12 November 2010

Grad school drama, continued

The story about the grad student who was awarded a doctorate after failing requirements has been making the rounds on Twitter. I got some interesting comments there, particularly on the nature of anxiety, with two people pointing out that not seeking help for anxiety is common, as it often develops late.

With a little more thought, here’s what I would like to have seen. I would have tried to get everyone – the student and the graduate faculty of math – to figure out what a reasonable accommodation would be, and have everyone sign off on that. Then, the student does whatever everyone agreed to. Or not.

Everything is above board, everyone has agreed, and nobody is making a unilateral decision.

I’m less certain about the decision of the university to suspend a professor objecting to all this. But it certainly doesn’t look good from a distance.

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