Re: ATM: Two-body problems

1

I too have an employment dilemma but don't want to distract the thread from comment 1 and also the situation would be too identifying/messy for going in the public record. We need a meetup to talk about it in person. And since I can't say what city we should have meet ups in every city we have had them previously.


Posted by: Franklin Pierce | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 12:22 PM
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The question of whether I would take the job if she didn't have an offer is tricky. It probably offers more long-term stability than my current job. Otoh long-term stability might not be so relevant if I might want to move at some point to be near her. So... I dunno yet?


Posted by: ATTDC | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 12:31 PM
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Both my current location and the one in question are home to a lot of places where she could potentially get jobs; honestly, the prospects are probably better where I am now, if we look at all the openings that could emerge in the next few years.


Posted by: ATTDC | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 12:32 PM
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Here's a complication: is it possible that her position could get filled before you get an offer? They'd have less room to negotiate then.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 12:34 PM
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I feel bourgeois and closed-minded even raising this, but what does 'girlfriend' mean in terms of permanence? You're as good as married, but marriage isn't something that the two of you think is for you? You're very probably going to get married in the fairly near future? You're still playing it by ear?

I have no idea how two-body hiring negotiations work, but it seems plausible to me that you have less leverage with a less convincingly permanent relationship.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 12:35 PM
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From my experience in partner hiring...I don't think there is a 'right' answer to this question for all schools. You really want to ask this question to someone at that institution, because the answer depends on how partner hiring is dealt with generally. Are y'all in the same field? I think it's pretty unlikely that one department would have the leverage to influence a different department's decision. The best outcomes I've seen are at schools where there is money to create an entirely new position for the partner.


Posted by: Sarabeth | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 12:38 PM
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And yes to 5 - unless it's a same-sex partnership in a state where marriage is illegal, I think that you'd be in a better position if you were married. This is in fact why my best friend got married. My own school has an explicit spousal hire process, and it does need to be a spouse.


Posted by: Sarabeth | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 12:40 PM
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I remember when E. Gordon Gee came to Ohio State they made up a special position for his wife. But I guess that only works if you happen to possess the Magical Bowtie.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 12:44 PM
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5: Marriage seems premature if we don't know if we can get jobs within commuting distance of each other, but the relationship is pretty stable. I can see how this could be a bit of a catch-22, though.

6: Same field, applying for the same job, where there are very good reasons to think they have the funding to make at least two hires.


Posted by: ATTDC | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 12:48 PM
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The two-body problem plus assortative mating may exacerbate the cultural differences between isolated and non-isolated locations. If you're a male scientist whose wife is a female scientist, you want to live in a place where both of you can get jobs as scientists. If you're a male scientist whose wife is on board with moving for your career alone, you'll have less problem moving to Dubuque or Augusta, Georgia or Hamilton, Montana.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 12:50 PM
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Oh, that's a more promising situation. Best case scenario, the department sees this as an opportunity to squeeze an extra line out of the dean's office. I'd probably err on the side of disclosing during an on-campus interview, but try to phrase it as 'an offer for my partner is not necessarily a deal-breaker, but it would certainly be a big incentive.' And then get more cut-throat as negotiations progress. If there's a formal process for this, it might need some lead time (here, for instance, it would involve flying your partner out for a separate interview) so it works better if you disclose earlier. But the risks of that strategy are obvious, too.


Posted by: Sarabeth | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 1:09 PM
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Jobs are just jobs. People are what matters. I recognize that jobs are important (fucking trust me, I need one).

Go where the good people are.


Posted by: Grumbles | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 1:29 PM
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9.1: You could be her concubine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 1:52 PM
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How much clout do you honestly have? I know superstars can get everything and the kitchen sink, but if you're actually Zi\zek you probably wouldn't be writing in for advice here. On a less superstar-y level, are there other positions besides that one she'd be willing to do? Permanent lectureships? Admin? My fancy pants R1 school has a lot of decently paid permanent lectureships that a lot of spouses get, especially for professors they hire already tenured.

Other thought: could you use the job offer to leverage a position at your current school for her? That very likely might work better than trying to get her hired at your new place.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 1:54 PM
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Break up and move to Fargo.


Posted by: Emerson's Stand-in | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 1:55 PM
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Other thought: could you use the job offer to leverage a position at your current school for her? That very likely might work better than trying to get her hired at your new place.

I think Disguised Enough for Some Commenters Anyway would have a lot harder time succeeding with this scenario.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 2:01 PM
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14: I think I might know what the current school is. If it is that school--which likes to do everything differently from everyone else--I would say that I doubt it.

It would only do that if recruiting a superstar and maybe not even then.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 2:02 PM
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||

Now in a scenario which has come up here before - an old friend with cancer is making offhand comments that he distrusts one of his oncologists for being unwilling to reconcile with his naturopathic doctor, and so is ditching the oncologist from the famous location and seeking out someone local.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 2:12 PM
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Someone local who is also an oncologist?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 2:20 PM
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Yeah, I think. Or, he has a team of in-state and far away oncologists, and he's at least ditching the main far away one. (He's had brain cancer for about 7 years, so it's a long term treatment.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 2:23 PM
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I would tell them at the post-offer, negotiations stage. That's the point (a) at which they expect to hear it -- it won't feel like you were pulling one over on them, and (b) at which they're going to the dean and telling the dean "We want this guy. This is what he wants from us. Can you make it happen?" If you tell them earlier, it will just be a mark of extra anticipated negotiation-bother against you.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 2:24 PM
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They aren't going to interview your girlfriend at this stage just because they know you'd like them to hire her. If they hire her to get you it will be as a separate process from this search, anyway.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 2:26 PM
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And no hiring committee is going to have warmer feelings toward your candidacy if they hear that your "main reason for applying is to solve [X] problem." They want to feel wanted!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 2:29 PM
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rfts gets it right.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 2:30 PM
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See? Within the first 40 comments, someone writes the real OP.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 2:35 PM
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21-23 are right. Heed the advice offered therein. Ignore anything to the contrary.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 2:36 PM
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Demand they make your cat an adjunct professor.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 2:38 PM
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Since 27 doesn't run counter to anything in 21-23, I'd like to sign on to its contents.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 2:42 PM
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And oddly enough, I have my own employment dilemma, but it's pretty boring, so whatever.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 2:42 PM
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You don't want any part of anything that will involve additional meetings. Just say no.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 2:45 PM
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Trying to avoid meetings is a good way to get stuck in them. Far better to be so eager to call meetings that everyone avoids you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 2:49 PM
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I have so many thoughts about this one, but I'm worried that my field and yours are just different enough that more specific advice will be totally awful. So, useful knowledge is that usually more remote universities are more likely to do meaningful spousal hiring. (Going to ignore the married/not thing for a minute.) UIUC is pretty well known for this, because Champaign-Urbana is a pretty hard place for a professional to find a non-academic job. I have heard the same about Texas A&M. If there are other universities or an industry in your field nearby, that hurts chances that the university would be helpful in getting a spouse a good position. IME, most universities will manufacture throwaway lecturer positions for spouses (basically adjuncting), but professorships are harder.

If your field (ahem) is known for having very few female profs, but they contacted you right away and not her, it suggests to me that you'd be the "get" and she'd be the trailing spouse. It can be a tough spot, since everybody would "know" she got the job because of you. If you're in the same field, would you directly compete for grants? Would it be a problem to have two people from the same U in the same field trying for the same R01 cash (not just professionally, but personally)? Depending on how similar your fields (or subfields) are, would a university want two profs hired at the same time with overlapping fields of interest? Does it benefit them, or would it take up a line that would be used on a different subfield? I think when you consider positions, you should know how big an ask it is for them to hire both of you vs just the one they want.

Also, 12 was what I did, and it was very, very good advice.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 2:52 PM
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29: just so long as any cob houses you plan to live in are already built.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 2:53 PM
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And oddly enough, I have my own employment dilemma, but it's pretty boring, so whatever.

If you're still considering leaving where you are for central PA, you need to stop considering that, and then start seeing a mental health professional, because the very idea is fucking insane. You have kids! Don't do this to them! Polar vortices, for the love of god!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 3:19 PM
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21 to 23 certainly sound right.

I guess I also omitted that this is not a university job, it's a federal government job at a lab just uphill from a university where a lot of people have joint appointments. Not sure if that affects anything or not.


Posted by: ATTDC | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 3:37 PM
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27: I don't have a cat. Should I acquire one for this purpose?


Posted by: ATTDC | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 3:42 PM
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Depending on how similar your fields (or subfields) are, would a university want two profs hired at the same time with overlapping fields of interest?

Several years ago I made some snide comments about how a certain universities was hiring one professor for the price of two, when there was a couple who wrote most of their papers together. Now I seem to find myself in exactly the same situation. The amount of overlap definitely may be a problem.


Posted by: ATTDC | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 3:44 PM
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"a certain universities"? Read what I meant, not what I wrote.


Posted by: ATTDC | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 3:45 PM
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34 seems right. I recently realized that someone in my profession who works at an institution in central Pennsylvania actually lives in Seattle. I think he may have moved after he started and anyway does work that can be done remotely.

VW should embrace MOOCS and send video lectures instead of moving.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 3:48 PM
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It occurs to me that I should have phrased everything in terms of guinea pigs or lovable mutts and puppies and bears, which would have led to the same thread but less clear to outside readers.


Posted by: ATTDC | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 3:48 PM
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Inside a thread it's just the right light.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 3:51 PM
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35: Ah. Very nice job! The boyfriend knows quite a few folks who've passed through there. I think it probably pretty much moots the question of spousal hiring, though. I'm not sure how hard that would be, but it would almost certainly require major effort on the part of that division or department. I've run across many more spouse pairs in academia than at places like that, unless you count PI/administrative assistant pairs. I've seen the one-for-two plan work well with interdisciplinary collaborations in academia, but most professor couples I know of who are in the same subfield seem to keep their work non-overlapping.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 4:07 PM
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40: Just for the record, none of that conversation made any sense to me and I skipped those threads. I probably spent all that time browsing rescue dogs.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 4:15 PM
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At the interview, say "I am a literal knight of the kingdom of Norway" and "My watch could buy a six-pack of Rolexes." Demand that they make a parrot named Mindy a full professor in the Phrenology Department. Ask that they erect of a 100-foot-tall sculpture of yourself on a hill above campus. Let them know to refer to you henceforth as "Sage-Emperor." At the end, cue the music, rip your shirt off, flex your pecs, kiss them each on the head, and leave. That's what I'd do anyway.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 4:32 PM
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Why are we waiting so long for Halfordismo?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 4:37 PM
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Some of us live Halfordismo every day, insofar as we can.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 4:42 PM
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43.1: Yeah. Those made no sense to me either.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 4:46 PM
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Does any one want me to find a dog for you in your city? How old? What kind? How big?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 4:46 PM
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If you're still considering leaving where you are for central PA, you need to stop considering that, and then start seeing a mental health professional, because the very idea is fucking insane.

You'll understand when you have kids. (kidding)


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 4:52 PM
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I just found my own dog. Now I'm going to walk him.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 4:52 PM
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I'm getting lots of pressure for a dog. Part of the reason I'm looking at housing options is to get a place that is easier to keep a dog in.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 4:53 PM
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As a start you could build a cob doghouse.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 4:56 PM
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At the interview, say "I am a literal knight of the kingdom of Norway" and "My watch could buy a six-pack of Rolexes."

Sort of like how John Nash turned down a position at Chicago, letting them know that he was accepting a job as the emperor of Antarctica.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 7:50 PM
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34 is the rightest thing ever written on this blog.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 7:54 PM
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I just got word that my move to University Across Town (into a tenure-track position, in an ATTDC-adjacent field) was approved by the funding agency. Hooray! And, damn it, now I have to move again.


Posted by: antipodestrian | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 10:21 PM
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Congrats!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-28-14 10:23 PM
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Thanks! I feel lucky to be sidestepping the job market like this, it's killer right now.


Posted by: antipodestrian | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 12:52 AM
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55: Congrats! How adjacent are we?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 9:16 AM
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Err, I mean, are you and ATTDC. Uh, can someone clean that up?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 9:16 AM
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Thanks! I do more mountaintop, up-all-night stuff, and I get the feeling you're more theoretical.
To be slightly helpful, I have two sets of friends who've managed double hires in the last year. One set are both faculty now, and it sounds like they were in a position similar to yours: people at the new place knew they were both on the market and were willing to make the case to the Dean. The other set are both postdocs now (same university, different departments), but I haven't asked how they managed it.


Posted by: antipodestrian | Link to this comment | 01-29-14 6:27 PM
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Not in academia but in tech I've had to deal with the two body problem a few times. In half a dozen cases there was only once when we felt we had to come up with a job. Typically, we tried to find another spot but it worked or didn't. Inventing a spot that otherwise wasn't there was not normal. I wish the best, but unless you really are a very special snowflake you'll get help but no guarantee.

DN


Posted by: DN | Link to this comment | 01-31-14 1:31 AM
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Turns out my girlfriend is on the shortlist too. Fingers crossed....


Posted by: ATTDC | Link to this comment | 01-31-14 7:09 PM
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Yay, good news!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-31-14 7:11 PM
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Heightist!

Also...that is good news. Here's hoping.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-31-14 7:17 PM
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Good luck to both of you.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-31-14 7:21 PM
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I just want to tell you both good luck. We're all counting on you.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-31-14 7:28 PM
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Good news!


Posted by: antipodestrian | Link to this comment | 01-31-14 10:28 PM
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That's great news, yay!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-31-14 10:46 PM
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