I will be interviewing next week and my schedule includes a meeting in the dean's office as well as a meeting in the provost's office. I know meetings with deans are the norm but am not sure how to approach the meeting with the provost and welcome any suggestions.
Date: 10 Feb 2014 17:28
Number of posts: 9
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In my very limited experience, the provost meeting was mostly contractual details, startup, etc. and was explicitly not an interview. That was at a SLAC. It was mostly me listening. I asked a few questions about the search.
The provost just mostly talked to me about the school and how it was changing and why. He asked me to just describe how my research would work there, in terms of fitting in with their school, students, and general education structure. It was pretty low-key.
Typically, the higher up you go in the chain of command, the less the admins know anything about what faculty are doing. The odds are anyone above a dean has zero clue about the search. A dean might know because they had to approve your hiring line, and that maybe required some begging/explaining from the dept chair. Same if they have you meeting with a vice president for research. But my guess is the provost will be pretty general questions.
During a campus interview at a SLAC, I had a meeting with the college president. I agree with anonbanon in that the president didn't seem to know too much about the search. However, it was definitely more like an interview than a meeting for him to tell me about the school. He asked me a lot of questions related to why I wanted to be at a SLAC and what I would specifically do to fulfill the mission of the college. That said, I applied to SLACs for a reason, and I was prepared to answer such questions. Based on the comments above, I imagine that each meeting with a higher-up is going to differ - I'm sure you will be prepared!
During my search I met with Provosts at SLACs and at public universities. They did reliably differ. At the SLACs, the meetings were more personable and involved abundant questions about my ideas regarding liberal arts education and teaching, for example. If you're interviewing at a SLAC you absolutely *must* have a well-developed philosophy and idea about what a "liberal arts" education is and how you support this and teach in a way that fits with this. For a public university, my provost meeting was hurried and more a spiel about how great the school is and what they do. It was less an interview and more a sit down and listen. However, I was still prepped with an understanding of the school's student body, its focus, and mission.
To be honest, I have no idea what a provost is. I'm TT and I just DGAF, I guess. I was I trouble with someone like that as and undergrad for cheating on tests and destroying property…TMI
Anyway way, you just show up and be harming as fuck, like you're talking to your new significant other's grandmamma. Please and thank you and never talk over their head.
Well, the provost basically runs the academic aspects of the university, including teaching/curriculum and research. The president acts as CEO of the university. So, it is very possible that at smaller schools as suggested above that the provost might in fact be very well informed about you or the job you're hirng for. And I agree they might be very interested to hear your take on how you'd fit there. But, I still think that at a research focused school, they're going to have zero clue (which is probably why you rarely have meetings above the dean level at larger schools).
Provosts have tremendous influence over the allocation of resources within the school. Make as good an impression as you can: having the Provost 'believe' in you and your department can pay big dividends down the line.
At many schools Psychology suffers from the perspective that it is not a *real* science as compared to the STEM fields. Having junior faculty make strong, scientifically competent impressions on the powers that be (i.e. Provost) can go a long way towards dispelling this myth.
Re: 8-ball, I like the idea of being 'harming as fuck' to my sig-other's grandmother.