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2000 Conference: Selected Bibliography

Selected Bibliography on the topic of Faculty and Graduate Student Relationships


Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy. (1997). Adviser, teacher, role model, friend: On being a mentor to students in science and engineering. National Academy Press: Washington, DC. [On-line] Available:

This guide summarizes factors common to successful mentoring relationships in an effort to encourage mentoring practices which benefit both student and mentor. The role of mentor is defined as a combined faculty adviser, career adviser, skills consultant, and role model. These recommendations are derived from the 1995 COSEPUP report, "Reshaping the Graduate Education of Scientists and Engineers," which demonstrated that students should prepare for a range of careers and that graduate education should be reshaped to make this possible.

Council of Graduate Schools. (1990). Research student and supervisor: An approach to good supervisory practice. Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools.

This pamphlet was adapted from a 1982 British publication of the Science and Engineering Research council, written then as a result of concern about the increasing amount of time it was taking for students to complete the Ph.D. Modified for North American educational systems, and broadened beyond the sciences and engineering, this document aims: a) to help both students and supervisors recognize their shared responsibility for completing a Ph.D. degree within a reasonable length of time; b) to help them be aware of potential problems; and c) to suggest ways for improving the process. The document outlines some general practices which might lead many more students to complete their Ph.D. expeditiously, ending with a checklist in question form designed to highlight the main ideas for supervisors and for students.

Gaffney, N. A. (Ed.). (1995). A conversation about mentoring: Trends and models. Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools.

The booklet relates the outcome of a meeting at which 5 U.S. Universities held conversations about mentoring in graduate doctoral programs. This extract presents the contribution from the University of California, Berkeley. The university's Graduate Division has made a commitment to help departments rethink the mentoring process so that it becomes a responsibility which whole departments assume. This is in contrast with the traditional model which demands that individual faculty members address this process alone. Strategies developed by the Graduate Division include the following: assisting department mentors; educating graduate students to seek guidance; monitoring of mentoring; and offering support programs for graduate students' general and individual needs. The In Balance program at the Center for Particle Astrophysics at UC Berkeley is cited as an example of new approaches to mentoring.

Goldberg, C. (1998, October 21). After suicide, Harvard alters policies on graduate students. New York Times.

This article reports that, following a student suicide, the third recent death, Harvard is changing some of its policies to improve support to graduate students, including multiple-mentor committees, more counseling, more social mixing, and advice on coping with stress and on careers in and out of academia. The Graduate School surveyed its students about their relationships with their advisers and has begun conductingstudent-faculty talks and lectures. Kevin Boyer of the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students said his association advocated the kind of multiple-mentor system that the Harvard chemistry department had just approved.

Klomparens, K., & Beck, J. (1997). Materials on the "Effective Strategies for Setting Expectations and Resolving Conflict for Graduate Students" program. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University.

These materials point out that there is national recognition of the serious nature of interpersonal conflicts between graduate students and faculty and that these relationships directly affect attrition rates for doctoral students. The extent of the problem indicates a need to search for effective solutions to improve faculty-graduate student relations. Karen Klomparens, Associate Dean and Professor, and John Beck, Associate Professor, are developing a proactive approach using interest-based negotiation strategies to set expectations and resolve conflicts between faculty and graduate students in an early and on-going manner. Their program, titled "Effective Strategies for Setting Expectations and Resolving Conflict for Graduate Students," aims to improve retention rates and to effectively resolve conflicts when they arise. The program involves graduate students and faculty in four activities over a period of hours and/or several sessions: learning approaches for negotiation and conflict resolution; participating in facilitated discussions; using video vignettes as conversation triggers about areas of possible conflict and differing expectations within their discipline and in graduate education generally; and using negotiation approaches to establish understandings of mutual expectations and responsibilities.

Leatherman, C. (1997, July 18). Should dog walking and house sitting be required for a Ph.D.? Chronicle of Higher Education, A10-11.

This article addresses the complexities of the advisor-advisee relationship and, in particular, the gray area that emerges when students agree to do jobs for or with their professors outside of the academic context. While many graduate students may accept jobs such as house sitting or driving to the airport because they see them as chances to develop broader relationships with their advisor, others may accept them because they feel pressured. Because of this gray area, graduate students can be taken advantage of and professors can be sued. The article suggests that advisors are simply better off not requesting personal work favors of their graduate students unless fair and clear compensation can be offered.

Temple, L. (1998, December 9). Debt, isolation can break grad students. USA Today, 1D.

Recent events such as the suicide of a Harvard doctoral student and the strike of teaching assistants at Berkeley prompted this article, which asserts that many graduate students struggle with financial anxieties on top of academic ones, tenuous make-or-break relationships with faculty, and few places to turn for support.

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. (1999). Graduate Student Mentoring Handbook. [On-line]. Available:

These handbooks are divided into two sections: Developing Relationships with Mentors and Mentorship Issues within a Diverse Community. The first section presents the results of interviews and focus groups: an assemblage of best practices in mentoring. The second part discusses issues of import to particular groups of students, as well as the great commonalties that exist across groups.

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