OK, never mind that many of us are "whores, alcoholics and learning disabled"--and certainly many of our students are, as well. I'm at least one of the three (or perhaps all of the one, if the Oxford comma was intentionally omitted). This is America, the land of forgiveness, forgetfulness, opportunity, and bullshit.
Anyway, those Rutgers people apparently did a thorough background check on the person they hired, and yet they still got screwed. Even if the person they hired is actually wonderful (which could be true), that search committee is nevertheless in quite a pickle. A very awkward pickle.
Finally, here's the thirsty-ish part: I was a member of a search committee last semester. We all agreed before interviews that we loved one of the applicants the best. It was not merely that there was a consensus about which candidate was least awful. Rather, we found ourselves in a strange kind of Utopia where even the completely asexual committee members had boners for this one candidate. There were issues with all the other candidates except this one.
And do you know what? All the other candidates' interviews went well, but Miss Wonderful-On-Paper-And-Plastic-And-Electrons completely flubbed.
Let's be clear. She didn't show up drunk. She didn't insult any of the committee members. She didn't use the n-word. She didn't smell like turnips. She didn't say this was her back-up school in case the other guys didn't hire her. She didn't lie, exaggerate, yawn, or roll her eyes. She didn't do anything wrong.
But she didn't do anything impressive at all. It was like Lisa Leslie was at the free-throw line, and the ball didn't hit the rim or the backboard. Complete airball.
There's been a strange kind of silence among the committee members since then. We're all still big Lisa Leslie fans. Just puzzled and deflated.
Q. Have you ever called your Lisa Leslie back and said, "Let's talk. What happened? Were you awake all night with your colicky baby before the interview? Can you help us understand what happened? Are you really all-hat and no-cattle?" What did you learn?
Be honest, dammit.