Policy on the Change of Advisors

Graduate advisees may change faculty advisors due to various circumstances, including but not limited to: the advisor leaving KU or retiring; the student’s research diverging substantially from the area of expertise of the advisor; or differences between the student and the advisor. Change of advisor is allowed even at a late stage of a student’s graduate career.

Either the faculty advisor or the graduate advisee may initiate the process of changing advisors by making the situation known to the Director of Graduate Studies in the Slavic department. The graduate advisee is free to initiate the process independently of their faculty advisor. If the Director of Graduate Studies is the advisor of record, the student shall contact the Chair of Slavic or the Slavic department’s COGA advisor, who will work to initiate the change process.

The Change Process:

  1. Depending on the nature of the concerns, the Director of Graduate Studies might call for separate meetings to discuss the situation with the graduate student and with the faculty advisor.
  2. The Director of Graduate Studies and the graduate student concerned will work together to identify an alternative faculty advisor. Depending on the circumstances, it may be appropriate for the current advisor and another graduate faculty member of the Slavic Department to serve as co-advisors, or for a graduate faculty member from a different department to serve as advisor or co-advisor. If all attempts to find or agree upon an alternative advisor or co-advisors fail, the department is permitted to dismiss the student from the program.
  3. The student shall discuss and arrange a timeframe for completing any remaining work that had been planned with the current advisor before the change takes place. If the student wishes to continue a project that was initiated with the original advisor, details of transferring the project should be worked out in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, who can mediate the process.
  4. Students are required to obtain signatures from the new advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies on the “change of committee” form when changing advisors and/or committee members. This may be accomplished with the COGA advisor assigned to the Slavic department.
  5. The student must still meet all relevant degree requirements of the University, the College, and the Department. In the event that the change of advisor occurs late in the student’s graduate career, the student and the new advisor may request a modification of departmental requirements.

KU provides resources for issues of this nature, should they be needed, through the Ombuds Office. Other extra-departmental resources include the Office of Graduate Studies, the COGA advisor, and Human Resources, who can assist in an objective analysis of the costs/benefits of changing advisors.

Downloadable Copy of the Policy on Change of Advisors (.pdf)