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I am a faculty member in the Science School. I have recently submitted my materials for a tenure review. During this waiting period, I've become aware of an attractive position opening in the Business School for a role, which I believe aligns well with my skills and interests. The potential salary increase is also quite substantial.

My dilemma arises from the overlapping timelines of the tenure review process and the application for the new position. Both processes, if pursued, would eventually reach the desk of the same decision-makers, including the Provost and the University President, almost simultaneously. I am concerned about the implications this might have on my tenure review.

Is there a risk that my tenure application might be jeopardized if I apply for the other position? How is such a situation perceived in academia, especially when one is applying for a position within the same institution but in a different department?

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    This is an extremely thorny issue, complicated further by the fact that you will very likely know people on the hiring committee for the other open position. It may be worth pursuing a joint position over switching colleges, risking having your tenure revoked or tenure process halted, and not getting the other position with a tenure clock started at 0. Nov 2, 2023 at 16:58
  • @CameronWilliams That's an answer. Nov 3, 2023 at 12:54
  • Okay, I'll convert it into one. It seemed more like thoughts than actual advice. Nov 3, 2023 at 14:59
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    If your user name is your real name, you should probably change it to something anonymous, given the private-decision-making nature of the question.
    – RLH
    Nov 3, 2023 at 16:32

2 Answers 2

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This is an extremely thorny issue, complicated further by the fact that you will very likely know people on the hiring committee for the other open position. It may be worth pursuing a joint position over switching colleges, risking having your tenure revoked or tenure process halted, and not getting the other position with a tenure clock started at 0.

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  • "Revoking" tenure, once granted, would be entirely improper in such a situation. Restarting the clock at 0 is, in my experience, unlikely, but some probationary period would be typical.
    – Buffy
    Nov 22, 2023 at 20:56
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Applying for the different job at the university makes sense if you would be willing to give up tenure (that you do not yet have) for the new position. Someone in a decision making role would appreciate that the new position is much better remunerated and more prestigious. The department at this point has probably already voted (it is November) and they and maybe the dean are the only one who would feel bad if you jump ship to another school at the same university.

If you were to not get tenured, then the reasons for this decision would probably prejudice against your new appointment as well, but you would not loose by applying.

As always, local conditions and culture might make this bad advice. If you have a mentor in the department or in the dean's office, talk to them. Maybe you can even talk to the dean, but remember, that deans are sometimes prevented from telling you the truth.

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