he asked me while speeding to the college in attempt to ensure that I was not excessively late for my interview (the person also drove recklessly to get there on time, swearing at other cars on the Interstate, which was both awkward and nerve wracking). S/he made remarks about my physical appearance, asked if I had any tattoos or piercings (WTF), how often I worked out, and asked if I had any "special friends"(???) whom I would be "sad" to leave behind if I moved. This person repeatedly attempted to lead me into disclosing my relationship status by talking nonstop about the singles scene in Las Vegas (including mention of how easy it is to "get laid around here"), then proceeding to watch my face for a reaction (which also led to some harrowing moments on the Interstate). We arrive at the college, which is off of the Interstate in a desolate location with nothing in the vicinity. At the interview, everyone seemed pissed that I was late, which somehow was my fault. SC was very rude and unpleasant the whole time (arms crossed defensively, no smiling, one person audibly snickered and huffed during my answers to my interview questions). Maybe I smelled objectionable at this point from the gross car and casino, IDK. I learned, at that point, that the research presentation that I was told to prepare would instead be a teaching demo, but since I wasn't able to meet any students for whatever reason (something about them being "too busy" even though this was AFTER finals was over and commuting from off campus, whatever.)I was to design my presentation as a teaching demo, and administrators and faculty present would "pretend" to be students. This led to a very confusing situation, as I really had no idea how to approach my audience. The only question came from an admin, who grilled me about my tastes in popular culture and then proceeded to criticize them. OK. After that, another SC member drove me around town, also trying to figure out my family status. S/he drove me by several schools, asking me "if I cared about school districts" and "wanted to check out the local playgrounds." Um, ye..-maybe? No? Blerg. At lunch that afternoon, I endured more tedious, indirect attempts to figure out my family status, including a SC member telling me that someone else at the school dressed his/her pets up as children, ha ha, childless people do odd things, *wink wink* amirite? Sigh. Eventually, during this meeting, I was asked point blank if I had children. I looked the person in the eye, saying nothing, and they awkwardly held my gaze. I declined to answer, and the person simply walked away flummoxed (who knows where s/he went? Awkward.). The remaining SC member was even ruder after this episode, and cut short our tour of the area. S/he then dropped me off, alone, outside of a random administration building where someone was supposed to pick me up. S/he simply turned and left, neglecting to even say goodbye. Dinner that night at the casino with deans and administrators consisted of them bragging about their salaries and toasting each other with martinis while boasting that NSC is a great place to be an administrator. Both me and other faculty in my field were undermined for not having strong ties to industry. At this point I knew I would not take the job if it was offered, which of course it wasn't. In sum, ugly campus and area, weird and unpleasant faculty, administration openly loves the corporatization of the university, inappropriate obsession with candidates' family status. To their credit, they were very efficient and timely about reimbursing my travel expenses. If they had stuck me with the bill for that awful casino stay, I would have really been irritated!Nevada State CollegeAll DepartmentsCollege will not sponsor work visas for faculty. Many departments seem to be unaware of this and will ask candidates for on campus interviews that will be incapable of receiving a work visa from them. I personally know of several candidates that were final round choices that were removed at a very late stage from the applicant pool (i.e. right before flying out) because the department was told months after the search started that they can't budge on the visa issue. Disgusting.
  • 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.
Norfolk State UniversityAll DepartmentsThis uiversity has some pretty serious issues, as a quick Google search will reveal--accreditation warning; a new interim president; low graduation rates, etc.

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.

Northeastern GlobalGlobal Studies ProgramAmatures. Cold, rude, and evasive throughout the process. Run away unless you like toxic enviornments.Northwest NazareneArts/SciencesNot on a search currently, but it has become apparent that, perhaps due to the school's small size, they have some faculty teaching in additional areas for which they are, at best, dubiously qualified. This might be more an administrative problem than a problem with the faculty members themselves, who are stretched too thin as a result. So this may be something to watch out for if you are involved in a search. No one wants to find out that they are going to have to teach in additional areas they may not be necessarily prepared for.Oklahoma Baptist UniversityEnglishI interviewed spring 2015 for a job starting in fall 2015. I knew going in it was a Christian school, and had no real problems agreeing with the official statement of faith, though had some worries about the campus culture and academic freedom based on some issues I had read about online. These rumors were largely confirmed during a phone interview; I was accused by a member of the administration who was chairing the search of being a heretic (specifically, believing that salvation comes from works not by faith) for expressing a commitment to social justice based on my faith. Later in the interview, the same person (when I asked what they were hoping the faculty member could contribute to the campus culture and institutional efforts) said he wanted someone who "wouldn't convince students they had to be heretics in order to be good Christians." I was a bit surprised that my professional references received a follow up phone call, but was not at all surprised I didn't get a campus interview after they called the pastor of my church.Ottawa University (Kansas)All/OnlineOngoing, although my experiences were fall 2012/spring 2013.

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)

All/Social SciencesThis school is exploitative of non-tenure track faculty (usual promises of consideration when tenure-track searches open up, but in reality they are usually passed over, unless you are in a favored department). Very difficult environment for minority faculty. The school is ostensibly seeking to diversify, but is unable/unwilling to understand the correlation between race/gender and student evaluations. 90% student approval expected for first-year faculty (which is very difficult for minority faculty to achieve). For a religious school, it was shocking that they would fire the pastor to save money. High degree of labor instability in certain posts, e.g. area studies, where persons of color have been routinely discriminated. From the grapevine, internal processes at the school are seriously prejudiced, and the learning environment is highly complacent and insular, contrary to the advertising. It is popular regionally among a niche market, i.e. well-off middle-class white parents who want a "safe" space for their students, which does not create a strong intellectual/teaching atmosphere for faculty.

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

PharmacyFirst of all, Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL should be called Liberty University Junior and mysteriously has a deceptive name similar to Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. The Pharmacy school was formerly controlled and manipulated by a husband and wife team who subscribed--along with most administrators--to a fundamentalist view of Protestant Christianity and the majority of the "influencers" of the school belong to a mega church called Christ Fellowship. When the Dean stepped down, his position was open and his wife had a faculty meeting where she told the faculty that the Holy Spirit told her to be the Dean. When the majority of the faculty opposed her appointment by the Provost, the Provost met with the faculty ... he stated, "I haven't prepared anything so I am going to just be led by the Spirit. You guys are a mess ...." Here was the breakdown. Provost with an EdD who came from Pat Robertson's school. Faculty= Ph.D.s, M.D.s and PharmDs from across the nation. The faculty was and still are, forced by school policy to integrate faith into their lectures. They are also supposed to be "examples" by the fundies definition of being good. A faculty member who reported an administrator for harassment was suddenly walked off campus one day by security and her office was emptied ... I mean emptied in boxes the very next day!!!! Another professor kept teaching students about human evolution and was moved from a corner executive office to an adjunct office the size of a broom closet. He posted posters of human migration out of Africa along with his publications. His position was "dissolved" by the Provost right after a visit by the financiers of the pharmacy school. If you have a hard time explaining the genetics of a virgin giving birth to a son who has a Y chromosome this isn't your place. If you don't like the administration downloading your facebook photos and snooping on you ... not your place. If you feel it is against the law to single out women who became pregnant out of wedlock ... not your place. And this was reported to the Department of Education due to a pharmacy student who was singled out for "getting pregnant out of wedlock." If you believe in academic freedom ... LOL. If you understand that graduate education is more than board score performance and memorization ... not your place. The rest is history and would make a hilarious book!!! [posted July 2013]

...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?

Penn State BehrendSchool of ScienceAvoid working here if at all possible. It is a small, 4 year public university with a high teaching load (12 contact hours per semester) and very high expectations for tenure. Faculty are required to have excellent student and faculty teaching reviews, 6 publications in 6 years (with students as co-authors) and have a very good university service record. Last winter I submitted my dossier for tenure review and turned it in feeling pretty confident because I had met and exceeded expectations: excellent student and faculty evaluations, 7 pubs in six years and a very good university service record. My dossier was passed on to the School of Science comittee who unanimously recommended tenure (5 / 5), but the School of Science director overturned the committees recommendations and suggested I be denied tenure. To be officially denied however, 2 adminsitrative levels have to recommend denial, and my dossier was sent to the College Comittee. Once there, the College Comittee recommended tenure 6 /3, so the Director went to the Chancellor and convinced him to second the recommendation for denial. In addition to my own experience, aproximately half of the faculty in the School of Science who apply for tenure are denied it. In sum, this school's expectations are too high, and are enforced unfairly. Work somewhere else if you can.Pratt InstituteSchool of Liberal Arts and SciencesOffer rescinded 24h after it was intiated. I responded to the offer with my requested terms, which included a fairly big ask (including a bump in rank) but only after discussing it with the Dean during my campus visit. The Chair responded to my offer with a terse email saying we were "clearly not on the same page" and therefore "I am hereby rescinding our offer." Chair and Dean then completely shut down communication.

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.

Pusan National University (South Korea)Department of Global StudiesThe department actively seeks to recruit from the US and deserves to be included here. This is an interdisciplinary liberal arts department, with a handful of tenure-track faculty and a larger cluster of adjuncts. Most of the adjuncts teach ESL to the Korean students in the department. If you are hired on a tenure-track contract, an off-campus apartment will be rented for you by the university. Adjuncts will be allocated accommodation of variable quality on campus. Salaries are paid on time and are fairly generous for South Korean standards.Teaching loads are moderate, classes are small, and students are generally very pleasant to work with. Still, there are very serious problems here:
  • 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.
QuinnipiacallNew hires are having offers recinded, newer professors laid off. http://www.nhregister.com/social-affairs/20140509/quinnipiac-university-to-lay-off-15-professors-add-12-new-faculty-members [posted May 2014]Rhode Island School of DesignHPSS[2015] Asked me to cover some of the costs of my travel to campus and file for reimbursement. Then stopped responding to email inquiries about reimbursement (I made 3 different inquiries, ignored by 2-faculty and staff alike). Luckily, my costs were nominal, but buyer beware. This campus appears to expect job candidates to help subsidize their searches. Do not expect them to follow through on reimbursements. --> FOLLOW-UP: After posting here, I did receive reimbursement of these costs (albeit several months post-interview).

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.

Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU)College of Business and Management, College of Arts and Behavioral Sciences*2013
  • 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.

Saint Mary's University of MinnesotaPsychologyReason for fear: the Dean rescinded a verbal offer after I sent a request for research support to the VPAA. [posted Dec. 2014]

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.

Salem State UniversityPolitical ScienceInterviewed with them a while ago. The junior faculty seemed nice enough but more concerned with getting a free dinner on the university's dime than actually getting to know their potential future colleague. A few weeks after I interviewed the faculty member being replaced, since he failed to earn tenure, contacted me. He complained that he was harassed by the chair for the six years he was there and eventually denied tenure because they did not like that he is a foreigner with an accent. I did not receive an offer, but decided to forward this information to the new hire, who in turn forwarded it to the department chair (the harasser), who in turn started sending me threatening e-mails saying that he would "destroy" my reputation. He did not accomplish this, but he surely lived up to his own reputation. I had the last laugh, though, as I now have a job and am a name in my field, while he is semi-retired, a no-body in his area of expertise, and "teach[ing] directed studies for the Department" (in other words, being the same deadwood he has been for his entire academic career).Sam Houston State UniversityHistoryInterviewed with them in 2013. It was black comedy and a lawsuit waiting to happen. During the phone interview they spent 60% of the time making statements instead of having me answer questions. The on-campus was creepy. It is never fun being up against an inside candidate married to a professor in the department (though she did not get the job in the end and neither of them is on the school website anymore), but that's part of interviewing. I am a woman and this is the only department that has ever asked me if I was married and "how many" kids I have. When I was evasive I was asked if I wanted to have kids. (I guess employment laws don't apply at Sam Houston) During my job talk a man I was later told was a dean and history professor stood against the wall in the half-empty classroom glaring at me until he stormed out half way through. In the second job talk one of the professors was reading his mail during my research presentation and another was asleep. Later that day, I overheard two male history professors saying that I was "easy on the eyes" and commenting on my legs while one of them did some wierd impersonation. I would not have worked in that department if my only other option was adjuncting on an oil rig. Thankfully I had other options. No wonder the department's women all looked nervous around their male colleagues! The sad part was that I really liked some of the younger professors, but the established faculty made me want to get out of Texas ASAP.
  • 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.
San Jose State UniversityEnglishThe phone interview was very strange. One interviewer kept asking the same question: "How are you qualified to work with linguistically diverse students?" I found out from a friend who went on to the campus visit stage that the search committee was essentially sabotaging the search process. The English department is mostly comprised of literature professors who do not agree with compostion and rhetoric's approach to writing. One professor even stated that she does not "believe in research" . . . that is any research into writing. It's pretty clear that the administration would like a composition specialist, but the faculty want nothing to do with composition and prefer the grammar drill approach to writing. [posted April 2014]School of Advanced Studies (University of Tyumen)All fields

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.[2019]

Sewanee:"University of the South"

English and other departments

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/

Southeast Missouri State UniversitySocial science fieldReally odd phone interview with this school. The only person on was the department chair, who apparently was the search committee chair as well. I was asked almost nothing about my scholarship (which was an important component of the job as described) and surprisingly little about my teaching, and I was told nothing about the students, the department, or the school until I started asking questions. Instead, the first half of my interview was about "teamwork," starting with "What would the people you work with say about you?" and continuing to several questions about how I would handle conflicts within the department. (Of course, this raised more red flags for me than a Chinese revolutionary opera.) The experience reminded me of interviewing to work as a package handler for UPS a number of years ago; certainly, it reminded me in almost no way of the interviews I've had before or since for academic positions. [posted June 2014]

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)

Southeastern Community College (Iowa)Social ScienceIn today’s job market getting a campus is exciting, and unfortunately, all too rare. I was excited to get a campus visit from SCC Iowa (my first campus visit). I was amped. The kicker, they would cover less than 50% of the travel costs. I had to break the bank to make the trip, but I figured I was a finalist with two additional candidates. It was only when I got to campus that I realized the long odds ahead of me. Five total candidates, not three. I really wish they would have had another step in the application process (phone interview, Skype interview, something). I had to spend money I did not have (credit card). Considering the amount of money it costs to visit a campus, SCC Iowa should have really narrowed the search down further. I drove across half the country, dedicating four days of my life for what amounted to an hour-long interview. Did this really have to be accomplished in person? [posted May 2014]
  • 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.
Southern New Hampshire UniversityAll/Online and AdministrationThis school has some serious integrity issues. The (canned) curriculum has become increasingly watered down, using materials that are full of mistakes a decent 8th grade student could probably catch. Typically weekly expectations are about 30 pages of reading and 2-3 discussion posts, which is about 1/5 of the work students might do in a course at another school (including other open-enrollment colleges I'm familiar with). The students still complain that they can't keep up. Faculty are repeatedly told to "be flexibile," so the deadlines on the syllabi are more or less meaningless.

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.

Stanford UniversityMusicDisturbing allegations of sexual harrassment against a senior faculty member in the music department and an apparent efford by the university to silence his accusor:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/19/ex-stanford-professor-i-was-pushed-out-after-reporting-sexual-harassment

St. Louis College of PharmacyHistoryFall 2016 - This search was a joke. We were contacted for interviews in December to be held at the AHA in Atlanta this year. At the interview, they explained that the entire search committee wasn't even there! From the seemingly scores of interviews they did at the conference, they were first going to make a short list of 10 for phone interviews and then were inviting finalist to campus. So basically, many of us spent money on plane tickets, hotel room, conference fees etc. for what amounted to an informational session with dumb questions like "its 5:00 and you've been in meetings all day and you just want to go home and you are about to get in your car when you hear a student in the background saying professor smith, professor smith, can i talk to you for a minute?" Do they not realize that many of us applying for these positions are grad students who cannot afford to travel unnecessarily? In this market, conference interviews are hugely exciting and we are willing to spend the money on attending conferences we would not usually attend on the off chance that we may actually beat the odds and get a job. We send out hundred of applications hoping to get that invitation. We assume these committees are credible and have done the work to narrow down their list to semi-finalists--that way the trip is worth everyone's while. This group of misfits seemed to purposefully give off the impression that they were there to have fun, and used the interviews as an excuse for a free trip to the AHA. If you apply for a job at this university in the future---DO NOT waste your money and meet them at a conference-ask them for a phone or skype interview, at least then it will only be a minimal waste of your time.SUNY OneontaCommunication, generalSpring 2017. I was selected as a finalist for one of two open positions. Everyone I met was *very* nice, so this is not a complaint about the department or its faculty. However, their campus interview process was quite an ordeal. I was responsible for booking travel arrangements. At the last minute, I was informed that the department would be housing me in a room on-campus, at which point I cancelled the hotel reservations I had made. A few days later, I received an update that I would now be housed at a local hotel--the same hotel with which I had just cancelled a reservation. But, I digress. The biggest issue here is that the campus is located about an hour outside of Albany and, therefore, an hour away from the closest airport. The department conducted campus visits in February, and as it so happened, I flew in on a particularly snowy day. Rather than arranging for a faculty member to pick candidates up from the airport or working out some sort of transportation to/from the airport/campus, I was told to rent a car. The result of this was me trying to drive quite a distance in the snow in a Toyota Corrolla on very unfamiliar roads--because of the snow, the trip took over 2 hours after what had already been an exhausting day of cross-country travelling. I was fortunate that I did not miss any turns or exits--the highway leading to Oneonta only has exits every 20+ miles after a certain point. When I finally arrived in Oneonta, I had dinner with the search committee chair. The actual on-campus interview was fine. The following morning, I had breakfast with the chair of the department, which made this campus visit a 3-day extravaganza. Travel back to the airport the following day--again in the snow--was another hassle.

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.

Taylor UniversityAll

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.
Texas A&M University - College StationEnglish/College of Liberal ArtsThis department has had a lot of trouble retaining junior faculty, in particular faculty of color, and graduate students. Recently, the department staff, faculty, and graduate students completed a survey on the climate for diversity, and the results placed this department in a tie for worst climate in the College of Liberal Arts. Allegations of blatant racism, sexism, and homophobia, as well as multiple abuses of power were brought up, and the department was forced by the dean of the college to create and implement concrete plan to address these issues. Graduate students, junior faculty, and staff seem to bear the brunt of these problems, often because of their position as more vulnerable members of the department. Many graduate students took the lead in bringing these issues to air (because they couldn't be fired, like junior faculty and staff), and the response ranged from disbelief to outright hostility. Texas A&M is a largely conservative school in general, and its institutional history as a military school for white men informs a lot of its present traditions and culture, but the problems within the English department cannot be simply blamed on its association with Texas A&M. [April 2013]

[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.

Texas A&M University - College StationEngineering[Fall 2022] Offered an NTT AP position, and in the letter, it stated that NTT positions do not accrue vacation (a relatively small expense they could easily change if they valued NTT as true 'professional track' careers). During interviews, the department head joked that they had 'never had anyone complain about this, as you only work 2 days per week - haha!' This led me to explore the benefits package more deeply to understand how a temporary need to take time off work would impact pay. I learned that A&M does not offer ANY paid parental leave policies nor ANY short-term disability policies (university-wide), only FMLA protection after 12 months employment and 8 days/year sick-leave, with a sick-leave bank that can be 'requested from' but is not guaranteed. TT faculty have only sick-leave and ~9 days vacation to use if they have a major life event, with some departments offering specific guidelines about whether TT faculty can have teaching relief for a semester after having a baby - no policies for other short-term leave. I used to be disabled, having 3 major hip surgeries over several years to repair my body, and this type of employment would have been discriminatory against my need to focus on my disability while maintaing adequate pay and job security. I called HR to confirm who said 'I just tell people to save 90 days' pay if you want to have a baby so you can stay home and not worry.' This isn't necessarily HR or the department's fault, as they are trying to navigate a university system which does not promote actionable policies to ensure equity in marginalized groups, however, it did speak of the culture here. I emailed the department head (and tried to call) to discuss how this is a major concern in my decision to decline the offer. I was met with silence. A&M is very traditional. However, it is 2022, and they must do simple actions like offering short-term disability within their benefits package to attract and retain talent of all types of people...and to discuss these important concerns in a respectful manner toward a more inclusive culture.Texas A&M University–Corpus ChristiArt[SUMMER – FALL 2015]

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.

Texas A&M University-TexarkanaAllTiffin UniversityAllNightmare institution -- a non-profit increasingly being run like a for-profit. In the last three to four searches, Deans were told one salary range which was then dramatically lowered in the middle of the search process. They are doing this to specifically hire certain types of faculty members: those willing to put up with this kind of shit. An investigation by the federal Department of Justice and a short-term re-review by the HLC is now pending for a number of essentially criminal practices. Anyone associated with running the humanities areas at any level are not actually qualified to do so. The current Dean of Arts and Sciences is an unemployed lawyer. A previous Dean was essentially a high school teacher with Master's degrees. This place hates faculty, does not take its educational mission seriously, and should be investigated by the IRS for profit-taking practices.University of Alabama - TuscaloosaSocial Work / Modern LanguagesThere seem to be many disgruntled faculty and staff here. A LOT of politics and A LOT of people looking for other jobs. Be careful of this place. Ditto modern language dep. Lots of drama, coldness, backstabbing, politics there.University of Arkansas at Little RockHealth, Human Performance, and Sport ManagementAugust 2015 - A late job announcement was posted in July for an August 17 start date. Actually there were three announcements for three different positions in this department all posted at the same time with the same hire date, so I (possibly wrongly) assumed that they were simply given a late approval by higher administration. I applied thinking they may be willing to negotiate a January start date. Phone interview was scheduled for two weeks prior to start date On the phone, the search committee chair was openly hostile and aggressive. He started by telling me to ask my questions first. When I did, he then admonished me for asking a question that he was planning to cover during the phone interview. I asked a second question about the standard teaching load and he told me "That is a question for the department chair, not the search committee." The search committee members then took turns asking the standard HR-approved questions, then asked if I had any other questions. I asked about the fast-approaching start date and the search committee chair cut me off to say, "Yeah, that is the start date. Is that going to be a problem?" I politely said that I just wanted clarification and that I was still interested in the position. He then asked how I would be arriving for the on-campus interview next week, by car or plane? I told him that it would be best to fly since I am quite far away. His exact response, "Okay. Thank you for your time." That was it; he hung up the phone. I had no idea if this was an official invitation for an on-campus interview or not. I was expecting to hear from him or the department's administrative assistant to coordinate travel plans (even though I was going to decline), but heard nothing until the automated HR rejection email arrived on August 17. My only guess is that it was a sham search for an internal hire. The absolutely worst phone interview experience I have ever had.University of ConnecticutDigital Media & DesignIt's a new department--I interviewed for what will be their first tenure track hire (in interactive design). These folks are expecting faculty to do a unreasonable amount of work. The course load is 3/4 (high for an R1 institute)--but what is more, each 3 credit course actually consists of 6 contact hours because they consist of 3 classroom hours followed by 3 lab hours (which are overseen by the faculty, not grad students or such). So it is essentially a 6/8 load! Additionally, there are very high demands in terms of departmental & college service as well as an expectation that faculty will be on campus 5 days/week (which would be necessary given the high course load). And since it is an R1 institute, there is also a high bar regarding research & creative output. Yikes! Stay away!University of CopenhagenTransnational American StudiesWas a finalist for a visiting position in December 2013--a truly bizarre and horrible experience, if mercifully brief. Fully 8 months after I applied, they gave me one time slot for a 1-hour Skype interview, at 6 AM (which is NOON in Copenhagen, so it's not like they couldn't have scheduled it remotely close to business hours). During the interview, the search chair was extremely aggressive, doubting my obviously uninflated credentials ("how can you call yourself a lecturer when you only teach 2 classes?"); insulting my application materials ("why did you include those publications? Wouldn't others have been better choices? Here you've basically written the same article twice!"); quizzing me about the interests of the other humanities faculty to see how thoroughly I'd memorized the website; and asserting that I'd have no idea how to deal with the delinquent students in the program. The other committee-members were perfectly nice but mostly silent. Because it was so early, it took me a while to realize I was being insulted, but in retrospect I might have asked them why on earth they were interviewing me if they so thoroughly despised my work and doubted my credentials. Not sure if this has something to do with the academic culture there or if it was a pro forma interview because I had the right amount of publications, if apparently identical and subpar ones. To their credit, they rejected me very quickly, though I wouldn't have gone near the job in any case.
  • 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.
University of DenverLanguages and LiteraturesSteer clear of this deeply dysfunctional and highly toxic department in perpetual state of disarray. It is marked by significant drama and infighting. Personal battles (lawsuits), low morale, low performance, riddled with inefficient processes. More concerned about survival than growth. It is static, much more about protecting the status quo -clinging to their security blanket- rather than progressing forward with innovation implementation.
  • 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!
University of Georgia, TiftonForestryI interviewed for a position at a satellite campus. After talking with a few people it became clear that the only reason this job would be in Tifton was because of some senator who footed the money. He demanded that it be in Tifton. Satellite campuses are great and have their place. Except this was clear that there was a chasm between this place and the main campus.
  • 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

Divisons of World LanguagesProceed with caution if you are up for any of the jobs (gender, Spanish, migration) in this Division at the perpetually-in-crisis University of Iowa. Even in a very tough market, you have the right to know what you're getting into: keep your eyes open, ask the right questions, and do your homework. [posted Jan. 2013]
  • 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).
University of Liverpool in China, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU)Language Centre and Several Other DepartmentsThis is a most corrupt and dishonest university. In the current trend as many American universities are positioning campuses overseas, so too are UK institutions following in suit. the problem is that the UK university does not translate in China where students are not properly being trained in English (most of my students cannot follow simple lectures) and the students are actively discouraged from thinking. I have learned that most all of their evaluations are by exams repeating the Chinese system of education whereby the students memorize for exams learning very very little. I have been here several years already and have seen some really good lecturers come in ready to made a change and better the students' learning and they end up being harassed for their efforts. I would add here that harassment is the modus operandi of this university. They are desperate for teaching staff but once over here, you will be shut down quickly if you offer suggestions for improvement, if you teach in any innovative or creative way or if you challenge some of the more spoiled students who usually never attend class, do not understand English and whose parents wield an inordinate degree of power. So before you can even get started on a project which promises student improvements in much needed areas, you are already being threatened with possible job loss. While some of the departments here have excellent leadership, many do not. There is, like back in the UK, a trend of hiring very young and inexperienced managers, or hiring older staff who have only recently gone back to school for a quick PhD and these two groups have zero experience or knowledge about how academia functions. They are given higher salaries to push a managerial agenda and learning is pushed down in the list of priorities. Topping the list are student recruitments, ridiculous exercises which are of a grammar school level made to entice these students, making them feel that they are really doing university level work (when they are not), and a gender tenacity to reproduce a very white, male power dynamic where those instructors with more experience are discredited, abused, and harassed, and where those few white men with new PhDs and zero knowledge of academia are paid to shut people down, impose excessive administrative tasks and generally to be a thorn in everyone's side such that research is impossible (but they do love to talk about research"), where student activities are anything but academic, and where the open and healthy environment of academic debate is non-existent. I have recently heard of a lecturer in another department whose students were abused when they went to the Language Center for writing support, and when this colleague wrote to alert the director of this program as to what was going on, this lecturer and her students were accused of lying, of making up the repeated 25 plus incidents. You can't make this stuff up. If you are a student considering this as an option, don't! Go to NYU in Shanghai--it is a far better program. If you are a lecturer looking into a job here, save yourself the hassle. You would have far more respect at a Community College any day of the week. [posted April 2015]University of London, Royal HollowayHistoryFirst off, I want to stress that everyone involved in this search was very welcoming and kind in person. I have no qualms whatsoever with how I was treated during the interview, nor with getting full and speedy reimbusement for travel costs. The committee entirely lacked this touch in the follow-up, though. During the formal sit-down interview, the dean told me to expect to hear back "in one to two days." This is typical of British interviews, where decisions are often made the same day. I then heard nothing the following week and assumed I had not gotten the job. I waited for the rejection from the head of department. None came. After 8 weeks, I emailed the head of department for an update on the search and got no reply. It was only when I emailed HR another week later, who had helped arrange the visit, that I was told the hire had been made and finalized. HR seemed as confused as me that the search committee had not been in touch and was very apologetic. It took another couple of emails and more than a week before HR finally "ran down" the head of department and got them to send an email -- with some breezy explanations for the months of silence and the news that I had been the runner-up. Fancy that. Hate to think how the committee treated the other also-rans.University of Maine SystemAllIn October 2014, University of Southern Maine (USM) adminstrators decided, on the pretext of alleged financial difficulties, to fire 25% of the tenured faculty at the USM, one of the seven campuses in the University of Maine System. AAUP investigated these firings and found:

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)

All Programs, Stateside, Asia, EuropeThe problem child of the University of System of Maryland, it is hard to overstate the seriousness of the disarray at UMUC. After the previous president went down in scandal, the post was taken over by a career administrator with a tenuous commitment to academics. Shortly after shedding the “interim” part of “interim president,” he assembled the mind-numbingly named “Ideation Group” consisting not of educators, but of business executives to determine the future of the institution. The Ideation Group was only the beginning of a program of serious self-destruction passed off as “innovation.” Academic standards have been watered down, liberal arts slashed, and academic freedom sharply curtailed. Administrative bloat is everywhere, with edicts coming down from deanlets and an array of “Centers” and “Groups” looking to justify their existence by micromanaging a faculty whom they presume to be generally incompetent. Intolerant of any criticism of his initiatives, the current president surrounds himself with yes-men and sycophants who translate his disastrous ideas into white papers and policy proposals that give the assault on core academic values a veneer of respectability. He abolished the token faculty governance body because he found working with it to be “unproductive,” and replaced it with a neutered board stacked mostly with his supporters. UMUC has even gone so far as to ban books: in lieu of real textbooks, courses use a hodgepodge of stuff from the internet, “resources” that anywhere else would land an undergraduate in trouble if they appeared in a bibliography for freshman comp. The book ban is just one of a series of top-down curricular reforms laughably called the “'Enhanced' 'Learning' Model,” and administration loves to congratulate itself for bringing about such “innovative” “disruptive” changes, even as they pull the rug out from under the feet of students and faculty alike. All control mechanisms have failed; the regents, the Maryland government, and the accreditors have all given UMUC admin a pass, while the trickle of bad press and pressure from the system-wide shared governance body have failed to turn the tide. As a faculty member in the UMUC stateside division you can look forward to being a glorified tutor moving underprepared students through a canned online curriculum. Faculty in the university's European and Asian divisions, storied institutions serving non-traditional students in the US military community, were suddenly dismissed a few years back and replaced with what are essentially scabs, which is why they are constantly hiring. While faculty in Europe and Asia have more autonomy (for now), they get moved about like pieces on a chessboard as schedulers seek to balance the course catalogue on their backs. The traveling model means that they are delivered unto an administration that has shown time and again how little understanding they have of the culture or legal systems of the countries in which they operate. In fairness, middle- and lower level management tends to be more sympathetic, but there are also enough bullies about to make life uncomfortable. More often, lower-level administrators and staff would sooner watch the roof crash down on your head than offer necessary support, sometimes out of fear over their own status, sometimes because inertia serves bureaucratic interests. UMUC is a predatory university stalking for enrollments, students are told all kinds of things, explicitly or implicitly, all for the sake of getting butts in the seats. Wise faculty thus have to spend time disabusing students of misinformation, and they do so as much to cover their own arses as for the benefit of the students. The entire faculty is contingent, a fact the administration loves to remind us of with the occasional threatening e-mail telling us that renewal is not a guarantee and that they reserve the right to radically change our pay and benefits package at contract renewal time (in 2015 overseas faculty barely fended off what would have amounted to a 1/3 pay cut, and that victory may have been temporary). In spite of these problems, the job can be a unique opportunity and lead to some good lines on a C.V., if you do it right, signing on to an institution that so nakedly exploits the overabundance of PhDs entails tremendous risk. (Fall 2016)
  • 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 Minnesota, MorrisCollege of Social ScienceSome of the people here were really nice, but I had a feeling I was being read a pre-written "script" that provided me with rehearsed answers to all of my questions. Something odd is going on with the major influx of International students from China (there were faculty grumbles about the fact that most of these students cannot speak or read or write English and this was causing friction across the campus). There is a really strong population of American Indian students and I was impressed by this, but on the other hand it did not sound like there were enough courses or services on campus to help support these students. Everyone kept telling me "we have a lot of Native American students!" but I didn't get the sense that they actually knew why this was important or significant. The town of Morris is in the middle of nowhere in Minnesota (three hours from Minneapolis...closest "city" is St. Cloud 1.5 hours away). I drove down isolated country roads packed with snow in order to get there (What do they do when they need to go to a conference? They drive three hours to the closest airport...). There are two, maybe 3 resturants, and no separationg between faculty and students in the town itself. The students were nice but seemed overly attached to professors (called them their "friends"). A couple of times I was told "and if you have a partner..." or "if you have kids..." of which I have neither. They said that they support research but I kept hearing a LOT about "service, meetings, service, meetings..." (yikes!) There also seemed to be a lot of alumni who worked there, so perhaps some academic in-breeding? This was another strange thing--a large number of their faculty are "Instructors" but they use the title "Assistant Professor" so based on websites, etc., you can't actually tell that most of the classes being taught are by contingent faculty members. No one was horribly rude--just passive-aggressive. My gut reaction suggests that you should avoid this place if you have other options.

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.

University of Nebraska, KearneyEnglishThis school offered me a campus visit last Tuesday. The following Friday, one of the members of the search committee e-mailed me and informed me that the offer of a campus visit was withdrawn because they were having difficulty contacting my references. UNK never gave me an opportunity to supply correct contact information or to inform my references that UNK was trying to contact them. Nor did I even get an apology for the withdrawn campus visit.University of Nevada, RenoPsychology

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.

University of North Carolina, WilmingtonSchool of Education

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]

University of Northern ColoradoEnglishSeven full-time contingent faculty were fired

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.

University of OregonEnglishCouldn't be bothered to send out notices to applicants (this concerns the 2019 Instructor of English search). Got an acknowledgment from the academicjobsonline system, otherwise heard nothing from the Dept. We put a lot of work into these applications. The least Oregon could do is acknowledge our existence!University of OregonCollege of Arts and SciencesAbsolute chaos. There are "have" and "have not" departments. If you are applying to a "have" department like Biology or Psychology things may be better but if you are looking elsewhere be careful. Also note that there is a reason that the faculty fought long and hard for a union; the administration there are overpaid and incompetent (as are many of the support service departments on campus). For example, the grants office cannot manage grant paperwork and will blame the faculty for their shortcomings. Similarly, renovations for faculty run over budget and over time. Then when they tell you that your lab is in a space requiring asbestos abatement, you can deduct that from your own money or leave it be.

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]

University of PittsburghHistoryThe last three female Assistant Professors to go up for tenure in this department have been denied.University of PittsburghComputer Science50% tenure rate over the past ten years (pool of ten Assistant Professors), all failed cases in the candidates' 6th year, all failures engineered club-style at the departmental-vote level. Dysfunctional relationship with the school administration; chronic issues. Beware. [posted April 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!

University of Regina (CanadaNursingUnprofessional and disorganized. Had secretary ask "Will you have any more children?" at the end of the interview. [3/2015]University of RichmondEnglishSee chronic issues listed below.USC UpstateCommunicationI wouldn't say fear but proceed with caution. My thank you email after the Skype interview was not acknowledged by the SC. I was not invited for a campus interview - no big deal, it happens. No notification that I wasn't invited - just silence. My subsequent email asking for guidance on my performance on the Skype interview was not acknowledged. I just don't think that's the way to treat colleagues. I may not have a TT job but I am a colleague. (2/2015)University of Texas Rio Grande ValleyGeneralMassive incompetence and dysfunction across the board. Get all start-up promises in writing and then be prepared for incredible difficulty spending any of it. Communication among various levels of administration is very poor and the old guard seems to enjoy screwing the new folks that come in with higher research expectations, Compensation is generally poor for incoming new Assistant Professors, teaching loads still too high to meet research expectations and then there is the problem with actually being able to spend your start-up (and get a functional lab space). Everything about this place is difficult. To top things off, the IT and information security office are nazis - faculty have no control over their computers and must have very un-responsive IT department folks load all software and deat with any and all issues. This all occurs in a region that provides a very isolated and low quality of life in general.University of ToledoPsychology (Clinical)Be wary of intense faculty discord and severely problematic administrative interference in this program. Program and department bylaws are routinely violated by faculty and administration with no consequence. A Chair and DCT have been removed by an active Dean (to the detriment of the program). Student training suffers greatly. A status of probation from the APA seems possible and the administration has threatened to voluntarily withdraw from APA accreditation. Update 2020: I *happened* upon this page and noticed my previous university is on this page. While I am not a graduate student at UT and will not claim to know all of the internal matters, I worked as an undergraduate research assistant in the psychology department for years. I loved my lab. Please know this information appears almost 10 years old. The department has had a chair and assoc. chair change since then, and apparently numerous faculty changes. They are also no longer on probation, never lost accreditation, and have been accredited since 1979.University of Texas at AustinEnglishA few problems here: several professors of color have been denied tenure in the past 5-6 years, and at least one left. Department culture is one of distrust and frustration. One professor has been accused of serial sexual harassment, and the Chair seems to be doing her best to make sure he becomes Chair when she finishes.University of UtahCommunicationThis department is increasingly toxic. Senior faculty members hold junior faculty to monstrously unrealistic research and tenure standards that they themselves could not meet. Students of color and queer students are driven out of the graduate program. Most troublingly, faculty members have abused grad students in a variety of ways, including berating them in meetings and plagiarizing their work. The department is also unable to recruit a chair, so its leadership is weak and unwilling to deal with these problems. 2020.University of UtahFamily and consumer studies(Fall 2021) This was for a job interview. First, no good COVID protocols for in-person interviews. Second, the faculty basically admitted that they take advantage of their doctoral students because they have some student being the Instructor of record on 2 courses per semester for their funding. And when I met with the students many of them were concerned about how much teaching they do because they have no time for doing their research. Also, the students mentioned how they are struggling to find professors willing to advise them or even chair their committees.Third, multiple faculty members talked to me (out of nowhere) about how they like the Mormon church view on "traditional family values." I got into an argument with some of the faculty because they said that they don't have diversity initiatives because they don't have a diversity problem, while in that same meeting a faculty told me that poc have an easier time getting hired and promoted in academia than white women. People told me that they are getting a lot of pushbacks for proposing that 10% of their classes discuss issues related to diverse families. Faculty told me jokingly about how I would have to get used to white men students telling me that they have concealed guns in class, labs and meetings and that there is nothing I can say about it. And when I asked about how the chair will help me protect my time (given work on how faculty of color do more service) she said "it is really important for you to learn how to say no."University of Virginia, CharlottesvilleMedical CenterIssues with human resources, travel, and reimbursement in Fall 2017. I had to specifically ask for an itinerary. When an itinerary was finally provided, it did not accurately reflect the meeting schedule. Very little consideration for the traveler. Flights were not convenient. They offered a red-eye return flight not getting back until after midnight. HR were supposed to meet me at the hotel but didn't. HR skipped a meeting to discuss employment benefits. Multiple emails and 2 months after interview, still no reply or travel reimbursement.University of West GeorgiaHistoryI interviewed here last winter for a Fall 2016 position. I never heard back from them with a decision, despite having a three-day interview with two presentations. Additionally, I was questioned about my nationality and religion by one of the graduate students. I guess the promising lad didn't realize "Are you a Muslim?" is not a legal question. I was also told by the professor whose class I made my teaching presentation that I could provide him with one or two multiple choice questions for his exam "If I would like." I think this smacks of exploitation, but I'll let the reader be the judge. Regarding Carrollton itself, don't let the proximity to a big city fool you. Unless Confederate flags on your neighbor's door make you feel at home, I would be wary about living here.University of Wisconsin-Stevens PointAllNovember 2018 - This university is in the middle of a tremendous financial crisis (estimations of the deficit have ranged from $4-8 million) created by lack of funding from the state, a six-year tuition freeze, and declining enrollments. The administration's leadership has been incompetent, non-transparent, and often outright hostile to faculty. There is a sense among many that in the coming years, UWSP will be a tech college rather than a four-year comprehensive university--if it still exists.

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.

University of Wisconsin-Stevens PointBiologyAll of my recommendation letters were mailed to Chair of Dept. way about a month before the app deadline. Received an email a month later from committee chair saying that one of my letters was missing. The letter writer then emailed the rec directly to the committee chair. This was confirmed by the committee chair that she received it. Roughly a few weeks later and I receive another email from the secretary this time that one of my letters was missing and my application would not be considered. Called and talked directly to the secretary and got a lot of attitude. Basically said that she did not care that my rec letter was in the committee chairs email inbox and that my application is not complete unless she has it. It was my problem that the committee chair did not pass it along! Wow, I then had my letter writer email it directly to the secretary. Never got a confirmation even after emailing the secretary again that it was received and have not heard anything since then. What a joke....must be like the circus in this dept. Glad my application was mishandled and I did not get an interview with these bozos since this appears to be more than just an isolated incident. [posted March 2013]
  • 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]
University of Wisconsin-WaukeshaCommunication DepartmentI had a campus interview there in the Spring of 2012. The university struck me as very depressing. To begin, the university looked more like a high school than a college. It was very small and just made up of a few buildings. The faculty seemed dispirited and defeated from the moment I got there. I was told repeatedly by one of the search committee members that the salary here blows (not quite in that language, but close enough). I was given the lamest teaching demo topic and rather than address students, I addressed a group of faculty. The faculty in there did not seem to care much. It seemed like they had given up on life. Afterwards, I interviewed in a conference room with no less than 10 or 12 people asking me various idiotic questions that made little sense (e.g. Do you value diversity?). When all was over, I sent a thank you note (by snail mail too). Yet, I never received a response back one way or another about whether the position had been filled. And supposedly this is the "best" of the UW 2-year schools. It is literally in the most conservative part of the state and an ugly campus with very poor salary and a faculty that was indifferent towards everything. Stay away. Only good thing is that Milwaukee is close enough to commute from. Otherwise, not much going on for this school.Utah Valley UniversityEnglish/College SuccessScreening interview was pleasant, but was told nothing else about the search. Was offered campus visit some weeks later and accepted. Search committee members frequently not present. Was abandoned for several stretches of time during the process. Accosted by a random faculty member during research talk. Was told multiple times during the interview that the positition was mine, expect an offer soon, etc. Didn't hear back anything for three months. Apparently, several finalists were brought out with mutliweek breaks inbetween each. An extremely misleading interview with many disengaged (or outright rude) faculty showing up to candidate events. [2014-2015]

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.

Virginia Military InstituteEnglish/ERHDysfunctionally evil. The split in this Department, spun as a "professional disagreement about the direction of the field" between those who favor the "old-fashioned" teaching of literature and those "on the cutting edge" favoring rhetoric is really personality driven. Those in power in the department (which includes an assistant dean and his wife) make life miserable for those who disagree with their views. The personalities got so viscious that several professors, tenured and non-, were driven to seek jobs elsewhere, sue the school, or simply resign in protest. They have since run through a series of multiple-hire years, with as many as 9 new instructors (couldn't find enough people willing to take TT jobs at the abysmal pay in such a dysfunctional department) per year, with few lasting more than a couple of years. The (previous) dean's solution to the dysfunction was to fold English in with Philosophy and for the "English, Rhetoric, and Humanistic Studies" program, which is about as vague and rudderless as it sounds. The school, which is pretty hierarchical to begin with (as one might expect), calls this a solution. The chair, who has been in place for over 20 years, is a willing and malicious tool of the administration, which silences, buys off, or banishes anyone who dares speak up. The branch of the AAUP that once existed here lapsed long ago, as faculty who speak up are shut down and indirectly threatened with the loss of their job. Tenured faculty can hide in their offices, but the tenuring process has become overtly political, and exceptionally unpredictable. Deans over-turn committee decisions arbitrarily, and have established their "right" to have an appointed, semi-permanent representative on the T&P committee, as well as every other committee. (Makes you wonder what the dean does, but ... ). To top it off, pay is horrid (in the bottom 10 percent for the school's self-selected comparisons, as well as for the state) despite claims to be a top-tier LA school. No raises for a decade, and none on the horizon. Simply a horrid environment in which to try to exist, much less thrive. [posted Sept. 2015]Virginia TechSociologyA few years ago they merged 5 units all into one Sociology department. The faculty don't like each other and now they fight over resources too. Morale is low. In the past several years, MOST new assistants leave right away. Pay is low and Virginia is not known for raises. The cost of living is high in Blacksburg and many faculty and students consider the atmosphere racially hostile and toxic to women.West Texas A&MEnglishNever received any form of communication after a campus visit (nothing from the chair, committee member, or HR). [2014-2015]San Jose State UniversityLibrary

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.

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