Abuse of Power -- Professors/Grad Students  


Dave Jensen
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Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 872
May 28, 2019 6:37 pm  


As anyone knows who has read our forum over the last 15-20 years knows, there's a lot of gnashing of teeth and frustration between grad students and their advisors. It is SO important to establish a good potential for the future when you select a lab and a mentor. Not doing so can create all kinds of downstream issues.

I'm starting to gather stories and details now for an article that I am writing about the abuse of power between the Professor and his/her graduate students. I'm not talking about abuse in the sense of nasty headlines . . . I'm talking about the power imbalance, and the great difficulties this can cause you when you are a graduate student counting on a certain amount of mentoring, and the mentor relationship was never fully established. One case I am exploring now takes place at Bucknell University. Can anyone who has such a situation please write me (my email address is readily available via Google search) and we can keep it anonymous if you'd like, Thanks!

Dave Jensen

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
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June 18, 2019 9:15 pm  

I used to be the chairman of the PhD student association at the Medical University that I did my PhD in and were in contact with several of these cases. Some of them got very complicated especially when the PhD student came from a non democratic country and were expected to come back with a PhD. In some cases the family was left behind resulting in that there was a lot more at stake than only a PhD. This was some time ago and I am no longer in Contact with the different parties so I have difficulties with giving specific information. However during my time the University started a function as PhD student ombudsman and I know that this is a function that exist in several other universities around here. That type of person should be a good contact for the type of information that you are looking for.