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A Thoughtful and Thorough Academic Job Ad

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What if I told you it was possible for an advertisement for an academic position to explain why the hiring department is hiring in a particular area, provide a profile of the kind of colleague the existing faculty are looking for, describe the work environments the successful candidate will find themself in, convey the values the department aims to promote, and detail how the hiring process will work? You’d probably say, “sure, that is well within the bounds of the possible.” Yet we don’t often see such ads. Perhaps that will change, now that the Department of Philosophy at the University of Oklahoma (OU) has provided such a terrific model for them. In an attempt to, in the words of OU philosopher Amy Olberding, “make the job seeking process more humane and open,” her department has created a detaied job ad with 10 hyperlinked parts, including: “Why are we hiring in virtue theory?”, “Who are we looking for?” “Teaching in the Philosophy Department”, “Our hiring process,” “Do you have questions for us?” and more. The ad material is written with a combination of warmth and frankness. For a sample of its flavor, here’s the content from the “More about the Philosophy Department” section: We recognize that investigating a department and even interviewing in person might not yield answers to the sorts of things you’d really like to know. Here are some of the things about us that might not be obvious or that you might be reluctant to ask directly. The department is committed to being pluralistic about intellectual traditions, methods, and philosophical work. Our faculty do generally each have the usual defined areas of research—some are doing philosophy of language, some are doing history, some are doing ethics, and so on—and most of us work in the analytic tradition (even as some of us aren’t completely sure what that really means). Yet despite. . .

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News source: Daily Nous

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