More scandalous news from court.
Got another update, and I can’t resist. I don’t think it’s the gossip (which isn’t really my bag, baby) so much as someone being wrong on the internet. And by wrong, I mean making-shit-up wrong. The latest update accuses the department chair of a nefarious scheme to get rid of Joshua Robinson, and the dastardly plan included a threatening letter. Which starts out
After consultation with your oral examination committee, and per the graduate handbook rules of NERHP, faculty of NERHP have voted on your status. The majority agreed that you have passed your oral examination and have therefore passed the Qualifying Examination.
That bitch! How dare she … congratulate him … on passing his quals …
Wow. That’s some threat, sending out a boilerplate milestone letter that every student probably gets when the pass their qualifying exam.
It turns out the oral exam was not the acceptance oral exam, in which one outlines the proposed research. In an interview with the CorVegas paper, it’s pointed out that the oral exam was a followup for “conditionally passing” the written exam (details of these circumstances are spelled out in the graduate student handbook). I find it a little weird that he’s passed this in his fifth year in grad school (one possibility being that it was not his first attempt), and his response of saying he has a job lined up sounds premature, considering he still has to do his thesis research. Whatever he had already done would have probably counted toward a Masters degree, not a doctorate.
One of the really silly things about all this is that if the faculty really were conspiring to kick someone out of school, an oral exam is the perfect time to do it. Ask hard questions, and then say, “Sayonara!” That’s the scary realization that I think all grad students who go through this type of system have — that your committee could fail you if they wanted to. They have the experience in their respective fields and can ask questions you can’t answer. And that didn’t happen, which doesn’t speak highly of the abilities of our “conspirators.” Fear not, though, since I’m confident that some new machination will be conjured up soon.