I recently received an offer from an R2 after negotiating salary and start-up. In both the appointment letter I received from the department chair, and formal appointment letter from the Provost, salary is mentioned but nothing about start-up. Is this normal or should I be worried?
Date: 17 Feb 2011 23:26
Number of posts: 6
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I am currently awaiting the formal letter and was told by the school that only the position offer and salary will be specified in this letter. This is typical according to my mentors. The s/u and other conditions of the offer/acceptance should (and for me will) be documented elsewhere, be it a memo, letter, or email. I asked the dept chair to detail all the conditions we'd discussed in an email, which he had approved through the dean's office and then sent to me. For my understanding, this is adequate. I hope others won't contradict me, bc it would mean that I am likely in trouble.
It is very common for the dean/provost letter to just have the basics, but your department chair should also send you a detailed letter or email outlining the specifics of what has been approved (start-up, teaching load/classes for first year, lab space, etc.). Always get the specifics in some form of writing. If the dept. chair hasn't suggested that s/he is doing that for you, then send that person an email explaining how you are interested in the offer, but would like a specific list of the details to look over before making a decision.
I just got my offer letter today from an R1 institution and it did include all the relevant details of our negotions (salary, web links to official benefits details, startup details and what course I'd be teaching. The letter spanned a bit over 2 pages.
That being said, I don't think I would have been too concerned had these details not been in the official letter as we agreed on this within emails as well. So, as long as you feel comfortable with whats been agreed upon I'd not worry.
As long as you have an email or something in writing (so that everyone knows what was agreed to) that should be more than enough. Probably most important is just to have it as a reminder because if you're worried they are gonna screw you then your start up package is the least of your worries…