Thursday, December 09, 2010

A parable

This is actually mostly a true story, so in order to actually have a parable I have perhaps exaggerated some bits. So all apologies to those named.

When I was first doing a job search way back when in '05, one of the places I applied was Benedictine at Atchison, KS, which has a combined math/computer science department. They posted the job opening on MathSciNet (which is where I found it), probably out of habit, as the field they were desiring was pretty strongly computer science. Nevertheless, there was the ad, I was strongly interested in teaching/SLAC institutions, and I knew I could deal with KS, so off went CV and teaching statement. They followed up with a phone interview along the way, and then not much happened for a while. Sometime in early May as I recall (I believe it was just after the end of classes, although that was a bit vague for me then since I was doing no teaching and obviously no classes that semester) I got a call from the Benedictine sister who was the department chair (and committee chair). The general gist of the phone call was "We've been reviewing your file, and the committee feels that you're a solid candidate. However, we really need someone with a computer science background that you don't really have; you overlap too much with the current faculty. Since you're the best, closest-fit candidate we've had so far, several of the faculty feel we should be bringing you in; however, the overall opinion of the committee is that we will not pursue you as a candidate at this time, and trust that God will provide for us with someone who is a better fit.

However, should August 1 come around without a more viable applicant, we will revisit your application at that time." Needless to say, I didn't wait for them until August 1.

Here endeth the lesson.

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