In an email sent to graduate school staff, University of Missouri officials announced early Thursday afternoon that changes to the way the school handles graduate tuition waivers will be delayed.
Senior Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies Henry C. Foley, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Garnett S. Stokes, and Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies Leona Rubin jointly signed the message. They noted that the new changes have, quote, “created too much uncertainty regarding recruitment of graduate students for fall 2016.”
Director of Communication for the Graduate Professional Council Matt McCune said that the new changes will account for the specific needs of each department.
“There are certain programs that bring in a lot of research money that have very large introductory courses that can fund a bunch of TAs full-time, and there’s others that can’t. You can’t go below a minimum number of graduate students in a program because then you don’t have enough students to take the courses,” McCune said. “So you have to take whatever funding you have and kind of spread that among that number in smaller departments.”
The Office of Research and Graduate Studies anticipates announcing the expectations for these plans no later than January 2016. They are asking each department to draft their own plan for a tuition waiver policy, and to have those plans finalized by July 1, 2016.
The Steering Committee of the Forum on Graduate Rights released a statement Thursday afternoon. They noted that while the appointment is a step in the right direction they also noted that the solution was only a “temporary delay being provided, and FGR will continue to pursue a permanent solution to this issue.”
McCune also noted that GPC, like FGR, believes graduate students should receive a graduate tuition waiver at the least.
“It’s nice that it looks like the university administration sat down, listened to complaints from graduate professional student government and also from faculty. And they decided that, yes, we can’t have a blanket policy, that we need to individually go through each department and see what works for them,” McCune said.
Officials noted that the tuition waiver is “crucial” in supporting not only grad students, but the quality of the graduate programs on campus.