I'm an assistant professor at a large public University, and I'm planning to make the move into industry for a variety of reasons.

My spouse is also an academic and has accepted a position in a different city 7 months before the position starts. Because I was planning to leave for industry anyway, I am making the move with my spouse and will begin a job search when I move to the new city.

My question is about a proper resignation date - it's February and I already know that I'm leaving but it seems very early to let the administration know. I am also supposed to be teaching a summer class that begins in May, so they'll need to find a replacement for me to teach that. I'm not sure what to do etiquette-wise; If I resign now I give them approximately 10 weeks to find a replacement for my summer course and all of my courses in the fall, but I'll need to deal with the inevitable peer negativity and rumor mill that'll spring up.

While it feels too early to give a resignation, I'm tired of fielding questions about the courses I'll be teaching in the future when I already know I won't be around. Any advice is appreciated!

  • 1
    Well, any negativity would increase the closer you get to the end of the semester (perhaps not linearly). I don't know your department but I don't see any reason to not let people know now. Feb 7, 2020 at 20:32
  • 2
    How about informing the department chair of your intention to resign but delaying the official public announcement? A competent chair would have no trouble keeping the information from leaking, while still making necessary preparations for your departure.
    – Dan Romik
    Feb 7, 2020 at 20:55
  • 2
    "Resignation date", to my mind, refers to the date at which you'll stop working. You seem to be asking about resignation notice. Feb 8, 2020 at 4:40

1 Answer 1


I'll need to deal with the inevitable peer negativity and rumor mill that'll spring up.

You must work in a really bitchy department if you get peer negativity and rumors just for wanting to pursue an alternative career path. In a well-functioning department, we wish departing staff all the best, and thank them for their service. In any case, whether or not you work in a department that is actually that bad, I can't imagine it will be any better if you leave more suddenly, with less notice of your departure. The longer you leave it, the less time people will have to fill your duties, and the more inconvenience to them. I'm sure your department head and close colleagues would appreciate as much notice as possible of your departure, and if you want this to remain confidential until you have some "official notice" of leaving, you can always ask them to delay telling the rest of your department.

Academics leave university departments all the time, and in this kind of circumstance, I would not expect any negativity to be directed towards the person leaving, particularly if they have given a substantial amount of notice. If your notice of departure genuinely causes peer negativity and adverse rumours, that would reflect badly on the department, and it would just confirm what a good decision it is for you to leave. If you are sure about leaving, my advice would be to give as much notice as possible --- i.e., let your department head know ASAP.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .