A new report from Western University calls for improved documentation and communication between graduate students and the faculty.
The report was written by the graduate funding sub-committee of the provost's task force on the University budget model.
“This report achieved its goal of documenting the faculty-specific approaches to graduate student support [and] issues that graduate students, faculty and staff raised as areas around which they would like to see more clarity and future attention,” Karen Campbell, sub-committee member and special advisor to the provost, said in an email.
Campbell also noted this further improves the faculty's ability to ensure sustainability of graduate students.
According to Linda Miller, vice-provost for the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, the findings of the report are not a surprise considering questions about funding from students, faculty and program staff are often directed to the department.
“The report recommendations provide specific direction for additional written documentation of faculty-specific funding models,” said Campbell. “We also suggest mechanisms for improved communication of these models to graduate students, faculty and staff.”
The next steps include various meetings and discussions in order to have these recommendations implemented by September 2016.
It starts with the graduate education council comprised of graduate students, graduate deans, graduate chairs, graduate assistants, who will meet in April. This will be followed by a meeting in May 2016 with deans and other academic leaders.
“Once this has been done, we will be able to identify structural ways to adapt the models to ensure ongoing graduate student support levels that are adequate, even if funding sources change,” Campbell said.