Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Negotiating a non-faculty position for a spouse?

Do you know anyone who has negotiated a staff job (non-faculty) for their spouse? Does this happen? Universities employ plenty of people who aren't professors, lecturers, or technicians. Can staff jobs be negotiated if the other partner is offered a tenure-track position?

My husband isn't an academic, in fact not even close. However, it is possible that a university may have a position that he's ideally suited for. Jon and I were talking over dinner the other night about his dream job. He is a cabinetmaker, and he would love to teach woodworking. High schools have mostly eliminated shop as a class, which unfortunately makes that job more difficult to find. Recently he met someone who manages a university woodshop for design students to make prototypes and such. He would love to do this- discuss projects with students, teach them how to use the tools for whatever project they're working on, keep the shop organized, and work on side projects in his downtime.


EcoGeoFemme said...

That sounds like a cool job!

I have heard of universities helping with job placement for a non-faculty spouse. In some ways, it might even be easier, depending on the situation.

Albatross said...

I've also heard of it but don't know of any examples. I know of one faculty spouse that now works for the university admin but I don't think it was negotiated. More just was available when she was looking to change things up with her career so I don't know if she was given any extra consideration as a spouse.

In addition to general university woodshops, maybe there would be positions like this specifically associated with theater departments for set building?

Alexandra said...

I think it might be pretty common. I'm pretty sure they did that at my undergraduate school and know they did it at my graduate school too, though in grad school, the spouses of the faculty were often placed in different schools (law vs. engineering schools at the same university, for example). Both undergrad and grad definitely helped spouses get jobs, even if it wasn't in the same department.

penn said...

I know several grad students from my cohort were able to get their spouses placed in university jobs (mostly lab teching). I know it's not the same, but it's still something. The real question is whether or not the uni has those sorts of possibilities.

FWIW, I would love to take a class like that! Has he ever looked into at least teaching some sort of community college or community in general classes? He might have to start much smaller (using pre-cut wood to build stuff), but he could teach a few classes on the side. I know my nature center brings woodworkers in to teach classes on making bird houses, bat boxes, and stuff like that.