I am wondering about the time when it's appropriate to negotiate - I've been offered a TT position verbally however have not seen any of the conditions of employment in writing. They told me they'll send me the contract (which has to go through the administrative chain) after I have verbally accepted the offer. Do you start negotiating before you have anything in writing or after you have seen things in writing but before you've signed the contract?
Date: 26 Apr 2016 15:46
Number of posts: 5
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A follow up question - is it better to negotiate via phone or email?
I don't have the experience to give advice, but Vitae just put out a guide to negotiating that seems to be based on some good accumulated wisdom: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/1360-your-guide-to-the-ins-and-outs-of-negotiating-in-academia
One relevant portion: "Resist the temptation to try to conduct your negotiations by email. It may feel more comfortable at the time, but you’ll miss the nuances available in a conversation. Also, you’ll have no control over whether your email messages are forwarded, and you really don’t want to make the details of the negotiation potentially public" (pg. 7).
The first time I went on the job market for a tt job both places I had in-person interviews with told me the salary I would be hired at during the visit. With the place I ended up at, I negotiated a small salary increase over email/phone. We also negotiated start-up over email which included moving expenses. Only the 9-month salary was included in my official offer letter from the university. All other aspects of the offer were in emails from my Department and the College (start-up, teaching load, etc.). I literally saw where my start-up would come from each year and how much the dollar amounts were, so I was reasonably sure that they would not stiff me. If you have another offer (or are waiting to hear from another place) you can use that to negotiate. I found it helpful for the salary negotiations, but I think I would have had the same start-up/teaching load either way.
Email negotiations are not ideal, but let's face it—that's the way this usually occurs once a phone call or in-person offer has been made. If you have no idea what your salary/start-up is, you are at a huge disadvantage in negotiations. You need to get that information from the Chair or Dean. In my case the Dept. Chair was happy to work with me on all negotiations and then made requests to the Dean. This was at a Carnegie R2/now R1 but not "tier 1" if that makes sense. I have no idea how this would work at a SLAC or other smaller place.
I disagree. I preferred negotiations over email to have it in writing. Chairs and Deans change, so having these negotiations in writing is extremely important, and is helpful in ensuring the contract you get is consistent with your negotiations.