Friday, June 4, 2010

Behind Closed Doors

The administrative asst. at my new university flubbed up and sent the faculty meeting notes to Mr. JP and I. We read notes on the faculty discussion on how our interviews went and whether they should hire us or not. It is surreal to read about myself in this way, especially since the outcome is know - we were hired. Mr. JP received generally positive comments. Comments on myself were generally positive, but some thought that I wasn't well-prepared. Sigh. OK, so maybe I wasn't well prepared, there's some truth to that. I didn't look up the shared facilities. I didn't have a list of faculty that I wanted to collaborate with. My talk was not rehearsed. I hope that you future faculty candidates will be better prepared than I!

Another separate time Mr. JP saw his personal file at his old university, and found that comments on his hiring process were accidentally left in the folder. The comments, now, are funny to read. "How will this guy get funding?" Answer: He later got 4 young investigator awards, isn't that enough? "His research area is boring." Answer: If we hired everyone who did 'popular' scientific research, then we'd have a bunch of faculty with no funding. And, his research is "boring" enough to get a job elsewhere after 5 years...

So I'll be better prepared. 5% of me is wondering if this is an internal bias against women because we are perceived as being harried as we balance work and family. Gasp! Because men don't have that problem, too. But I admit that for this interview, I could have been better prepared.


Arlenna said...

WOW, illuminating, huh? I love when admin people screw stuff up like this. I once asked for my account balances to be sent to me monthly, and the first time around they accidentally set it up to send me EVERYONES account balances--the Dean's accounts, the endowment funds, the department chair's slush fund... everything. Of course, the information didn't do me any good but it was enlightening to see.

About the "unprepared" thing... do you really think you were unprepared? Did you have any specific interactions where you know you botched it? Did your talk go badly even though you hadn't rehearsed? Because unless those things happened and you KNOW they had specific examples to think you were unprepared, I bet you were just getting the same-old-same-old. And that sucks, but at least you know what you're getting into with these people. Hang in there and knock 'em dead!!

Karina said...

That's fascinating. I've had a few professors send me letters of recommendation (on purpose) to read. I agree it is weird to read about yourself in the 3rd person! I'm glad you got the job and I hope you kick butt and erase any lingering doubts :-)