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The university turnstile

Caricature of SteveTis the season of change at America’s colleges and universities.

Institutions of higher education are hiring new professors and coaches. But the process is different for both.

Academic Hires

A public university is hiring a new director for one of its academic programs.

1–An outside search committee is hired.

2—An on-campus search committee is formed to work with the outside group.

3—There are requests for candidate CVs/resumes.

4—The field is winnowed.

5—Seven semi-finalists are chosen and interviewed in the capital city not near the school.

6—Four finalists are invited to campus for interviews.

7—The on-campus interviews stretch over a month.

8—Interested observers and stakeholders are asked to assess the candidates.

9—Now we’re waiting for university administrators to decide.

10—And the salary will be around $200,000.

Athletic Hires

But when you walk across the street from the campus to the athletic department, you enter a whole different world.

The university fires its head football coach on the same day it begins its academic search.

1—Athletic Director calls his friend.

AD: “Hey, Bubba, how you all doing? We’re lookin’ for a guy to head our football program and I thought of you.”

 COACH:  “Good to hear from you, buddy. How much you all puttin’ on the table for this gig?”

 AD: “About four million plus a couple more if you do good, Bubba. That gonna work for yuh?”

 COACH:   “I think I can keep the kids in shoes for that.  You all need to clear this thing with anyone back there?”

AD:  “Nah,  I’m playin’ golf with the president today and I’ll just let her know.”   

COACH:  “Works for me.  I’ll pack tonight and be there in the mornin’”

 And that’s how we roll at universities today.

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