job searching/academic couples

Beth Shuster eoshuster at UCDAVIS.EDU
Mon Jan 29 18:08:37 EST 1996

On 28 Jan 1996 16:27:20 -0800, Anita <adestef at BLUEFIN.NET> wrote:

>One aspect of the job search that I
>am very unsure about is how or when to bring up the fact that my husband
>currently has a tenure track faculty position and that I can not accept a
>position unless we know that he will be able to find something also.

  There are many potential ways of dealing with this situation.  When
practicable, I think that one of the best is for BOTH of you to be actively
searching for positions.  That way, it is clear that you are both in the
running.  In many cases, departments have more hope of negotiating for
another position if they have applications from TWO excellent candidates to
show the dean (you don't mention whether or not you and your husband are in
related fields, but the same logic holds if two different departments
become interested in both halves of the couple).

  Although I can understand why your husband might be reluctant to go out
on the market before you have a firm offer, my impression is that it is
unlikely to hurt and might help (although I'm aware that the institutional
cultures regarding this may vary widely).  In fact, finding a more senior
position is likely to be more difficult than finding an entry-level one,
since many cost-conscious campuses are increasingly leery of committing to
the higher salaries and start-up costs that more experienced researchers
command.  Thus, it makes sense for your husband to be applying as well
since institutions that want him may find it "easier" to find a position
for you than vice-versa.

  Good Luck!


Beth Shuster
Univ. of California, Davis
eoshuster at

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