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My PhD advisor is also a provost

Hi all,

I want to see if anyone on here has been in this strange situation. I first met with my prospective PhD advisor about a year and a half ago. We had good chemistry and he is a close colleague with my advisor from my master's program. It was an easy choice to pick him to be my mentor in my doctoral program. In the time since we met and I've enrolled, he has left his role as the chair of my department and now works as a provost with the university - no more teaching, no more research. It's a mid-sized state school with ~28,000 students.

He still is fine with being my advisor but he has been forthcoming about how limited his time will be to really meet and engage with me on my research. Pros and cons here I think. It seems like he is trusting me to work more independently than the average doctoral student. He cannot meet with me every week or even every two weeks like other advisors might do for their students. I don't think he would have brought me on as his grad student unless he thought I could handle that independence. While I appreciate his faith in me and am excited to be free to push my research forward with very little supervision, I think I'm sacrificing some of the benefits of a real student-mentor relationship. I'm not really sure how I feel about it. I definitely want to stay in the program and keep him as my advisor. I think I may just need to rely on some of my doctoral committee members more since he will have his hands tied in his administrative duties.

Tell me what you guys think. Has anyone been in this position before? How'd it go?



Variety in PhD Program Prospects - Exciting flexibility, or potential identity crisis?

Hi all, I am a retail and economic geographer and I'm wrapping up my PhD applications for next Fall. I didn't apply to many programs, but the ones I'm applying to are really really disparate:

Applied Economics PhD - Missouri
Geography PhD - Toronto
Business PhD - Dublin

Obviously, quantitative economic geography is a pretty niched and tiny field that sits at an intersection of some broader fields. I picked these programs because the advisors were doing work that fit my interests well in spite of the fact that they all teach in different departments and reside in different academic/professional ecosystems. The differences in these programs culturally, academically and professionally have me worried about how I'm branding myself. Do I want to be perceived as an economist, a geographer or a business scholar? Has anyone else been in this situation? Did you find yourself with prospective advisors that were all great fits that all came from very different worlds? What due dilligence do you recommend here so I can make the most informed decision if I'm accepted? I'm guessing visiting these places is really the safest bet. Any input is so appreciated!