I'm not on a search committee this year, but I'm on another committee, the Basketweavers' Committee. And for that committee, I had to go to a special meeting, along with chairs and Basketweavers' Committee's people from across the university. I've gone to this sort of meeting before, led by the same administrator. This administrator was brand, spanking new to the job the last time I went to this meeting, and back then, kept saying stuff about how he was new and so and so wasn't his responsibility (except, of course, it was). This time, he just did his job.
It's the other people at these meetings that I learn from.
I learn from their questions that their departments are a whole lot of dysfunctional messiness compared to mine.
I learn that some people are much more focused on preparing for really rare problems than I am.
I learned that I can like and enjoy a colleague away from work, but would be driven nuts by that person if I had to be in department meetings with them.
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