Friday, April 18, 2008

To Search Committees: Modernize

Brandon Withrow wrote a very insightful, and relevant, story for the online Chronicle of Higher Education, which deserves serious consideration by anyone considering this, or any other candidate for a faculty position somewhere. Read the blog first, don't be so narrow minded that an applicant simply having a blog is an immediate kiss of death.

My blog, which I ignore too much, is basically an online clip file. Not much more. If I was going to get political I would start a separate blog. I am a centrist, anyway.

Here are a few excerpts from Withrow's article, and a link. Please read.

To the senior professors and members of search committees, I offer three points that are crucial to understanding the next generation of scholars:

Be realistic -- when a search committee sees that a candidate has a blog or a space online anywhere, it should not be a surprise.

Be relevant -- embracing technology connects you not only to your students, but also to a world of better research through time-saving and exhaustive online databases.

Be reasonable -- as scholars, we are all constantly pursuing new ideas, and that the opinions you read on a candidate's blog may not be his or her final position on an issue.

Our ability to work, live, and remain assets to our institutions requires all of us -- students, candidates, and senior scholars -- to embrace the inevitable. Blogging, then, will remain a part of my life. See you at my (Google) site meter.

Like Withrow, I have also signed up for Google alerts.