Re-examining terms related to academic collegiality: Opinion

Academic collegiality and related terms such as “colleague,” “review,” and “mentor” should be re-examined, writes Harvey J Graff, as they frequently are misused and abused in the relationship between senior and junior academics. Graff argues that power structures can create pathological surrogate parent/child relationships between supervisors and PhD students, and that the complements and confirmations of mentors can influence mentees without taking into account the psychological challenges the mentees will face in academia. The author points to the way that the use of the terms, as well as power dynamics and other “unstated and ignored rules and procedures” for advancement, work against a sense of solidarity, especially among vulnerable scholars. Graff says these complexities harm younger scholars, and calls for collective re-examination of the way these terms are used. Times Higher Ed (Subscription) Note: Archived stories may contain dead links or be missing source links.

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