Desired qualifications: Terminal degree status, subject matter expertise, familiarity with APA format, previous research and methodology experience, exceptional editing skills, mentoring potential, ability to work as part of a team, PATIENCE.
While your primary advisor was assigned at the beginning of your Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program, once your requisite courses have been successfully completed, the IRB has accepted your methodology, you have begun your literature review, and your primary advisor is satisfied with your progress – your quest is to now secure a second reader. This individual will support your primary advisor to enable you to complete your dissertation and prepare your defense to earn your coveted DBA. So, where to begin your search?
You actually have many resources. First, consider any faculty members whose courses you especially enjoyed throughout this process, or, whose expertise is in a particular area you believe will be beneficial or will complement your research. Bear in mind these individuals may already be assisting other students from previous cohorts, so be prepared with backup plans.
Next, consider faculty members from your master’s degree program – again, those whose credentials meet the criteria listed above. These individuals usually have many of the characteristics needed for your purposes – terminal degrees, subject matter expertise, APA experience, etc. Again, be prepared for the possibility that even though they may be willing, even delighted to assist, their time constraints may prohibit them.
However, don’t become discouraged, very often the answer is closer than you think. More than likely your program director will be able to assist you with connections based on your topic and course progression. In addition, your primary advisor probably has additional resources, both inside and outside of the traditional educational community. (As a side note, this is how my committee was formed. My primary advisor simply stated, “You know, I think you’d get along well with…” and “this individual is interested in your research, why don’t I ask if they’d participate?” and, thus, my committee became a reality. Honestly, it worked out well; my advisor and this team had already formed a strong bond that benefitted me throughout the process.)
Once you have created a list of potential candidates, be sure to brief them on their responsibilities; especially if they have never previously participated as a committee member. Some questions to consider as you narrow down your selection:
- Although much of the work is completed on an individual basis, sometimes it is important to meet (either in-person or virtually) as a full committee. Can this individual commit to this responsibility?
- Does this person have the time to assess your efforts properly and promptly?
- Will they be available to participate in your final defense?
- Are they comfortable providing constructive and worthwhile feedback?
- Do you believe this individual will work well with both you and your primary advisor?
- Is this person willing to provide proof of their credentials for review?
Although this “task” may seem a bit daunting, especially since you are already busy researching, writing, completing classes and juggling the rest of your life; this choice is critical to your successful completion. (So, no pressure!) Seriously, the relationships you forge throughout this process and the guidance you receive will be well worth the effort. Remember, soon you’ll be Dr. (you fill in the blank). Best Wishes!