A New Home for On Hiring

Attention, readers: On Hiring is moving!

We’ve had a great run here on for the past six and a half years. But now we’ve found a new home on Vitae—a professional network, brought to you by The Chronicle, that’s designed to help students, scholars, and administrators advance their careers and do their jobs better.

Don’t worry: Your favorite On Hiring bloggers won’t be going away. They’ll just be joining a host of new contributors on Vitae’s News & Advice pages, where they’ll continue…


Happy Holidays!

Please note that the weekly On Hiring newsletter will be on hiatus this week because of the holidays, but it’ll be back in your emailbox on January 2, 2014.

Season’s Greetings!


The Risk of Revealing the Secret of My Mental State

America doesn’t really take mental disorders seriously. Look at the case of Creigh Deeds and his son. In November, the Virginia state senator’s son stabbed him multiple times before shooting himself to death. This came one day after the son, Gus, was mentally evaluated at a hospital, but wasn’t held overnight because, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “no psychiatric bed could be located across a wide area of western Virginia.” So they sent him home.

This is an extreme case, and it has …


‘Get Your Associate Degree’

Lately my college, like many other two-year schools, has been making an effort to encourage students to stay for two years and earn an associate degree before transferring. That can be a hard sell, since we’re primarily a “portal” institution, and many of our students make no bones about the fact that they want to transfer as soon as possible—in many cases, after one year. Even those who stay two years often can’t be bothered to go to the extra “trouble” of applying for graduation, despite the …


When It Isn’t Yours Anymore

I had an idea for a trip for honors students. It was just to go up the road about three hours to the National Aquarium, in Baltimore. Our honors program is in its pilot year, and it’s mostly about cultural and academic “experiences” while we work on developing our actual academic component.

The trip will still happen, but it’s going to be different from how I envisioned it. I wanted it to be a way to establish “community,” something that I think is missing from our little school, though it’s ge…


Name Game

I’ve encountered some unusual candidate-search problems involving names that are easily confused or that have baggage. Here are a few. I’ve changed the actual names and/or genders to avoid invasions of privacy.)

One search committee had reviewed all of the candidates, narrowing the field to two finalists: “Sue Shirley” and “Shirley Shue.” When the candidates arrived for their interviews, Dr. Shirley insisted on being called “Sue,” and Dr. Shue insisted on being called “Shirley.” When the committ…


Valuing My Time

“Exciting opportunity! I mapped out some dates for writing workshops this upcoming spring semester. Please let me know if you would like to volunteer as a presenter.” I don’t blame the writing-center coordinator who sent me this optimistic message. He’s just doing his job, trying to provide learning opportunities for the students who come his way. But reading his full email left me feeling as  if a Nigerian prince were offering me a chance to make big money.

Service is an important part of acad…


AP Literature vs. College English

I had an interesting opportunity this semester to compare students who placed out of their first college English course based on Advanced Placement scores with those who didn’t. I’d like to share that experience, along with some of my conclusions, and see what you think.

Like most colleges, mine offers two levels of first-year composition: ENGL 1101, in which students focus on the basics of college and professional writing—the writing process, sentence structure, paragraph development, organi…


Do You Want Feedback or Validation?

Two frustrating feedback requests in a single week have prompted me to ponder how much advice people really want when they request it. When are requests sincere, and when are they simply a guise for obtaining recognition and validation?

Last week began with my receiving feedback on my feedback. Because we have a university policy that isn’t really working as it was intended, several of us agreed a revamp was in order. I was enormously grateful that another colleague offered to take the lead in w…


On End-of-Term Distractions

Now that we are in the most difficult part of the fall semester, with paper grading, holiday responsibilities, and end-of-term planning in full swing, I have noticed an uptick in those distracting emails that some folks love to send. From links to BuzzFeed lists (Wow! I never knew that about The Brady Bunch) to political essays (You won’t believe what he thinks!) to outright head-scratchers (Chain emails? Really? You have time for that?), ’tis the season for time wasting.

The last weeks of the s…