So, I got an offer for my dream job. I accept it verbally with the chair, and then I am sent an e-mail with specifics (salary, start-up, etc.), and I accept that via e-mail. Then the chair says, "Congrats!" and that he's taking it to academic affairs to get it approved and get the contract printed and mailed. I am surprised (but delighted) by how fast all of this is moving, so I ask about that and he says that there's talk of a hiring freeze so he wanted to get everything done before the holidays. As it turns out, there's been a lot of weather drama in that state and so I get no word that the contract's been mailed (supposed to be notified when it is), so I am assuming it wasn't. Then, I unfortunately start googling "hiring freeze" and discover that the state governor requested (but not mandated) that all agencies freeze hiring the day that I interviewed there. So how much should I freak out?
Date: 19 Dec 2010 13:32
Number of posts: 10
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Freaking out won't help. But don't cancel or turn down other interviews until you receive the contract and it's all final.
Are you positive the freeze you read applies to the university (or university system) currently? I just interviewed at a place with the same urgency-rushing to do all interviews and hiring before the holiday break-but they said the state freeze hasn't applied to their university yet (<—key word). However, they are still worried about losing the line in the future before a contract is signed.
So I guess my advice is not to freak out just yet, but do not withdraw or turn down from other options until it is official. When I spoke with my interviewing dept. chair she gave me that advice too (e.g. "If we give you an offer and you accept, please move along with other options until there is an official signed contract, just in case a freeze hits"). Sadly, I think this will always be the case with the public higher ed systems.
Well, the freeze is voluntary at this time, and I don't know whether or not this university has decided to comply. The governor plans to request a mandatory freeze once the legislature convenes at the end of January. Since the paperwork is currently over with academic affairs, I'm assuming I won't have to worry about that—the chair said that if the contract didn't go out before the holidays, it would go out the first week of January. I just wish the phrase "hiring freeze" was never mentioned. Then, I would be expecting a contract the first week of January and not worrying about whether it is going to come at all. I'm not cancelling my other interviews yet, but I also hate that I am going to have to ask my letter-writers for another round of letters for the Jan/Feb due dates.
Well it sounds like you should be fine. Do you mind sharing what state the school is in (wondering if it is the same one, b/c the Jan. info would be good for me too)?
I know how you feel about the letter writer situation, but for your sanity it is worth the hassle. Perhaps you can just take a more critical look at the other positions you are applying for and decide to cut a few that are not ideal fits to cut down on the letter requests. I've actually started doing that myself as the campus interviews are rolling in and decided not to apply to the "maybe" or even "seems pretty good" ones in favor of only "seems perfect" fits. I've noticed that in my early apps I never made it past the shortlist on the former two types anyhow (but I've gotten interviews for all of the perfect fits!).
I wouldn't freak out yet. Last year my university went on a temporary hiring freeze BUT it only applied for administrative and staff positions. We were able to continue our job search and in fact we hired for a tenure track position. My understanding is that it's not all that uncommon to only freeze for certain types of jobs. We also ended up coming out of the hiring freeze within a few months because our enrollment was higher than projected. As a disclaimer though, I should mention our state economy is pretty good so this might not be the case in a state with more problems. Good luck!
That makes me feel a little better about the situationthanks for the input. As for the location, it's NC, and I found the info about the January freeze by looking around on the internetit's not insider info or anything. And I looked up when the legislature is to meet next and saw that it's Jan. 26. Clearly, I am obsessing over this beyond all reason. :)
Hey, until a contract is signed, I think all worry and obsession over your future is valid! My school was in NC too, so thanks for the info!
Hey anonymous—thought I might update you since you're worried about NC, as well. I just received word this morning that my contract was signed and approved and will go in the mail today. :) Apparently, a freeze was issued last Thursday for all non-critical personnel (not sure if the freeze was at the university level or what). It wasn't until 5:30 Friday evening that they deemed my position to be critical. So that could also be the case in your situation.
What a relief; I'm hoping that applies to my school too. They have the last person interviewing this week and are making a decision immediately after the candidate leaves. Here's hoping!
Congratulations on your new job!