I was accepted into a PhD program 3.5 years ago. They hired a new faculty member 2 years ago and I was reassigned to this 'new' person since she didn't have any students of her own. She is interpersonally aggressive and hard to 'read.'
Over the last two years she has produced 1 publishable paper, which was rejected by the journal. I've published 2 in that same time. She was assigned 3 classes to teach by the department, and assigned me to TA for all 3, essentially leaving me in charge of all 150 students. The more work I do for her, the angrier she seems to be. The problem, however, started when she gave me inaccurate information about my requirements for graduation. She told me I had to prepare my dissertation prospectus before doing the department's 3rd core exam, which turned out to be incorrect. I wasted months writing, was then told by another faculty I had to rush my (mandatory) exam, which I failed (6 weeks ago). This is the first thing I've ever failed here.
My advisor told me all students fail the 3rd exam in order to build 'character' in them. However university rules state I am now on probation and another failure would mean I am terminated from the department. She also shared that she was a grader on my 3rd exam and had chosen to vote 'fail' rather than 'conditional pass' because "she wanted to see me do it again." There was no constructive feedback, it just seems like bullying. There was zero information on how to re-do the exam or improve. This is high-stakes.
If the department does fail all students as ritual hazing, I believe the department is doing something unethical. If that statement was false, I consider my advisor to be doing something unethical.
I would like to voice my concerns to the university. What person should I approach? Department Chair? Dean of Students? Dean of College? Office of Graduate Studies? A lawyer? I fear retaliation.