Field of Science

Academic hiring and coaches

Without question the most highly overpaid, least loyal members of the academic community, and here TPP plays very loose with the concept of academic community because most coaches, having been jocks themselves, have little interest in scholarship.  Coaches are employees of the same institution as are faculty, but that's it.  Not only are coaches among the most highly paid employees of a university, a double standard exists in their hiring.  TPP has been in charge of hiring several of his junior colleagues and the prescribed rules are very precise.  Positions have to be advertised nationally, and you must convince the powers that be that the ads are placed where job-seekers will look for them, although now online postings have made this much easier.  A deadline for applying must be set not less than 4 weeks after the ads are scheduled to appear.  Only after the deadline can you start to sort through the applications.  Generally a committee winnows the applicants to a list of 10 to 12, and then each is contacted and a telephone conference interview is arranged and each of these applicants is interviewed by the committee.  After this you decide on 3-4 applicants you wish to invite to campus for extensive visits, a seminar, meetings with other faculty and students, meetings with your chair, your dean, the provost's underling (provosts are very busy people).  But before you can extend any invitations affirmative action must examine the data on all of your applicants and be convinced that you are not discriminating in an improper manner.  Then you arrange the interview visits, some 2 days long, for each of the three or four applicants.  Everyone sends in their evaluations, and finally the committee makes a recommendation to the chair who then does pretty much as they choose (sigh), and if the dean OKs things, an offer is made.  There are usually some negotiations that take place about salary, labs, and the things that go in them, and finally when all parties agree to everything a formal offer is made and accepted, in writing, and when the acceptance letter arrives you officially announce the hiring.  As you can guess this takes no small amount of time, usually 4 to 6 months from the point in time the dean says you can search for a position.  So what happens when one of your coaches announces that big-time university has bought their services?  They drop everything and leave no matter what their contract says. They leave so quickly they must have their bags permanently packed and behind their office door.  The university announces that they will conduct an intensive national search for a replacement and two weeks later they announce the name of the new coach.  Me thinks they cheat.  OK, let's be fair to athletics, me thinks they play fast and loose with the hiring rules.  Or by some total double standard, hiring rules apply not to coaches.  Well, why not?  None of the other rules apply to them either.  The new coach always costs more than the old coach for some reason, and they arrive expressing their total delight at joining such a great institution, inheriting such a great team, explaining how they will attain new levels of athletic success, and they will leave as soon as they get a better offer.  Coaches can behave worse and misbehave more often than any other member of the institution, and even then only get fired if the general public finds out and it embarrasses the university, like Rutgers.  Here's my point you get jerks as coaches because you hired a jerk, and could the greatly truncated, behind closed doors hiring process prevent anyone from properly vetting the person you're trying to buy (not even an applicant because there was no time for them to apply).  Every time a coach gets fired or leaves for another job before their contract ends, the AD (athletic director) who hired them should get fired too. 

1 comment:

Eric said...

I could have sworn I was reading my own thoughts. Can't add much more than "amen."