My life has become so crazy in the past couple of weeks, but I am most certainly not complaining. OK, maybe a little, but only because I am still sick and perpetually exhausted.
My last post mentioned an upcoming campus visit, which happened last week. The visit went well, but a few things set off my radar.
One, I had a grand total of 3 people at my job talk. Three. In a department that has over 14 full-time faculty and nearly 100 grad students. A somewhat related concern is that it felt like no one was around. If they were around, one would not have known based on the number of office doors closed. That suggests a low level of engagement and collegiality, which is troubling. The best thing about my current job is the way in which we are so interactive and leave our doors open. As a junior faculty member, this is of utmost importance. How do you learn the ropes, ask questions, or get advice if there is no one around to ask?
The other issue is a pure location issue. The university is located in probably one of the least desirable towns in the country. A quick Google search of “______________ sucks” yields 131,000 results. That is not encouraging. A majority of the faculty live outside of town, even as far away as the closest major city, about an hour away. The faculty who do live in town seem to be a) family types and b) not into going out or restaurants or anything fun. Nothing against them, but it would hardly make for a nice social life for us to live there.
All that said, I did find the place to be an overall nice place to work. The facilities are excellent, and the people I met were nice. If I got the offer, I would most certainly take it. However, there are a few complications. Anyone who knows me or has been following this blog for any length of time knows that whenever anything happens, there’s always a complication.
First, I re-interviewed for my job here yesterday. Assuming that something crazy doesn’t happen (not always a safe assumption with me), I’ll get an offer today or tomorrow. A few people have suggested that I should use this offer as leverage with this other university (hereafter referred to as “Sucktown U.”) so that they will expedite their timeline. This of course assumes that they are actually interested in me.
The second factor in play here is that I got an e-mail yesterday asking me to do a Skype interview at a university a mere 5700 miles away. It happens to be in a city and a country where I have dreamed of living for a long time. This university is well-regarded, and I was shocked as hell that they actually gave my application the time of day. I’m not sure what their timeline is at this point, but I’ll talk to them next Wednesday morning and get a sense of what to expect then.
The ideal scenario would play out as follows: I get an offer from my current position today or tomorrow. Sucktown U. gives me an offer some time in the next week or so (before my 2 weeks is up for the offer here), which allows me to turn down the offer at my current job. I then talk to Farflung U. on Wednesday, and hope that I can buy some time w/ Sucktown U. in order to see what develops w/ Farflung U.
What actually ends up happening, of course, remains to be seen. It will be an interesting few weeks.