9 jul. 2011


It turned out that I was the president of the doctoral committee defense here in Santiago de Compostela. I didn't know I had to preside over the whole act until a few minutes before it happened. Here in Spain, dissertation defenses are a good deal more formal than in the US, with an audience, in this case, about 40 friends and family members of the student defending her dissertation. The entire event lasted three hours. The candidate had to answer all five members of the committee after we had all spoken for about twenty minutes each. She received a cum laude by unanimous vote.

3 comentarios:

Clarissa dijo...

I would have loved to have a formal defense. Or any kind of defense. We don't have that tradition at my department, though.

Professor Zero dijo...

Do you think it's out of laziness? My department didn't have them and they said it was to spare the student, who typically was not on campus at the time of filing, the travel expenses associated with what would be a mere formality and/or a pointless bad experience. In this state we have them and they're quite serious, although not destructive. I'd have liked one of this kind, it would have been good for work.

Clarissa dijo...

I think it was done for practical reasons. Our fifth year is research year when you are allowed to move away to any country you want to write the dissertation while you continue drawing the stipend. It would be complicated for people to go back for a defense since everybody is away.