I did a campus interview for a tenure-track assistant professorship at a public R1 university in March. I was told to purchase my own air travel and submit for reimbursement after the interview due to state policy. Despite multiple emails to the department chair who hosted me, copying the department secretary and search chair, I have not received any response regarding reimbursement over the past 2 months.

What is the appropriate way to pursue getting reimbursed (for just ~$600) when emails are being ignored? I am willing to risk burning bridges if necessary.

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    I’d try the Dean next…
    – Jon Custer
    Commented May 22 at 1:08
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    Telephones are still a thing, when people don't answer email. On the other hand, university bureaucracies are slow, and it's not at all surprising that a reimbursement would take more than 2 months, so it's quite possible that everything is on track and you just have to wait. Commented May 22 at 1:50
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    Thank you all for the reply. I think my case is different from the other question because I received no replies at all -- I would say this is more an etiquette issue rather than university bureaucracy. How come the dept/search chairs not even care replying emails... Phone call is sure my next todo.
    – WDC
    Commented May 22 at 3:17
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    Another possibility, of course, is that your emails are getting blocked by a spam filter. Commented May 22 at 3:23
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    Before the visit, my same edu email got replied in few hours -- after the visit they blocked me like a spam person? Unbelievable if it had been the case...
    – WDC
    Commented May 22 at 3:29

2 Answers 2


To conclude the comments: Call and ask if your emails have arrived and what the status of the reimbursement is. (It helps if you do not assume bad intentions on their side.)

Some explanation: There are many valid reasons, e.g. spam filters, changed responsibilities, malfunctioning servers, longer leaves for whatever reason, unclear responsibilities (everybody is thinking the issue is dealt with), or slow procedures. So asking is the right thing to do - if email does not work, try other channels, the most natural one being the phone (then snail mail, maybe...).


The entire situation is quite abnormal. Before/besides trying Dirk's suggestion, here is one more thing to try: In many cases, when you are invited to a job interview at a research department, you already know somebody in the department professionally because they are working in a research subarea similar to yours. For instance, maybe you have meet at conferences, etc. Or, when you visited the department, you talked to somebody there in your research subarea who is genuinely interested in your research. [The reality of hiring is that whenever somebody is invited for a job interview, this means that, likely, there is a faculty or a group of faculty members "pushing" for this hire.] If there is such a person, consider contacting them and asking about the situation.

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