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Marcus is correct that getting to know the department = understand the teaching responsibilities of faculty / the department's role in the university. For instance, you should be *very* aware of whether the university has a core curriculum and what, if anything, philosophy's role in that core curriculum is. Or if you are someone with an AOS in political philosophy or philosophy of law: does the university have a pre-law program, and what is philosophy's role in that program? Ditto for bioethics or other similar programs.

Anon Postdoc

One thought that might help: Department/University websites are very frequently out of date, so it may be worth checking other sources if you can to make sure the information you are getting is accurate and up to date.

A couple of ways you might do that:

1. Check the personal websites of faculty, since quite a few people list the courses they are currently teaching and other such information there (although, again, these are often out of date).

2. Reach out to in the department to confirm. Obviously this is easiest if you personally or at least professionally know someone there. But I don't think it would be a problem to ask the contact for the job search (there is usually some such person listed) if the question is about something that is actually relevant to your application (and might even be taken as a good sign that you are really interested).

For example (and I think this is the sort of thing people have in mind more generally with this advice): I have taught a sideline in bioethics for a while, but don't do research in bioethics. I see that a department I was applying to had previously offered bioethics but didn't seem to be currently offering it (according to their website). I might reach out to ask if the bioethics course is currently offered, if the person teaching it is permanent faculty, and whether the department is interested in offering again. All going well, I can then I can offer to teach it, along with my more directly research linked teaching.

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