Field meeting and field review of ME PhD students: followup

thanks to ME PhD students who submitted information for the field review that we had last thursday. An informal summary of the joint AE/ME field meeting minutes from 21 Aug 2014 is below.

Professors Selva and Barthelmie were elected to become field members in ME and AE.

Professors Knepper, James, Warner, and Lammerding were elected to become field members in ME.

We passed a motion to have regular ME field meetings thrice yearly.

We passed a motion to set the Q exam format–in the past there was a recommended format but committees had license to do anything they wanted. I feared that this just led to unwanted uncertainty. Now what used to be the recommended format is set as the required Q exam format. Wording to describe this format was codified.

Two motions I brought–TA requirements and how we inform students of Q exam results–I tabled because discussion ensued about detailed wording and I deemed the field review more important than hammering out those motions. I will revisit those motions at the next field meeting, scheduled for January.

We held a field review of ME PhD students. This involved presenting the material that students prepared and discussing it amongst the faculty. 65 of 78 ME students were discussed; 13 were skipped because of incomplete info or faculty absence or both. In general the review was positive. In a small number of cases, action items were identified (e.g. professor X should talk to professor Y or professor A should talk to student B or the committee for student C should meet with him/her).

If you were part of the review and don’t hear anything, you should assume that no major issues came up with your progress. It is appropriate to follow up with your advisor or me if you have questions–I have had several people ask me if everything went ok with their review, and I am happy to field those questions.

On a personal note, one result of the field review that I actually hadn’t planned for was that it was an occasion for faculty to rattle off all the reasons why student X is great and why student Y is going to experience tons of success in the immediate and distant future. It was fun to have that be such a prominent part of the meeting. I often talk of the field review as an opportunity to sniff out problems proactively to address them, but most of what it entailed was my listening to faculty brag about their great students. I had a lot of fun with it.

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