Let me go back to the on-line applications for a moment. In my first two posts on this, I was lamenting the shitty, off the shelf human resources website that most schools with on-line applications seem to use. But what about the departments that don’t use the shitty, off the shelf human resources website? I’ll get to some more general comments later, but for now let me make one complaint.
Most schools ask you to fill in information about who your letter writers are. I mean, that information is already on your CV, but it makes sense to fill it in again. I assume departments want that information in a nice, standardized, readable form, because they’re going to skim it over and look for letters from people they know or respect.
But one department—honestly, I can’t remember which one—asked for my letter writers’ e-mail addresses too. And then, when I submitted my application, it sent each of my letter writers an automatically generated e-mail, telling them to get their letters in. Yes, it spammed my committee.
Look, I’m not accustomed to getting up in people’s faces about the treatment of senior faculty, because on the whole, they’re treated pretty fucking well. But in this case, whoever that department is, you need to cut that shit out. Seriously. My committee has better things to do with their time than clearing your fucking spam out of their inboxes.