For my dissertation defense to go forward, I have to have a form submitted to the grad school at least one week before the exam is to take place. The form requires signatures from all of my committee members (four people). Which means that I sit, biting my nails, hoping that they won’t let my emails simply sit in their inbox, that the office staff will catch them as they walk by, and wondering whether I dare risk another reminder email. I understand the need for paperwork, but it’s always best if the person for whom the exam is most important is empowered to make it happen. And it’s best if signatures aren’t required so often that professors’ eyes glaze over at the thought of another form crossing their desk.