Love-Hate at the Faculty Recruitment Conference

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I  simultaneously like and dislike  the Faculty Recruitment Conference.   I like meeting people, reading the scholarship of professors-to-be; talking to candidates about their interests in teaching and scholarship; seeing friends from other faculties; spending time with my current colleagues (ok, most of the time); finding myself in an elevator with a scholar whose work I admire, but I’ve never met in person, and wondering how I can introduce myself without sounding like an academic stalker (I’m thinking that “May I please have your autograph?” would be a little too much, right?).  

What I dislike is the runway that is the hotel lobby and bar — nervous candidates trying to look busy during the day, appointments committees rehashing interviews (sometimes too loudly) during evenings.   I can’t  help the flashbacks of prior years’ less-than-stellar interviews (some as interviewer, some as interviewee).   And I’ve never been a fan of the conference hotel and its (apparent) custom  of allowing  used dishes, trays and cutlery to accumulate in the hallways outside interview rooms.   Blech.

-Bridget Crawford

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