I am a new assistant professor.

Everyday I meet a frustrating situations here for about 4 months so far. Main matters are as listed below. I really do not understand this situation. Any advice or suggestions to protect myself just in case?

1) without any credits, medical doctors want me to develop their research ideas (typically just have one or two keywords) and write the papers for them.

2) without any credits, they want me to analyze their data sets and write the results for publications.

3) my chair asks me (only myself in this entire dept) to report my research progress every week in a small meeting - with the reasoning that they need to know all of my research studies.

4) my chair does not allow me to do any research studies myself (I must collaborate with a medical doctor).

5) my chair does not allow me to attend any conferences in medical education because I cannot be their representative.

6) for the reason English is not my first language, my school doesn't allow me to teach/present anything here (I am teaching a class in a different dept now and have there been listed as an excellent teacher several times). They ask me to support/do the other faculties' research studies.

  • 4
    So your English is good enough so that the medical doctors want you to write their papers but not good enough to teach a class. These folks seem to be not only unethical but quite confused. Oct 24 '16 at 17:59
  • 3
    A couple of questions: (1) what exactly was the job description you applied for and accepted? Did it discuss teaching expectations, research expectations, etc.? (2) Why aren't you allowed to be their "representative" at conferences? Is it a lack of experience? Seniority? (3) This isn't a question, just an observation -- your third point (about presenting research) doesn't seem terribly out of the ordinary.
    – tonysdg
    Oct 24 '16 at 18:00
  • @Andreas Blass: Your comment was my thought as I was reading this just now! Oct 24 '16 at 18:54
  • 1
    Please do not vandalize your posts!
    – DJMcMayhem
    Oct 24 '16 at 20:32
  • 1
    Please do not vandalize your posts. You can use the contact us link and ask the post to be disassociated with your account or simply delete your account as it has no other activity. Either way, the post and the answers will remain.
    – StrongBad
    Oct 24 '16 at 20:34

It sounds like there is such major lack of understanding regarding your job that you need to have a discussion with the Department Chair. You need to come away from this discussion understanding how and when your performance will be reviewed, what you need to do to either have your contract renewed or get tenure, and how you will be able to do that. Hopefully this conversation will resolve the issues, although from your description it does not sound like it will. More likely, you are going to need to meet with the Dean as you hand in your resignation. You should explain to the Dean that you did not fully understand the position when you took the job and that the expectations and behavior of the department are wildly inappropriate.

  • 1
    I think that it is not a matter of job description - their requests violate ethics in academia. What do you think? Oct 24 '16 at 18:39
  • @medicaldoctors For points 1 and 2, I think most MDs wish someone else would write papers for them. It is not nice to bully new faculty, but it is not really scientifically unethical. For points 3-6, it really depends on what your contract says (and your startup package).
    – StrongBad
    Oct 24 '16 at 18:52
  • I agree with StrongBad; while unpleasant, there are contracts you could have signed that would make this at least vaguely ethical. If you are not (as your title implies) tenure-track, then there are certainly ways this could be part of your assigned duties; you need to understand the contract and expectations in detail. If you are tenure-track, though, you need to immediately escalate, probably to the Dean, and be prepared to resign.
    – iayork
    Oct 24 '16 at 18:57
  • I see now - i talked with MD professors only in well-known research schools. They gave me a different opinion and so I did not get your point. Anyway, it is really helpful. Thanks! Oct 24 '16 at 18:59
  • 2
    @medicaldoctors yes, I have been elected as a moderator. One of my jobs is to make sure people do not vandalize the site by deleting posts with answers. In my other comment I told you how to ask for the question to be disassociated from your account
    – StrongBad
    Oct 25 '16 at 3:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.