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Give and Take

Over at Inside Higher Ed an associate professor writing under the pseudonym Adam Fulton shares tips for prospective and new-hire faculty who are negotiating their salaries, benefits, and start-up packages. Even before an interview, Fulton says, candidates should "already have some general idea of what the college provides," and draft a "list of necessary laboratory equipments, facilities, staffing, and outside funding projects." When the search committee chair contacts you with an offer, "be prepared … to express a measured sense of interest and excitement about the position while conveying that you need some time to think through the offer," Fulton says. He adds that to "drop your academic stoicism in a display of unbridled emotion" is a mistake, as it could diminish an accepted candidate's bargaining power. Still, "whether or not you have multiple offers, you don't want to come off too aggressive when negotiating," Fulton says. "You should always remember that at this point forward, you are playing for the bigger game of getting tenure." To that end, he says that newly hired assistant professors must strive to strike a balance between being a "pushover" and unreasonably "ruthless" in their demands.

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