I am currently serving as an assistant professor at a SLAC in a rural area. I have a 4-4 teaching load but I still get to do a little bit of research. The pay is not great but I get by. I am just a little unhappy about the location of my school and the lack of diversity of the school and the surrounding area.
Recently, I have been thinking about giving up my tenure-track SLAC position and apply to a lecturer position at a R1 university. I looked up the salary data on chronicle and the pay would probably be comparable to my current pay, after considering the cost of living. In essence, I am thinking about exchanging tenure (and the little research I do) for a better location.
Have other people working at SLACs thought about this? I was really tempted to apply this past cycle but got cold feet. Tenure just seems like the holy grail (regardless of pay, nature of the job, and location) and lecturers sometimes get treated as second-class citizens in a R1 setting. I suspect that lecturers at R1 institutions with 4-4 teaching load get to do about as much research as I do.
Any thoughts on rural tenure-track SLAC vs. R1 lecturer?