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The neglect I've seen from tenured faculty is usually due to having too many students and too many projects. For tenure track faculty, neglect seems to usually be due to too much time spent worrying about writing grants, teaching, and politicking (sitting on committees, etc).

My main point is that I don't think you can really say one is safer than the other. I certainly think early tenure track faculty have greatly divided attention and are under incredible amounts of pressure, which is not a good prescription for being a good advisor, but I think that a lot of what tenured faculty people do also can make them poor advisors.

As a student you will always be working with incomplete information, in particular, how you will handle a given advisor, even if everyone else says they are great (or horrible). Of course you have to simply play the hand that is dealt and make changes to your situation when appropriate.

On a side note, I was able to get one very senior person on my committee, who is very enthusiastic about my project. Even though he is not my direct advisor, he has been able to strongly advocate for me when necessary.

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