Duffer Darryl from Dallas on Search Committee Dynamics.
We're nearly done a fairly boring job search process. There haven't been any big blowups, no crazy scenes. Work got passed around. We had some votes. Most things made sense.
We're hiring two positions, we're a small department, and we got along just fine.
There was one guy we didn't invite to campus and I guess that was the only decision that went against what I thought was right. But the whole process had been so calm and normal it didn't even occur to me to complain.
Then today I was sitting in the lounge with another tenured proffie from the committee, Judy. We were not in committee mode; we were just shooting the breeze.
I suddenly said, "Hey, why did you and the rest vote against that one candidate, the guy from Florida?"
"Oh," Judy said. "All that talk in the phone interview about golf! My sister's husband is a golfer. He spends all his time on it; his clubs alone cost more than a thousand dollars. It's really wasteful. And he's gone 5-6 hours three or four times a week. We don't want someone like that teaching here. We have too much to do. You can't just take a whole day off to go golfing in the middle of the semester."
I looked at her open mouthed. I'm a golfer. She knows it. I have a tie with golf clubs on it. It's a bit of a running joke that if I'm not in my office I'm probably golfing. He didn't have much to say about golf, but I'd actually brought it up because I asked a question about what he did to unwind from the pressure of a heavy teaching load. All he said is that he played, and knew that Dallas and environs was good golf country.
"That's ridiculous," I said. And Judy was now open mouthed. "I taught my 9 and 10 am classes today. I had an office hour. I went and played 9 holes with a neighbor at Stevens Park, and got back here for our textbook meeting at 3. Am I doing something wrong?"
"How can you play that fast?" she said.
"I play 9 holes in about 90 minutes. Lots of us do. 18 holes I might play on a weekend, and that can take 5 hours if I have lunch and some drinks. But surely you spend time on the weekend on things just for yourself, right?"
"Well, you know me," Judy said. "I've always got my grading with me."
"Yeah," I said. "But your kids? Your husband? Don't you have your mother over in Ft. Worth you go visit on the weekends? Didn't you take her someplace last week during the week? Weren't you off campus all day, in fact?"
And at that point I'd gone too far.
"Well, golf is a silly hobby. Just look at your tie," she said.