Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Job offers

When I was reading the article, "Withdrawing From a Job You've Accepted", in the chronicle and its comments, I am reminded of a recent incident. A person X, who had his basic degree in IIT and Ph.D in a top 5 school in USA, applied to six IITs last year and was interviewed in all of them. All of these IITs made him offers. Finally, he joined a newly established IIT. However, within a year, he wanted to leave this IIT and join an older metro IIT and, guess what, he has been offered there and will join there next month. The faculty brought equipment worth crores for starting up his research in the newly established IIT and now that he is leaving this IIT, I do not know whether this equipment will be used by the rest. But as the above article ends,
As someone told me along the way: Watch out for yourself, because no one else will. I would add: And be prepared to live with the consequences.

19 comments:

G Sivalingam said...

The loyalty does not exist from either side. This could be slightly different in Govt. /Academic position. However, in open free market, it is purely a business. If company does not find a value in its employee, they are not going to entertain him/her. Similarly, if individual does not see a growth, he/she will move on. These are tough decisions one needs to make multiple times in a career. I personally feel that it is lot better to inform your decision, however late it could be, before joining them rather than joining and leaving soon…

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between a person leaving a job in a company or organization versus a person leaving a faculty position.

Let us assume that IISc invests 5 crores for a new faculty to buy some sophisticated equipment. If this equipment is not going to be used by others, if the faculty leaves, the equipment also becomes a waste. It is the taxpayers money that has been wasted.

Anonymous said...

I don't see anything wrong with what he did. If he doesn't like the place, do you expect him to stay so that equipment money is not wasted?

techman said...

Here is question in this regard:

1) If I have a DST grant, what happens to that (the remaining money) if I move?
2) What happens to the equipments that I purchased from that grant?

Anonymous said...

How about letting this person (and the new institute) negotiate (financially + paperwork-wise) with the old one to take the equipment along? This is assuming that the equipment is of a kind that can be moved and reinstalled and that there is currently no one in the old institute who wants to use it. After all, taking the equipment along would mean govt money going from one kitty to another. There is really no point in hanging on to some precious equipment after someone has left, if it is simply going to sit and rot. The old institute is never going to get back everything it has invested into this person (time + money + other resources), but this is the most amicable solution I could think of... It is also obvious that there is no point in forcing someone to stay at a place (and then expect good research, teaching and service output) if they are extremely unhappy there for some reason.

Anonymous said...

Do IITs and IIsc have contingency plans for situations like mentioned in the article? Especially since the cycle time for hiring in academia is quite high, one generally interviews months before and is given an offer generally 4 to 5 months before the joining date.

In the event a prospective faculty receives a competing offer after she/he has accepted an offer, what is the policy of IITs and IISc towards the candidate?

Giri@iisc said...

Recently, one of my students got an offer in a non-metro old IIT. He told the IIT to wait for six months so that he can hear from metro IITs on his application and then he can make a final decision. This is appreciated by all IITs.

We do not have any faculty so far who have left within a year of joining IISc to join an IIT.

Giridhar

Anonymous said...

We do not have any faculty so far who have left within a year of joining IISc to join an IIT.

Giridhar: You forgot to mention that we all have thought about this at some stage or the other but the seven rupee a cup coffee in Prakruthi is simply too precious to abandon for free market economics, isn't it? :-)

iisc_old_prof

Ankur Kulkarni said...

I agree with what anon @March 14, 2012 6:08 PM says. One cannot be expected to stay on only to justify an expense that the institute has made; if one does not like the place despite the investment, then so be it, one can leave, so long as one has fulfilled ones responsibilities. A mechanism of dealing with this needs to worked out rather than impose sacrifices on someone. The institute can find another faculty to use this, or sell the equipment to another institute or to the manufacturer etc. A faculty may want to stay on out of his own largeness of heart; but it is actually not nice at all of others to ask him to stay on despite knowing he will be unhappy.

Giri@iisc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

tax payers money or research is of the least concern for most of the IIX profs. access to a swimming pool, free tea/coffee, (maybe some free or at least subsidized vodka would do too ;P) HRA, Dearness Allowance, such things matter so much more.

and of course training students to do research is an impediment to the prof doing 'research' him/herself :D. oh and please don't talk about courses. the barbarity of the institutes that they make profs handle courses. it's so unfair :(

Ankur Kulkarni said...

I don't think anyone (faculty or not) is constantly living with the burden of tax payers expectations on their mind. In fact, the ideal environment for faculty is one where there is no such societal burden and their only commitment is to their profession.

This constant crib about "tax payers money" is neither healthy nor fair. Faculty are being paid finite amounts to do a specific job where there are clear do's and don'ts about professional conduct. One cannot have endless expectations from faculty from outside of these parameters. And it is certainly not fair to keep moving the goal post as and where you like using tax payers funding as a justification! If you don't like this deal, apply the law of the land or let the "tax payer" find someone else to do this job.

Anonymous said...

Free roaming shld be allowed within IITs. I would suggest to bring all IITs under one umbrella..there shld not be any competition or ego among the iits. Hence no question of investing or loosing a faculty candidate..after all its all goddamn taxpayers money....
Let the faculty take his all the equipments which will be useless to the other faculties once he leaves...
God when will these IITs stop fighting among themselves!! frogs in the well!!
I kept IISc out of this loop..since they are already overrated...inflation is sky-high :))

Rainbow Scientist said...

As someone else suggested, this person should be allowed to move his equipment to the new place. I have known one such case, where a faculty from US moved to Israel and brought with his 3 equipment from his previous place. This allowed him to established in the new place faster and be productive, and old place anyway would have thrown away this equipment as a metal scrap or sell at a cheap rate since they didn't wanted to keep the place occupied.

Anonymous said...

HI
DO any one know in Ramanujam fellowship - DST, how much time they will give to join the position once you receive the selection letter
BioScientist

Unknown said...

If one is on tenure track in an IIT, is he elIgible to apply for INSPIRE Faculty fellowship.
Please, reply if anyone have the slightest idea about this...
thanks in advance

Decision Dilemma said...

Professor Giridhar. In academic institutions changing jobs frequently is certainly not good. On the topic "Withdrawing From a Job You've Accepted", would it be possible for you to suggest something for the following case. Someone wants to withdraw from an accepted offer at some old IIT (not joined yet, the joining is after 6 months) for an offer from another old IIT (as this is better lining with his personal and professional requirements). Now, how can he approach for conveying this decision to the previous accepted IIT? If he writes a decline/ regret letter to the previous accepted IIT that he will not be able to join them due to some reasons, will it go well.

Giri@iisc said...

Unknown,
If one is on contract asst prof in IIT, he has to apply to the inspire program through the institutional mode and can not apply through the direct mode.

Decision dilemma,

I would advise that you call the old IIT and tell them that things have recently changed and you will be unable to join. Also mention that you have got an offer elsewhere and will not join. After talking to the head of the department about this, you can then send a letter formally indicating you are withdrawing. However, he should not have accepted the offer in the first place. Let us see what the head of the department says.

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