Category Archives: General Interest


A New Home for On Hiring

Attention, readers: On Hiring is moving!

We’ve had a great run here on for the past six and a half years. But now we’ve found a new home on Vitae—a professional network, brought to you by The Chronicle, that’s designed to help students, scholars, and administrators advance their careers and do their jobs better.

Don’t worry: Your favorite On Hiring bloggers won’t be going away. They’ll just be joining a host of new contributors on Vitae’s News & Advice pages, where they’ll continue…


Happy Holidays!

Please note that the weekly On Hiring newsletter will be on hiatus this week because of the holidays, but it’ll be back in your emailbox on January 2, 2014.

Season’s Greetings!


Do You Want Feedback or Validation?

Two frustrating feedback requests in a single week have prompted me to ponder how much advice people really want when they request it. When are requests sincere, and when are they simply a guise for obtaining recognition and validation?

Last week began with my receiving feedback on my feedback. Because we have a university policy that isn’t really working as it was intended, several of us agreed a revamp was in order. I was enormously grateful that another colleague offered to take the lead in w…


On End-of-Term Distractions

Now that we are in the most difficult part of the fall semester, with paper grading, holiday responsibilities, and end-of-term planning in full swing, I have noticed an uptick in those distracting emails that some folks love to send. From links to BuzzFeed lists (Wow! I never knew that about The Brady Bunch) to political essays (You won’t believe what he thinks!) to outright head-scratchers (Chain emails? Really? You have time for that?), ’tis the season for time wasting.

The last weeks of the s…


There’s No Business Like Edubusiness

You may have gotten a Ph.D. because, like Lloyd Dobler, you didn’t want to “sell anything, buy anything, or process anything.” But if you think you can avoid the corporate world by going into college teaching (or kickboxing), think again, says Jeanne Zaino, a political-science professor at Iona College, with tongue firmly in cheek. Those people in your class who you thought were students are customers shelling out big bucks, who you must therefore please, she writes. Zaino offers a few tips for …


Dude, Your Fly Is Unzipped!

In the wake of the latest ruckus in the scientific community over the spectacularly insensitive video by Joe Hanson, Andrew David Thaler offers some much-needed advice to other oblivious but perhaps well-meaning dudes out there who might be thinking of opening mouth and inserting camera or otherwise following in Hanson’s footsteps.

First, recognize that you’re in a position of privilege. The thing about privilege is that it’s “largely invisible to those who have it—including you,” Thaler writes….


Move Over, Roger Federer

Daniel Hamermesh, an economics professor at the University of Texas at Austin and Royal Holloway University of London, has come up with a tantalizing idea to end the financial woes of universities and the academics who teach at them. Companies are already paying huge sums for naming rights on football stadiums and campus buildings. So why not go a step further?, he asks. “Five hundred students stare at me for 1-1/4 hours 28 times each fall semester. The university could ask me to advertise—wea…


Emerging From a Funk

The annual College and University Professional Association for Human Resources conference was last week, and I joined three colleagues from around the country to do a presentation on disengagement. While we touched on the research that leads employees to feel disconnected and dejected, and provided a quick overview of the latest thinking on human motivation, our talk was designed to be more personal. Rather than talking about disengagement in the abstract, we had an honest conversation about wha…


The Problem With Bill Gates’s Vision

The Microsoft magnate-cum-philanthropist Bill Gates made waves in the community-college world a few weeks ago when he suggested that two-year colleges should use more MOOCs.

Most of us who actually teach community-college students understand that, while there may be a place for MOOCs in the curriculum, relying on them too heavily would be a mistake. (I wrote about this extensively in “A Massively Bad Idea,” and I won’t reiterate those arguments here.) But the notion of MOOCs as some sort of edu…


‘First World’ Academic Problems

Perhaps you have seen some of the Web sites dedicated to highlighting the whining that is common to those of us who live in the so-called first world. I saw one the other day that cracked me up: Someone was complaining that there was so much leg room in business class that she was having trouble reaching the touch screen on the video display in front of her.

Some time ago I had the opportunity to participate in some faculty-development sessions overseas. My hosts were gracious at every turn. I h…