David D. Perlmutter. “The Good Hello.Chronicle of Higher Education, July 19, 2013, pp. A30-31.


A primer on post-hire etiquette at your new position


Brian Taylor for The Chronicle

By David D. Perlmutter

As of this writing I am in a new position at a different university in a different state. By academic standards my transition has been a whirlwind: I signed a contract a few months ago; my last day at my old office was June 30; my first day on the job here at Texas Tech University was July 1.

But as I wrote in Part 1 of this series on post-hire etiquette, the period between when you accept a job offer and when you start work is not a time for basking and relaxing. On the one hand, you owe the people still paying your salary a smooth exit (the topic of last month’s column). On the other hand—and the subject of this essay—you have obligations to your new colleagues and employer beyond just submitting a moving bill.

Be thankful. A department chair once described a case of “buyer’s remorse” he felt after hiring an assistant professor. The young scholar in question certainly seemed like a good fit during the hiring process: talented, high-achieving, pumped, and collegial.

But the moment the contract was signed, radio silence ensued. No thank-you note; no dropping by to check in while house hunting in town; nothing. E-mails that had once been returned within minutes took weeks to draw a response, and then the tone was in the vein of ­”really busy now, can this wait until I start?” Worse, every other faculty member reported no response to their “Welcome aboard!” e-mails and texts.

David D. Perlmutter is dean of the College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech University. He writes the “Career Confidential” advice column for The Chronicle. His book “Promotion and Tenure Confidential” was published by Harvard University Press in 2010.

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