UW Graduate School

Conflict Management


December 18, 2018

Lauren Fine: Talking politics with family (and not losing your cool)

“Listen, and listen more than you talk,” says Lauren Fine, a doctoral student studying political communication at the interpersonal level. It’s good advice, generally, but it’s especially prudent if you’re struggling to discuss politics with family or friends at holiday gatherings. If you’re engaged in political discussion with close others in close spaces, “try to…


March 8, 2018

What to do if you experience sexual harassment or assault

This article was written in consultation with Valery Richardson, interim Title IX coordinator, Compliance Services.  We hope that you will never face sexual harassment or assault here on campus, but we understand the reality that you may. This week, the Guru will walk you through the steps you can take, and resources that are available…


November 16, 2017

Advice on an advisor

I am a second-year doctoral student, and have not been able to build a positive relationship with my advisor. My emails go unanswered and our meetings are infrequent, short, and brisk. I feel that this person is unhelpful and even detrimental to my progress. I have tried communicating my discomfort with this relationship to my…


April 20, 2017

From an Overworked TA

The class I am a TA for requires 12 hours of student interaction and about half a day of preparing materials. Every week. This is way more than the 20 hours/week that I am paid to do. The instructor knows this and had originally requested twice as many TAs as we have, but the department, being…


July 7, 2016

Navigating Authorship Conflicts

There are clear guidelines outlining what “counts” as authorship. While all disciplines have their own nuances in culture, the International Committee of Journal Medical Editors (ICJME) provides a reasonable set of authorship criteria: Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND…


June 1, 2016

Bad Teacher

Hello,  Older graduate student who has had a career already so have a little life experience. I took a class with a teacher who was incredibly condescending both to the undergraduates and the graduate students — I pushed back a bit on this but got nowhere. Unorganized, due dates and test dates were “fluid” (as in they…


May 5, 2016

Managing Conflict: Strategies for Approaching Difficult Conversations

At an event in April 2016, sponsored by Hutch United and the Association for Women in Science, Emma Williams, Associate Ombud at UW, shared effective strategies for managing conflict. First, we know that being a postdoc is highly stressful. You have many deadlines, demands, funding uncertainties and questions about your future. Research shows that people…


March 24, 2016

Hours and Hours of Office Hours

I am a TA for a graduate level class this quarter, and my professor is asking me to hold 4 hours of Office Hours. I feel this is too much. I had TA’d the same class last quarter, and I had five hours of Office Hours, way more than any other grad class in my…


April 23, 2015

Conflicts with Advisor

What do you do when it becomes clear your graduate advisor will never let you graduate due to personal conflicts?     —Anonymous Yeesh. I am so, so sorry. It’s clear from the tone of your question that you are not being dramatic or flippant. This is one of the worst case scenarios for a graduate…