Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ironing Out Details with the Dean and Provost

My departure from Prestigious U. requires that I submit a letter of resignation. In addition, I am professionally obligated to discuss my departure with my Dean (even if the Dean is rumored to be stubbornly immovable on some aspects). In my last meeting with the Dean, I had walked out crying, saying that the plans to eliminate my department were "unacceptable." I was not looking forward to meeting the Dean presently to discuss my plans to leave P.U. Considering my mistrust for the Dean, I asked my Chair to come along to the meeting.

To my surprise, the meeting went smoothly and was everything I wanted. I negotiated for my post-docs and student's continuous financial support up until their start date at our next University. We will even maintain reasonable access to lab start-up funds so that research activities could continue up until the move. As for me, my contract ends in June so there is a lost month were I am unemployed (the Provost at P.U. is helping me with this). I'll have reasonable opportunity to take equipment with me, provided that it isn't useful to other faculty at P.U. All equipment was purchased using my set-up funds, so technically my lab belongs to P.U. The Dean was friendly, and agreed with the plans to make this transition smooth and seamless.

Another faculty member who recently left P.U. recommended that I also speak with the Provost to confirm plans for the transition. In case the Dean pulled any funny business, the Provost could iron things out. I don't anticipate funny business, but I want to protect my lab and my lab members. The Provost was immensely understanding, and agreed to all of the points on the transition. The Provost recommended that I become a Research Scientist for my lost month in July so that I can maintain access to health insurance and whatnot.

Overall, both meetings were - dare I say - pleasant? It was not what I expected. However, my departure is mostly because of health, family, and two-body problems; not because of dissatisfaction with P.U. Any humane human could empathize.


Genomic Repairman said...

Glad the transition is working out as smoothly as possible.

Bob in Boise said...

What is your current university's motivation for letting you have *any* of the equipment you purchased with your startup?

Also, don't they also own any equipment you purchased with a grant?

Janus Professor said...

My new university has the option to purchase my old equipment from P.U. It is specialized equipment that no one on campus would use, so P.U. is OK with selling it at a depreciated value. This saves me some time and money in setting up the new lab.

Bob in Boise said...

That's neat! Thanks for clarifying.

Anonymous said...

great to hear positive reports of interactions with higher-up people in academia. so many of the grad-student blogs are very negative, but throughout my career I have found 90% of the people I deal with in academia to be polite, sane, helpful and respectful of hard work. It is great to see I'm not the only one.