I’m always the wet blanket on people who are fielding job offers. YHN trends cynical, sure. There’s a little more to it though which is that one hears a very consistent message in Year 2-3 if a new hire is unhappy. It boils down to a failure of the hiring University to live up to the spirit (and even letter) of what was promised during the recruiting phase. The space that magically becomes “shared space”. The startup funds that get reduced or restricted. The surprises that one is supposed to pay for “out of your startup”. The new building renovations that are slow, “Oh just use this temporary space for now” becomes “Well, you have a lab we promised that to the next sucker”. Etc. The excuse is almost always “The dean won’t go for it”, “The dean denied it” and the like while the Chair insists s/he went to the mat for you. Everyone has problems doncha know….

This is all mere preamble to the experiences of ScienceWoman in a post entitled “How not to negotiate your startup funds”. A classic story and well worth reading.

Update 12/14/07: Should have known writedit would have some interesting comments on the issue.