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committee blues

Linnea Ista lkista at UNM.EDU
Thu Jul 11 14:30:43 EST 1996


On 11 Jul 1996, Linden Higgins wrote:
<snip>

> The student has taken overly long to finish, in part because she had a
> child after finishing her field work but before she started writing up, and
> she is a single mother.  The "official" advisor, when I last spoke to her,
> was very very rude to me, and rude about the student, claiming that the
> student was not being honest because she had never told anyone (meaning,
> herself) about the pregnancy.
> 
> Now, she is threatening to wreck havoc with the student's future in science
> in Mexico - to prevent her getting research positions or funding.  The
> student is convinced that this is within the "official advisor's" ability.
> The reason seems to be that the student is not giving an exact date for
> finishing the thesis, and because the student refuses to call a general
> committee meeting (this woman is the _only_ committee member in Mexico City
> - I am in the US, another member is in Baja Ca.Sur and the last member is
> in Costa Rica).
> 
> I am wondering if it would be best for the student if I drew the fire -
> this woman can, in no way, interfere with my research in or outside of
> Mexico, and her scenes (the last one apparently in front of a room of
> people) are making it difficult for the student to finish (which she has
> promised to do this fall).  It would be best for all if she was not chair,
> but she has refused to step down despite her lack of interest in anything
> except the $ and prestigue of having one more student.
> 
> Any suggestions?
> 
> Linden
Linden,
Just a few ideas. 
1. Is this professor appointed to be the student's advisor? I mean could 
you go over her head to a department chair or dean and get her replaced 
with someone more reasonable?

2.In some places only a certain number of committee members need to 
approve the dissertation to get it passed. What are the views of the 
other committee members? Would it be possible to get it passed and then 
have the other committee members write letters of recommendation for the 
student pointing out the unreasonableness of her advisor?

3. Does this woman really have the power to destroy the student's career 
outside her lab? Is there someone else you could enlist in Mexico in the 
student's field to help look out for her?

Just a few thoughts!
Linnea



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