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Author Topic: spouse with M.A. and teaching experience + negotiations?  (Read 11538 times)
lameusername
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« on: February 07, 2012, 10:34:51 PM »

Any options for this scenario?

I got my Ph.D. in humanities 6 years ago. Spouse was in the same program, but for various reasons will not be completing Ph.D. (though Spouse has done all the coursework and exams). Both Spouse and I have good jobs in the same town, different institutions. I'm freshly tenured. Spouse's institution doesn't do tenure, but it's ok with M.A. for promotion.

I may have an opportunity to move to a better school, with a better teaching load, in a better town, soon. The position is advertised as TT (and I think I'm ok going back to TT). I'd never negotiate for Spouse's TT appointment, obviously, but I wonder about good permanent options at R1s for trailing spouses with M.A.s and loads of teaching experience (and some publications). Lecturer? Instructor? VAP?

In other words, I'd like to make sure we still have 2 incomes with benefits. What do I ask for if I get an offer? And how? (Oh, and when? Campus visit or wait for an offer?)
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spectacle
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2012, 10:45:34 PM »

When you have an offer (and I'm in the camp that votes "don't bring it up before you have an offer in-hand"), ask them exactly what you've asked us:

"I have a spouse; here is his cv; what sorts of options are there in the area?"

Know that if your field is competitive (and if it's a humanities field where full time folks usually have PhDs, I'm guessing it is), there may be nothing full-time that they can do for him.  It may be cobbling together adjunct classes until something opens up at a local community college, for example. 

Congrats and good luck to you. 
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I think this thread is going well. Don't you think this thread is going well?
janewales
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2012, 10:53:27 AM »

Any options for this scenario?

I wonder about good permanent options at R1s for trailing spouses with M.A.s and loads of teaching experience (and some publications). Lecturer? Instructor? VAP?

In other words, I'd like to make sure we still have 2 incomes with benefits. What do I ask for if I get an offer? And how? (Oh, and when? Campus visit or wait for an offer?)

At my R1, we'd have trouble doing anything for the spouse, because the adjuncts in my humanities department generally also have PhDs, and VAPs must have PhDs. You could of course ask this question when you have an offer, but if you're looking to get a sense of whether to pursue this position at all, then all I can offer is one negative data point. Other places will certainly differ.

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lameusername
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2012, 9:01:51 PM »

If I do get an offer, my answer wouldn't be contingent on my spouse's employment at the same department. I just wonder what's plausible nowadays for M.A.s or ABDs. I do know we'll want two jobs, not necessarily in the same department or even the same school. I wonder if high school is doable. We'd have to look into teacher's licence in that state.
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leobloom
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What kind of man reads CHE Fora?


« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2012, 2:58:30 AM »

We'd have to look into teacher's licence in that state.
If the school has programs leading to teacher certification, I reckon you could at least ask what their policy is on discounting tuition fees for faculty spouses or family members.
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aprilmay
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2012, 2:57:24 PM »

spectacle's advice is good. After you have an offer, and only then, ask about options. Be careful not to be too pushy. I am not in your field, but am at an R1 and here you would have zero chance of a spousal hire with your spouse's credentials. However, we would help brainstorm about other opportunities in the area. Is your spouse realistic?
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lameusername
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2012, 8:32:02 PM »

Well, we are both realistic, having seen many spousal-hire failures among friends. (Positions for spouses being promised but not offered, etc, etc) He'd be interested in a position of an instructor, lecturer, etc, somewhere within a driving distance, including community colleges. He's actually an excellent teacher, with teaching awards and years of experience.

But we don't want to leave our current positions, one tenured and the other stable (no tenure where he teaches now, but he's assistant prof) and replace them with only one position. If he ends up adjuncting for the rest of his life, I'm afraid he'll resent me forever, since he does have a comfortable job now. And there's the issue of money, of course. Daycare, mortgage--or, if we move, mortgage + rent, since I don't think we'll be able to sell the house right away--it all adds up.

I haven't received any offer yet, so this may be premature. But I'd like to think about it before I'm under pressure.
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helpful
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2012, 8:39:16 PM »

Does spouse agree that it is a better town and better university? And what makes the place better? What is the difference in teaching loads?
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 8:41:54 PM by helpful » Logged
lameusername
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2012, 12:24:13 PM »

I'd be going from 3-3 to 2-2. Also, I'd actually be surrounded by scholars whose interests overlap with mine. Big plus.

The location is much better: more things to do, beter schools.

I'd probably face a $15,000 pay cut. Ouch. Huge reason to make sure my spouse has employment, too. Moving a family and facing at least a year on half the salary might mean foreclosing on the house we already own, unless it sells right away (but that's unlikely). I'm seriously interested in the job, but not enough to go broke.

Also, I never really negotiated a job contract, so I'm nervous. I don't even know how to start!
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seniorscholar
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2012, 8:33:05 PM »

If by any chance the university is in a city with several other colleges in the vicinity, it's quite possible that the department can help find an appropriate job for spouse at one of them. In my department, for example, we have faculty with spouses or partners at two local CCs, two small Catholic colleges, and three good liberal arts colleges, and others of us live in neighborhoods with a number of faculty from other places as friends. A TT position at one of the CCs or a combination of adjunct positions among some of the other schools would certainly be possible with help from insiders (i.e., people on the faculty you're joining).
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lameusername
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2012, 1:35:06 AM »

Not a lot of schools out there within a driving distance, actually. The offer I just got includes a 2-2 adjunct appointment for spouse. Together with the lower salary for me, our family income would be cut in half, and we'd be moving to an area with a higher cost of living. If I were single and childless, I'd move in a heartbeat and even take the salary cut. But cutting family income in half may just not be worth it.

We checked the local CC--no openings listed, though my husband will apply anyway. We even checked admin positions at the school that offered my the job. I have 2 weeks for negotiations and few ideas. Do you have any?

I so want this job, but it would be very unwise to accept it and get the whole family into debt!
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hegemony
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2012, 4:29:46 AM »

Try to get that $15,000 back.  Heck, go for $20,000.  Start negotiating on salary.  "I'd love to come, this is an exciting opportunity, but I'm wondering about a few details.  How much wiggle room is there on salary?"  Etc.  Also ask about research leave, extra perks (research assistant, travel money, et al.), etc.  Negotiate the heck out of it.  They won't offer it up front, but they're waiting for you to ask for more.
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Tragedy tomorrow, comedy tonight.
lameusername
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2012, 9:00:30 AM »

They already offered research money for the summer following my appointment, which is great. But it doesn't change my base salary. I guess I will ask them to at least match my current salary (which means I'd lose some anyway because I'm expecting a big raise here, but--like I said--I am really excited about this new opportunity). Since they are a public uni, I worry this may not be possible.
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