I've posted -- on my blog -- how proud I am of our faculty workload policy. Soon, I'll be posting (on my blog) an ad regarding our faculty hiring for the year, as I'm on this year's appointments committee. So this cross-post is a thinly veiled example of the types of questions that folks should ask during the faculty hiring season:*
- What IS the faculty workload policy? No, really--and not just the one on the books. What does everyone think the workload policy is?
- How welcome is interdisciplinary scholarship?
- Do people really read each other's drafts? Do they comment on them? Are they nice or nasty in how they say what they have to say?
- Do people talk about what they're doing in their classes? Do they talk about their websites or their in-class exercises?
- Do people hang out together socially--e.g., in the hallways? What do they talk about in the hallways? Are they debriefing a faculty meeting? Talking about what their plans are for the weekend?
The goal is to get a taste of the school that's different from the glossy stuff that school webpages have. If you're on the market, try to get these questions answered by folks who've been at the school a while, new folks, pre-tenured folks, long-term contracts folks, etc. The hiring season is a lot like dating: you'll see the absolute best version of a school, unless you press further. And dating, at least at first, bears only the faintest resemblance to the dynamics of a long-term relationship, with its high points and its warts.
*The phrase "faculty hiring season" reminds me of the "Duck season! No--rabbit season! No! DUCK SEASON!" episode of Bugs Bunny, and now I can't get that episode out of my mind....