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POI Leaving


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I was recently admitted fully funded to a PhD program (I'm ecstatic!) but my professor of interest is leaving. I was informed that new professor would be coming to take this person's place and had the same research interests as my professor of interest. The problem is that the department cannot give me the new professor's name until he/she actually arrives in the department this Fall. Is there anyway to find out who the new professor will be? This is a great opportunity if the new professor really does share my interests!! I feel like this is a game show and this is mystery box B.

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If you try to google the school's senate meeting minutes, there will generally be a listing of new hires.

I second asking the current graduate students. Maybe even the exiting-POI?

Also, this is a really risky situation! If I were you, I'd question the rationale of their policy (politely) and explain how ridiculous it would be for you to make a decision as important as this on their evaluation of the incoming-POI being similar to the person you'd like to work with.

Is it too late to apply to the place where your POI is going? Maybe they'll accept a late application if you're keen on working with them!


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  • 2 weeks later...

"The problem is that the department cannot give me the new professor's name until he/she actually arrives in the department this Fall."

This is VERY sketchy. Departments are ordinarily happy to brag about new hires as soon as a faculty member has signed on the dotted line. They're also often willing to give a name, especially for recruitment purposes, when an offer has been made but hasn't yet been accepted. There are reasons for confidentiality during negotations, but I can think of no reason why either the department or the new professor would want to wait until he or she actually "arrives in the department in the Fall" to announce the hire. In fact, it would be almost impossible to keep the secret once the person in question had resigned from their existing institution, which they must do by May 15 of the preceding academic year.

Sorry to say this, but I think what this probably means is that they intend to hire someone to replace your POI but haven't done so yet, and may not even have made an offer or begun a search; and if that's true, it doesn't speak well of their integrity that they're willing to misrepresent the situation for the sake of graduate student recruitment.

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