I was just informed that a position I phone interviewed phone is being postponed until fall. SC said it was due to multiple factors, but really is it just that they didn't have any candidates that they wanted to make an offer to?
Date: 20 Feb 2014 02:40
Number of posts: 6
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I have no idea what part of the country this search is in, BUT, I do know one school where weather has significantly impacted the search process, with one candidate being prevented from interviewing on at least two occasions and one candidate having to reschedule only to accept another offer. I would not be at all surprised if things lined up such that the administration said screw it let's start again next year…
Postponed sounds different than rejected. Postponed might mean that they like your credentials but that maybe the rest of the pool was lackluster. Were you told to reapply or that they would consider your materials then?
Could also have been canceled for financial reasons—maybe the funding they thought they would have fell through.
Yes I would think that the attribution to financial issues is the most accurate one. During the financial crisis there were a ton of searches that were suddenly frozen and it was certainly due to financial issues. Who knows? There are so many things that might influence the financial backing of a position, even one that has been posted. There are also other possibilities that have to do with departmental or university politics or other factors that a SC may not wish to share with potential hires. For instance, imagine if the position is in an area in which the "big dog" just announced s/he is moving to another institution. Or the hot junior faculty member has announced s/he is moving. (Or both). Either of these types of situations might compel a SC to say, whoa! The position we were searching for (the area of specialty, for instance) is now only 1 of many we need to fill. Or they might say, "We really wanted X but the big cheese pushed for Y. If the big cheese is leaving, why are we searching for Y?" Or the department might be in the middle of a personnel nightmare, lawsuits or what not. Or what if there has been some issues in the department (terrible things like harassment claims or mismanagement or something) causing it to go into "receivership", including the appointment of an outside chair from another department. That would not be a good time to hire anyone. Even more extreme, imagine a department or area is being considered for demolition by a university!?
So, you can see that "multiple factors" can be at play and can influence whether a department goes forward with a search. It may have nothing to do with you! :) No one would want to tell someone they might one day hope to hire about any of this stuff!