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the Outsider

Strictly speaking, as Marcus notes: (i) inside searchers can turn out another way, and (ii) the inside candidate might get another more desirable job offer elsewhere. But I was the victim of a number of inside searches - and I totally resented it. In one case I spent 5 days at a school - and it was a graduate student who let me know there was an inside candidate. Further, I feel for the OP - it is not nice to be asked to do something that is unethical (or at least questionable). You could always voice your concerns by expressing support for a stronger applicant, but it could work against you. These are probably the same people who will determine your own fate, regarding tenure. Good luck.


If you're pre-tenure, I would say find an excuse not to be on that committee. You have a legitimate interest not to make yourself vulnerable to retaliation, but you might also run into ethical dilemmas if you stay on. The responsibility to keep institutions ethical falls more squarely onto tenured people. But you might avoid dirtying your hands by not getting involved.

also pretunure and wasted time on a search -- don't recommend

Following what Lisa said, the fact that you're pre-tenure is a good reason by itself to not serve on that committee. Unless you're in a very small department that is...

small department person

I was in a small department - 5 full time people. And the one untenured person chose to abstain from many votes. We were a dysfunctional lot - two voted for X and 2 voting for not-X. It was a bit of a shame that the untenured person felt so vulnerable, but two of my colleagues were class-A @-holes.

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