Funding Woes Part 4: We Need YOUR Help (Now)!

Dear Colleagues,

In light of the recent meeting with the College -- and in light of recent conversations about that meeting -- we need to ask for your help. Many have shared intuitions regarding things like whether or not it's true that ND grad students who finish more quickly (or in 5 years or less) actually have better placement, or whether the reduced teaching load (and thus less teaching experience) that the new funding structure implements will hurt students (because they have less experience) or help them (because they have less to worry about as they finish their programs).

We've also heard a lot of concerns from students who don't think the current proposal will work for their program, will work well for their program, or will adversely affect good candidates in their program because of, say, the restrictions these changes will impose on research topics.

The College has no plans to halt the current proposal in order to research these questions or solicit the sort of input (from grad students or from faculty, including DGSs) that would definitively answer these questions or respond to these worries. From my experience, I think this is because Dean McGreevy and Associate Dean Meserve do not believe these worries to be legitimate based on their assessment of the situation (and possibly on data that has not been made available to us). Because they have the authority to do this -- and for a number of other reasons -- this means that our cause will only move forward if we are able to provide concrete data to support the worries and intuitions we've all been expressing (which, of course, we can only do if the data actually backs up those worries / intuitions), and / or get definitive answers (from our departments, DGSs, or whomever the relevant contact is) that our programs will be adversely affected in the way we fear.

To be honest, I'm not sure the data in question exists, and I'm not sure (though I strongly suspect) it will support our concerns. That said, I cannot collect and interpret it.

If you are still concerned about this issue, please conduct research within your departments / programs, gather data, and / or get definitive statements backing up your worries from your DGS. When you've done so, you can put that research in this google folder (and please email a copy of it to me). Without this information, we will not be able to pursue the issue further with the College (or know whether it is necessary to do so).