Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Hannah From the Heartland With an Early Thirsty.
On paper, it's a really nice position. There's a lot of good stuff about the department - we're currently riding high in institutional support, we are attracting good grad students, it's one of the strongest undergraduate majors. The teaching load is light and the service commitment easy to fulfill. We've got new office space and they gave us more funding this year.
There are long-standing departmental feuds that affect every decision being made. There is a climate of negativity and insulting behavior that there is no effort to check. Faculty will actively discourage students from working with other faculty that they don't like. People sabotage publications. We haven't been able to hold on to an assistant professor past the third year because most give up and find a better place - often at lower pay, but with less drama.
I've been fairly honest with people when they ask for the lowdown on these positions. I figure it would actually help the department in the long run - if someone applies knowing this is the situation, they will come in better prepared to deal with it. If they know they can't cope with that situation, why waste their time? But it seems I'm in the minority in this position. Most other people seem to think it's a better idea to only discuss the good.
Q: What's the CM take on this? Is honesty the best policy, or is it better to pretend?