I am currently in a TT position but floated a few applications this year in order to move to a more desirable location. I just received an email seeing if I am still interested in one of the jobs, which indicated that campus interviews would be held in early April. If I were to get an interview, and subsequently an offer (which I know is still a long shot, but at least I know I'm on a long-short-list), would it be too late for me to ethically resign from my current position? It seems that, were I to get an offer, it wouldn't be until the end or April or maybe even early May, which seems really late. I know they could not have replaced me at my current school even if I had resigned a few months back, but by this point students are registering for classes and it seems like it will be more of a pickle. Or should I just not worry about this, and focus on my personal needs?
Date: 15 Mar 2013 20:24
Number of posts: 9
RSS: New posts
Don't worry about it and wait for an offer. You can always defer, which I think the new school would understand given your situation.
Is deferring a reasonable option at a more teaching-focused institution? I've heard of it for R1s, but teaching schools usually need course coverage pretty immediately, right? Also, are one semester deferments ever an option?
I don't think this is an ethical issue. At many places, there are rules in place that they can't seach for your replacement until AFTER you vacate the position anyway, so it likely doesn't matter when you take the job, it matters when you leave. That's why often there is a year of a spot being empty while a search is going on to replace that person. But, yes, you could try deferring if it comes to that and you feel bad. For now, concentrate on gettimg the job! ;-)
I'm not entirely sure if you can defer a teaching position, but I would think so. It isn't usually that difficult to find someone to teach a few courses for a term or year if necessary. And given that it is late in the season, it seems like they would need to be reasonable. But you're getting ahead of yourself, right? Wait to worry about this until you have an offer.
Lateralmove, it is kind that you are being considerate to your present employers, but I agree with the others that you should focus on the new job. I am actually in a similar position - in a TT post, but am looking for either better location or better position. My colleagues know of this (they served as letter writers for me), and no one has complained (at least excessively). It is usually not difficult getting adjuncts to take up certain classes, or existing faculty members can sometimes pick up any remainders and then take a course reduction the following semester. Good jobs are hard to find, so if you are offered one, take it!
Thank you all for the advice. I was not aware that most schools can't fill a position until it's officially vacant. And, I know I am worrying about this *way* too soon, but I tend to be a worrier, and knowing that I wouldn't be totally evil for putting in my resignation so late in the year eases my mind. (And honestly, I wouldn't want to defer - I'm ready to get out of where I am, and the sooner the better!). Part of my personal issue might be that my chair is the sort that rules with an iron fist; she likes her power, and tends to micromanage. I do not look forward to telling her I'm leaving (which will happen eventually, even if not this year), but I really need to look out for myself. As long as I'm not in the wrong if it comes down to a late notice about leaving I feel much better! Thanks again, everyone!
i was in a similar position this year with navigating a late-ish offer (after already putting in my fall courses). I was fortunate that the official schedule hadn't gone live, but it turns out they're keeping the classes I listed and just filling them with adjuncts. So, this is to say, they will manage if you leave.
Like you, I also worried about the downstream consequences and "burning bridges" but, as everyone says, they'll get over it and move on. It sounds like you're ready for a mental change and ready for closure from the current position. So, focus on having the best campus visit as possible.
Also, re: defering at teaching places — it's very hard to get a deferral for the fall semester — 1) yes, they need a breathing body to cover classes, but 2) my understanding is the funding (at least at public schools) is very much dependent on the ratio of full-time faculty to part-time (adjunct) faculty… and when the numbers are "off" (i.e., too many part time), deans get "spoken too"… so they want their full-time numbers up, especially in the fall.
Generally I think you need to fend for yourself in this kind of situation. If you want the new job, take it.
Specifically speaking, it probably has to do with when and how you do your contracts at your school. At our school it's a year-to-year thing and we sign them at the end of May. In fact for pre-tenure faculty they don't even re-offer you the position for the next year until April/May. So given our circumstances I wouldn't feel guilty accepting a new job in May if I were on the market…even though students registered for classes in March!
I also heard of a late quitting like this ending up being very serendipitous for a particular school because they were able to do a spousal hire that they really needed to get done in order to keep the other faculty member they currently had (but were unable to open up a new line). So sometimes it works out, even for the school you're leaving. Most of the time they get screwed for a year but that's life and there's no way around it.