Monday, January 25, 2010

What is the sound of one hand e-mailing?

This morning, the first shred of news arrived from a university I applied to in December. From their music department, I received an e-mail from somebody who has a name that sounds vaguely sci-fi (imagine something like "Sul Kips"). It was a request to have an attached form filled out and returned.

At least I know they're actually doing something over there.
The requested form is a short one-page application and disclosure, complete with all the standard information that Human Resources offices love to get from you.

Felonies? YES/NO
Previous work with this university? YES/NO
Race?
Ethnicity?

It also asks a standard job interviewish question of "expected salary".  I'll have to consult with some of my friends who are (or were) new music faculty to see what a full-time tenure-track professor starts at.  One of them even started as a faculty member at this same university, so I'm sure his advice will be pretty close to mark.

Right below that box, it asks "current salary".  Since I don't actually make a salary, I suppose I have to extrapolate here.  There's no shame in saying I make in the low "four figures".  My mom and dad will be happy to hear that it IS four -- not three.  In any event, it's going to be a lot less than what I expect for a full-time university professorship.  There, I assume at least five figures -- several times five figures if the current salaries in the Missouri state employee blue book are a good comparison point.  I'll certainly be able to get a new used car!

The form was sent in a .PDF format, with the e-mail helpfully stating that it can be returned via e-mail, fax, or ground mail.  However, though the form is a .PDF that allows information to be typed in, it does not allow information to be saved into the document.  Despite their claims there would be no simple way to return the filled-in form via email.  I could fill in the form, print it, scan the printout, and then return them a large detailed picture of the form, but it's probably easier to fax or post it.

At first I thought it was an advanced computer literacy test, since there are many "out of the box" ways to email an un-emailable form (not least of which is pictured above).  But since this is for a music professorship -- for which the job description does not even mention the words "computer" or "technology" -- I don't think they'd bother to think up something so crafty.  Especially not if they give the mailing address right afterwards. 

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