advice needed

Wed Mar 26 15:09:09 EST 1997

Three points:

1) Your PI is not legally entitled to any money that you went out & secured from
an outside source. Additionally, he agreed to pay you that stipend in the past
without strings, right? A stipend isn't a charge card - if we all had to pay
back our stipends and undergrad loans, people wouldn't make it this far in the
first place! Most outside granting agencies will allow you to 'carry' your funds
in special circumstances. Even if not, is this atmosphere what you want to work
really hard in for the next 5 years just to keep the money?

2) While I agree that it is the other students' fault they haven't met w/ their
advisor, it doesn't say much for how much educating students is valued by this
person. I have a real a$@#&*e for an advisor, but we meet every week for an hour
and he does give me guidance...and lets me learn from my mistakes too. But
believe me - if you are in first year and you see it coming, get as far away
from this lab as possible. He had little invested in you now, but that won't be
the case in a few years - and then it gets exponentially worse to deal with. 

3) The east coast average stipend is $17,500. I would encourage you to look
through the Petersons guide at the schools in your area, make a list, and take
all of your grievances to your Dean or Student Affairs or Dept. Chairperson and
file a formal complaint. Don't count on getting a good letter of recommendation
from this advisor however. 

Take it from a third-year who has seen her boss do some amazingly nasty things
to students...if you are having doubts this early, go w/ your gut & not your
funding. An extra year of school versus putting up w/ a jerk for an advisor? Is
it really that big a trade off?

As usual, it's my humble opinion...

Robyn Temple
SUNY HSC at Brooklyn

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