Yesterday I received an official offer for a tenure-track position from a university that is a much better fit than my current university for personal (to live in the same city as my spouse and have a family sometime in the future) as well as academic reasons (better conditions to do research). I applied for only this job being in my first year as tenure-track assistant professor and feel extremely fortunate to have been selected. Now I’m wondering how to best break the news to my chair, program director and colleagues and would greatly appreciate advice from senior faculty/search committee members or those who had a similar experience.
I feel anxious because it is quite late in the academic year and I know that my resignation will inconvenience several colleagues (it’s a small department at a small LAC). They have relied primarily on adjuncts prior to my being hired last fall for a 3/3 teaching load. I will of course provide the replacements with guidance and all the materials I have used for teaching and believe this will facilitate the transition as I spent a lot of time creating and compiling those materials after finding next to nothing when I arrived. Nevertheless, I feel bad about putting them in this situation and want to end on good terms — I highly respect my colleagues and I know they will be surprised and disappointed.
As per faculty handbook, the formal deadline for notifying my university of a resignation is May 15th. I received the formal appointment letter as a signed pdf by email yesterday and was assured the hard copy is sent out via US postal mail (it probably won’t reach me before May 15th). Several faculty, including the program director, are not around until graduation next weekend. I would appreciate any input on when and how to best break the news. I’m wondering whether it is best to talk to the chair first in a face-to-face meeting early next week or whether I should send an email out to all my colleagues in the department (it is a small one) to inform them of my decision and explain the reasons? Thank you in advance for your help.