I was recently offered a research position outside of academia that includes an 85% pay bump and is remote. It’s in my field and basically a dream position. I’m currently a NTT faculty member (instructional faculty) and have been at my institution for 4.5 years. I’ve been very successful as both a teacher (multiple awards) and research (funding, book pub, etc even though my job description doesn’t include research). My pay is not great and prospects for advancement are very low (currently at a state flagship that will soon be an R1). I’m excited to leave.

That said, the requested start date for this position is Jan. 22, one week after the semester is to begin. My paperwork for the offer to be finalized won’t be done until the first week of January because of the holidays.

This means I won’t be able to give much notice to my dean to find replacement instructors, and he won’t be able to for one of my classes because I’m the only one here who can teach it. I’ve thought about proposing to teach at least one class as an adjunct to the ease the burden; on the other hand, I’ve been languishing here for years, leaving is an easy decision, and I want to start my new position without my attention elsewhere.

My question: what should I do? Would I be terrible for just leaving on short notice and never looking back? What have other recovering academics done before?

  • 3
    What does your contract say about the notice period? Dec 25, 2023 at 23:55
  • My contract says nothing; the employee handbook encourages a 20 day notice from faculty. But the language is not strong, and there aren’t apparent penalties for failing to adhere. Dec 25, 2023 at 23:59
  • 4
    You do what is best for you. End of discussion.
    – Jon Custer
    Dec 26, 2023 at 0:00
  • 1
    Can the new position's start date be delayed? @JonCuster Are you saying that as general advice for all situations, or just this situation? Why shouldn't there be discussion?
    – toby544
    Dec 26, 2023 at 19:20

1 Answer 1


Make an immediate appointment to speak to the dean and department head. Apologize for the late notice, explaining that this opportunity only became available and that you need to take it for both financial and career reasons. They will find a way to work things out, almost certainly. Few people really want to hold others back in their careers (always the optimist). Up to now they haven't made long term commitments to you.

But think about what you would respond if they make a counter offer, such as a TT position.

  • 2
    And be very very careful taking any counter offer.
    – Jon Custer
    Dec 26, 2023 at 0:33
  • 2
    I agree with the approach, but not the timing. The appointment should be made once you have signed an offer letter at the new opportunity.
    – Ian
    Dec 26, 2023 at 14:53
  • 1
    @Ian, I'll stick with my recommendation. Earliest notice is both courteous and safer. It gives the institution the longest time to find a replacement or make other necessary accommodations.
    – Buffy
    Dec 26, 2023 at 15:15

You must log in to answer this question.

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