Accepting Older Grad. Student

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aysecik:
Hiddendragon I feel for you. I don't have older grad students, but I had a much older technician work for me in my previous job (almost exactly twice my age!), and it was a big challenge, to say the least (me being a woman did not help, but this person was very, very disrespectful to all personnel who were younger than him). I have to say this is not a general rule at all, but it is a pitfall: If you will advise a student, there has to be a relationship of respect. Age, to be frank, has some correlation - especially if you are a young assistant professor. I believe we have seen examples of this specifically in this forum already. This, plus the fact that you have seen evidence that this will continue, makes it impossible for you to serve as her advisor and have a healthy relationship in my opinion. Please not that I am not saying all older students are disrespectful of young faculty, I am just saying it happens frequently enough that it is something to beware of, and in this case there is evidence that goes that way. It's not ageism - you could call it a "personality clash", or just a poor fit. It definitely is a poor fit that would benefit neither party...

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