Let's say you're a new Ph.D. and you've got your heart set on becoming an assistant professor in a university science department. And let's say you've survived the selection procedure by the search committee at the school you wish to join. As one of, say, the top three candidates for an assistant professorship, you'll soon have to have a negotiating session with the chairman—who by this time either wants you, needs you, or is unable to live without you.

As a department chairman, I've had my share of these sessions, and I have a good idea of how the job candidate should prepare. One thing you surely should keep in mind is that hiring in the academic world is not at all like hiring in the business world—so the kind of tough-guy advice dispensed in such books as Winning Through Intimidation and Donald Trump's How To Make A Deal isn't...

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