Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanking your committee etiquette

So, it's been a whirlwind since I've defended, and I realize now that the dust has settled that I ought to thank my committee more than by sending effusive thank you emails and giving effusively grateful thank yous post-defense.

What ought I do? I have bought some thank you cards (nice one, not ones in a pack), and especially nice ones for my chairs. I also purchased bound copies of my thesis for the chairs, though not the rest of the committee. I have received mixed signals about this. Some said I definitely should get some for all, others said that tradition is being phased out. In a survey of my recently graduated peers it was nearly 50/50 in my department.

Either way, I can't decide if very nice thank you cards are enough, or not? Note that I hardly know several of my committee members, and they are spread out over the country so things like restaurant gift certificates are not really feasible.

What did you do for your committee?

7 comments:

JaneB said...

I'd say really nice cards were fine. Thank yous of any kind, in writing, are very welcome and touching, and NOT universally given out. (Plus they can go into tenure/promotion files if needed).

Candid Engineer said...

I sent nice email thank-yous; most people in my department don't do anything more than that. A bound copy of my dissertation had been purchased by the dept and put in the conference room, so there would be no need to give out individual copies.

Jazinator said...

I asked a friend of mine finishing up his PhD and he says that a bound copy for your advisor and maybe any other influential advisor. But other than that gifts should have been given beforehand :-).

Professor in Training said...

I said thank you to my advisor. He gave me a small gift at my graduation which I wasn't expecting.

Btw - FSP has a post up today addressing the same question from the advisor's perspective ...

Alyssa said...

I gave a bound copy of my thesis to my advisor, and acknowledged my committee in my thesis. I actually used to do gifts, but have been told again and again during my grad career that they are inappropriate, so I stopped :S

Nicky said...

If I admit that it never would have occurred to me to get gifts for any of my committee members, does it make me selfish? Or just bitter?

PhizzleDizzle said...

Thanks for the advice all. I think I will stick with the nice cards and be done with it, plus the bound copies for my chairs.

@Nicky, it never occurred to me either. Until people were like, "what? you're not getting bound copies for your whole committee?" and i was like, what? prior to my defense, i had never even spoken to one of my committee members, ever. it didn't seem appropriate to thank people profusely for...reading a document and attending a talk.

I did do a simple but nice acknowledgement in my ack. section.