The Status of Searches, Job Offers, and Hiring Plans During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic and the various measures taken in response to it are disrupting and delaying normal university processes as well as having broader economic consequences. How have academic job searches in process and plans for hires in the near future been affected?

Regarding current searches: How have candidates’ campus visits been affected? How has the closure of university offices affected decision-making processes? How have closures and other institutional measures affected the completion of administrative tasks needed to make official offers?

[Molly Rausch, “Kidney Transplant”]

One reader says:

Some of us find ourselves in a weird spot: we’ve officially accepted an offer at another institution (e.g., by email) but we have not yet received a contract, so we are worried that these offers may be rescinded. Somewhat relatedly, in some cases there is an additional worry that resigning at a current position means giving up healthcare for most of the summer. I don’t think this is a new worry, but it does seem compounded in light of the pandemic. 

It is also the time of year during which departments often develop hiring plans and goals for the following years. Between institutional interruptions and the multiple uncertainties (financial and otherwise) universities face regarding their futures, it would not be surprising if the result is fewer jobs available in the next couple of hiring seasons. And might the anticipation of such a development put further pressure on Ph.D. programs to tamp down on admissions? Have your departments been discussing these matters? Or getting directives from administration on them?

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