I'm a faculty member at a small liberal arts college with significant financial problems, which make the long-term viability of the college questionable. In addition to faculty pushed out, junior and senior faculty have been leaving for other institutions.
My department gained approval to do a tenure-track search. I am wondering how and when to communicate the situation to candidates. The normal sequence for a search is:
- Solicit applications.
- Interview the stronger applicants at the big annual meeting in our field.
- Invite the best matching 3-4 candidates for an on-campus interview.
Our reasons for wanting to let candidates know about the problems are:
- It's the right thing to do.
- We don't want them to reject us after we've used up a campus visit on them.
- We don't want one to leave a year or two after accepting the job because they did not understand the extent of the college's problems.
When should we let candidates know about the problems and how explicit should we be? For example, we could point them to news articles, put them in touch with junior faculty not involved in the search, etc.