GPSC discusses budget, research grant changes

A new policy put in place at the semester’s start has become a concern for some graduate students.

The Graduate and Professional Student Council discussed the new policy at its regular meeting Tuesday, GPSC president Blaine Tisdale said. The policy altered both the way funds are administered and the cost for graduate students who work as assistants in research.

“The discussion focused on how we would proceed in the future with our concern,” Tisdale said.

Although GPSC made no decisions surrounding the policy, Tisdale said the group discussed to propose a resolution at a future meeting if the university’s Faculty Senate passes any resolution regarding the policy.

At the Sept. 11 Faculty Senate meeting, members addressed issues that surround the policy. Graduate assistants used to get paid through the university, but the new policy requires research graduate assistants’ tuition costs be grant-funded rather than university-funded.

Tisdale said members voiced several different opinions on the policy and what message the council should make about it, but he said one goal they all agreed on is for the council to make a statement that best represents the graduate students’ best interests.

“We don’t want to act before the Faculty Senate, and then our resolution will very much take that into consideration,” he said.

Tisdale said the council also passed its budget for the year at the meeting with no discussion.

One item some graduate students voiced concern over was included in the budget, he said. A GPSC-funded program that allocates money to graduate students for professional-related traveling expenses such as driving to a conference out of town will continue to be offered this year.

The GPSC, which receives funding through student fees, has received a cut in funding because of this fall’s enrollment decline, Tisdale said.

“We did take a bit of a cut this year, so we are being very careful and keeping a close idea on how we spend and make sure we make the most of our use of money for graduate students,” he said.


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