The compositions of search committees have been fairly static and many of them look the same today as they did 50 years ago. When you assemble a search committee, who should you invite? Dennis Barden argues that students deserve a space around the table. He hits on one important contribution they make to a search committee:
“The reason they deserve a valuable spot on a search committee: they represent the institution as it is experienced in real time. They feel its heartbeat. They get the most important and elusive factor in any search: fit. Students are seldom so swayed by credentials and interview performance that they don’t see straight through to the heart of the matter...and of the candidate. They very often know when someone will—or will not—fit with the ethos and environment of the institution.”
Cultural fit is an essential, though largely intangible factor and one that has a significant impact on longevity. Read his entire discussion here.
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