Dear Graduate Students:
In my short time as interim dean, I’ve been hearing from many of you and noting your concerns. Thank you for being so open with me.
During the past three years, former Graduate School Dean Ann Schmiesing and the leadership of the United Government of Graduate Students (UGGS) have worked closely together to address and make significant improvements to the graduate student experience. In my role as interim dean, I plan to continue this work with UGGS and campus leadership.
Since fall 2016 and per ongoing conversations with UGGS, CU Boulder has added $5.8 million to graduate student stipends and benefits with another $2.1 million pending approval before the Board of Regents for fall 2019. With this extra investment, the average compensation package for a 9-month, 20-hours/week graduate student appointment (including tuition coverage and contribution to the CU health plan) is now approximately $40,000 across all departments. In addition, this year the university eliminated course and program fees, the graduate student athletic fee, and paid for summer RTD transit passes for graduate students on summer appointments.
The Graduate School has been dedicated to improving your graduate student experience in a number of ways. We’ve added a peer mentoring program and many professional development opportunities, which include graduate student writing seminars and workshops, the annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, GradTalks and a professional development certification.
In our ongoing commitment to make improvements to your experience, the Graduate School established a task force in October 2018 with the United Government of Graduate Students (UGGS) and the Office of Budget and Fiscal Planning to examine graduate student stipends, benefits, and fees, and to look more deeply into how these compare with our AAU public peers. The task force is also examining the feasibility of various options for enhanced benefits. Final recommendations by the task force will be made later in the 2019 spring semester.
As the semester continues, I encourage you to route any concerns you have through UGGS, the elected governing body for graduate and professional students, whose leadership team I meet with regularly. In doing so, we can work more closely and efficiently together as a team in addressing issues and answering questions to the benefit of the entire graduate student community.
I appreciate all that you contribute to our campus and community, and I wish you the best during the spring semester.
Leslie J. Reynolds
Interim Dean of the Graduate School
Senior Associate Dean of Libraries