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Within one year I will be up for tenure evaluation, after a "standard" 6-year tenure track. I have held the position of assistant professor and, if given tenure, I will hold the position of associate professor.

Lately, I have applied for (tenured) associate professor positions at other universities of roughly the same standing as the one where I am currently working. I have received offers at most places where I applied. However, because of personal reasons, I am no longer considering moving and I strongly prefer to stay in the city where I work now. (New facts intervened between the moment I applied at these places and the moment I received the offers.)

Talking with trusted colleagues, they agree that these offers constitute useful information for tenure evaluation, but no one is sure about how this information should be conveyed.

Facts which might be important to know:

  • In my field and region, listing declined offers in one's CV is virtually unheard of.
  • In the past, I won two grants/fellowships which were incompatible with each other and I accepted what is commonly considered the more prestigious of the two. In this case, again following consultation with trusted mentors, I have listed the declined grant in my CV. Such a practice is common and uncontroversial. (Here by "grant" I mean something like an NSF or ERC grant.)
  • I work in a minority discipline within my Department of XYZ. My discipline is more commonly found in Departments of ABC. As such, people on the hiring committee might not be able to perform the most accurate assessment of my research achievements. For example, they might not be able to name the most prestigious journals in my field, and they are even less likely to be able to judge a paper on its merit (which one might otherwise do, if one cannot or does not want to use the prestige of the journal as a proxy). On the other hand, they can easily understand the implications of the fact that another institution which they consider "a direct competitor" extended an offer for a tenured position.
  • The offers I received were in Departments of ABC.
  • When tenure evaluation comes, the committee will also ask for evaluation letters from experts in my field. These letters are usually taken into account. I do not have a choice about these experts, nor can I trust that the committee is capable of recognising and reaching out to actual experts/leaders in my research area.
  • The success rate for tenure evaluation at my department is roughly 35%. There are no set criteria, such as "Publish at least N papers in journals from this list".

Question: what is an appropriate way (if I should at all) to convey the information that I have received offers for tenured positions at similar institutions? In case I should do this, should I aim at the tenure committee, the external evaluators, or both?

Similar questions:

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    Interesting. This seems to be very different between cultures. In Germany, in my understanding it is absolutely common to list declined offers in your CV: "Ruf auf W3-Professur in X (abgelehnt)" = "Offer for a full professorship in X (declined)". You typically use such offers to haggle for more compensation or resources at your current university ("Bleibezulagen"). Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 7:32

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I guess that I wouldn't put such things on a CV. But one option is to make it generally known around the department that you've turned down a few offers. It doesn't need to be more specific than that and it could, perhaps, only be among your friends in the department.

This could open the door for questions about it, in which case you could be more precise.

Just be sure that you express enthusiasm for the current position so that you don't seem like someone who will leave soonish.

Note that if you aren't offered tenure it is common (maybe not universal) to have a year to arrange other employment. But it is also reasonable (and wise) to explore possibilities prior to the decision date. That shouldn't be held against you, but we can't guarantee that.

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    This is the right approach: To let other people know about it. Commented Feb 7, 2023 at 21:31
  • Thanks for your answer. It sounds reasonable, no one else is answering, and 24 hours passed. Therefore, I am going to accept it. Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 17:52

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