|Faculty Senate >Final Report of the Faculty Senate Planning and Resource committee|
Final Report of the Faculty Senate Planning and Resource committee
I. The question
Dear Chairs and Center Directors:
The Faculty Senate (FS) seeks your input on the impact of the new graduate tuition policies. How have the policies affected positively or negatively, the ability to accomplish departmental missions in education and research?
Your top three bullet points will be helpful for preparing a FS response. Please send them to the FS representative for your school, (see http://www.rpi.edu/dept/facsen/committees/members.htm to view list) any member of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, or Ralph Noble, Chair of the Planning & Resources Committee (email@example.com) by April 25th.
Also, please indicate if identifying information is to be kept confidential.
" Impact on Current Students
There is substantial negative impact on the morale of current graduate students and their perception of the Institute. Faculty report that some students are considering leaving when they complete there M.S. degrees. There are suggestions that some students are finding themselves 'high and dry'.
Many if not all of the M.S. programs will be profoundly negatively affected
by the tuition policy for a variety of reasons, including:
" Impact on Delivery of Undergraduate Education
There is widespread expectation that undergraduate education will be impacted negatively. Loss of T.A.s, an inability to develop a quasi-professional T.A. cadre.
" Impact on the role of Graduate Students in research
Many faculty believe that it will be more cost effective to hire technicians and post docs than to support graduate students. Both in terms of cost and in terms of the quality of the graduate students contribution to the research on a compressed four year cycle.
" Impact Faculty Recruitment
Some spoke to the difficulty of recruiting world class faculty in the current environment
" Impact on Grant writing and Getting
In the 40 pages of emails I received not one faculty member indicated an intention to increase the rate at which they are writing proposals. Many are at or beyond the point of diminishing returns.
What is needed
" Clarity and Simplicity
" Recognition that Tas have a teaching mission independent of their role as researchers in training , at least in some units.
" Appreciation That the cottage industry model is very cost effective -even if it doesn't scale up.
" Effective and carefully thought out safety nets : there is a need to evaluate contingencies systematically : parental leave, various special situations that will occur. There is the widespread perception that some enrolled students will be left out in the cold.
" Certainty:The administration simply has to provide a mechanism for guaranteeing every entering grad student 4 years full support with contingent access to a fifth year support. There should be some way to link the department's track record for funding to access to TA support so that the Institute' standing as the guarntor of last resort is revenue neutral in the long haul. As it stands individual graduate students are being exposed to all the risk and uncertainty as the guarantors of last resort, which many faculty see as unacceptable.
The new graduate tuition policy will have profound impacts on the planning
Process and the allocation of resources at Rensselaer both directly and
indirectly. The Planning and Resource Committee is committed to making
a reasoned and constructive assessment of those aspects of the graduate
tuition policy which fall appropriately within it's jurisdiction.
Response rate : 125/395 faculty ( 32 percent)
General Policy changes and processes
1.) Information was effectively disseminated to the Rensselaer
3.) I have confidence that Rensselaer's current administration's strategy
4.) The prestige of the campus will be increased as a result of improvements
5.) A sound and comprehensive decision making process was used in
Impacts of tuition policy
6.) Recent changes in graduate tuition policy will further the goals
7.) The New policies in the administration of Teaching Assistants
8. Should the Decision to invest in the Biotechnology Building ($80M)
have been involved the participation of the Faculty Senate Planning and
Resource committee .
9. Should thee Decision to invest in the The investment in the Performing
Arts Center ($140M) have involved the participation of the Faculty Senate
Planning and Resource Committee.
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE PLANNING AND RESOURCE COMMITTEE
We recognize that the graduate tuition proposal is definitely a work in progress. Given the complexity of the transition and implementation process we have articulated some basic principles to guide the process. We recognize that the overarching goal of the graduate tuition initiative is to enhance the quality of research and graduate education at Rensselaer and in the pursuit of that goal we recommend the following principles
Principle I. All contracts, commitments, and moral obligations to current graduate students and faculty should be honored.
Principle II. All graduate students recruited to Rensselaer should be provided with a commitment of full support in the form of tuition and stipend for the statutory period of time required to obtain the Ph. d. ( 4-5 years unless otherwise negotiated
Principle III. Full and extensive participation of faculty and others is needed to achieve the best results in the implementation of the graduation tuition plan We recommend that the number individuals who are currently full time faculty on The Dean of the Graduate School's committee be increased to three.
Principle IV. The pursuit of academic excellence will be successful largely to the extent that the Institute builds on the strengths of its diverse academic units.. The existing plan addresses the strategies common to all the academic units, the next step is to explore in a systematic way the unique contributions of each unit and the way these contributions can be optimized.
Principle V. Whenever Rensselaer administered funds are used to support graduate students the there should be sufficient cost sharing on graduate tuition to maintain and enhance the role of graduate students in research.
Principle VI There is a legitimate role for a reasonable period of degree completion (1-2 semesters) at reduced tuition.
Principle VII In some disciplines (e.g. management and anthropology) students spend significant amounts of time off campus working independently; therefore special consideration is needed to adjust the nature of this situation. The amount of time appropriate needs to be determined jointly by the administration and the academic unit involved
|July 27, 2004|