Withdrawing from PhD (-) 

Well it's come to this. Completed my coursework 2018-2019, planned on comps in the fall of 2019 but lost my supervisor (denial of tenure). Returned to FT work Aug. 2019 but stayed enrolled as FT PhD student.

Caretaker supervisor didn't know my area, so we delayed comps to find an external co-supervisor with domain knowledge in early 2020.

External wouldn't integrate me into their lab, internal didn't like the comps proposal I had developed with my 1st supervisor.

Withdrawing from PhD (-) 

Then COVID hit.

Then the university I work at migrated to a new library system (which I led).

I took a year's leave from my PhD for all of 2021 to deal with the migration work & fallout.

Then the university I work at declared insolvency.

Then my dad died.

So six months after my PhD leave ended, I met with my internal supervisor and our PhD coordinator.

Withdrawing from PhD (-) 

That was last week. They wanted to get me back on track, and I was game for it.

All I had to do was propose some new ideas for comps, that would lead to my research proposal, and hopefully attract interest from other internal faculty to join my committee / perhaps replace my supervisor.

Deadline was one week later.

So I should have been laser-focused on my comps & research proposal since then. But I haven't been.

Withdrawing from PhD (-) 

There are a bunch of reasons, but one of them is the things that I cared about five years ago aren't the things that I care about now.

Not just my research area (gestures vaguely at how effectively linked open data can support exploratory search) but even my rationale for entering a PhD program.

Withdrawing from PhD (-) 

I'm turning 50 in roughly a month. Five years ago, I had hoped to inspire my kids by example. But my oldest child will be entering university in another year. What energy I have is better served supporting her growth.

With a PhD, I hoped to transition from my librarian role, which has suffered from > 10 years of micro-management and "fiscal restraint", to a joint position in our CS department.

But the insolvency destroyed the core of our CS department.

Withdrawing from PhD (-) 

I can't articulate how demeaning it has been to work at this university as a faculty member through the insolvency.

An accounting agency has been running our university for over a year now. Admin have been hired, staff have been hired, but not a single faculty member has been hired since they terminated 1/3 of our positions.

Withdrawing from PhD (-) 

So in 2021 I joined Senate (to replace a terminated colleague) and became Senate rep to the Board of Governors. I have been vocal and active, and worked with colleagues to defend academic principles from the private consultants and lawyers who are trying to make us a neoliberal business case for their future endeavours.

That's where a lot of my passion and energy has gone and goes.

Withdrawing from PhD (-) 

Maybe at some point I channel that passion/outrage by applying a labour studies lens to academic librarians and archivists.

But I don't think it's fair to my supervisor or program coordinator, or my spouse and family, to keep spinning my wheels. We could all invest the emotional energy elsewhere.

And it's not like this is a complete loss.

Withdrawing from PhD (-) 

The coursework, discussions, participating in the process has all been worthwhile.

I researched and published before entering the PhD program, and continued while I was enrolled. As a librarian faculty member, I don't *need* a PhD to research and publish.

But my PhD experiences (including the optional academic writing course I took along the way) have greatly improved the quality of my research and writing.

Withdrawing from PhD (-) 

And I'm much better positioned to help students and faculty with *their* research. Lit reviews? Structured searches for rapid reviews? Industrial-strength citation management? Research data management? Let's go!

Withdrawing from PhD (-) 

To be clear, I don't blame my supervisors, my School, the PhD coordinator, for any of this. They all did the best they could when my original supervisor had to leave the scene. That was not ideal for anyone.

Ultimately, had I really wanted to obtain a PhD, I would have prioritized it above the other things into which I've invested my time.

This decision is all on me. And that's okay.

Thanks (and sorry perhaps) for listening to me work out my thoughts and feelings here.


Withdrawing from PhD (-) 

@dbs Wow that's a lot... Not sure what to say..

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