Emma Figlewicz Zachary Carpenter

College takes steps to hire new professors




Alma College has multiple openings for professors that are either active or in the process of being filled for the upcoming 2023-24 school year. These openings result from various movements within departments including retirement, professors taking positions at other institutions and departments hoping to expand to better serve future generations of students.

Some of the more notable searches that have reached the stage where prospective candidates are visiting campus include openings for the philosophy and education departments.

Both departments have seen multiple candidates come to campus where they meet with students in an informal setting, receive a campus tour and present to both faculty and students on a topic within their discipline.

Other departments that are in the earlier stages of their search for new professors include the history and physics departments. The history department is looking for someone who can teach pre-1800s European history, and the physics department is looking for an instructor or lecturer of physics and engineering.

The search for new professors is a long one with multiple different steps involving meeting with multiple different peoplefrom across campus. One of the most important steps in the process for applicants is meeting with current students.

“I think it is important for students to be a part of the hiring process because not only are they the ones paying for the salary but are also the ones reaping the benefits of the education,” said Matthew Garland (’23).

This is especially true if it is within your major or minor, as it is extremely likely you will have the prospective professor teaching a class or two in the future.

“Many people maybe qualified, but I do not feel as though the Alma ‘vibe’ fits everyone,” said Garland. “We are a small school that hardly anyone outside of Michigan has heard of and it takes a special type of person to make it here.”

Students who take advantage of the various meetings set up with applicants not only play a crucial role in bettering their own personal education but also potentially the lives of Alma College students for generations to come.

Faculty and staff are also highly encouraged to attend these events as they will ha ve more insights into what applicants will be most likely to succeed in their new role, pulling on both their own as well as others’ personal experiences.

Anyone curious about where their academic department is in the hiring process is encouraged to reach out to their department chairs. While most information will be kept confidential, they can still tell students about upcoming events related to the hiring process.

For the philosophy department in particular, there is a lot of buzz around who will be tapped as the newest addition to the department. A longtime professor of philosophy, as well as the department head, Dr. Nicholas Dixon, is retiring at the end of the 2022-23 academic year following a 37 year long tenure at Alma College.

“I feel as though someone like him, someone open to discussion who teaches by listening to students rather than absorbing content from the textbook and spitting it [back] at them would be the best option,” said Garland about whom he would like to see replace Dixon.

While the final decision is ultimately left up to the provost and individual departments, the hiring of new professors is still an important thing for students to pay attention to.

Leave a Reply