Monday, March 09, 2009

Bad times makes good pickins for Puget Sound

From Chronicle of Higher Education (hat tip: Jordan Barber '09)

The number of colleges freezing faculty hiring seems to grow each week. Yet some institutions are going against the grain of the poor economy and appointing new professors. This decision has given those campuses an edge, yielding top-quality candidates who might not have been within reach in a more-competitive job market...

The history department at the University of Puget Sound also saw some startlingly qualified candidates among the 270 applicants for its job in modern European history. The sheer number of applications was so impressive that David F. Smith, the department's chairman, called the university's academic vice president into his office one day to take a look at them.

The job's three finalists were a tenure-track professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a tenure-track professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. The department ended up hiring the postdoc, but if none of the three finalists had accepted, says Mr. Smith, "we had another three who were just terrific."

Read the whole piece here