Salary/start-up negotiations

mynlieffm at mynlieffm at
Wed Apr 24 11:02:35 EST 1996

In article <mcb10-2304960830240001 at>, mcb10 at (Peggy Barr) writes:
>Hi all,
>I'm sure this topic must have been covered previously, but I've only been
>following this newsgroup for a few months.  I am interviewing for
>tenure-track faculty positions and I hope I will eventually be in the
>position of negotiating salary, start-up and other financial matters with
>a prospective employer. I am aware that there is a significant salary
>differential for men and women if you look at the overall picture in
>almost any field.  How do I go about ensuring that I don't add to that
>problem?   Any advice or experiences from other women in biology (I'm a
>virologist) would be gratefully received. 

When I was offered 2 positions (3 years ago) I was pretty much led to believe
that they were non-negotiable.  When the job offers came through, they said
this is the start up and salary would you like the job.  I didn't try to
negotiate.  I felt that the package was extremely generous in start up
considering we are a small to medium private institution (12,000 students, 17
faculty member department with about 25 Ph.D. students).  My position was
funded by the Howard Hughes institute so I know that my start up was much
larger than other recent faculty members we have hired.  Last year we hired
another faculty member so I got to see things from the other end.  His 9 month
base salary (only get summer if you have a grant) was only $1000 more than I
started out 2 years earlier (and less than I make now) but the start up funds
offered were less than half of what I received.  I know that it was
non-negotiable because we couldn't come up with any more.  I don't know if the
man who took the position tried to negotiate at all but I have heard him
grumble recently about it.  Because of financial problems with the University
no one got raises this year and he didn't like that.  Most of us just feel
happy to have  a job (they did cut 2 faculty in other dept.).  I have also seen
a very close friend (male) from my postdoctoral lab search for a job.  We both
came from a very well known lab and it took both of us about 1 1/2 years of
serious applications to land a job.  He would never consider a job like mine,
however.  Too much teaching and not enough start up funds.  He did recently
land a job after 6 1/2 years of postdoc work.  He has a ton of high quality
publications and got a job in a much richer University than I did.  He
negotiated extensively and got twice as much start up funds as I did and an
additional 10 to 15 K in salary.  So, should I have not settled?  I am quite
happy where I am.  Although teaching one course a semester, doing research,
writing grants (I've submitted 4 in the last 10 months) plus having a family (2
kids under 6) takes a ton of time but it is worth it.  Don't ask me if I have
any hobbies, though :-).

Michelle Mynlieff

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