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I am currently a grad student, and will have an appointment as an assistant professor in a few months. For various conferences I am attending, I am to provide my title. I would prefer to mention my future position, if for no other reason so that people I meet will know where to find me in the future. Is there a term for a future appointment like "President-elect" or "Chairperson-elect" that can be used? "Assistant professor-elect" seems strange and "Assistant professor (effective August)" seems clunky.

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Sorry to be a bit of a party pooper, but I don't like either StrongBad's or paul garrett's suggestions. Notwithstanding the fact that you deserve all the respect and congratulations in the world for your new near-future position, and it's very understandable that you want everyone to know about it, I can't help thinking that writing anything other than your current affiliation on your badge or presentation slides risks leaving a rather negative impression of someone who is a bit too over-eager to take credit for things that they have not yet completely accomplished. After all, you are not technically a PhD yet, let alone an assistant professor.

My advice is therefore to tell anyone you feel should know about your new position in private conversation, and wait patiently until the effective date of your new appointment before listing it on any official documents such as your CV or conference badges. This is a special case of my more general philosophy that one should never brag about achievements that one has not yet fully accomplished.

  • Yes, I understand the OP's logic, but as it is not standard to do this, it may come across as weird. In my experience, when people meet graduating PhD students (or finishing postdocs) at conferences, it's common to ask what they'll be doing next. And people, esp with webpages, are easy to find online anyway, so advertising doesn't seem necessary. – Kimball Apr 16 '16 at 13:21
  • I would argue that if you have signed a contract then you have accomplished the task. My answer does not mention anything about anticipated events (i.e., completing the PhD). Lots of people start TT positions before finishing their PhD. – StrongBad Apr 16 '16 at 14:58
  • @StrongBad at my university OP would not be allowed to start either a tenure track position or even a postdoc position without proof that he has finished his PhD. This condition is mentioned in the offer letter, so signing the contract does not entirely seal the deal. – Dan Romik Apr 16 '16 at 16:10
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    @DanRomik in which case I would not say anything since the position is not really obtained. – StrongBad Apr 16 '16 at 16:11
  • @StrongBad yes, that was precisely my point. I think it is fine to tell people privately about it if one is confident in one's ability to overcome any remaining obstacles (which seems to be the case in OP's situation), but not to advertise it is an official fact. – Dan Romik Apr 16 '16 at 16:13
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I would not worry about the title as much as the new location. Assuming a name badge that looks something like

Strongbad

PhD Student

Crazy Go Nuts University

I would add a hand written line to make it

Strongbad

PhD Student

Crazy Go Nuts University

Krusty's Clown College (starting August)

I would only do this if the contract has been signed and there is no contingency on you finishing your PhD. If you have to finish your PhD to start the assistant professor position, then there is no guarantee you will be starting in August.

  • Mentioning especially such IT-heavy institutions will strike an impression that cannot be laughed off. First impression is King. – Captain Emacs Apr 15 '16 at 22:56
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The clunky version is nevertheless more explanatory: XXX, PhD YYY Univ (anticipated, June 2016), Assistant Prof., Univ of Whatevs (as of Sept, 2016).

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