I feel very irresponsible even considering turning down a campus visit, but the university that has invited me has really rubbed me the wrong way. Based on my communication with them, they have appeared quite cheap, mundane, they do not feature their faculty on their website at all, and aside from the actual phone interview, I have been communicating exclusively with the admin assistant rather than a member of the search committee. The school gets very bad ratings too. I have a new baby at home and leaving her is stressful on me. I've had 4 phone interviews so far and have been invited for two campus visits and expecting to be invited to a third. Has anyone ever turned down a campus visit? Should I just go anyway or let myself (and them!) off the hook?
Date: 14 Nov 2014 13:13
Number of posts: 12
RSS: New posts
Nothing wrong with turning down an invite. In fact they will probably feel glad that you let them know early, so that they can use the money to invite another candidate.
Yeah, if you're not desperate don't bother. Sounds like that place has all kinds of dysfunction…
I'd definitely turn down the invite. That will help them because they can use the money to invite someone else. Even if you didn't have the baby at home - the other factors with the other invites and whatnot are enough to just turn this one down.
Agreed. Turn it down. You don't have to tell them why. You think, based on conversations so far, that it's not a good fit. Or that other places seem like a better fit. Or something.
I'm going to disagree. You don't know that your other phone interviews are going to turn into additional campus visits (is this one of the two, or do you have an additional two?), and you don't know that any of your other campus visits are going to turn into job offers. Unless you think that there is absolutely nothing they could do to convince you to take the job if it were offered, go. At worst it will be another opportunity to practice your interviewing skills and polish your job talk.
Campus interview is very time and energy consuming. I had a bad experience with one campus interview where the search chair was extremely impolite and I was like, " I want to go home, now!"
I've turned down at least one campus invite. I stressed about it at the time, unsure what to do. Then I was like, "Wait, do I really want to live in northern Minnesota?"
I haven't thought about since. Whether it is regional issues, or anything else really, not a huge deal to turn down an interview request if you have others lined up.
I've been on a huge academic job search and visited colleges and universities that were awesome, okay, and absolutely horrendous. My thoughts…
1. It's hard to truly tell how great (or terrible) an institution is from a website or phone interview. For websites, this can be especially true for R2's, non doctorate granting institutions, and SLACs. During my job search in fact, my #1 choice out of all places that were interviewing me turned out to be the "absolutely horrendous" institution from my campus visit while the one that seemed worst from the pre-campus-interview process turned out to be the best.
2. If this institution is in a desirable location for you and features what you're seeking in terms of structure, teaching, and research - then shrug off the bad vibes and go on the interview if they'll be covering your expenses. You have little to lose.
3. If the institution is something of a "back up" option or is in a place you'd be hesitant to move to for whatever reason (location, heavier than desired teaching load, etc.) - pass.
For a more quantitative consideration, my fairly well ranked SLAC in a not so desirable location had 5 candidates invited for an on-site interview for one faculty position. So, even if you're invited to two or three campus interviews, it's hard to say a job is guaranteed. My best advice is that if you have nothing to lose with the on-site interview, go for it. If anything, you'll get a story to post on the "universities to fear" wiki.
Turn it down. If they haven't had the decency to make you feel welcome while trying to "woo" you to come to their institution, imagine how much fun and supportive they'll be if you take the job. Life considerations, such as one's family, are legitimate reasons to pass on things like this. Our life is so much more than our work (or so it should be…).