Forming a dissertation committee

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by rryan, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. rryan

    rryan New Member

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    Has anyone had any experience in forming a dissertation committee? I’m at the stage where I need to form a committee (TUI PhD Edu). I need to come up with one ‘outside’ member from my field of study.

    Is it normal to approach someone in my field cold, or do established faculty members get approached often to be on committees from students at other institutions?


  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Active Member

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    I don't know about "often," but contacting people cold can often work. It is how I met John Bear. I wrote him a letter asking him to serve on my Union committee. Assuming he wouldn't do it, I also asked for suggestions for alternates. He wrote back saying, essentially, that it was like being Miss America on a Saturday night--no one asks you out because they all think you're already busy. He said he'd be glad to do it.

    I am amazed at how willing prominent people--not celebrities, but people prominent in their fields--are willing to correspond with regular joes like us. When I got sick of Knightsbridge's lies about its "military studies" program, I contact Charles Moskos directly. He responded right away, letting me know that he didn't right the endorsement Knightsbridge published. (It turns out that someone else wrote it and asked Moskos if it was alright to use it.) The point is how open he was.

    When I was looking to fill my committee, I approached the usual suspects at local universities. But these people tended to be uninspired, wanting me to do a traditional program. It wasn't until I contacted people like John and Dick Crews that I began to realize the power in what I was attempting.

    The bottom line: Go for it.

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