Order of operations once the defense date has been set:

  1. You send out your dissertation to the committee no later than 2 weeks before the defense date.
  2. 1 week before the defense I will send an email to the committee letting them know how we’ll manage the defense (see below).
  3. 1 day before your defense, you send out a reminder to the committee.
  4. Day of: every defense has a life of its own. Because the exit seminar is so disjunct from the defense, we like to have the students prepare a short presentation (aim for ~ a 20-30 minute overview split evenly among the chapters). This helps make sure everyone’s pointed the right direction. We’ve done this with going around the room one by one asking questions but I like to have questioning open during the talk. It makes it more conversational and reduces pressure on committee members to “perform” for the other committee members when it’s “their turn”. At the end of your talk, we’ll open it up for any last questions. Like with the quals/proposal defense, we’ll have you step out of the room (virtually) so that the committee can make sure we’re on the same page. If this takes a while it’s because it’s been a long couple of years and we haven’t seen each other in a while and probably has nothing to do with you :simple_smile:. Then you’ll come in, give your talk, answer questions,. We’ll have you step out when we’re done with questions. The committee will share thoughts. Then we’ll bring you in and let you know what the consensus was and what you need to do to the dissertation (if anything) for a) submitting to the grad school and b) submitting to a journal. If this was in person, you’d want to make sure you have all your paperwork present and we’d sign at the end and that would be it. Karen will either send a form via DocuSign or it will be passed around via email.

On the process for incorporating committee edits:

I have never heard of needing to re-defend a dissertation - not saying that it never happens, just that I’ve never been at an institution where that occurs. Typically if the committee decides edits/reanalysis is necessary what happens is the committee will decide at the meeting if the committee members want to see a revised version or if they are minor/straightforward enough that the advisor can sign off on the revisions. If they are minor then you’ll make the changes, I’ll look them over and I will sign off for the committee. If they are major, then you will work with the committee member with the concerns to fix them - following their suggestions and making sure they are happy with things before the committee signs off. After the defense, all the discussion typically occurs ad hoc and does not require the entire committee to meet again.