Takeaway: We are gathering information on how many grads have an immediate need for additional funding. If you are a graduate worker, fill out this short survey. If you are a graduate program director, fill out this survey.
On Tuesday, Becky Givan, our union president; Alex Adams, vice president for graduate workers; and Sarah DeGiorgis, a Graduate Worker Steering Committee and Executive Council member; met with University Labor Relations to outline our serious concerns about funding running out for graduate students who lost time toward completing their degrees due to the pandemic. We raised the prospect of continuing the previous grad funding extension program, known as the Academic Advancement Program.
The university claimed that, based on internal research from campus provosts, there is no need for additional support from the central administration, as individual units are taking care of the further needs of grads who will run out of funding this year.
We are asking for help so we can provide the university with a clear picture of the needs of our graduate students. If you’re a grad, please fill out this short survey so we can collect information on how many of our grads have an immediate need for additional funding. If you are a graduate program chair, please fill out this survey so we have information on all the students in your program. Additionally, your provost needs to know if, in saying departments were handling any outstanding funding problems, they didn’t accurately depict the needs of your program’s grads to the administration. We encourage GPDs to reach out to your provost—and also, if you haven’t already, to faculty in your department who may have students who still need additional support for the next academic year. and show the university what they need to provide.
While the previous program provided an extension of appointments for many PhD candidates, grads who recently became candidates were not eligible for the previous program and may now be out of funding at the end of this academic year. Other grads received funding through the program but were unable to complete their research work due to ongoing pandemic-related constraints. We also know that grads who are running out of funding this year urgently need to find support before the end of the current term.
The administration will not use central funds to support impacted grads if they don’t hear from us now—grads and faculty alike. Please fill out the survey and make sure they hear our determination to support our grads to the completion of their degrees.
Becky, Alex, and Sarah
Rebecca Givan, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Alexandra Adams, Vice President for Graduate Workers, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Sarah DeGiorgis, Graduate Worker Steering Committee and Executive Council, Rutgers AAUP-AFT