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142

As an outsider this seems ridiculous. I think a quick email to the chair of the department saying that you have an advisee who is worried about BIO302 (or whatever the number is) and the running component. It seems reasonable to ask if that is actually a requirement (which it clearly is, but the department chair may not know it) and if it is, what course ...


106

If the class is about microbiology, the students’ grade should depend on their knowledge of microbiology, and only on that. (Edit: to clarify, “knowledge” covers things like lab skills and other things that have a connection to microbiology but aren’t strictly theoretical in nature. But not running. Definitely not running.) I’ll assume based on OP’s ...


96

I wrote him mails on a weekly basis asking for a status update and inquiring whether he was stuck. It seems that you are completing your duties as an advisor well. You can and should continue to offer help and suggestions in accordance with your duties. Perhaps this student is too busy or too anxious to respond to your emails. In that case, you could ...


74

The student's health status or physique is not of consideration here. If the situation is as the student described, the prof's behavior is simply untenable -- if for no other reason than 25% of contact hours being spent on nonsense. Every student in the class should be incensed. The TAs should be upset that they're spending their time this way. The ...


36

Your supervisor is correct. Let the student fail. I'm shocked the existing answers are so lenient. You have given the student an amazing opportunity to work with your group, and from the tone of your question, I assume you have been providing adequate guidance and support. In response, the student has "ghosted" you. This is unacceptable. If you have not ...


31

An alternate approach, not of the "sink or swim" school, is to see what office in your university provides student services. In the US, a college or university will normally have a Dean of Students, part of whose job is to look after student interests and well-being. There may or may not be anything they can do, but if you have any suspicion that the ...


28

As you seem to have a good relationship with that professor, I think it is wise to ask for his recommendation. In some context, the absence of a recommendation from the former advisor could be frown upon. I think any normal researcher will understand why you are applying to other positions, especially if you mention that his offer is your number 1 choice. ...


19

Put this in perspective: if you stick with an academic career, you will interact with many students who fail one of your courses. Likely hundreds, possibly thousands. You need to set some boundaries for how much time (and emotional energy) you spend on each, so it doesn't interfere with your ability to get other work done. I think many faculty would say ...


16

I agree with the other answers that you should e-mail the department chair. Additionally, I would suggest that you advise the student that he has options to solve this himself even without your intervention. You are his advisor, so advise him, don't just try to solve it for him. E.g. your university may have an Ombudsman, suggest that he talk to them. The ...


13

You are his adviser. Don't cover this up, or let it go. Advise your student to go get a doctor's note which states s/he needs a reasonable accommodation under the American Disabilities Act allowing the student any number of attempts to complete each mile, two hours to perform each mile (not the ~15 minutes provided), that s/he is not required to do it ...


10

Do ask for a recommendation. That does not mean, you are not interested in his position, but he knows all too well, that he can't guarantee that. So why shouldn't he recommend you? You are obviously good enough for him to consider hiring you. On the other hand, it would be odd not to look around for other options. Especially in that situation. So if he ...


8

As some answers have suggested, check the syllabus, if running or "minimum physical requirement" is not in there, your student wins. On the moral side I can see some "intention" in there, although, don't get me wrong, this is completely denigrating, discriminative and can even be considered as bullying someone. If the professor has this "idea" of making ...


8

You wrote: The statement claimed he had a leading role in the project (he didn't) and claimed that he contributed significantly to the manuscript (this is somewhat arguable, but he certainly wrote some of it). I signed the document because I assumed that this was just some formality that he needed to graduate, and I wasn't prepared to cause a fuss over ...


7

Journals generally don't want to change things after publication - especially things like authorship order that would cause havoc to past citations. It thus seems unlikely that your coauthor will even try, and even less likely that the journal would acquiesce to such a request. I think most (well-run) journals would also try to contact all involved authors ...


6

Please consult someone in your university you can trust (e.g. other professors you are friends with, worker's union, ombudsman). From another question of you, I remember that you are not so high in the career ladder and other shady things happen in your department. Unfortunately, this could mean that "pissing off a more senior professor" could be very bad ...


5

It would presumably be against the university's academic policies to award grades for non-academic activities. A professor cannot, on a whim, decide to award grades for components of a degree for activities such as finger-painting, beer pong, or karaoke performances. It brings the reputation of the department, not to mention the entire university, into ...


4

The professors job is not to judge the student based on his ability to run a mile, but to instead judge him based on his performance in the class. To me, this seems completely inappropriate. I Think you should voice your concerns with the department in question and to make them cease these activities. I Believe it is unethical.


4

If you want a reference then you should send an email specifically asking for a reference. Send it now, there is no point in waiting. This doesn't really have anything to do with his response or non-response to your previous email, but if you like you could include a postscript: "By the way, I was wondering if you had a chance to look at the paper draft ...


4

Having thought about this for a few days let me give an answer that is different from most of what is here. My bottom line is that a professor can, carefully and thoughtfully, deviate from standard pedagogical practice. However, such deviations need to be justifiable in order to be acceptable. Even then, they may not be accepted. Moreover, the ...


4

I worry about the politics of it and urge a bit of caution. The relationship between the student and the formal advisor is essential to completion of the degree. The politics arises because there is the issue of the personality of the formal advisor and how s/he would interpret such a "move". I think it would be vastly different for different people. Some ...


3

At my university, the supervisor should contact student affairs. Student affairs will perform a welfare check to make sure the student is okay.


3

This situation is not uncommon but not rampant, and depends very strongly on the culture of the institution, the department and the field of research, or even the individual thesis director. There is some weak argument to be made that thesis directors provide resources (intellectual or otherwise) so they should be more or less automatically co-authors of ...


3

"It's a good idea and if you like the experience, you can decide to stay there for a Ph.D." Just adding my two cents because this sounds like a quote of mine! If you are a great student it is more important for me that you have a chance to find a great environment to develop into a fully fledged researcher, than that you keep working with me. Of course I ...


2

Barring any specific restrictions in your country or institution, a gift is fine in this circumstance. I'd suggest something small, fairly inexpensive, but thoughtful. I've got chocolates from a master's student sitting on my desk right now and I appreciated them. If you are from another country or region, some treat from your place of origin would be ...


2

This seems like a bizarre requirement, and if I was the student in question I would treat as any other course in which I had catastrophically poor performance for whatever unexpected reason: I would drop or withdraw, and then aim to retake it later in more favorable circumstances. This is the easiest solution for your student and has the highest odds of ...


2

It’s completely impossible to change author order after publication. I have a paper where the journal messed up the alphabetical ordering of authors in the bibliographic data (it’s a 4 author paper, and the print version formats the names in a square, and somehow they confused whether they’re read row-first or column-first). There was nothing we could do ...


2

No, it is not the norm in my field (in the arts & humanities) in the UK. In fact, a supervisor whose students never published solo would be considered a failure. For future reference (and for the benefit of prospective PhD students reading this), a good piece of advice when evaluating a potential supervisor is to look at his/her publications list, and ...


1

I could ask this directly to her/his first PhD advisor, but I prefer better to ask the student first. That's the part that worries me. The student is irrelevant, and most of the time not experienced enough to be useful in administrative situations. Putting that idea in the mind of the student will, at best, waste time, at worst, backfire and drive a wedge ...


1

Disclaimer: I am not a psychologist nor am I trained in psychology. Preface: I write this not necessarily for the benefit of the student described in the question, but for a general audience of academics and students, who may encounter such social situations in the course of their studies or careers, in the hopes that it may lead to an improved ...


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