Monday, March 29, 2010

An Open Letter: Two-Body Problem is Solved!

Dear Higher Ups at My Current Institution:

When I first joined the faculty at XXX University, I had not yet developed rheumatoid arthritis. At the time, Mr.JP was teaching 2hrs away and our two-body problem seemed manageable even with the prospect of having a baby. My commute was 45 min – 1 hr one way, or 90 min to 2 hrs roundtrip. After I had the baby, and developed rheumatoid arthritis, my life became barely manageable. Balancing work and family was constantly at odds with overwhelming pain. More and more, it became apparent that Mr.JP and I needed to resolve our two-body problem. My current state is pretty good, but the reality is that I could relapse at any time – and a relapse is 100% guaranteed if I have more children. For this reason, we needed to make a family decision which would benefit all of us. Mr. JP has always been upset at his university, and it has approached the time where he can stay there no longer. I was unwilling to go to his university to solve our two-body problem. Mr.JP was unwilling to come to here because of the recent plans to eliminate the dept (which were eventually scrapped). For this reason our family decision is to move to ZZZ University.

It is with great sadness that I must leave, but in the case of health and family, I must be near my parents, cousins, and friends for a strong support network. We now have the opportunity to live close to my numerous relatives. I love XXX University, I love the environment, I love working with my colleagues. The students are the best. Mr.JP has outgrown his university, and his career cannot expand unless he moves.

My start date is this summer. My plan is to continue with activities at XXX University up until the last possible date. My post-docs will move with me, and my students are going to move with me as well. Much of my group is funded off of set-up funds provided by the Provost here, and I kindly ask that these funds continue until the move for continuity and support of my students and post-docs. I have no hard feelings towards the department or school, and I can only speak highly of every single member of the college. I understand this decision may generate confusion, disappointment, or even anger. I remind you that this decision is made in support of my husband, my health, and my family – which ultimately supports my long-term happiness.

Sincerely,

JP

21 comments:

Kate said...

Wow, good for you all! That's so cool that you'll be near family and will be able to resolve your two-body problem. I hope you have a fabulous move and find a great place to life!

Isis the Scientist said...

Good luck with the move, and congrats on solving the multi-body problem.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Good for you!!!!!!!

I hope you'll be very happy at your new place! I know the move is for all the right reasons.

Katie said...

Wow! Congratulations! It gives me hope that you were able to solve the two-body problem :)

Jen said...

It takes a lot of courage to pick up and move, no matter the reasons. For that, I applaud you. I hope that everything will go smoothly!

Patchi said...

Best of luck at the new place, I too dream of the day my two-body problem will be solved!

MommyProf said...

Yay!

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah there's going to be anger, based on my experience with a similar situation. Good luck with handling it!

SamanthaScientist said...

That sounds like great news! Best of luck at your new place.

Jennie said...

This actually sounds like a great move for all, even though I can hear remorse in your writing. Hopefully you won't find a doppelganger at the new university.

ScientistMother said...

Congratulations! I hope this works well for both of you!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I am so happy to learn that your two-body problem is solved.

Jenny F. Scientist, PhD said...

Woooo hoooo!!!

biochem belle said...

Congrats!

Candid Engineer said...

Good for you guys. It'll be wonderful to be in the same spot!

Janus Professor said...

Thx! We are thrilled.

It is a huge headache to pick up and move, sell our house, start my lab over - but I think the long term gains are many.

Most of my colleagues are very understanding - disappointed, but understanding.

No drama, yet.

Arlenna said...

This is totally awesome, and it is so great to hear things work out for you guys!

Comrade PhysioProf said...

People move all the time in academia. When famous old white-dude assholes do it, no one says shit. Don't sweat it.

EliRabett said...

What you probably are going to have to do is pay XXX for the equipment and stuff you are taking with you from your set up funds at YYY. That provides XXX money to use for the set up funds for your replacement (if any:(

ScienceGirl said...

This is huge! So glad to hear you have found a solution, and close to family to boot!

Hope said...

Congrats on the new job, JP! I hope “no drama” continues to be the case at your present institution.

I’m curious as to how you handled the issue of RA in your job search/interviews. Did you discuss it with potential employers or is it really none of their business? Perhaps you could do a post later on with advice for those with chronic conditions on the job market – just a suggestion! :-)