According to the book "The Autobiography of Robert A. Millikan", sometime around 1895 Robert Millikan, while at Columbia, was told   that he should to "go to Germany next year and have at least a year of work with Helmholtz in Berlin." To which Millikan replied, "Nothing doing. I have my living to make, my pockets are empty, and I am out for a job."
   Millikan continued to say that "My fairy again worked like a Trojan at this turning to see that the job did not materialize...The Columbia Department of Physics had recomended me for an opening at the University of 
Vermont which did not come my way. If (this) had materialized and I had taken that turning in the road I should probably have spent my life pleasantly and innocuously, but not inspiringly, as an arts college teacher of physics, while the procession of progress went by at a distance from my comfortable seat in my boat in the backwash of scientific events."

According to the memory of Dr. Arns, Millikan was turned away by Mathew Henry Buckam, the president of the university (who, in those days, did all the hiring) because Millikan had chose to walk up the hill from the train station  rather than taking a cab  and this, the president thought,  reflected poorly on Millikan. Allison W. Slocum was hired  in 1895 for the position (the only member of the department at the time) and served as chair from 1895 - 1933.