What happens when a professor changes schools?

April 4, 2021, 11:48 AM · Hey all,

Sorry if this post is formatted incorrectly or if anything else here is wrong; this is my first post.

I am about to head to post-secondary to pursue a degree in violin performance and I have never been more excited. One thing that has been slightly worrying me and nagging the back of my mind is that if a professor/teacher changes schools, what happens to their students? Do they usually follow the teacher to the new school/conservatory?

Thanks!

Replies (5)

April 4, 2021, 11:58 AM · Some do, some don’t. It doesn’t happen very often.
April 4, 2021, 1:06 PM · That's really the same question in every field where there is direct tutelage on an individual basis. I teach chemistry, and it can affect graduate students. As Mary Ellen says, it really varies. A lot of it depends on your timing. If it happens in your first couple of years, sometimes it's okay to transfer because most of your basic course credits will go with you. The farther you are in the program, the more differences there will be between programs so it can be harder to make the transfer. On the other hand, when a professor changes schools, if there are students (s)he knows are wanting to go along, then the new school usually negotiates with their own registrar's office for favorable terms of transfer. By the time they've decided to hire someone, especially hire someone away from another school, which tends to be more costly, they're pot-committed. It's still a disruption to change schools, but it's also a disruption to change teachers at the same school.

As Mary Ellen says, professors are not moving around between schools the way football player so. There's no "transfer portal" for faculty members. So I wouldn't worry about it unless the professor you talked to sounds like they've got one foot out the door already.

April 5, 2021, 11:07 AM · Teachers are human - teachers move schools, teachers retire, teachers die. Usually if they switch schools their underclassmen students (freshmen / sophomores) will follow, juniors may or may not, seniors usually stay at the school and switch to a different professor / start studying with whoever they wanted to study with for grad school early. The teacher usually also plays a role in guiding this. It's a hassle for those involved but it's just one of those things that happens - you adjust and are flexible and it works out in the end.
April 5, 2021, 11:17 AM · Thank you everyone for your responses!

My choice of where to enroll depends basically solely on the teacher that has accepted me and less about the name (and thereby the prestige) of the school itself. I was just curious about what would happen to the students when the teacher leaves.

Thank you once again!


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