Ethics of leaving a college teaching job near the start of the semester?
August 8, 2011 3:17 PM Subscribe
I agreed to take a teaching job at certain community college, and now, just two weeks away from the beginning of the semester, it looks like a much better job is about to come through for me. What are the ethical considerations of backing out?
posted by anonymous to work & money (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have been applying for positions at various community colleges, and got a string of rejection letters and one job offer, which I took. It's a tiny, underfunded school in a rural area, where the most advanced technology in the classrooms is a chalkboard. But my wife was laid off and I was working part-time, so we had to say yes to it. I thought (given how tight the academic job market is) that probably no other offers will come through, but now I am on the short list for a much better position at another college: large, urban, better salary, better teaching load, modern facilities, more interesting course content. If it comes though, it will be much, much better for me and my family, and could led to even better positions in the future.
Although I have been an adjunct for a while, I haven't taught full-time before, so I'm not that familiar with the inner workings of college hiring processes. What I want to know is, how much of a bind will I put Countyside Community College in if I take the position at Big City College just 10 days before the semester begins? I know there are a lot of people out there looking for teaching work, so they could certainly get someone, but that's not much time to look. How often do things like this happen? Will I be seen as an enormous jerk, or just another guy who got a job he couldn't turn down?
For what it's worth, I haven't signed a contract yet (Countyside is very casual about getting paperwork done), so that's not a factor, but I don't want to be inconsiderate of their needs. On the other hand, I don't know how long it will be before I'm on the shortlist for Big City College again, and I hate to let the opportunity slip. My final interview before they choose someone to offer the position is this week.