February 23, 2012

Faculty Appointments Committee

Christopher J. Graves

1. Briefly, what were the responsibilities of your position?

The faculty appointments committee representatives start being involved during the summer and continues through the fall term. The job really has two parts. First, you are involved in reviewing, ranking, and debating which applicants to interview at the AALS conference in D.C. (this is time consuming, and right in the beginning of the term or before school). Then, there is the interviewing stage, which starts with the AALS conference in Washington DC in mid October. They bring at least one representative with them to the conference, and you take part in interviewing candidates and voting which ones should be brought back for full interviews at the school. For the candidates that are brought back, there will be full interviews consisting of a job talk at lunch, and a student Q&A in the afternoon. It is best to plan on attending both of these, and part of your responsibilities include publicizing this to students and encouraging them to attend the event. You can also attend the lunch with the candidate, and some of the dinners the night before. The final step is voting to determine which candidates to put to the full faculty committee for a vote, and speaking briefly to the faculty committee about the position the students have taken on each candidate. This should be wrapped up before the end of fall term.

2. What was your total time commitment for both internal and external committees?

You do not want to know (kidding). We brought back 16 candidates, and each requires about 2-3 hours of work. Total is too high. But, normally it is far less labor intensive. It is unclear whether we’ll be as busy next year, but it likely will not be AS bad. It really depends upon the hiring needs next year and the school’s budget. 

3. What were the benefits of your experience?

Benefits: learned a lot about interviewing, got to know a number of faculty members well, and got insight into the process. On the lighter side, I got to go to D.C., get free lodging and food, and have several free lunches and dinners with the applicants.