Recently I was offered an assistant professor position at a major R1 university. My problem is that I need to stay one more year in my home country due to Fulbright 2-year home residency requirement. I will apply for a waiver but just in case I'd like to negotiate the possibility of one year later start date. The department head is aware that there might be some delays due to legal issues, but I did not want to bring these procedures before signing the contract. It is my dream job at my dream college and I can be of a good asset to the department. How do you think I should approach negotiating and communicating this situation in a respective manner? Thanks!

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    You might be able lift the residency requirement if certain conditions are met; it is an option to consider.
    – Our
    Feb 19, 2019 at 11:54
  • By the way, I would very much like to ask you a couple of questions about Fulbright; is it possible that we can talk a chat room ?
    – Our
    Feb 19, 2019 at 11:57
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    What are the ramifications of breaking your Fulbright agreement? Feb 19, 2019 at 20:44
  • I am not breaking the agreement, I would like to legally get a waiver to be able to come back to the U.S. just like any other J-visa holders who are subject to this requirement. It is easier to get a waiver for a J visa sponsored by the university or home-country organizations. Agencies like Fulbright makes it harder so the philosophy of the program is fulfilled, which is a cultural exchange. Feb 19, 2019 at 20:49
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    Congratulations on the job offer—great work! Feb 20, 2019 at 6:15

1 Answer 1


Well, as a department head, I would be slightly annoyed that (i) you applied for a position you knew you couldn't take, and (ii) you didn't mention this earlier.

But it is what it is: You have no other option than coming clean, and so being honest should be your first priority. The people you're going to talk to are going to be your future colleagues and you will rely on their good will for the next many years. So playing games is not a useful strategy and all you can do is be forthcoming in explaining your situation, and ask whether there is a way to delay your starting date by one year. There is really no negotiating in this case: You need the department to agree to your demands, because if they don't you have a contract you can't keep (because you can't show up in person) and will likely lose your job. In other words, you're completely at the mercy of the department, and that's how you should treat it: With honesty and humility.

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    i would add: immediately write to department head all the details. Feb 19, 2019 at 17:32
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    This should go without saying, but a department head at a R1 university is no one to mess around with, and not someone you want to annoy if you know what's good for your academic career.
    – corsiKa
    Feb 19, 2019 at 18:11
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    Thank you for all the comments. The reason I am asking this is because I'd like to stay within ethical principles and how to communicate this worst-case scenario effectively. I was graduated from that very department and the everyone in faculty knows me and they know that I left the US just because of this requirement one year ago. And I have told them that I will have to apply for a waiver. During the interview process, they did not bring this to the table. And I did not want to be the one who brought this up before everything is official. Feb 19, 2019 at 20:08
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    Seems a bit too late for the honesty, so maybe a double helping of humility?
    – user104070
    Feb 20, 2019 at 0:24
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    I would add: the department has already indicated that they agree you would be a good asset, so you can and should approach them (collegially) from the perspective that they want you to accept and they want you to be happy. In the end, delaying a new assistant professor's start date by one year is typically not a big hassle for a reasonably-sized department, so once everybody is convinced that you're all on the same side, I find it pretty likely that they will agree to the delay. Feb 20, 2019 at 6:17

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