Serve on my dissertation committee

They may want to talk more for which, see below but they may also be very busy and consider this whole embarrassing ritual a waste of time. Take your cue from the prof — this meeting could be really short.


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  • Policies Pertaining to Thesis/Dissertation and Comprehensive Exam Committee Membership.
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Sometimes people are just too busy, sometimes they have personal issues with other committee members, etc. There are lots of reasons people say no. Its ok to push people a little bit: are you sure?

Selecting a Dissertation Chair and Committee

Do you mind if I ask why? Those who say no will still end up evaluating your work in the future. Often before deciding to be on your committee professors will ask a couple of probing questions to see who you are and what you are doing. Much of the time they know they are going to say yes, but they still want a sense of who you are and what they are getting into.

This kind of thing may also happen immediately after they agree to serve if they want to move on to the nuts and bolts of the advising relationship. Furthermore, each committee:. All nominations must be approved by the Graduate School and are subject to the following guidelines:.

How to Form an Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Committee

No person working toward a doctoral degree may serve on a dissertation committee until all requirements for the degree have been met. University faculty who were approved to serve as sole chair or cognate member but who are no longer affiliated with the University may not continue to serve as the sole chair or as the cognate member. The faculty member may serve as a co-chair or as a regular member based upon the eligibility guidelines for dissertation committee service. University faculty and staff who are not Graduate Faculty see definition above , and qualified people from outside the University of Michigan who may or may not hold academic appointments and whose service on the Dissertation Committee would contribute significantly, may be nominated for special membership by submitting:.

Previous experience as a cognate is not required for nomination as cognate cognate criteria must be met. This post is reprinted from the Tomorrow's Professor Newsletter of January 9, The posting below looks at the factors that are important in choosing the dissertation committee and its chair. Lunenburg, Beverly J. Published by Corwin Press [ www. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. Selecting your committee is a very important step in the process of preparing your dissertation or master's thesis. The chairperson of the committee usually has broad power and influence throughout the process of completing the dissertation or master's thesis.

Thesis/Dissertation Committee Guidelines

Therefore, the selection of a chairperson for your project is a very important decision. In collaboration with your chair and committee, you will delimit your topic, develop your proposal, conduct your research, and write your dissertation or master's thesis. Ultimately, your committee will judge the quality of your project. In this chapter, we present some suggestions that might help you in selecting your dissertation or thesis chair and other committee members. Before choosing a faculty member as your chairperson, consider the chair's role.

While the specifics of this role vary from institution to institution, from department to department, and from chairperson to chairperson, some general functions of the chair are relatively universal.

First, the chairperson will approve your dissertation or thesis topic. Second, the chairperson will approve, in consultation with you, the other committee members. Third, the chairperson will approve every line, section, and chapter of the dissertation. Fourth, the chairperson will determine how committee members will be involved in the dissertation or thesis process.

Fifth, the chairperson will decide when you are ready to defend your dissertation or master's thesis.

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And, ultimately, the chairperson will determine whether you will be granted the degree. Most departments have rules concerning who may and who may not serve as dissertation or thesis chairpersons.

Some universities allow only those individuals who are on the graduate faculty to serve as dissertation chairs; that is, faculty who have adequate, recent publication records and who teach graduate classes. These rules are based on the rationale that faculty who do not have active programs of research will lack the necessary skills to guide a doctoral research project.

Rules regarding who may chair master's theses may not be as stringent as those concerning doctoral dissertations. Because practice varies on who may and who may not serve as dissertation chairs, we recommend that you learn your institution's rules as soon as possible. Knowing your institution's local ground rules will help you avoid considering a potential chairperson who is not eligible to chair a dissertation or thesis.

You must consider the following factors in choosing a chair: a expertise, b accessibility, c feedback, d success, e personality style, and f attitudes toward methodology. The importance of each one will be discussed in turn. Ideally, it is in your best interest to find a chair with expertise in your topic area. You may want to read some of your potential chair's publications. In our opinion, following this advice generally will produce a better product.

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Obviously, the closer your chair's area of expertise is to your topic, the more competent he or she will be to a identify difficulties you may encounter as you proceed with your study, b direct you toward literature sources pertinent to your topic, and c guide your choice of methods for collecting and anlayzing data.

Furthermore, a chair who has an interest and competence in your topic area is likely to be more invested in your project; that is, think through the project more fully and keep a vigilant eye on your progress than one who is not knowledgeable about your topic area, and, therefore, may lack interest in it as well. Another important factor to consider in selecting a chair is accessibility. Several things can interfere with a chair being consistently accessible to you during the life of your project.

When considering someone as a possible chair, you should think about these things.