If you have recently been through an offer/acceptance, what should I happen after the initial phone conversation with the SC chair/dean or whoever? I would expect that I need to have something more formal but what exactly is that? I'm sure it varies by institution but any insight would be helpful.
Date: 06 Jan 2015 16:19
Number of posts: 5
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I received two offers during last year's cycle. The first came in form of an e-mail from the chair with specific details that were also in a contract that they sent via overnight mail with a deadline to return in X weeks. We negotiated the contract, they sent a new version via post mail, and I signed and returned the contract, which was then signed by the dean, etc.
The second offer came in the form of a phone call from the dean in which we discussed startup and other details. He then sent an offer draft via e-mail, and I chose not to further negotiations so no formal contract was ever sent/signed.
So, very different at each school.
I had a bizarre situation where they called and immediately tried to get me to agree to everything over the phone.
I had to insist on information in writing (saying it was a lot to take in via one phone call), and they seemed almost slightly confused by that.
Via phone they were also fairly elusive about things like actual start-up and lab support, and that was because they were essentially not offering any and trying to pretend like they were (even though they expected me to do research).
I only attempted to negotiate one thing (some sort of SOMETHING for the spouse) and after a few phone calls to other departments they said it was a no-go.
I declined the offer, for a few reasons, but mainly because the entire exchange during this negotiating period was so completely weird.
I had a pleasant experience with my offers during a previous cycle. Each was extended via phone call and included discussion of the salary, teaching load, research funding (one time startup and perpetual sources of funding), and primary benefits. We also discussed whether the salary and other items were negotiable and negotiated. Sometimes this included need for a follow-up so the person extending the offer could check with other officials. In all cases, the phone discussion was considered informal until everything was provided in writing. When I did accept an offer, I had the written contract within a day via email and a few days later via paper mail.
My experience was:
1. Offer over the phone; did some initial negotiations (including salary). Dean asked for start-up requests in writing.
2. I emailed requests to Dean. Dean had to check with some higher-ups on some of my requests.
3. Received a draft of contract over email with some of the issues.
4. Negotiated over email (several back-and-forth exchanges).
5. Received what seemed like their final offer via email.
6. I "accepted" over email and the offer letter was sent via post. I Celebrated.
7. Signed, returned, and celebrated more.
8. Reality hits you about all of the things you have to do before you move! :)