Denise Aghanian and Rob Aitken ought to be at loggerheads.
Ms Aghanian, an unemployed single mother of four, has submitted her PhD after seven years in higher education and is eager to obtain her doctorate so she can begin in earnest her hunt for a job in the university sector.
Dr Aitken, her internal examiner at York University, is taking part in the Association of University Teachers' exams and assessment boycott, as part of its campaign for a better pay deal, and has postponed her viva indefinitely.
Yet, the pair have struck an uneasy truce. "While my job prospects may be temporarily affected by not having my PhD, for those intent on a career in UK higher education the prospects are much bleaker if the AUT loses the dispute," Ms Aghanian said.