I am a Research Scientist at an Ivy League. I have been offered an Assistant Professorship at the state school. The Ivy League has suggested that if I take the professorship, I could stay on in a 20% role and continue my present research. The state school seems amenable to this arrangement, and would credit my past time here toward tenure, and the ongoing 20% as a tenure-admissible external collaboration.

Within my network, I cannot find a single person with this kind of arrangement. Are joint appointments an uncommon thing? Pointed questions:

  • What might be the unanticipated issues of joint appointment at different ranks (asst. prof. and research scientist)?
  • How can I frame this relationship such that my tenure committee is positive about the arrangement? Any other political considerations?
  • Is it generally permissible to write for money from two institutions, in effect to be your own subcontractor?
  • The department at the Ivy is much more highly ranked than that at the state school (top 10 vs 80-90s, engineering). When I move to my next position, how will the time at each institution likely be viewed? Will the Research Scientist role even be considered? Worse, will it be fairly necessary for such a move, such that I dare not let it end?
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    Relevant additional thoughts: My other offers are not superior. I have good relationships on both sides. Both work environments are dynamic, interesting to me, and provide freedom. These schools are in the only two locations I can live (family reasons). These offers are financially similar. Combining them won't cost too much. State school offers more access to space, a good start up package, and far cheaper resources. The Ivy League school has name recognition, better network of partners, etc. Having access to both MIGHT offset difficulties (travel, politics) of doing both? Apr 4, 2018 at 22:47
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    You may get better answers if you outline more about the difficulties you anticipate (travel - how often would it be feasible to go to each location? and politics - the state school would accelerate your tenure; do you think there are colleagues who would be against your tenure case?) and your preferences (do you want to teach at all? are you trying to maximize your income? your number of publications? status?). Would you feel bad about leaving your alma mater for a fancier job in a few years? Are you worried about getting trapped there with few resources if the Ivy League arrangement ends? Apr 4, 2018 at 23:49
  • why not both? we do all the time this in europe
    – SSimon
    Apr 5, 2018 at 0:37
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    This question seems to be borderline off-topic due to being framed as one, focusing on author's individual circumstances. However, I will not vote to close at this time, since, I believe, the question could be re-framed as a general one. For example, you can take a look at how I approached a similar situation here - note the bullet points with generalized questions. Apr 5, 2018 at 1:46
  • Excellent points, and reflected in my newly framed question. Thank you for the advice. Apr 5, 2018 at 3:01

1 Answer 1


There is nothing against having a joint appointment. I would take both! At 20%, you gain from networking at the Ivy, and show up once a week...or even half day to attend faculty meetings or seminars. However, focus your research at the State school. In return for 20% support, you must co-list the Ivy in pubs and seminars you give. I’ve done this before, and it’s not hard. Good luck!

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