Pro­fessor of History Mark Kalthoff is dean of faculty. | External Affairs

Hillsdale College plans to hire 10 full-time faculty in the fall to fill posi­tions opened by retire­ments and depart­mental expansions. 

The art, biology, eco­nomics, edu­cation, psy­chology, physics, and religion depart­ments will hire pro­fessors for next year. There is also an open position at the Kirby Center in Wash­ington, D.C. 

Mark Maier, senior advisor to the provost, said the college hires around eight to 10 new faculty members every year.

“It’s one of the most important things we do,” Maier said. “Because if we do this poorly, there are all kinds of problems for everybody. If we do it well, we will have somebody for the next 30 years of their career.”

Maier said in order to find pro­fessors who are not only pro­fi­cient edu­cators, but also will fit into the culture of Hillsdale, appli­cants are expected to go through a lengthy process before they are con­sidered for a position.

Beginning with an appli­cation, faculty can­di­dates must submit their cur­riculum vitae, rec­om­men­dation letters, their teaching phi­losophy, and write an essay-length response to the college’s mission statement. Maier said this prompt allows hiring com­mittees to dis­tin­guish good can­di­dates from great ones because it shows whether appli­cants’ values align with those of the college.

“Most places just want to know your expertise and where you went to school, and we want that as well,” Maier said. “But we also want to make sure that they under­stand what Hillsdale is about, and they under­stand our approach to liberal edu­cation and the nature of the college.”

Dan Cou­pland, chairman and pro­fessor of the edu­cation department, said col­leges look for three areas when hiring pro­fessors: teaching ability, service to the college, and research.

“Teaching is the side that the stu­dents get to see a lot of, and at a place like Hillsdale, teaching is held in high regard,” Cou­pland said. “That doesn’t mean we ignore the other two, it’s just that if you can’t teach, you probably don’t belong at Hillsdale because we’re a teaching institution.”

After reviewing appli­ca­tions, the members of the hiring com­mittee meet and select three to four can­di­dates to invite to campus for a given position. For prospective pro­fessors, on-campus visits include teaching a sample lesson, lunch with stu­dents, a pre­sen­tation of research, and a series of interviews. 

Dean of Faculty Mark Kalthoff said appli­cants meet with the pres­ident, provost, dean of faculty, all members of the hiring com­mittee, the depart­mental dean, and three more faculty from the department’s division — either natural sci­ences, human­ities, or social sciences.

“We always tell people we’re looking for Hillsdale College faculty members first and English pro­fessors second,” Maier said. “We want the whole insti­tution involved so we can get a sense of how they fit into the bigger picture.”

Kalthoff echoed the impor­tance of finding pro­fessors who under­stand the purpose and the values of Hillsdale College.

“A big part of the interview process is for us to tell job can­di­dates about our com­mit­ments, it’s kind of a mutual interview. I try to be very open about what Hillsdale College is and what it is not,” Kalthoff said. “As you’ve heard Dr. Arnn say, college is a part­nership. It’s much easier to be partners with somebody who shares your view of the way things work.”

After their campus visits, Kalthoff said search com­mittees establish a ranking of the can­di­dates and submit it to the provost’s office for review before it is sent to Pres­ident Larry Arnn for the final decision.

Kalthoff said it is rewarding to be a part of the decision-making process for new hires because he gets to help pre­serve Hillsdale College’s culture and shape its future.

“It’s one of the more rewarding kinds of work that you can do in admin­is­tration here because you’re really helping shape and build the insti­tution,” Kalthoff said. “This is my 33rd year teaching here. Some of the younger people that we’re hiring, I hope they have 33-year careers, and if they do, I probably will not only not be working here, I probably won’t even be living when they reach retirement. So I get to touch the future, and it’s an honor to be part of it.”