A good working relationship with your dissertation chair can make the difference between finishing your dissertation, thesis or capstone, or languishing in the no man or woman’s land where an unfinished dissertation stands between you and a PhD or MA. This blog post will provide insight into the world of professors in research Universities and practical tips on forming a good working relationship with the chair of your committee.
University professors are generally very busy with teaching classes, doing research, and mentoring their graduate students. It is your job in the face of your chair’s hectic schedule and many pressures to, on the one hand, assert your needs for their time and expertise and, on the other hand, respect and understand their role and their limitations. I always advise my students to make a tight relationship with their chair and other key members of their committee.
Below are some practical steps you can take to make your dissertation chair a key ally and valuable resource:
Take the time and forethought to develop a good working relationship with the chair of your committee. Neglecting this relationship will lead to misunderstanding, inefficiency, and unhappy surprises in the course of your research. It could even lead to a breakdown in the process and impede your finishing your PhD or MA. Developing this relationship will allow you to reap the benefits of the wisdom and experience of your chair in academia, research, and the politics of your department in the University. A good chair whom you work well with can help you solve problems, find resources, and navigate the obstacle course that is your graduate program. They can also help you gain insight in your field through their understanding of research and your field of study. If you nurture this relationship and use some of the tips mentioned in this blog, you can develop a fruitful partnership with your dissertation chair and will gain a valuable ally in completing your work efficiently.
#All But Dissertation