finding jobs for spouses

Dianna L. Bourke dlb17 at PSU.EDU
Fri Feb 2 18:40:23 EST 1996

Concerning the thread, finding jobs for spouses. My husband and I went
through this predicament several years ago. However, my husband (nearly)
has a Ph.D. in Dramatic Art. Since he is not a scientist, the situation
becomes considerably more difficult than having him hired as a postdoc down
the hall. And to make things more even more dicey, I am at a small branch
campus of a large university, where there just aren't that many
opportunities available. On the up side, in such a small place the people
in charge have a lot more leverage and a lot less administrative layers to
wade through if they want to "create" positions.

When I applied for the position, I made no mention of my husband or his
needs as I felt this had nothing to do with my qualifications for the job.
When I was put on the short list and went through an initial phone
interview. I brought up the subject of my husband and HOW HE COULD BE A
REAL ASSET TO THE CAMPUS. When approached in this manner, I feel
administrators feel a little less put upon. I think it also gives them some
time investigate possibilities and to put a package together for you.

Fortunately, my campus has a real committment to spousal support and so a
part time position was found for my husband on the condition that he be
moved to full time when his Ph.D. is finished. Since he has not finished
yet.....(a whole nother story as they say around here) I cannot say whether
they will renege (sp?) on their promise, but I have made it very clear that
if my husband is not happy, I will immediately start looking for another
job. Since that time, he has proved to be a tremendous asset to the campus
and my boss is seriously committed to keeping us both here.

In the mean time my boss is getting a tremendous bargain as my husband is
doing tenure track level work for a pittance. Conversly, my husband is
enjoying his teaching and directing without the usual responsibilities of
committee work, advising, etc....Sometimes these kinds of tradeoffs are
necessary. We are gambling that the full time position for my husband will
materialize and if it does not, I will resume the job search, operating
from a position of some security and leisure as a tenured professor and not
in a desperate scramble to beat the Visa bills.  Jobs these days are just
too scarce to be acting like a prima donna. Compromises must be made to
stay together.

Dianna L. Bourke
Penn State Hazleton

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