A colleague of mine (C1) from other University (U1) has asked me, by email, if another colleague (C2) from my University (U2) is moving from U2 to U1.

Should I tell to C2 about that rumor? Or should I answer to C1 that I have no clue?

Of course, I do not have any idea of C2's plans but I have a closer relationship with him.

  • 12
    Your options are not mutually exclusive. Jun 12, 2018 at 16:15
  • You should gave said straight off : what rumour... But now is too late - whatever you say your colleague will think you knew and just did not want to say...
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 12, 2018 at 16:23
  • 2
    I feel this question is a better fit for Interpersonal Skills SE/ Jun 13, 2018 at 8:29
  • 1
    i think that's better suited to Interpersonal Skills SE or Workplace SE Jun 14, 2018 at 0:54
  • 1
    The question was easier to read before you switched to the confusing {C,U}{1,2} labels. Jun 14, 2018 at 1:08

2 Answers 2


If someone asks you in person: I would recommend you to say to your colleague that you have no clue about what he is talking about, immediately - even if you know your supervisor's plan.

If someone asks you by email: In this case it is easier. Just ignore it.

Some supervisors share a lot of things with their students and I think that is better to assume everything as private.

Since this rumour could have some professional consequence to your supervisor, I would alert him about that too.

  • 4
    Given the common expression, "discretion is the better part of valor," I'd lean toward saying nothing. The worst that can happen is that you've said nothing useful.
    – aeismail
    Jun 12, 2018 at 17:54
  • @aeismail well, if his colleague asked by email he can just ignore it. But if it is face-to-face he has to say something.
    – The Doctor
    Jun 12, 2018 at 18:11
  • As it is an email, would you ignore it? Or would you talk with your supervisor? Jun 12, 2018 at 20:19
  • 3
    I would do both. Let your supervisor know about this rumour.
    – The Doctor
    Jun 12, 2018 at 20:29

The options you have presented are not exhaustive. If you do not wish to participate in the rumor mill, or disclose personal plans of a colleague, you could simply tell your colleague (C1) that you'd like to help, but you are nor at liberty to discuss the employment arrangements of your colleagues. Lying about things you know is generally a bad practice.

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