Once again in the thick of the job season – but this time is it a mistake?

The second of four candidates for a tenure track studio position is here today, and a lot of other departments are going through the same procedure (I walked past a restaurant the other night and saw two tables of colleagues with candidates).

I worry about this year’s hires – and about the due date next week for position requests for NEXT year’s searches.

See – we’re in the middle of a curriculum revision. But the HIRING procedure is pretending that nothing will change. Maybe nothing will – this has not been an inspiring process and there doesn’t seem to be much passion in the discussions. Still, it’s a mistake to recruit a couple of entering classes purely into departmental major and minor curricula and not use at least a year’s worth of hires to provide some ooomph for the next thing.

If I were provost I might have declared this a Two Year Position Only year and put a hold on next year’s requests, promising a round of position requests over the summer to meet whatever new needs show up in the curriculum we vote on in March.

But I’m not provost!

Wow – this seems like a parody of campus sensitivity

Columbia University is going to allow law students to petition to postpone their exams if they are “sufficiently impaired” by their feelings about the recent grand jury decisions in racially charged cases. But it’s not.

I would think that students sufficiently involved in activism who are also attending law school out to be charged up with a passion to change things.

Guess not.

 

So when will I go to Rome next?

Folks from our language school partner in Rome and the interesting food studies institute which teaches a Food and Culture course some semesters (though not every program uses the GustoLab course) were in town this week. They wanted to know when I was coming back to Rome. I said 2017 (very sweetly they said things like “no, no – WITHOUT students! Surely sooner than that?”). What’s been going around the department this week makes me wonder if it won’t be Spring of 2018 before I lead another program.

Well, in that case I will CERTAINLY be there on my own, senza gli studenti, before then!