Today's mail brought the following, from the chair of the search committee at [LakeViewU]:
April 25, 2006It does make you wonder.
Dear Professor [ArticulateDad]:
Thank you for your interest in the faculty opening in [Field1] we had in the [Program] at [LakeViewUniversity]. We are happy to say that while we had many good applicants, this made the decision much more difficult.
We are pleased to announce that Professor [InternalCandidate] has accepted the position.
Best wishes for your future endeavors.
Chairman, Search Committee
And, just for a little background: This particular Prof. Icouldn't Careless happened to spend a term as visiting faculty at my doctoral institution, after I had entered candidacy. I had met him before, when I interviewed as a graduate student on his campus. (It's a big deal there. They paid to fly in about 6 of us potential grad students, put us up in a 3 star hotel, and wined and dined us for a few days! So this wasn't a passing, glad to meet you sort of thing.)
During his time at my doctoral institution, I had coffee and lunch with him on at least two occasions to memory, possibly more. I discussed at length with him some details of departmental and campus politics and such, though always tactfully, since he was considering and being considered for (hush hush) a position on our campus.
On April 24, I sent him the following email:
Dear [Icouldn't],I guess courtesy was too much to expect. Ah well, other fish to fry.
Now that I hear the [LVU] search has come to a successful conclusion, I'd like to ask you for some feedback on my application. This has been an exceedingly, and unexpectedly, frustrating job season, as I remain without a faculty post, more than a year after completing the dissertation. I am seeking to get whatever feedback I can from those willing to offer it, in hopes that what remains of this season, or the next, will offer me more promise. I hope that our personal contacts in the past might incline you to lower the veil of silence that normally separates job seekers from those in positions to hire.
I would very much appreciate any comments or suggestions you might have to offer me, as I continue to seek an appropriate appointment. I realize there is now an open search for a lecturer in [Field1] at LVU. I'm not at all clear whether it would be appropriate for me to apply. To be clear, in case you are involved in that search as well, I am not seeking any special consideration, merely a greater understanding of the process, to assist me in locating the most appropriate posts, and best presenting myself as a candidate for them.
I thank you in advance for your time and consideration,