– Mark E. Smith

I wrote this on 2009.12.30:

RyeHigh J-school – the faculty that hires its friends despite an avalanche of applications; hired one such friend for a substitute-teaching assignment after a ten-minute chat; and offers precisely two courses in online journalism (about which one of whose students complained to me in person) – now needs a new chairperson.

Of course it’ll be somebody you’ve heard of. This will end quite a bit worse than that lecture Michael Schudson of Columbia gave that one time recently.

On 2010.05.18, Daniel Doz, dean, Faculty of Communication & Design, issued a memo stating:

Unfortunately[,] the search initiated during this academic year… failed to produce a successful outcome for the position of Chair, School of Journalism. Therefore… I am hereby requesting suggestions as to possible candidates for a one-year interim position.

Note that he didn’t say they couldn’t find a suitable candidate. What he also didn’t say is that they even had candidates to begin with. I suspect nobody applied. But of course, I can’t confirm that because I’m not an insider; I can’t just call up my friends in the department to ask, or wait till the next dinner party to do the same.

But what I can do is mail Doz directly, asking him the following:

Please tell me which of the following is correct:

  • Candidates applied and none were found suitable by Ryerson.

  • Candidates applied. Ryerson found one of them suitable. That candidate turned down the job, or a deal could otherwise not be reached.

  • No candidates applied.

If something else happened, do tell.

He refused to respond.

Who could possibly want this job, let alone make it work? By now I am not the only person who knows that RyeHigh J-school is training millennials for the jobs of the 1980s, none of which exist. We’ve been through this before. Doz knows this, too; I wrote him a letter on 2010.01.19 stating as much, assuring him that “[y]ou’ll eventually find a bifocal-wearing computerphobe to run the department. Whoever you hire will be a nice reassuring choice – somebody all of us have heard of. That would be your problem right there.”

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2010.05.28 09:15. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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