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    Paul Tikalsky said:

    Many good points are made in the article. There are couple of areas where I would disagree. There is not much time. Offer letters have a very short time fuse in today’s academic job market. The university does not want you shopping around the offer. If this is not the right university for you, don’t string them along waiting for more interviews. The entire startup will be negotiated in less than 5 days or they will risk losing other qualified candidates. Secondly, the university is not funding you for a life time, it is for you to get started. Yesterday you were a post-doc, don’t hire a post-doc on startup. Mentoring and graduating PhDs is key to tenure, not mentoring someone with 1 year less experience. Post-docs can help you manage your team after you have research dollars and multiple PhD candidates. Finally, your start up is also a level of tenure expectations. The university expects a return on investment (ROI). If you ask for a million, and you don’t produce 2 or 3 before tenure, you have not met the expectations. If you asked for 500k and produce 1-2 million, you are a major success.