Got a rejection letter from my old department in today's mail. You know, the department that wouldn't consider me for a post-doctoral faculty fellowship. This is from the same chair who wrote I am sorry if I slipped up if the obligation was mine. This was for a faculty post in the same department. The fellowship was intended to hedge my bets.
The funny thing is this is nearly the exact letter they sent out two years ago when they first opened the search. See... by the time they got around to interviewing then, ALL of their top picks had already accepted posts elsewhere. And it took them a full season to convince the dean they should be allowed to reopen it.
As a model for tacky rejection letters, I think this one is tops:
Dear Dr. ________:
Thank you for applying for the position of Assistant Professor of ______________. We had many fine candidates, making the process of selecting a small group of finalists difficult and lengthy. I am writing to report that your candidacy for the post is no longer under consideration.
[So far nothing too bad. Nothing pleasant, but standard drab... then he writes:]
The finalists chosen were considered to have the skills, knowledge and experience that closely meet our needs. We appreciate your interest in employment at the [University of Paradise], and wish you success in pursuing other opportunities.
[Oh, so you mean everyone else was considered not to have the skills, knowledge and experience that fit your standards... I see.... Oh, and by the way, good luck in landing a dishwashing job somewhere. You know, other opportunities] And... to top it off, the signature is a really bad pixelized digital reproduction.
Okay, a little bit of sour grapes on my part I suppose. But it is one of the worst written letters I've gotten. A little bit of dignity and respect for having completed a PhD wouldn't hurt, now would it?