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Advisors who have a string of publications on their records and several research projects may look good on paper, but they do not necessarily make good advisors because graduate students may be at the bottom of their priorities.They have little time to spare, are almost never in their offices, every meeting is hurried, and their trips to conferences and meetings can keep a student from making deadlines. An advisor who fails to apprise a student of 1) the ground rules of the department or graduate school, or 2) the ground rules of their personal process for moving a student through research and writing a thesis or dissertation.
There are several books about the process available on
The unspoken rules of the graduate process keep students blind from the beginning. When in graduate school the dean of the graduate school, not the dean of the college, is the dean presiding over the graduate student.
He or she is probably on a tenure track, meaning their work will be scrutinized by other members of the department.
I heard the following complaint (typical of this red flag) within the last month: “My department chair said Professor Smith was a rising star and had a lot of creative ideas.
Often, it was a matter of teaching the student to “manage upward,” as I called it, which I will discuss later in this article.
Second, a department must prove it is a viable asset to the university.
Students should be aware of red flags when choosing an advisor, such as: 1.
A faculty member new to the department can make a bad advisor.
The ABD “degree” (All but Dissertation) is frequently the result of bad advisement.
Graduate students are abused by unscrupulous thesis or dissertation advisors, some of whom may be ignorant of their responsibilities toward the student, some who are deliberately abusive because graduate students represent an unwanted annoyance, or worse, advisors who enjoy the feeling of empowerment over another human being.