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February 28, 2011


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I don't have any experience with this, but my understanding is that there are a lot of different sorts of chairs, and what sort is in question probably matters. Some come just with a name and a warm glow in the eyes of one's colleagues and in one's heart, and while those are nice, who wouldn't trade that for a better location, more money, or something tangible, other things being equal. But some come with a set research fund, teaching release, higher salaries, and so on, and so require more thought and care when giving them out or giving them up. Given the differences among chairs, I doubt any general rule can be set out on them.

Jacqui Lipton

Of course I was talking about more general chairs. Those with specific things attached to them may well be a different story because the number of people who could fill those chairs is more limited. And I don't think a general rule can be formulated, but I am interested in different perspectives on how chairs are given out.

David Bernstein

Anyone whose decision to lateral to another school is dependent on whether he gets a chair that has no benefits attached to it beyond a title is being foolish

Jacqui Lipton

Even if that person has a chair at their current school and doesn't want to lose their perceived status?

David Bernstein

Yes. What real status does it give you when it was used as a recruiting tool? If I were to lateral, I'd much rather have an additional 10% in salary or a 10% lower teaching load than a chair.

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