Here is a selection of some of the most commonly asked questions about working and living at Deep Springs. If your question is not listed here, feel free to call the main office at 760-872-2000, ext. 33, or email the Office Manager or Director of Operations.
Does Deep Springs have internet access?
A wireless network is available in staff/faculty homes and offices, but due to the College’s remote location, internet access can be slow by modern standards and is occasionally unreliable. There is usually no problem with email, web browsing, and audio-only services like Skype or Spotify. However, bandwidth-heavy activities such as downloading and uploading large files, streaming video, or using cloud backup services may not always be possible from campus. Employees may also purchase private satellite TV or internet services if they want a private backup connection.
What are employee accommodations like?
Employees are provided with housing on the Deep Springs campus. Residence on campus is usually a requirement of employment. The college has several employee residences, which are assigned based on employees’ needs and length of their stay. Accommodations range from studio-type residences to duplexes and full houses with multiple bedrooms and full kitchens. Residences are all located within 2 miles of the main campus.
What are meals like? Can you accommodate special dietary needs?
Community members are welcome to eat at the boardinghouse, which offers three meals per weekday and two each on Sunday and Saturday. The College produces much of its own dairy, as well as substantial quantities of beef, chicken, pork and eggs. In the summer months, the garden turns out a cornucopia of fresh fruits and vegetables. Meals are lively social occasions, full of laughter and conversation. Occasionally, community members will conspire to cook a feast of their own. A vegetarian option is offered for most meals. Special dietary needs are handled on a case-by-case basis.
What services & amenities are available nearby (medical care, shopping, restaurants, etc.)?
The town of Bishop, CA is located about 40 miles away, over a 7,500 foot pass. Bishop has a regional hospital and multiple medical care providers, coffee shops, grocery stores, a book store, a movie theater, multiple restaurants and several city parks. There are many nearby natural attractions including Palisade Glacier, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Alabama Hills, Mono Lake, Death Valley National Park, Yosemite National Park, Devil’s Postpile National Monument, and the Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort. Numerous trailheads leading into the eastern Sierra are within 1 to 2 hours’ drive from the college.
What’s the nearest airport to Deep Springs? Is public transportation to the College available?
The nearest major airport is McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas (LAS), about a 4 hour drive away. The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is a 5-6 hour drive, depending on traffic, and the Reno-Tahoe airport (RNO) is about 4.5 hours. The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is an 8 hour drive.
Additionally, the town of Bishop has a small airport (BIH), also known as the Eastern Sierra Regional Airport. The airport is open seasonally and mostly serves skiers and climbers. When it is open, it offers daily connecting flights to a few hubs.
There is no public transportation directly to the college, but a bus service runs along highway 395 from Lancaster, CA to Reno, NV, which allows transportation from the Reno or Los Angeles airports to Bishop, CA.
What educational opportunities are available for my children at Deep Springs?
Deep Springs is in the Bishop Unified School District. Bishop has K-12 school system and is an hour drive from campus. Employees may also choose to homeschool their children, or participate in an online schooling programs.
Although Deep Springs’ students may offer to tutor children in some subjects, this is not expected of students, and student tutoring should not be treated as a substitute for accredited schooling.
Is childcare available?
Unfortunately, there is no childcare available at Deep Springs. Families may make private arrangements with other community members, but there is no guarantee that care will be available. Several childcare and preschool programs are available in Bishop. The college may provide room and board for additional caregivers, depending on housing availability.
Do the “ground rules” apply to me?
The Student Body historically maintains two ground rules for its members during academic session: a prohibition against use of drugs or alcohol, and the “isolation policy” which prohibits students from leaving the valley except for emergencies, religious observance, or college business.
The isolation policy does not apply to college employees, but all community members share the benefits of the campus’s isolated location. Bishop, CA, the nearest town with a selection of stores and restaurants, is forty miles away over a mountain pass. This isolation emphasizes the stark, tranquil beauty of the landscape.
The student prohibition against alcohol does not apply to employees. However, out of respect for the students, not to mention applicable state and federal law, employees are prohibited from drinking with or serving alcohol to students, regardless of their age. Employees are expected to follow all applicable state and federal laws regarding the use of alcohol and drugs.
What is my relationship to the Labor Pillar?
Faculty: Faculty members are encouraged, but not obligated, to participate in labor at the College. Students spend at least twenty hours each week laboring around the campus, and faculty who educate themselves in the labor aspect of students’ lives often find the work to be illuminating and rewarding. Students generally welcome faculty involvement.
Staff: For staff members, participating in the labor pillar is an integral part of the job. Staff members oversee student labor in their area of expertise and are expected to provide constructive feedback where applicable. For example, the cook oversees and coordinates student cooks and the student kitchen cleaning crew; the gardener directs student labor in the garden; the farm manager directs students as they irrigate, maintain, and harvest the college’s alfalfa fields, etc. Staff work closely with the student Labor Commissioner to ensure the essential operations of the college are done well and safely.
How will my application be reviewed?
Faculty applications are reviewed by the Curriculum Committee, one of the four standing committees composed of students and faculty members. Staff applications are reviewed by an ad-hoc committee of students and community members. The relevant committee reviews applications, conducts phone interviews and, for long-term positions, invites finalists to the college for an in-person interview. After deliberation, the committee makes a hiring recommendation to the Director of Operations (for Staff) or Academic Dean (for Faculty) and the college President. As is the case with student applicants, an important quality in all hires is an applicant’s “fit” with the college, and an understanding of and respect for its methods and goals.