The next question in our annual “ask us anything” series comes from HB, who asks (paraphrased, click through for the original):
I am currently on the job market and recently learned that a former (disgruntled) committee member is reaching out to potential employers and giving unsolicited (negative) references. I have evidence of this happening at least three times. This person is not mentally stable and I have tried to distance myself as much as possible, to no avail. Thoughts on how to best approach this? They were an external member on my committee and therefore I can’t go to my department to report their behavior.