A guide to respectful interactions with mentees that pursue alternative academic careers

January 16, 2020

It is ethically and morally important that senior academics change their views of what constitutes success for Ph.D. graduates, writes Robert Alford. Alford writes about his experience of feeling alienated and belittled by an academic mentor over his choice to deviate from a scholarly career. The author then offers mentors four points to remember when interacting with mentees that have chosen non-academic career paths: pursuing a PhD should be understood and presented as one among multiple professionalization paths; students who leave the academy as scholars are not failing themselves, the field, or their mentors; students who enter administrative roles in the academy can be allies; and respect the choices mentees make. Inside Higher Ed (International)