Applying to jobs just after starting a TT job?

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In our newest “how can we help you?” thread, a young academic writes:

Is it frowned upon to have a new tenure-track position, and to be applying out to a different one? For various reasons, it is already clear that this place is not a good fit for my family. But it feels bad to be applying out, especially since the department invested in me and may not get a replacement line.

Good question. Two readers submitted helpful replies. One reader writes:

You do what you gotta do. If your family is terribly unhappy, then you have got to look into other options. Of course the people who hired you will be disappointed … but they have their lives, and you have yours.

And Bill Vanderburgh adds:

It may be smart to keep your search confidential until you get an on-campus interview. But a job is just a job: you owe no special responsibilities beyond doing what you are paid to do, and you can quit anytime for any reason you like. Moving on from a tenure-track job is not unusual. Sure it costs the university something, but that is not your problem–it is just an ordinary cost of running a university. You certainly aren’t required to commit your family to indefinite misery just because you accepted a job. If there is something the university could reasonably do to make the situation better (a job for your spouse, online teaching so you can live a bit farther from campus, or something like that), it might be worth asking the dean. But don’t make it sound like an ultimatum (do this or I’ll leave) unless you have an offer already in hand.

I agree. It may stink to the department that hired you to lose you, but no one is entitled to have you work for them! Would it be ‘frowned upon’ if the department you are in found out you’re applying out? Almost certainly. But you are under no obligation to let them know, and I do not know of any cases of departments being ‘tipped off’ that one of their members is applying elsewhere. 

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? It might be good to hear from people who have been in the OP’s position!

Originally appeared on The Philosophers’ Cocoon Read More

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