A colleague at another university recently told me a long sad story about his department's numerous failed searches owing to the high housing prices and cost of living in his university's region. He said that unless an assistant professor is married to someone with a similar or higher salary, is willing to spend their life in decrepit rental properties, or enjoys long commutes, they decline the job offer.
Then he said BUT .. one way the university has found to get out of the situation is to hire couples, and in fact what used to be seen as a problem is now an opportunity. This doesn't mean that single people or members of non-academic couples are at a disadvantage -- his department still goes after the candidates it thinks are the 'best' -- but if one of those candidates is a member of an academic couple, the department and university are now more active in trying to make that situation work, rather than doing nothing, or even penalizing members of academic couples by weeding them out during the interviews.
6 months ago