Hiring: no one is coming

NY told me that Dean did not hire D. The letter is effective.


Dear YZ,

Many of us are confused by the decision.

First, the faculty has chosen YXX, not D
, for the first pick. In fact, YX has been ranked No. 1 in all three rounds of evaluation (5/07, 6/07, 6/22). We expect her to be hired.

Second, as J. and M. pointed out, the school requires the area’s approval for the cluster hiring. But the majority of SC area are strongly against hiring D
, for the eight concerns raised in the open letter.

In fact, we may have university’s academic reputation at stake. We have double checked his seminar paper with leading economists from Stanford, UCLA, NYU, U Michigan, and U Toranto—they all say the same thing. As academics, we cannot treat this issue lightly.

We understand these recommendations are only advisory. Dean may decide otherwise. But given all the time and efforts the committee and the faculty have devoted, there should be a compelling reason.

Can you inform us?





He made the offer to D., the worst outcome for us. We could have stopped it if we had sent out the open letter. In fact I was to send, till J. suggested otherwise.

Should I stick to my fun? If I did, what are the consequences.

First, he may not hire D. Though no guarantee, he needs more courage, which reduces the likelihood of the hiring.

Second, he and vpap will hate me more. But even without the second letter, they will hate you anyway. Then the marginal cost of the second letter is not high.

On balance, I should have stick to my gun and sent the second letter. Lesson learned.


Dear B.,

The chair’s duty is to ensure the fair procedure, not to secure certain outcome.

That means, when the law is violated, the chair should call it out, not to remain silent. When the outcome of the fair procedure is tested, the chair should defend it, not to ditch it. 

In all fairness, we all had our say. We all voted. The outcome is to recommend HC only. Whether we like it or not, we shall all respect that outcome. Otherwise, the committee has no credibility.

In this committee, we have seen enough farces. I have no appetite/time for more.


2016-05-21 14.45.44


The army of diversity bureaucrats in US higher education is a strong signal of its decline. I am all for social justice and compassion. But that should be kept within proper limit. When it blows out of proportion, it discourages hardworking, undermines fairness, worse, it erodes the very foundation of American dream—meritocracy.

Here is a recent example that gets my nerve:


ME: If we really value excellence, we would not dilute it. We single it out.

When a candidate cannot stand on merit alone, and has to be justified on the diversity ground, well, that is quite telling of his/her true caliber.


R: “For the stage of her career (early associate) she has a solid record of publication.  Her seminar presentation was very good although I had several questions about the assumptions she made in the model.  Still, the analysis seems to have been done carefully and competently.   Her teaching evaluations are very good and she will contribute to our gender diversity at the school.  She does not quite fit the bill of being an established scholar(although in the ad we say we will consider tenured associate.   Still, I see her contribution to our school as the highest among the 3 candidates and I rank her first.”

2016-05-02 11.29.57


Hiring is always a nasty game, especially when you have a huge committee, such as our 12 members one. For whatever reason, the outside members wanted to impose new candidates on the shortlist our group proposed. Here is the response drafted from M.E.


Dear Colleagues,

It is our SC group decision that M should not receive further consideration.

There is no question that M is a serious researcher. The question is where he fits in. M’s record reveals that his focus is the methodology of optimization, not much the substance of SC. So his best fit is ORIE, in business school.

Since M applied for the business school position, we must evaluate him as such. A commonly used measure for business school research is UTD list. On that account, he does not make the cut.

The bottom line is, if M. were applying for Economics/Engineering, we’d vote YES. But for business school? NO.

We respect other committee members opinions, and we expect the same from others.