Academic Job Hunting Tips
Some of these are linguistics related, but most are generally applicable.
Some are also more clearly aimed at junior faculty.
by Ivan Sag
Salary -- obviously. Also, what is the annual increase structure for junior
faculty? Are there specific funds set aside for yearly salary increases
for junior faculty?
Course load - what is it per year?; how is co-teaching counted? How are
large undergraduate courses counted? What factors affect variations in
course load? (e.g. can reductions be negotiated?)
What particular courses will you have to teach? How much freedom do you
have in creating new courses, etc?
Computer facilities - what do they give you routinely? What can you negotiate?
Do they have a discount program for buying home computers?
What other facilities do you need? Lab space, for instance? Specific pieces
of equipment you need to do your research?
What is their sabbatical plan? If you are changing universities, can you
negotiate transfer of accumulated time toward sabbatical?
What is their tenure system? What is their reappointment process? Do they
give regular feedback about progress toward tenure? If it is looking bad
for your tenure, it's in your interest to know this as soon as possible
so you can try to make changes or even start looking for other jobs very
What opportunities are there for summer support? Does the university have
any special programs for junior faculty to get summer salary support for
research? Alternatively, can they commit to providing some summer salary
as a backup until you are able to get some grant applications out that
will bring in your summer salary?
Can they provide a semester off or a reduced teaching load in the period
right before you are going to be considered for tenure?
Do you have TAs for any of those big courses you might have to teach? Graders?
What programs do they have for benefits and retirement?
Do they have programs for housing assistance for junior (or senior) faculty?
How about mortgage/downpayment assistance programs? In some cases, it might
be appropriate to ask about faculty rental housing.
What travel assistance is routinely offered? What exactly do they pay and
Will they pay relocation expenses?
For non-US citizens: Will they help in applying for visas or in paying
the relevant fees?
If you do field work, what facilities do they have to support your travel
tothe field or other related needs?
by Renee Blake
order of teaching load (e.g., first year ask for a 3-2 load to be 2-3 to
help you acclimate).
office space (believe it on not some junior faculty have to share office
space if it is not negotiating).
finacial bonuses/rewards at the end of year.
possible time off before tenure.
by Bob Carpenter
Find out how students are recruited and how they are paired with advisors.
Find out what workload students have in terms of teaching and research
and how they are assigned to projects and classes.
Find out how decisions are handled in the department. Are there votes open
to all faculty, senior faculty, etc.?
Talk to a dean or other ranking university official to try to get a sense
of how the department is viewed from above.
Copyright ©1999. All rights reserved.
Updated:   22 January 1999