Every Stanford graduate student is expected to be paired with a faculty advisor. Advisors assist students in planning a program of study to meet degree requirements.
Faculty advisors, particularly for doctoral students, play an important role in students' intellectual development. Good communication is crucial for productive working relationships.The following resources may be helpful to both students and faculty in this regard [pdf files]:
Sometimes faculty-student relationships can become strained or conflicted. Students are encouraged to communicate clearly and often with their advisors. It is important to set clear expectations early on, and revisit expectations periodically. Learning to resolve conflicts and advocate on one's own behalf are important skills everyone should learn.
VPGE offers a workshop for graduate students designed to teach interest-based
strategies for setting expectations and resolving conflicts. Click the link
below to learn more.
Setting Expectations and Resolving Conflicts with your Advisor
When direct communication with your advisor does not work, the next step in resolving a conflict usually involves talking with the Department Chair, the faculty coordinator of graduate studies, or the graduate student affairs administrator. Most schools have deans who can also help solve problems or resolve conflicts.
Ombudspersons assist with resolution of disputes and redress of wrongs, while maintaining impartiality and confidentiality. Available to talk through a problem.
There are circumstances under which students seek to change advisers: a mismatch of personalities, working styles, or academic expertise. Direct communication is advised. In some cases there are funding implications. Consulting with the school dean’s office can be helpful.
If a faculty member leaves Stanford, the department should help students identify a new advisor. For advanced doctoral students, the former advisor can continue to serve on the dissertation committee, and can act as dissertation co-chair with a current Stanford faculty member.