A philosophy department hiring this year publicly announced who it hired (a) before it had received a signed contract from the candidate and (b) without first asking the candidate. Hiring departments, don’t do this.
It’s best to check with the candidate first. Why?
- A signed contract and/or explicit permission from the candidate is a good sign that the department and the candidate have not misunderstood what each party wants and thinks they’ve agreed to.
- Accepting an academic job offer without withdrawing one’s candidacy from other searches is unprofessional and unkind. It’s reasonable for a candidate to wait to withdraw from other job searches until one has accepted the job in question in writing. Without a signed contract or explicit consent from the candidate, a department’s premature hiring announcement risks making the candidate look unprofessional and unkind.
- A candidate may have reasons for wanting to be able to control how some people (say, family or friends) learn about him or her being hired. Surprise public announcements by the hiring department can interfere with this.
Further, there are no strong reasons for the hiring department to make the announcement without either a signed contract or the explicit permission of the candidate. Even if a department thinks that news of the hire will induce prospective graduate students to attend their program, it is only under rare circumstances that there is no time to first seek the permission of the candidate, and in those circumstances the news can be shared more discreetly than a public announcement.
Hiring departments, I understand you are excited about your new hires, but contain yourselves—for a day or two—ok?