It's been so long since we had a Big Thirsty that I forgot to ask the writer to suggest a name for herself. Let's go with Hanna from Hoboken for now. Here it is.
I am a very junior-level academic, fresh from my PhD in the humanities and with one published article to my name. I'm new to interviewing for jobs and I wanted to gauge whether what I experienced was normal or not.
I had a campus interview very recently in which I was interviewed by the president of the university. The president told me that starting from this year, he would interview all the university's faculty job candidates to make sure that they were supportive of his mission. However, he didn't even explain what his mission was. This is a university that is remodeling itself and has had faculty protest against previous presidents in the past.
When I applied for the job, the advertisement was for a tenure-track 4/4, but when I interviewed with the search committee over the phone and in person at the campus interview, it was a 5/5 with some service. Then, when I interviewed with the dean, the job entailed a much heavier research load and establishing a cultural center. When I got to the president, however, he wanted a researcher who could establish international exchanges with other universities. I'm not sure about the position because they want me to help them establish a cultural center, start a major, and do international outreach. I don't have the connections or skills necessary to do the kind of outreach they wish to accomplish.
Needless, to say, I left that campus interview a bit confused, especially since the department made me understand that I would be an emergency hire to fill their open classes and create new ones for a major.
Do you have any advice about what is going on here and what I might do if I get an offer for this job?
Also, if I get an offer, I have until September to move there and start teaching. I'm waiting to see if I get an offer to know what this job is really all about.
-- Hanna from Hoboken