While I was on a campus interview, members of the search committee urged me to include one of them in all correspondence with the chair, ostensibly because they, but not the chair, will ensure that negotiations will go smoothly and (s)he will advocate for me so I'll get the best offer. After my first email with the chair, (s)he asked me to stop including this committee member in the emails. So I'm receiving conflicting advice, and I'm not sure what to do so things work out best.
Date: 23 Oct 2015 23:41
Number of posts: 9
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Well, if the chair asked you to stop, you pretty much need to stop. However, I think this is a pretty big red flag that something is off in the department. Sounds like there are interpersonal issues or some kind of power struggle is happening. It may end up being nothing, but it would be something I'd keep in the back of my mind as things progressed…
Stop. Listen to the chair. And yea…huge red flags. Some type of dysfunction in that department.
Departments that are dysfunctional can make life HELL. I'm so happy to leave a dysfunctional one to now join a well run one. There is always some level of debate or disagreement, but some people can get unabashedly cray cray when they have jobs for life and time to fight over little scraps of power.
I'd find out more about it. Also, just FYI, at my current university, faculty are not allowed to speak to the candidate once negotiations are started, so get all the info you can now.
I agree: RUN.
Everyone in the department should be on the side of helping to make sure the hire happens, which perhaps these people all are. But, the fact that they can't agree on how to do that and the fact that there are people moving behind the chair's back also seems to me to suggest something is way weird in that department or college.
I also agree with above: the person moving behind the chair's back is skirting legal ground. HR's heads would likely explode if they heard this.
SC 's power should be and typically limited to recommending final candidates. They should have no say in the negotiation process. Like one said above, it is actually illegal in some places that the regular faculty helps the candidates to negotiate with either the chair or Dean.
I agree: RUN!!!!
If the Department Chair is not on the SC and the SC is asking your purposefully to disregard the Dept Chair then something wacky is going on. It could be harmless, maybe they Chair is stepping down soon and the dept is in the replacement process. But they probably would've mentioned that. If they didn't, then they should know this raises a red flag for any normal person.
As a side note, typically the Dean makes all decisions regarding who to extend an offer to and what salary to offer the candidate. The SC provides their recommendation to the Dean but the SC has little to no power in the Dean's decision. At some universities I've seen/heard the Dept Chair negotiate on behalf of the candidate based on qualifications, dept budget, etc. But I've never heard of an SC chair negotiating with a Dept Chair for the candidate's salary. Very atypical.
I was in a terrible dept where things like this went on, and the 2 new hires to who came in the last 2 years are both trying to get out (I left last year). This is a HUGE warning sign. If it were me, I would ask directly about it - yes, it may make you come off as an ass, but you need to be looking out for yourself.