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Author Topic: Telling your supervisors about your search  (Read 3658 times)
sinatra
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« on: February 08, 2013, 7:45:09 PM »

I just read "A Midcareer Change" on CHE's home page. The author noted that he shared with his dean and his provost that he was going on the market to get into honors administration, and they were supportive. I also know people who asked for similar assistance from a supervisor when applying for chair or dean positions and were treated as if they were being disloyal to the institution. I realize that, ultimately one needs to play it by ear, judging the character and temperament of individual administrators. But let me ask generally, if you are planning to apply for several chair or dean positions, when should you have a talk with your supervisor (chair or dean) about it? Before you begin the search, as the author of "A Midcareer Change" did? When you are tapped to be a finalist? Or when you have an offer in hand?
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history_anon
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2013, 11:06:29 AM »

I'm struggling with this one as well, and will be interested to see what people have to say.  The provost is my supervisor, so I'm sure any administrative hiring committee would want to hear from him before making me an offer.  I think he would be disappointed to learn that I might leave, but I trust him not to trash me or retaliate in any way.  My concern about tipping him off too early is whether I would lose face by going on the market and coming up empty. 
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aandsdean
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2013, 1:00:42 PM »

To state the obvious, a lot depends on your supervisor.  If your dean/provost/chair (whomever is above you in the hierarchy) is a "pro," and has him/herself come from the outside, the likelihood is good that you'll be OK with telling that person at any point--after all, s/he did what you're doing, and should therefore have a reasonable understanding of your actions.  (Note:  this axiom only applies to the non-crazy.)

I have had great luck with my supervisors all the way along my path understanding my desire to look for a promotion at a different institution.

However, if your supervisor is an "insider" in an institution that has an administration that doesn't get out much (promoted from the inside/tradition of not doing external searches, etc.), the loyalty issue becomes a lot stronger.  So you need to read carefully the prevailing attitudes before you make a leap.

You do, as has already been said, be ready at some point for a reference conversation with your supervisor.  You absolutely for sure need to be on the same page with your supervisor before that happens, or disaster is likely to ensue.

Good luck.
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Que scay-je?
brixton
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2013, 7:40:19 PM »

I generally wouldn't share it with him or her until there is a nibble.  If you apply to a lot of jobs and get no response, you can end up looking less marketable, and that is rarely a good position to be with a supervisor.  If they're a pro, they will ask you how it is going.  Rehearsing rejections isn't much fun.  If they're hurt, learning of your progress might hurt your career.
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dandywarhol
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2013, 10:32:44 AM »

I agree with most of these posts, but would also add that I think the majority of deans and provosts and vice-presidents are careerists, too, and are making themselves aware of opportunities for themselves. If you have a good working relationship with both Dean and Provost, they should look at your career ambitions as signs that you are engaged--not indications that you are a back-stabbing Benedict Arnold.
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