I'm currently an assistant professor at an R2 university and looking to make a fairly lateral move for personal reasons. I'm pre-tenure but I've been in my position for several years now and I'm wondering what is typical to expect regarding the number of years to be counted toward tenure that most departments are willing to negotiate? I wanted to get a sense of this before I started interviewing.
Date: 05 Nov 2015 15:57
Number of posts: 6
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Great question and I'll be following for the answer as I am doing the same thing!
I am also an asst prof and on the market looking for a lateral move for family reasons.
Last year our dept hired an asst prof into an asst prof job. She negotiated such that her tenure clock was not reset. Rather, her years at her first job counted towards tenure in our dept.
One thing to note is that you only get "one shot" for tenure so delaying can sometimes be good. Case in point, another faculty in our dept recently negotiated to extend her tenure clock by 2 years after having a child (extending tenure clock by 1 yr post child is standard at our institution).
On the other side, I've heard of asst profs applying for asst prof jobs and then being offered tenure. This is an attractive way for a new school to pry an asst prof away from their current institution, or a big negotiating chip that current institution could use to keep a good asst prof. A friend of mine went on the market a couple of years ago was facing a similar question. He got an offer at a school in his "dream location" and then went back to the school he was at and said (in a much nicer way than this): "I'm leaving unless you give me tenure." The school did not offer tenure, but they did match the pay/startup of the other offer. My friend left for the dream locale and just got tenure this year.
I recently moved after putting in 3 years at my first institution. I got 2 years towards tenure, and what's more is that in the moment I can decide whether to go up in year 4, 5, or 6 (the clock is usually 6 years for people without this situation). It's still "one shot," but I get to decide when to take that shot. I'd say try to get a deal like that one, because then you don't get locked into a short time frame that might be harder to execute.
I had two other offers and I actually can't remember what they offered in terms of years towards tenure, but I think they were willing to do something similar.
All of the offers were lateral moves (possibly slight bump "up"); I completed the applications for location/personal reasons like the OP.
I think that if you're doing a lateral move you can usually get all prior years to count, or all but one. If you are moving "up" in terms of research output for the institution, sometimes your years won't count at all. Conversely, if you are an active researcher moving to a SLAC and you have a lot of experience, they might not hire you with tenure because they want to see your teaching and fit. One professor I knew was in this situation. They hired her at the associate level without tenure. Then when she went up for tenure a few years later (I don't know how long the time period was - it might have been short), they promoted her to "full."
We had a candidate get an offer from my school several years back (probably about 5). The person was an assistant prof elsewhere and said they'd only take the job here if the offer came with tenure (no probationary period). The dean would not comply and the deal fell through. I think it is OK to negotiate for credit, but would be very unusual to get no probationary period.
after year 4, i moved from one teaching school to another. i could only negotiate one year on the clock (Apparently the President is stingy with time towards tenure, so i was "lucky" to even get one year. we have a mid-tenure review after year three, and submit tenure package after year 5. at the end of my second year (but 3rd probationary year), i did mid-tenure review and plan to request to go up early — submitting tenure package after probationary year 4.
all of this is to say, each school is very idiosyncratic… i've known people get time on the clock for their POST-DOC years. some people hand it out freely and others (esp. teaching oriented schools) are much more strict b/c they value teaching above all else.