Last week I got some very disappointing news: the faculty position for which I was a finalist is not going to be filled after all.
Naturally, I was crushed. But I’m trying to focus on silver linings and next steps.
I was one of two finalists, so there was a very real chance that this was going to be my entry point into the academy. We were so excited about the possibilities! Sal had started looking at houses. I was holding off making any travel plans after July, in case my home airport was about to change. We’d talked about when we would go on house-hunting trips in the Spring.
When I got the email, I reached out in bewilderment to the department chair who would’ve been my new boss. She told me that the committee actually didn’t agree that either finalist was what they were looking for, so they were simply not going to fill the role. A failed search is a big disappointment all around, because it means the department loses the opportunity to add to the faculty, so I’m sure she was (almost) as disappointed as I was.
There was actually a pretty good, and unsurprising, reason for the committee’s hesitation about me: I’ve never taught a semester-length course in person, on campus. I’ve led plenty of workshops, offsite meetings, corporate summits, and so on. And I’ve taught three semesters of online classes at the Master’s degree level. But I’ve never done the specific job that the university was hiring for, in the type of setting that they need someone.
I get it. I’m really disappointed, but I get it.
On the plus side, this means that we likely aren’t leaving NYC this year. Both Sal and I love living here, and we have many close friends here that we would’ve missed terribly, so sticking around a bit longer is one hell of a consolation prize.
This also means that I get to continue focusing on my part-time consulting (which I’m really enjoying!) and on continuing my research, hopefully getting some things published over the next few months. I’ll want to add “adjunct teaching a college course in person in NYC” to that list, to help better position myself for a future opportunity.
And hey, there’s always the possibility that something will come through with another university before the Fall term gets started. I’m attending two academic conferences in the Spring, so there’ll be other opportunities. The gaps in my credentials will still be there, but perhaps another university will be a tad more adventurous and be more interested in my other qualifications.
We’ll see. I’m less certain about what the “medium term” future looks like, but I’m still optimistic about the long term.
And now… back to the new “business as usual” short term.