January 06, 2009
Retribution for asserting (or trying to assert one's rights)
Graduate students are at the mercy of academic bul... Graduate students are at the mercy of academic bullies just as professors are. It appears to be a phenomenon on both sides of the Atlantic, as well. In the US, a system of regional accrediting agencies is supposed to ensure students' rights, but in reality these agencies are run by the institutions and do little or nothing to ensure fair processes. In my case, the university administrator in charge of the doctoral program made substantive changes to the program and prohibited doctoral candidates from pursuing their dissertation research until long after advancement to candidacy. She claimed the delay (two full semesters) was for educational purposes, but she provided no rationale and the regional accrediting agency refused to intervene even though such a delay was a clear violation of the agency's standards (WASC, in this case). The university ombudsman offered no relief just as in the case of the post, above. It's a sad commentary on the state of higher education when educated individuals act in such a medieval manner. I'm not a fan of anonymous posts, but you will see that I have posted anonymously. Why? Retribution for asserting (or trying to assert one's rights).