Graduate Faculty Norms and Expectations within Graduate Education

Notes from CEHS faculty discussion include the influence of faculty norms on the College’s ability to address issues of power dynamics.

Should advisors be able to have the power to direct the topic of a graduate student’s dissertation?

  • What options are we giving students whose interests have changed since their admission into their program?
    • If graduate student’s interests differ from their advisor, the advisor should provide the student with contacts and resources.
  • Should these students be forced to change advisors?
  • What factors complicate this issue of changing advisors?
    • Problems with funding students who change interests or advisors.
  • Should CEHS have a formal process for dealing with these students?
  • What should faculty members do when a student approaches them, seeking support outside of their advisors?

Graduate faculty members have differing norms and expectations for their students.

  • Graduate faculty within CEHS have different processes for determining authorship on publications.
    • Opportunities for graduate students to be first authors may differ between advisors.
  • Inconsistent norms among CEHS graduate faculty may lead students to misjudge their advisor’s norms and expectations.
    • Students may have inappropriate expectations regarding authorship.
  • How can graduate CEHS faculty members make implicit norms and expectations explicit to students?

What supports do we have for junior graduate faculty?

  • Is there a need for a formal mentoring system for junior faculty?
  • Informal vs. formal models of junior faculty mentorship
    • Formal mentoring models may make junior faculty to feel “trapped” in those relationships
    • Formal mentoring models ensure that junior faculty have supported form senior faculty

What supports do we have for all graduate faculty?

  • The college should provide opportunities for faculty to discuss issues regarding graduate education.
  • There is a need for more conversations regarding expectations and norms within the college.
  • There is a need for discussions regarding mentoring junior faculty and graduate students.
  • There is a need for resources developed around these issues.

Handout Graduate Teaching and Mentoring Behaviors