Chapter 1- 10 Questions to Ask Before Accepting Your First Chair Assignment
Who is the student?
What are the institution’s expectations of a Chair?
Where can I find policies and procedures regarding the process?
Who can I turn to for help?
What form or format does a thesis or dissertation need to be at this university?
How do I know what I don’t know? (and what if someone finds out what I don’t know??)
Does the methodology and topic the student hopes to use fit your expertise?
Do I have time for this?
Do I want to do this?
What am I bringing from my own experiences into this?
Chpater 2- Being a Chair
The Importance to the Student
The Importance to the Institution
The Importance to the Field of Study
The Importance to the Chair
The Chair as Leader
Chapter 3- Crafting of the Committee
A Committee as an Organization
Storming Toward Consensus
Performing the Defense
Chapter 4- Planning the Dissertation with the Candidate
Comfort the Afflicted
Afflict the Comfortable
Criteria to Set as Ground Rules
Impact of the Method on the Journey
Chpater 5- Feedback and Failure
Setting Up Student/Chair Communication
Helping Students Understand the Timing of the Process
The Chair’s Workload
Tears and Fears
Critical Feedback or Coaching?
Shouldn’t the Student Already Know This?
Chapter 6- The Ambiguity and Loneliness of the Graduate Student
The Mental Health Crisis Among Graduate Students
Practice Makes Perfect
Chapter 7- Common Writing Issues
Guiding Student Writing
Building Habits with Online Tools
Tighten It Up
Emptying the Trash
Using Professional Voice
The Internet and Other Writing Temptations
Stepping Away from the Paper
Chapter 8- Problems, Delays, and Misunderstandings—Motivation and Insight
Building Relationship Through Understanding Style
Threatened Intent and Emerging Conflicts
Look in the Mirror
Data or Topic Dilemmas
Chapter 9- Litigation Around the Dissertation and Thesis Process
Student/Faculty Relationship Fallout
Student Failure to Complete within a Designated Timeframe
Conflicts of Ownership and Authorship
Chapter 10- Preparing the Student for the Defense and Graduation
Preparing for the Defense Meeting
A Typical Committee Meeting
Handling Committee Questions
The Power of “I Don’t Know”
Publication and Shared Authorship
Chapter 11- Avoiding Mistakes and Missteps
Misstep #1. Make everything into a battle.
Misstep #2. Repeat the same conflict, repeatedly.
Misstep #3. Rely on your memory.
Misstep #4. Avoid issues with a pocket veto.
Misstep #5. Let them guess when or if they will get feedback.
Misstep #6. Be reluctant to say NO to a student
Misstep #7: Be the grammar sheriff.
Misstep #8. Use jargon, vague terms, sarcasm, and conflicting directions so students have to rewrite and revise repeatedly.
Misstep # 9. Ignore problems.
Misstep #10. Talk down other faculty members.
Misstep #11. Take advantage of students and junior faculty.
Misstep #12: Become too friendly or too close to the student.
Misstep #13: Assume the university will cover you, so don’t watch your back.
Misstep #14: Pretend that you do not make mistakes.
Steps in the Right Direction
Appendix A: Beginning Chair Checklist
Appendix B: Preproposal, Prospectus, or Research Agreements
About the Authors