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I joined a university as a lecturer recently. During the workload planning I was offered a new administrative role for the new academic year. I had an initial discussion with my predecessor about the role, mostly about the responsibilities involved, before I accepted it. This happened couple of months ago.

I received the official notification that I have been assigned the role today. Is it okay if I email my predecessor and enquire about the official hand-over meeting? Or should I wait for him to initiate the discussion?

  • What country is your new job in? – Player One Jul 17 at 15:00
  • @PlayerOne in the UK – SriniShine Jul 17 at 15:01
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This is a bit strange, as one would expect to have the hand-off meeting, knowledge transition and all on-boarding process completed before officially being assigned a role. Usually, once you're "officially" assigned a role, you are expected to assume the responsibilities immediately. There are usually two scenarios:

  • You are actually replacing the previous person: In this case, it's absolutely necessary that you understand the role, responsibilities and is well aware of the process to be able to be functional from day 1.

  • You are being added into the role, while the existing person handling that role is going to transition away later: In this case, you have some buffer time to learn the role and responsibilities, however, the sooner you understand and can be functional independently, the better. You'll have less dependency.

Also, as you mentioned

I had an initial discussion with my predecessor about the role, mostly about the responsibilities involved, before I accepted it. This happened couple of months ago.

People might be under the impression that you learned all the required tips and tricks and the handover (official or not) might have taken place.

In either ways, please reach out to your superior and your predecessor as soon as possible, and ask for the hand-off meeting. There's nothing to be gained by waiting.

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  • Can you mention what is not helpful about this answer? – Sourav Ghosh Jul 17 at 15:05
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It may be different in the academic world, but your new manager is a more appropriate person to contact about your onboarding process.

It's their responsibility to get you up to speed, and they might have different priorities for the person who you are replacing.

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