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I was a research assistant for a professor at my university. He's won many distinguished teaching awards, though I won't mention which so he can't be identified. He was very well known and liked in his area of research and I was able to participate at a conference thanks to him.

I've recently found out that he was arrested for something serious and distasteful in late 2013 :(

Currently my resume contains a work history section with a header like so:

Research Assistant
Under the supervision of XX XX
Department of XX, University of XX

Should I change this to:

Research Assistant
FIELD OF STUDY
Department of XX, University of XX

Or do something else?
What steps should I take to distance myself from him? Do I remove mention of his name? Or are those charges, deplorable as they are, not reflected in his work?

I'm not at a point in my career where I have tons of experience and can remove this position from my resume. Having had that opportunity in uni is a great talking point in interviews.

Note: This wasn't lab-based research, so I wasn't helping him with his research, he was just providing direction to mine.

  • 1
    I vote number 2. Even if it is not a taken as a negative reflection he cannot readily be contacted as a reference in jail. If it was not his research then your work as a research assistant can stand on its own. – paparazzo Mar 3 '15 at 21:36
  • 10
    Is it customary to list one's research supervisors on academic resumes? (I don't see a lot of them so I don't know.) That is, would its omission stand out, or is this something that could go either way as far as the people reading your resume are concerned? – Monica Cellio Mar 3 '15 at 22:12
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    Just saying: it took me less than thirty seconds to find out the professors name from the info given here. No one can hide on the Internet. – Ernest Friedman-Hill May 14 '18 at 20:04
  • @ErnestFriedman-Hill so what makes you so very sure it could not be disinformation then? A made up situation very resemblant to someone you want others to think badly about. – mathreadler May 15 '18 at 10:27
  • @mathreadler Indeed — although in this case I didn’t actually identify who the OP worked for, which would probably be much harder, but rather just where he went to school and then who was arrested for this charge on their faculty. – Ernest Friedman-Hill May 15 '18 at 13:52
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If it's standard practice to name your research supervisor on a resume, I would just go ahead and name him and not worry about it. Most crimes are kept secret by the perpetrator/user. No reasonable employer would assume that you had anything to do with it, any knowledge of it, or that's it's any reflection of you.

  • 2
    that's -> that. – Faheem Mitha May 15 '18 at 6:49
  • The perpetrator may attempt to keep it secret but if they were arrested, there's likely a news story about it (at least in the US). – alroc May 15 '18 at 17:09

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