Comments on: Declining a job offer after inking the contract History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:41:03 +0000 hourly 1 By: Historiann Thu, 10 Apr 2014 13:23:02 +0000 Vince: I’d say do what you want in the time you have before starting your new job. If you want to work for your soon-to-be former employer on this new project up until the moment you’re supposed to report for work at your new job, then do it. If you’d rather have some time off, then don’t.

By: vince Thu, 10 Apr 2014 09:35:06 +0000 Dears,

I have same situation at the moment, i already tender my resignation to my current employer and already agreed and signed LOI to show my intention to new company. But at the meantime my current company want me to stay because he want me to help him for project that just awarded to us.

any sample letter please??



By: kunsthistoriker Tue, 29 Jan 2013 03:38:36 +0000 I came to this message board while pondering what i might do if I received job offers for the end of my pre-tenure sabbatical year next year. My current R2 employment contact states that I must return to campus for one year after being awarded a sabbatical. I was wondering if that was binding. I see now that it is highly improbable that any effort would be made to enforce it, unless I have an especially spiteful dean or department chair.

I must say, however.. Since I was searching for legal advice, I was very surprised to find far more discussion of what amounts, essentially, to professional etiquette. To be sure, any community of colleagues benefits from good manners.

Nevertheless, in this instance, some of those advancing their notion of what constitutes “good form” exhibit a sharp deficit of empathy and an apparent lack of awareness how their attitudes serve to maintain unhealthy institutional practices. The academic job market is dire. Given that the jobs only come about once every few years, how can we not expect every candidate to apply for any and everything, take whatever he/she can get and not even let on to potential employers that their institution is really not at all the kind of place he/she wants to be. Have any of those speaking out against those who would back-out of a contract, experienced what it is like to try to survive on adjunct “salaries?” Have they experienced what it means to have to wait another year? Look. The more and more we in the academy oversupply the job market and undersupply the jobs (and salaries), the less right we have to demand “respect” from the job candidates whose desperation we rely on to supply even the lowest-ranking institutions with overqualified faculty.

I strongly encourage far less brow-beating on the part of those of us who are employed – particularly those out there who are tenured – however, unhappy you may be with your committee and its ability to retain the candidates you really want. Is it not possible that in a better job market, they wouldn’t bother applying to your position in the first place?

By: Historiann Sat, 18 Aug 2012 21:24:48 +0000 Great point. I agree: it’s better not to come at all rather than let a uni spend all of that moving money & startup funds on someone who’s going to resign and leave anyway. Better to save the money and re-do the hire later.

By: N Sat, 18 Aug 2012 20:59:40 +0000 While it is a totally wrong move on the candidate part to back out on a signed contract in the “last minute”, it is even worst of hir to come, put a notice for resignation and then leave 3 months later. Although not ideal, the candidate may actually doing the department a “favor” by cutting their lost at the first place, saving the already limited department’s resources and monies.

By: Mr. Moo Thu, 22 Sep 2011 14:42:38 +0000 A two body problem will always trump any job offer etiquette, period. If you want the candidate, offer their spouse a job too.

There isn’t much reason for backing out aside from a two body problem, even superstar candidates only get a few job offers. If you’re so brilliant that you’re weighing offers from Harvard and MIT, well maybe people won’t mind you being an asshole. For everyone else, you must demonstrate that you’re a useful and pleasant member of a department.

By: Z Wed, 09 Mar 2011 09:58:41 +0000 I’m waiting for my cat who looks like your cat to come home, and you’re my top referrer right now (!) so I am distracting myself with this.

On candidate strategies and for their sake, I guess I’d say this: there are weak and strong ways to handle these shoals. Weak is to try to be underhanded. Strong is to be up front, but not put your own best interests second.

I was socialized to think in terms of survival, politeness, deference, as opposed to thinking: I’ve got an interesting research program, how can I best nurture it? I think it’s possible to do the latter without being jerk-ly about it.

By: Historiann Tue, 08 Mar 2011 18:32:11 +0000 Sometimes–but most of the time departments in my field when they try to hire in the preseason they end up dragged into the usual season.

A friend of mine was once up for a job he was told was going to make an “early hire.” He was OK with it and would have taken it if offered, I think, but they offered the job to someone else in December before Xmas, and that person wanted to wait to hear what hir other options were, so ze didn’t end up making up her mind until late January or early Feb. (Ze took the job.)

I guess the lesson is, make the hire and stick to your deadlines. But trying to hire “early” and then refusing to make a decision when a candidate dithers is pretty silly, in my view. (Or better yet, just go along with the usual timeline and give up the “early hire” fantasy.)

By: Comrade PhysioProf Tue, 08 Mar 2011 18:25:27 +0000 What’s “smart” is that sometimes they succeed in hiring better candidates than they would have otherwise.

By: Z Tue, 08 Mar 2011 17:55:48 +0000 @atty anony I am with you on this.

Once again, I do understand how inconvenient it will be if the person we just made an offer to accepts and renegs. It is extra inconvenient at my institution, in fact, since we can only seek authorization to bring in ONE candidate at a time.

I still say all the deference to everyone’s needs but their own that is so strongly recommended to graduate students and assistant professors — in a context in which jobs are scarcer and research/teaching requirements are higher than before, and in which institutions have less and less loyalty to faculty — is misplaced.

The person we hire will have moving expenses to pay and will also need first, last, and security deposit on an apartment. That means they must lay out maybe $5K in cash just to get here. We can then turn around and lay them off with 3 months’ notice.

I just lack the chutzpah to tell someone to take us on those kinds of terms if they get a better deal.


And speaking of ethics and morality: my main department does not like the fact that I am willing to answer nitty gritty questions from job candidates — as in about things like precise procedures and costs here for processing green cards — truthfully and in as much detail as is desired. I’ve seen people be vague and even deceptive at interviews, and then surprised when the candidate either doesn’t take the job or renegs when they find out they have been misinformed at the interview.