Collaboration with the old

If you read my stuff on my previous blog it should come as no surprise that I didn’t like my advisor.  I’ve come to now realize that the opinions were misplaced.  He’s still selfish, and I won’t forget the things I didn’t like.  But being in his spot now, I totally get it.  There are times when I realize that I have to weigh the students versus me, and I have to come out on top sometimes.  But alas, I’m torn.  I still dislike him, even though I understand now why he behaves the way he did.

So now that my tenure packet is out (I submitted early…using my industry experience as ammunition), he’s realized that we can work together, collaborate if you will.  I kept a distance because I dislike him, but also my tenure advisor said it’s a good idea to distance oneself from the advisor.  So I distanced myself, but he knows as well as anyone else that my packet is submitted.  And this week he reached out to me wanting some collaboration.  The thing is-I felt partially like he may have used me in grad school to fill gaps in knowledge, results, etc. that he doesn’t have.  And at the time I didn’t care for the distraction, but now I’m glad I got the experience.  So I’m worried that he’ll be pushy and want lots of stuff and I don’t know what I will get in return.  There’s literally nothing except maybe a passing authorship I can get with him (which I acknowledge is payment in itself).  The research isn’t in my focus so it wouldn’t help me keep the lights on, so the only dial I have to turn is asking him to get on future grants to utilize the technology I’d be providing.  Which I’m definitely in favor of, but again, it’s out of my particular research interests.  In fact, I think it’s useless (though I wouldn’t tell him that).  How do I know it’s useless?  I worked on it in industry early on and there was no clinical benefit.  I won’t tell him because I still have to keep corporate secrets.  The problem is if I say ‘no’ I could see it hurting me, but if I say ‘yes’ I don’t want to be roped in with him again.