I'm sure everyone's email box was visited today by several emails complaining about the APA and related matters. I suppose then that the time is right for anyone with big ideas about how to improve the APA to speak up-- there's lots of justified discontent at present. Three thoughts:
1. As I said in a thread on one of the earlier posts, I think we're stuck with a big December 27-30 meeting. It's the least sub-optimal of all the options. What I don't see the necessity of is having the big December meeting on the east coast, rather than in a more central and warmer location. It used to be the case that only the major cities in the East had sufficient facilities for a big meeting. This is no longer the case. I know the APA has explored the alternatives to having a big meeting in December. Have they examined the possibility of moving the big December meeting from the Eastern division?
2. This year's search committees will of necessity have to experiment with non-standard interview vehicles: mainly conference calls and Skype. My strong suspicion is that many will find Skype roughly equivalent to in-person APA interviewing. Perhaps it would be a good occasion to begin to disconnect first-round interviews from the APA meetings entirely. Departments using Skype could interview more candidates over longer stretches of time and under conditions that are more comfortable to all. Then perhaps they could take the money saved on conducting APA interviews and use it to bring more candidates to campus. Is there any sensible rationale anymore for coupling the APA meetings with the job interviews?
3. The APA website-- its entire online presence-- is fucking useless and an embarrassment. Someone please take it down and give some 13 year old a six-pack in exchange for a website that works.