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Author Topic: TT offer substantially less than my NTT job  (Read 2773 times)
cat_p
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« on: February 04, 2013, 11:30:48 PM »

$10k less. I knew my NTT job paid well, but damn. The TT job is fantastic: reasonable teaching load, very generous start-up and moving; new computer, etc--no complaints. The chair was not at all enthusiastic to talk to me. Who knows what else might be going on--I can't necessarily take it personally, but the conversation was weird. ZERO room for negotiation, and less than a week to make a decision (this doesn't seem right). I tried to express my interest and excitement for the job in asking about the salary again, but I got no response. I do realize some schools won't/can't negotiate, but there's something weird going on here... What am I missing? I'd love to be at the school and in the position, but $10k is going to hurt.
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all_my_frenemies
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2013, 12:17:57 AM »

Your NTT salary won't go up. Your TT salary will.
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half-past France
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2013, 12:24:36 AM »

Are there annual COL and/or merit raises?  How big is the salary bump for tenure and promotion?

Also, don't forget to do a COL comparison between your current town and the new place.
http://www.bestplaces.net/col/
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drnobody
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2013, 12:25:47 AM »

Some NTT jobs do have salaries that go up. They have promotion, just not tenure. The OP's may not. I'd be more concerned with the chair's lack of enthusiasm so early on and the red flags you are getting now. Do you want to work for this person? Some things are more important than money. Communication and a healthy work environment are among them. You haven't given enough information to know if you felt odd about everything, but TT is not a magic button to make all academic problems go away. Granted, I don't have an offer yet, so you should consider the source, but if your gut says something is wrong now, it may be reality. Don't jump in without looking at the pool.
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bcohlan1
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2013, 12:30:22 AM »

Definitely check cost of living. If you are moving from NYC to Mississippi a $10k cut would be a huge raise.
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larryc
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2013, 1:54:41 AM »

Welcome to academia! This is a deal we all made along the way, trading cash for a flexible schedule, the famous life of the mind (by which I mean teaching freshman surveys), and the prestige that our positions used to enjoy (during the FDR administration).

Hey--what the hell kind of a deal is that?!

Seriously, time to think hard about what you want in life. Maybe you would prefer to earn more money. That is a perfectly respectable position and nothing to feel guilty about. Maybe you can take the academic job and use the famous flexible schedule to do some consulting work on the side. Maybe you can be happy with a lower salary and more flexibility. Try to separate yourself from the expectations of others and decide what you want.
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spork
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2013, 7:44:56 AM »

At this stage of the process, you should be communicating with someone at the level of a dean or higher regarding specifics like salary. Maybe the chair is depressed because the offer to you is more than he/she makes.

Just how large is this place, and is it "public" or private? If the former, you should be able to get faculty salary data to see if what you've been offered is in the ballpark.

Factor in any cost of living difference. Then take what's left and compound it over the remaining years of your working life, at maybe 2 percent interest. This will give you a sense of what the pay difference might mean.

How secure is your NTT position? Do you get raises/promotions?

You should really have a talk with a faculty member at the TT place who has been there for maybe 5 years. What's the bump in salary for tenure and promotion? How likely is tenure? Where does the university fall in comparison to others in the state on salaries and benefits? Are people happy there? Are you in a field where you can jump to the private sector if things go terribly wrong?

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a.k.a. gum-chewing monkey in a Tufts University jacket

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cat_p
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2013, 8:10:33 AM »

Thanks, folks. The campus visit went really well--no red flags. The chair was strange then as well, but given the overall experience I didn't think twice about it. Another thing: during the visit, I heard several times that the dean is incompetent.

The two locations are comparable in terms of COL, but good point _d_ about merit and tenure bump--I need to ask about this.

My NTT salary has gone up. I started at 2.5k less--collective bargaining with yearly merit and COL. I'm having a moment of genuinely appreciating just how lucky I am. Initially, I couldn't possibly imagine turning down this job. But after the experience on the phone--and it's not just the salary; it was the chair's overall attitude--I'm not excited about going there. That's bad.  

Spork--the chair is negotiating with the dean (or not, apparently). Large public--I found some salary info online--not entirely up to date, but gives me a ball park. I make what an associate prof makes. My NTT is secure (yes, on raises and possibility for promotion). I need to know the history of COL increases (actually I know they haven't received a raise since 2009) and tenure promotion. I didn't tell them how much I make--if I told them, they probably wouldn't have offered me the job.

The salary they're offering is fine--it would be completely acceptable for someone starting their first TT job. I didn't necessarily expect them to match what I'm making when I saw how big the gap was, but I did expect a little wiggle room and, quite frankly, if I got the offer, for the chair to call and say "Hi! We'd like to offer you the job!" Instead of "sigh. grumble."

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spork
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2013, 8:32:18 AM »

Is there anyone else that you met in the department other than the chair that you can talk to?

Personally, given the comparable cost of living, I think a NTT job that you're happy in, with collective bargaining plus merit and COLA raises, beats jumping into a lower paying job with all sorts of uncertainties.
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a.k.a. gum-chewing monkey in a Tufts University jacket

"There are no bad ideas, only great ideas that go horribly wrong."

"Please do not force people who are exhausted to take medication for hallucinations." -- Memo from the Chair, Department of White Privilege Studies, Fiork University
shamu
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2013, 8:49:52 AM »

The salary they're offering is fine--it would be completely acceptable for someone starting their first TT job. I didn't necessarily expect them to match what I'm making when I saw how big the gap was, but I did expect a little wiggle room and, quite frankly, if I got the offer, for the chair to call and say "Hi! We'd like to offer you the job!" Instead of "sigh. grumble."

Overall, it sounds to me like you are more worried about the chair's attitude than the salary ... as you should be. It really sucks when you have no idea why someone is acting in a "less-than-friendly" way, especially when you are ready to leave a great job behind and make such a significant move. It is also worth remembering that - unless you get hired with tenure - the chair will be voting on your tenure case down the road even if s/he may not be chair at the time. As someone else suggested, is there any way to find out what is going on?
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polly_mer
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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2013, 9:30:08 AM »

The salary they're offering is fine--it would be completely acceptable for someone starting their first TT job. I didn't necessarily expect them to match what I'm making when I saw how big the gap was, but I did expect a little wiggle room and, quite frankly, if I got the offer, for the chair to call and say "Hi! We'd like to offer you the job!" Instead of "sigh. grumble."

The chair may also be frustrated about salary inversion, the twenty other things that must be done this week, or the fact that the dean said, "Look, we want to hire the absolutely fabulous person in department X and must match whatever conditions that person expects.  You are lucky to be getting anyone at all because it wasn't your department's turn to get the extra line, so suck it up, offer the job to your personal second choice under these pretty good conditions, or decide that you don't want a hire this year after all."
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prof_twocents
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« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2013, 10:15:41 AM »

As others have said, salaries differ by institution and by location. Some universities offer the max salary they are able from the start and do not negotiate, and continuing to ask about it will indeed dampen enthusiasm (I say this because you mentioned asking about the salary again after being told that there was no negotiation).  You say there were no red flags on the interview other than the Chair being a little down, but there could be many reasons for this that are completely unrelated to you or the position.
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msparticularity
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« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2013, 12:23:25 PM »

Even if the chair has other things on his/her mind, a chair who is really unresponsive, not only to normal conversation, but to questions about the position, is deeply worrisome--which is what your description sounds like. This is the person you will need to help you with all kinds of assistance and information in making the move, conveying the expectations you need to know to get you started there, getting you scheduled for classes and assigned to committees, working out the kinks of getting you integrated into the department...

Do you really want to set yourself up for having to depend upon this individual? If s/he is only unresponsive about the money, then I would regard that as a sign that the money situation is not great there--and that things like raises may be few and far between. (Use particular caution if this is in the Illinois state system; I just escaped from there!) If, however, you're not able to get much help or information about a range of issues, including things like moving and course/service assignments, then I would run if I were you.
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larryc
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« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2013, 12:53:33 PM »

I disagree and suspect that the OP is making too much of the failure of the chair to properly stroke his ego. Go ahead and call up one of the other faculty who you met and connected with on the campus visit. Ask what it is like to work in the department. Work the conversation around to asking specifically about the chair.

This is not standard operating procedure, but so what? You are thinking about turning the job down anyway. You owe it to yourself to find out everything you can before you do that.
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cat_p
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« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2013, 1:14:16 PM »

Is there anyone else that you met in the department other than the chair that you can talk to?

Personally, given the comparable cost of living, I think a NTT job that you're happy in, with collective bargaining plus merit and COLA raises, beats jumping into a lower paying job with all sorts of uncertainties.

Yes--good idea. I better 'feel' for what the dept will be like. And, in response to your 2nd point--yes, I'm kind of leaning in that direction. I go back and forth--it's such a great job, but there a lot of uncertainties and then I'm stuck.

I disagree and suspect that the OP is making too much of the failure of the chair to properly stroke his ego. Go ahead and call up one of the other faculty who you met and connected with on the campus visit. Ask what it is like to work in the department. Work the conversation around to asking specifically about the chair.


Wow. Really? This is not about 'ego stroking.' And I'm not male--interesting that you would make that assumption. When the chair calls to offer a candidate the job, I would think there would be a mutual exchange of interest and enthusiasm on some level--any level. Polly is probably right about the situation, but I need more info...
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