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I'm looking for advice on how to complain effectively against my advisors and my department who have defunded my Ph.D and seem to be hoping that I'll go away and resign

Let me summarize what happend:

2010: was admitted because one 18th century prof like my subject area

2011: the one prof who does contemporary literature (kind of) tells me that he has no interest or expertise in my field and advises me to work with 18th century professor

2012: 18th century professor has no expertise but her husband does, she tries to get me to do his research for him (for example telling me repeatedly to come up with a spreadsheet of what austrialian academics have written on my topic) after wasting about 60 hours of my time I come to the conclusion that almost nothing of interest to me has been written by australian professors

2013: 18th century professor tries to dictacte the subject matter of my thesis, refuses to be my primary advisor takes role as second reader

2014: new hire junior faculty is appointed as my advisor seems to be going well I write a prospectus and fully worked chapter and sucessfully defend it

- at this point I'm basically a year behind because I had not advisor for an extended period

2014 : my second reader expresses dissatisfaction with the topic of my thesis, pretty much directly demands that I write more than one chapter on her close personal friend who is a french author

2015 : I'm on fellowship in Paris, it goes badly my advisor is giving me virtually no guidance and starts speaking to me as if I have changed the topic of my dissertation which I have not, I get sick and need surgery, I email my professors to tell them i'm undergoing surgery - they do not respond

while I'm sick they hold a meeting in the US and after telling other faculty that I have been unresponsive and submitted very little work while on fellowship year they get me defunded

-my understanding is that i can be reinstated if I submit a new chapter or get or i can get a fellowship

2016 - I take medical leave for one semester thinking I can iron things out and get at least one more years funding if I submit a chapter

- I submit a chapter and receive no feedback

- have to make a formal complaint to get my performance evaluation

- evaluation is unsatisfactory I'm not offered a sixth year of funding

- Advisor says "I have not officially withdrawn my support for your project" yet proceeds to instruct me on how to write my letter of resignation

- I submit formal complaints mainly centered on the fact that the decision the faculty made as a whole to defund me was based on my advisor's claim that I had been unresponsive and submitted no work (untrue) my ill-health and surgery was not mentioned

I had a phone call about my complaint with the department chair and a senior administrator who tried to play dumb saying they didn't understand what I meant when I said that the faculty didn't address my ill-health and my right to medical leave citing the dates I was approved for medical leave.

I have to insist repeatedly that I'm discussing the faculty decision as a group to defund my Ph.D at year five (which is highly unusual in my department normative time is 6 years 7 for most), when I raise my voice and repeat that my complaint is not to do with medical leave per se but the decision in which faculty was advised to defund my Ph.D based on inadequate progress without my advisors mentioning that I had suffered health issues I get silence on the line. I feel they're trying to wiggle out of this uncomfortable fact.

I want to leave a nuclear bomb of a complaint for these professors. They have totally abused their power and shown disregard for my work. Now that it's clear that I"m not willing to simply write nice chapters about their boring personal friend of a writer they're trying to fire me and have the termination listed as a resignation. (They university has recently increased the cost of nonresident status to several thousand dollars per semester). 

The last chapter I sent was barely even read, they sent a brief list of insults on an A4 page claiming that I had deviated from my proposed topic of research which they still think is their boring writer friend.

Does anyone have insider knowledge of how to really effectively complain? I doubt I'll get funding but at this point I just want to cause damage to the professors reputations and leave a stain on their careers. I would be happy with that outcome alone.

Edited by Chris Melote
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Frankly, you need to take this stuff to a lawyer who deals with wrongful termination suits. Because of your health issues, you may have grounds for some kind of lawsuit that might result in your being reinstated, but I'm guessing (actually, I'm certain) that no one at TGC is qualified enough to advise you on this matter.  

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Honestly? I'm not really sure how any kind of complaint by a student, barring something of a sexual nature, could "leave a stain" on a professor's career. It's pretty clear that the faculty in the department aren't supportive of your project so it's unclear to me whether or how you'd ever finish your degree. If I were you, I would just move on with my life and consider this a bad experience but one you can learn a lot from.

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