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Author Topic: One simple question  (Read 22884 times)
homeobox
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« on: March 01, 2012, 2:28:30 PM »

Hi everyone,
I have a very simple question for you. I had a successful interview for a TT position in an R1 institution and found out they are going to make me an offer. My fiance is also an academic (currently a postdoc) and we are thinking of trying to negotiate a position for him. My question is, do we need to be married before negotiation starts? We have been together for several years and engaged since last year. Our plan was to get married in the summer and, to make everything more complicated, we are currently living in two different cities. Since negotiation is coming soon, we need to come up with a plan fast, even if this means spending extra money to fly and get the paperwork done...but it would be easier if we didn't have to. Any advice? Thanks!
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larryc
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2012, 2:49:10 PM »

I think it might help.

Maybe.
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hoptoad
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2012, 8:02:55 PM »

Do you know if the school does spousal hires?  That's what you need to find out first and HR should be able to tell you or point you in the right direction (and you won't tip your hand to the search committee if you do it anonymously).  HR should also be able to tell you if technically need to be married before negotiations.  I would think a firm wedding date before you begin the job would be fine, but you'll see most people on these boards say that schools won't do anything for fiances (however, one that I was at was so geographically isolated that they accommodated any kind of significant other).
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navelgazer
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2012, 1:19:36 PM »

Ask, ask, ask. A friend from undergrad didn't correct her department when they assumed her partner (and "baby daddy") was her husband. Good things did not follow, but in the end her partner got her a spousal at a much more liberal institution. Still not married, more kids, both tenured, happy ending.
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novusmagister
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2012, 12:23:55 AM »

As quite a few people noted before, I would think that the spousal lectureship would be the way to go.
A few additional thoughts:
Try to negotiate a multi-year contract for the lectureship that was offered to you to match the Ambassador's time line (e.g., if he is up for his first review after the typical 3 years, try to get a 3-year contract as lecturer). I work at an R1 and lecturer contracts are usually up for renewal every year (but I have heard that multi-year contracts are being negotiated occasionally).

Otherwise: The big downside of lecturer jobs over TT is the teaching load, which they negotiated away for you. For all practical purposes, you may think of this as an R1 job (the teaching load, the library resources, the colleagues), without the pressure of the tenure clock. If you are interested in publishing, that generally speaking could be a better environment for you than a SLAC.
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novusmagister
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2012, 12:27:54 AM »

As quite a few people noted before, I would think that the spousal lectureship would be the way to go.
A few additional thoughts:
Try to negotiate a multi-year contract for the lectureship that was offered to you to match the Ambassador's time line (e.g., if he is up for his first review after the typical 3 years, try to get a 3-year contract as lecturer). I work at an R1 and lecturer contracts are usually up for renewal every year (but I have heard that multi-year contracts are being negotiated occasionally).

Otherwise: The big downside of lecturer jobs over TT is the teaching load, which they negotiated away for you. For all practical purposes, you may think of this as an R1 job (the teaching load, the library resources, the colleagues), without the pressure of the tenure clock. If you are interested in publishing, that generally speaking could be a better environment for you than a SLAC.

I'm sorry, this post was meant for another thread; no idea how I managed to post here...
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aprilmay
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2012, 2:41:29 PM »

This is a tough one. It may depend on the school, but you need to be clear that this is not a spouse. If they assume it is your spouse and you do not correct them, they will later feel deceived and in fact you would be deceiving them.

At my university they will not even consider a "spousal" hire for someone who is not a spouse for different-sex couples. Basically, if you cannot commit to marry this person, do not ask us to give them a job for you. This may not be the best policy, but that is how the university operates at this time.
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spectacle
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2012, 2:48:43 PM »

It depends. It mattered at my last school for both spousal hiring and for benefits. 

Good on you for thinking about this in advance.   It didn't occur to me that this could be a problem in the 20th century and we almost figured it out too late. 

We ended up having the academic shotgun wedding (at city hall hours before the benefits/hiring paperwork was due).
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macaroon
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2012, 8:22:56 PM »

Do you know if the school does spousal hires?  That's what you need to find out first and HR should be able to tell you or point you in the right direction (and you won't tip your hand to the search committee if you do it anonymously).  HR should also be able to tell you if technically need to be married before negotiations.  I would think a firm wedding date before you begin the job would be fine, but you'll see most people on these boards say that schools won't do anything for fiances (however, one that I was at was so geographically isolated that they accommodated any kind of significant other).

I know which school this is!  

Yes, for most, you'll need to be legally married.  

At one school where I was, you had to be legally married or in a "domestic partnership".  HR had a checklist for "domestic partnership", and you needed to prove something like 7 out of 10 of the criteria.  They were things like, "Both names on a lease", "primary beneficiary of will", "Joint bank account", "health care proxy".... you get the picture.   Fiances would probably be able to pass the test, or at least organizing that kind of stuff would be a great way to get things together for your marriage.

Basically, if you cannot commit to marry this person, do not ask us to give them a job for you. This may not be the best policy, but that is how the university operates at this time.

Yup - that's the thinking.  If this is a person with whom you are unwilling to enter into a contract, how can you possibly ask anyone else to do what you won't?

But that's not the situation with you guys - you ARE going to get married.  Ask, and it it's an issue, do the paperwork in advance of the party.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2012, 8:25:39 PM by macaroon » Logged
aprilmay
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2012, 3:36:30 PM »

Many schools will not count "domestic partnership" for different-sex couples, so you would have to be married. I think schools would perceive a fiancee different from a girlfriend/boyfriend.
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macaroon
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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2012, 3:49:57 PM »

Many schools will not count "domestic partnership" for different-sex couples, so you would have to be married. I think schools would perceive a fiancee different from a girlfriend/boyfriend.

Ah, well, I know how my school handled domestic partnerships because we used the benefit, and it was indeed available to opposite-sex couples.  My then-fiance (now husband) got health insurance that way.  We were married about 3 months later.  My school openly encouraged fiances to do this.
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scampster
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« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2012, 6:10:17 PM »

Do you know if the school does spousal hires?  That's what you need to find out first and HR should be able to tell you or point you in the right direction (and you won't tip your hand to the search committee if you do it anonymously).  HR should also be able to tell you if technically need to be married before negotiations.  I would think a firm wedding date before you begin the job would be fine, but you'll see most people on these boards say that schools won't do anything for fiances (however, one that I was at was so geographically isolated that they accommodated any kind of significant other).

I know which school this is!  

If this is also the one where they took you somewhere with peanut shells on the floor, I think I just interviewed there!
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macaroon
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« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2012, 7:40:23 PM »

Do you know if the school does spousal hires?  That's what you need to find out first and HR should be able to tell you or point you in the right direction (and you won't tip your hand to the search committee if you do it anonymously).  HR should also be able to tell you if technically need to be married before negotiations.  I would think a firm wedding date before you begin the job would be fine, but you'll see most people on these boards say that schools won't do anything for fiances (however, one that I was at was so geographically isolated that they accommodated any kind of significant other).

I know which school this is!  

If this is also the one where they took you somewhere with peanut shells on the floor, I think I just interviewed there!

This rings a bell.
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