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I am really struggling with a member on my dissertation committee. This person has been very difficult, combative with other members, unresponsive to e-mails, and extremely late with feedback (as an example, they did not send me any feedback until 11:00 pm the night before my 8:00 am proposal). I have talked it over with my chair, and we have decided that it would be in the best interest of my project (and my sanity) if I were to ask this person to step down from my committee. I don’t want to create any enemies or burn any bridges, but this person has got to go. Do you have any suggestions as to how to go about removing a faculty member from your committee in a civil way?
--Hit the Road, Jack
Dr. René M. Paulson is currently director of statistical consulting for Texas Woman’s University, founder and senior statistician for Elite Research, LLC, and has earned a Ph.D. and Masters degree in experimental psychology from Texas Christian University after obtaining her Bachelors degree from Ohio University...
Dear Hit the Road,
This type of situation must be handled delicately in order to maintain professional relationships with faculty members.
It is likely that you may cross paths with this committee member again, and may even need their assistance in the future. Thus, rather than placing blame on the committee member, it is...