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My (R1) university is hiring a number of upper administration positions. We keep getting these emails about the dates of the interview, but the names aren't released until 24 h beforehand.

My previous (large) department did something similar for our chair search, although I think the names were released more than 24 h earlier.

Why is so much secrecy necessary?

  • Could it be that they are planning the interviews before they decide who to interview? – Thomas Oct 10 '19 at 22:03
  • @Thomas "Interviews" is a bit misleading. These are more like talk/panel discussions with faculty and students who attend. They're scheduled for like a week from now, and I'm sure the search committee has known who they were interested in for a while. – Azor Ahai -- he him Oct 10 '19 at 22:05
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The people who are interviewing for these positions have existing, usually high level, positions at other universities, and care greatly about not having their current employer know that they are looking for other opportunities, to the extent that this can be helped. So the interviewing institutions do the best they can to keep the shortlist candidates’ identity hidden for as long as practically possible.

Thus, balancing out this need for secrecy with other practical considerations leads to the practice you are describing.

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    But what does an extra week of secrecy get someone? – Azor Ahai -- he him Oct 10 '19 at 22:01
  • @AzorAhai what does an extra week of non-secrecy get someone? – Dan Romik Oct 10 '19 at 22:02
  • A busy person might make time in their schedule to go hear the candidate for dean talk if they think they're an interesting candidate and would have less ability to do so with only a day's warning. – Azor Ahai -- he him Oct 10 '19 at 22:04
  • Also, then everyone only gets one email instead of five. – Azor Ahai -- he him Oct 10 '19 at 22:06
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    @AzorAhai: This way, if the person had decided to withdraw their application during that week, either because they decided to keep their current job or to take a different one, their candidacy for your position would never have been announced publicly at all. – Nate Eldredge Oct 10 '19 at 22:07

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