Monday, April 18, 2016

How to deal with the administration (aka HOD)

HOD's have power and control over resources. This means that the HOD can determine if you get a support for a TA/RA/GA, you get space, travel money or other resources.

 I have in writing that the HOD has promised a certain type of support. However, now that it is time to give the support all I am getting is stall-game.

I don't know how to deal with this situation. Note that I am a TT guy who hasn't gotten tenure yet. So what I do has to be in this context.

How do you approach/deal with situation with the HOD so that you get what you need or want or as in this case promised.

(I really hope that I had training in this context as well when I was a postdoc. But my postdoc advisor was a very good person and was always there to support and keep his word)


  1. I would approach them from the angle "I need these resources in order to be successful. My start-up package was agreed upon such that I be able to accomplish what I promised. Without these resources, I can't be expected to do what I said I would when I was hired." I used this strategy when I was negotiating my start-up package: you give me 2 RAs instead of 4, I will be half as successful as what I told you in my chalk talk. I later used this strategy successfully to get some promised TA support when I was running low on funding for a while. The HOD will never hand out resources. You have to put some pressure on them, but no so much as to aggravate them.

  2. I agree with EngProf. To add: People generally respond much better when you treat them as part of the solution rather than part of the problem (even if they are). If you approach them as someone knowledgeable and magnanimous who can help you (rather than the true reason you are in a fuckin' mess), it's surprising what you can get people to be happy to do for you. You have to pull it off like you really mean it, though; I hope you are a good actor.

  3. Thank you guys.

    Yes, I did put up some pressure on the lines of: "See you agreed to this when I started...I am hoping that you will keep your promise".

    It worked but I am kinda pissed that you are trying to go back on words (that you wrote on a piece of paper and signed)