Most of my advisors tell me something to the effect that they don’t know any PhD grad who doesn’t get 5 years out and hate their dissertation, think the opposite of what they wrote, etc. In BYU Religious Education, this takes an interesting form. While it is true that there is a major concern on the part of those who are thinking about a job in RelEd over whether they will lose all touch with their field, research agenda, etc., there is also an explicit attitude expressed by members of the search committees with regard to the influence of the PhD experience. I have heard from more than one source that people on the hiring committees routinely ask something like the following of potential candidates coming out of PhD programs (i.e., non-CES-track hires): “Robert J. Matthews [of blessed memory] used to say that it takes seven years for people to get the PhD out of their system. What do you think he meant by that?”
What do you think he meant?