The hire said she was a trailing spouse, as a way to explain a strange hop-scotching of jobs, 6 in 12 years. She said her husband worked in finance and had moved them from NY to DC to Chicago to Florida and to Texas. (Those are not the real states, but they're geographically comparable.) She'd had a couple of t-t jobs, but about half of her gigs had been part-time.
Her spouse had left his job to consult full time from home, and what a great chance to settle down, and wasn't she happy that we were considering her!
There also had been some gaps in the hire's work history, 2 years at one point and two 1-year breaks of work that the hire described as "sabbaticals." I brought up in a committee meeting that these could not have been traditional sabbaticals, but nobody seemed too worried about it. We were at the end of a long and contentious search and this person fit our job needs nicely.
Well, within six months she told us her husband had gone back to finance and was now going to commute weekly to a large city (we're a dinky city) 250 miles away. It was not a problem, she said, etc.
Then at the end of the fall semester she put in a request for classes that only met on Saturdays and Mondays. Nobody has that kind of leverage here, especially someone so new.
She told the chair yesterday that she's now going to move to the big city to join her husband, but it's not going to be a big deal - except for committee work, faculty meetings, etc. The chair wants to assuage the hire and give her the odd schedule, but a few of us in the department are grumbling. I wanted to go all detective style on it and find out how long the husband had been working in the big city, was it all a hiring ruse, etc.? (We are not a social department, and a sort of large one, so we don't often see spouses at all.)
She's tenure-track, and got 3 years of her 7 year clock lopped off for her experience elsewhere. She seems like a diligent teacher, and I like her personally, but I'm getting some bitterness about her being on the verge of being on-call for us 2 days a week with no possibility of being around for the day-to-day work of a full time person.
Q: Should I be bugged by this? Is it a portent of a new search committee? Has anyone ever seen this happen? What would you do if it happened in your department?