Dissertation Made Easy –27– Getting Through To Non-Communicating Chair

Many doctoral candidates share the common complaint of committee members not responding to their attempts of contact. That can be tough and cause great setbacks and costly delays. If your goal is to be a Doctoral Candidate, by all means just deal with it. If your goal is to soon be DR. ____ then you need to take action to ensure that you are getting in contact with the people who have the final say. Sometimes you may have to be a best, because as you know, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. These people have a lot to deal with; their own lives and many other students. More importantly, they already have their doctorates- They don’t need you like you need them, so that means it’s on you to go out of your way and do whatever it takes to make sure they know you are out there and need them.

  • If your committee chair does not return emails, add calling to your list of contact methods.
  • If your university has some other contact method such as Blackboard messaging as well- use it.
  • Faculty are tied to a department- If leaving messages on their voicemail isn’t working start leaving messages with the department secretary as well- And while you’re at it, get to know the people in that office- they can be great allies.
  • Schools still require faculty to have office hours- use them. Even distance learning professors still have office hours. Make an appointment even if you have to call in. Find out if you have to sign up for office hours and how. If it’s online then it’s easy enough. If the professor still has an old fashioned signup sheet then use your relationships on that campus to get someone to walk up to that door and sign you up. Once you have a time set be sure to follow up with an email alerting them that you will present via telephone and send a reminder email the day before.

I hate to say this last part because it’s really not an ideal option, but there will be cases where you will have to reach out to administration and get a new faculty member assigned. As dreaded as this move may be- when it is necessary, they sooner you get to it the better off you’ll be.


For more dissertation tips order your copy of Six Months to Doctor: How to Complete a Dissertation in Six Months today at http://LakayPublishing.com

Stay tuned to my websites for more tips… www.DrJudiC.com.  Feel free to ask questions.

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