Confounded has the least creative codename of the week, but we won’t hold that against her. Her two questions:
“First, how concerned should I be about the retirement of a prominent faculty member, especially in regards to the potential for a radical and/or negative change in the atmosphere of a program? Second, do any of the programs in your top ten attract significantly more attention from agents or offer significantly better publishing prospects than the others?”
Well, I’m just going to take a shot in the dark here and say that the loss of Geoffrey Wolff is a significant one to UC-Irvine. He shaped that program into what it is. My sense though is that he’ll have a hand in where it’s going too. I wouldn’t let that change your decision either way. As for agents/publishing etc., the names most often mentioned are Iowa, Columbia, and UC Irvine. Is this true though? I don’t have any statistics or even anecdotes about it. I’d advise you not to put two much weight on the rumors. If anyone would like to comment, go for it. Good luck, Confounded.