I’ve recently had an on campus interview and in response to my thank you email, I had this back from the SC. “You are certainly welcome! It was wonderful to host you, and gratifying to see you validate the committee's confidence in your candidacy.

We will be in touch soon. “

How would you interpret this? It seems unnecessarily positive but I may be grasping at straws.

For context: I’ve been in U.K. universities for the past decade where hiring decisions and informal offers arrive in days if not hours. This is my first time applying to a TT job in the US so please indulge my need to fret. I was the last on campus interview 2 weeks ago and in my exit interview the chair was very non committal about timelines. The HR rep said the call would come from the Dean. This Uni has been slower than promised at every step of this process so I get the sense they have a clunky behind the scenes process.

Is all hope not yet lost?

Edited for grammar

  • 6
    Interpret it as a pleasant response to your thank-you note, and wait and see.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Feb 1 at 19:39
  • 2
    Continue applying. At this point nothing is anymore in your hand. Having an option is good, having more than one option is better. Commented Feb 1 at 19:39
  • Sounds like you were a pleasant person to talk to, but they are pointedly not offering any further information. US universities are on the weeks timescale. There is nothing in the email that says how clunky anything is Commented Feb 1 at 19:46
  • See the last part of the linked question -- we are not mind readers and cannot tell you anything that you don't already know (though the top answer below does make an excellent attempt at it).
    – cag51
    Commented Feb 2 at 3:27

2 Answers 2


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Stop grasping at straws, and don't expect to hear back for at least a month. US universities are run more democratically than UK universities, so hiring decisions frequently require discussion and approval from the departmental search committee committee, the department as a whole, the chair, a college hiring committee, the dean, and the provost.

  • Thank you. This helped me to lighten up a bit. Waiting is rough but good to hear that no news isn’t always bad news.
    – Anonimal
    Commented Feb 1 at 19:53
  • 1
    Fun graphics. :) Commented Feb 1 at 22:07
  • 1
    @paulgarrett - I got it from a Facebook post of one of your colleagues a few years back. Commented Feb 1 at 23:02
  • Ha! Good! :) :) :) Commented Feb 1 at 23:13

We are responding because you gave us a reason to reply.

We are interested in you, and your interest in us shows us that we were right in being interested in you.

We will let you know when we have something to say.

The confused wording in the middle comes out of the desire to be hopeful and kind, when not having anything of substance to say.

It's the Academic equivalent of "Business Jargon", where insecurities push a person to use words without (much) content to avoid the negative perception of having little to say.

  • 1
    Appreciate you attempting to decipher. This was my thinking too but after a couple weeks the temptation to read between the lines has got the better of me.
    – Anonimal
    Commented Feb 2 at 5:46

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