ALL FACULTY MEMBERS

  • What kind of research are you currently working on?
  • What do you teach? What kind of load have you been teaching?  What is the ratio of graduate to undergraduate courses faculty teach?
  • Do you get to teach what you want?
  • How is the departmental service load?  Many committees?  Many faculty meetings?
  • What are the department’s strengths?
  • What would you like to see improved in the department?
  • How do people seem to get along in the department?
  • What is the structure of governance in the department (formal and informal)?
  • How are the computing/library/administrative support (personnel and resources)?
  • Is there secretarial support?  Help/budget for photocopying?  Budget for phone calls?
  • What kind of travel support is available for conferences?
  • What kinds of seed and small grant opportunities are available for research support/teaching development?
  • What are the strengths (and/or weaknesses) of the department/university in facilitating research?
  • Who helps out with your travel reimbursements, sending papers out, proposal submissions, etc… (especially ask junior faculty)?
  • How helpful is this support?
  • What are the department and university histories and criteria on tenure and promotion?
  • How is the financial health of the department, college and/or university?
  • What are the best and worst parts of living in ___________?
  • How is the cost of living? housing?
  • What area do you live in?  How is the commute?
  • Other topics: recreational/entertainment activities, public transportation, local politics, schools

JUNIOR FACULTY MEMBERS

  • How are your relations with senior faculty in the department?
  • How fair do the department evaluations and raises seem to be?
  • How are you feeling about your prospects for tenure and promotion?
  • How is the level of cooperation/competition among junior faculty here?
  • What kind of benefits did you receive when you arrived as new faculty (like course reductions, service load reductions, moving costs and/or extra salary, PCs and other equipment, research funds, etc.)?

DEPT CHAIR/HEAD

  • How is the position of the department in the college and university?
  • What is the teaching load?  Grad vs. undergrad load?
  • What are the policies about buying out of courses to do research?
  • What are the department’s expectations for productivity?
  • What is the service load?  Is it equal for junior and senior faculty?
  • What kinds of resources are provided?  Computer, office space, travel money, seed money, proposal preparation, support staff?
  • Are junior sabbaticals available?
  • What is the structure of department governance?  Committees?  How often are faculty meetings?

STUDENTS

  • Ask about their research interests.
  • What are the strengths of the dept?
  • What could be improved?
  • Do they feel connected to the faculty?
  • How many years of coursework are there?
  • How many years does the average PhD take?
  • How are students doing on the job market?

DEAN

  • Be ready to give brief description of your research.
  • Be ready to discuss resource needs.
  • What is your view of the X department?
  • What is the department’s position in the college and/or university?
  • What is the college’s position in the university?
  • Ask about university-level tenure process.
  • Does the university administration ever overrule departments in tenure cases?
  • What is the recent history of tenure cases?  How have things gone?
  • Show a commitment to doing high quality research and teaching.