I had a job interview back in December, but unfortunately did not get the job. Actually, it was the least traumatic rejection I've ever experienced. The job had some negatives (very expensive location, a similar teaching load to Tiny U, but with the expectation of taking on a large number of masters students and of having higher research productivity.) Plus, I know the person who was offered the job, and I love his work, and he fits the needs of the program better than I do (in terms of the region he works in, etc.)
I have some posts planned about the job market, particularly about my experiences on search committees, but today I want to throw out one quick comment: I have once again been rejected by a Catholic university hiring within my field. I've mentioned before that I'm Catholic, and I would love to teach at a Catholic university. I've never even gotten a long-list at one, even when the job description fits me to a "t". I'm not sure why this is the case, but here are my two main theories:
1) Catholic universities are no different from any other university, so their hiring practices look bizarre and unfathomable from the outside, but from an internal perspective, they are hiring the person who best fits their needs, whether or not those needs were expressed coherently in the job description.
2) (the paranoid option) Stating that I am Catholic in my application is hurting me. The American Council of Bishops has been pushing Catholic universities to reaffirm their Catholic identity. One of the ways this should happen is for Catholic universities to hire more Catholic faculty. Ergo, if all other things are equal among the long-listed or short-listed candidates, then Catholic candidates may be given an institutionally-mandated advantage. I can see, under those circumstances, why faculty at a Catholic institution may not want to short-list, or even long-list, a Catholic candidate, if they may be pushed into hiring that person, whether they want to or not.
Is that plausible, or am I just being paranoid and self-centered?