Going for a campus interview on Monday. Trying to prepare for all of the people I will be meeting with. I have searched the recent publications of the people in the department. But how do I prepare for the Dean(s). What do you talk to them about?
Date: 30 Nov 2012 21:41
Number of posts: 8
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Good question! Dean interviews are not as scary as they might seem. There's a lot of information that you can get from them that you can't get from other sources, and I'd focus on that.
Questions to ask:
1- perceptions on the psych dept. compared to other departments?
2- short/ long-term growth of the university?
3- fiscal issues (state-related at publics, including legislative environment, endowment-related at privates)
4- what are the university's strongest departments?
5- enrollment trends?
6- diversity of student body?
7- university-wide internal funding mechanisms?
8- how does the university support early faculty?
In terms of questions you might be asked by the dean, in my experience I've been asked a few questions about my research and why I'm interested in X university, but generally (as with other interviews), the most common question is "do you have any questions for me?"
The dean has also asked me before how students will be involved in my research and what my favorite assignment when teaching is. They are also the #1 person to talk to about the tenure process, start up funds, and other funding/professional development opportunities more generally.
In past interviews the department faculty have also "prepared" me for interviews with dean's by telling me what to expect. The impression I have is that they don't want you to be "scared away" by a dean. For instance, on one interview I was told that the dean would ask "so tell me about you." And he sure did! I guess it's his standard question, and the faculty member that escorted me to the meeting let me know that this was standard practice. On another interview they told me that the dean never looks anybody in the eye, and he didn't. This was also appreciated, because otherwise I might have thought he didn't like me. Hopefully the faculty you meet with will do the same for you. Otherwise, I echo what others have said — focus on big pictures stuff like enrollment, funding, and the direction of the college/univeristy.
I met with a dean and a provost at two SLACs and in addition to the questions mentioned above, they also asked me about my advising philosophy which was something no other faculty had thought to ask me.
Thank you so much everyone! I'm getting ready for my day of interviews. I jotted down these questions and feel ready!