Master's and Ph.D. Career Symposium

4.1 Negotiating Your First Faculty Position

Time: 2:20-3:30pm

Room: 006 Wellman

In the excitement of being offered that first faculty position it is easy to overlook the importance of the negotiation process itself. How do negotiations differ between different academic institutions (e.g., R1, state college, community college)? What’s “on the table” and not? What is the best approach and how do you set a positive “tone” with your new department, colleagues, and employer while also getting your needs met? Our panelists will discuss strategies and tips for successfully negotiating your first position as a faculty member. They will also discuss the tenure process and what’s important as you navigate the years looking forward after securing your first position in academia.


Charles Gossett is currently the interim Associate Vice President for Academic Personnel and Employee Relations at Sacramento State.  In addition to being a faculty member with appointments in the Department of Government and Public Policy & Administration at Sacramento State, he has served as interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (2012-13) and Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies.  Prior to coming to Sacramento State, Charles held chair and faculty positions at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and Georgia Southern University.  Charles also worked for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the District of Columbia city government.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Hope College in Holland, Michigan and his Master’s and Doctoral degrees in political science are from Stanford University.

Thomas Harter has BS in hydrology from the Universities of Freiburg, Germany and a MS in hydrology from the University of Stuttgart, Germany. He received his PhD in hydrology (with emphasis on subsurface hydrology) at the University of Arizona. In 1995, he joined the faculty at the Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources, University of California, Davis. His research focuses on nonpoint-source pollution of groundwater, on groundwater resources evaluation under uncertainty, on groundwater modeling, and on contaminant transport. Thomas' research group has done extensive modeling, laboratory, and field work to evaluate the impacts of agriculture and human activity on groundwater flow and contaminant transport in complex aquifer and soil systems. In 2007, Thomas was appointed Robert M. Hagan Endowed Chair in Water Management and Policy. Also in 2008, Thomas' research and extension program received the Kevin J. Neese Award in recognition of its efforts to engage scientists, regulators, farm advisors, dairy industry representatives, and dairy farmers to better understand the effects of dairy operations on water quality.

William Miller is a Professor of Chemistry at Sacramento City College (SCC) and formerly an Adjunct Professor at City College of San Francisco, Skyline College and College of San Mateo. He has collaborated with Professor Gang-yu Liu at UC Davis, taking SCC student interns to UC Davis to image samples via Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), where they imaged a variety of hair samples, HPLC particles, and interiors of GC columns. This work has been shared with over 500 students via a seminar on SEM that has been given at SCC, Folsom Lake College, Woodland Community College, and UC Davis. Bill serves as Chair for the Sacramento Section of the American Chemical Society, Faculty Advisor for the Sacramento City College Student Chapter of the American Chemical Society, and Secretary for the Education and Information Committee at Sacramento City College. He has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from UC Davis.

Inger Stark began her post-secondary education at community colleges, and then transferred to UC Davis where she earned a BA in English in 1996.  She then went on to UC Santa Cruz to earn an MA in 1999 and a Ph.D. in 2008, both in Sociology. Inger knew early on that she wanted to teach at the community college level and so, during graduate school, she sought out opportunities to teach in community colleges, part-time. In 2004, before finishing her Ph.D., she was hired into a full-time, tenure track, position in sociology at Laney Community College in down-town Oakland. After 5 years as a faculty member and department chair of social sciences, she took a position as Dean of the Division of Mathematics & Sciences; four years later, she became Vice President of Instruction.  After 5 years of administrative work, Inger decided to return to the classroom to teach. Beginning this past January, Inger is again teaching sociology at Laney College. During her service as a faculty member, department chair, dean, and vice president, Inger served on many hiring committees, tenure committees, and has mentored over 30 new faculty members. She has worked on many shared governance committees and has participated in college and district academic initiatives.