I keep going back and forth in my head about this. I am seeking to relocate to the region I grew up in. I'll be home for the holidays (this is a fairly long distance from where I am now). Is it weird/wrong to contact the SC to meet in person with the chair, when they've told me they haven't finalized the campus interviews yet? Could this backfire?
Date: 09 Dec 2015 13:20
Number of posts: 22
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Bad idea. Do not contact the SC asking for a meeting
I'm on a SC this cycle this year and a couple applicants mentioned being in the area and asking for a meeting over Thanksgiving break. It was very unbecoming.
@Name, out of curiosity, why was it looked down upon so much? Does it give a sense of entitlement and/or not respecting the process or the search committee's time? Because I can also see why one would think to do this (i.e, gives the committee/chair a way to screen someone without having to pay to fly them out, shows the applicant's interest in the position, etc). Appreciate any info.
I had the same inclination as you when I was trying to land my first TT job. Why not let people screen me on my dime? But I never contacted the schools for which this would have worked and am SO glad I didn't (note that I also didn't get interviews at any of those schools). I think this type of request comes across as a mix of entitlement and desperate. For me, I know desperate was a part of it. I wanted SO badly to have a good job and a job in a particular area. Now that I am on the other side of things, I see this idea as also showing a lack of awareness about how overwhelming faculty jobs can be. Faculty DO NOT HAVE THE TIME to have to deal with candidates outside of the regular search process (which can already be incredibly time consuming for faculty).
anon, you are putting the SC in an awkward position since it seems unfair for the candidates who don't happen to live in the area. Also, setting time to meet with you can be a problem, especially towards the end of the semester when things are really busy for most faculty.
As a counterpoint, my department sends out interview invitations only to people who write to us to checking on the status of the job search and suggesting that they remain excited about the position. We get too many applications to read them all thoroughly. Those emails are a good filter.
@Anon. We're a private R1 and we get a large applicant pool. You're spot on when you say that asking for a meeting leads to a perception of entitlement, but more importantly it shows a lack of understanding for how the process works and would be unfair for applicants who are not geographically close to our institution.
I'm sure there are places that appreciate the added attention an inquiry shows, but overall asking for a campus meeting when "you're in the area" is more likely to have a negative consequence than a positive one.