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07/28/2021

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William Vanderburgh

Your new colleagues are strongly predisposed to like you. After all, they spent a huge amount of time on the search and selected YOU from all the candidates competing. Besides already liking you, your new colleagues have powerful professional interests in you succeeding. (For the future of the department, for its status within the university, etc.) They are likely to be highly supportive, forgiving, kind, and helpful.

If there are factions in your department, try to stay out of the fray. Other than that, just be pleasant and do your job and everything will be fine.

I recommend not relying on departmental colleagues to be your only social connections in your new place. At new faculty orientation, make a point to get to know a few other newbies and set up a weekly or biweekly get-together for coffee/lunch/beer. Try to connect with other faculty in other departments who share related research interests. That network will serve you well as you progress through the pre-tenure period and beyond. (Related: Departments often try to "protect" new faculty from service obligations at first, but I think doing one service thing at the college or university level is a great way to meet people and get connected to the institution.)

TT prof

I find the OP's concern very understandable. My guess would be that it's a lingering effect of having been on our grueling job market. You get so used to trying to anticipate how other academics might judge anything you do that you become a bit paranoid (this happened to me, too). But remember this: when you were on the market, it was in people's interest to find reasons to reject you, since they were dealing with a large pool of highly qualified candidates. Now, if you're in a TT position, it is in your colleagues' interest to find reasons to like you (and get you to like them!) and keep you. If you leave or are denied tenure, the department won't necessarily get a line to replace you. And that means more administrative work, etc., for your colleagues. So your success and happiness in the department is in their interest as well as yours.

It's wonderful that you feel confident about teaching and research. So, schedule a coffee date with each of your new colleagues to get to know them a bit, be friendly and helpful when the opportunity arises, but mostly just put your head down and do that teaching and research!

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