Without public comment or graduate student input, certain departments and colleges within the University have recently instituted guidelines that eliminate funding for graduate students beyond an established period of study. To date, we know that these areas include the Department of Radio Television and Film as well as the College of Liberal Arts.
In particular, graduate students in the humanities and those in advanced years of study seem to be most effected. The GSA also identifies students who must conduct research abroad, acquire foreign language skills, pass substantial programmatic requirements, students with disabilities, student parents by birth or adoption, students without advanced preparation for graduate study, or students without substantial personal or family financial support, among others, as additional communities that may be negatively impacted. As these policy changes have been rolled out and are now in effect, the GSA is working to ascertain how they will impact graduate student welfare, professional development expectations, job market viability, and our University’s reputation.
The effects on graduate students livelihood are very real. Graduate students who enrolled at UT with an expectation of teaching and instruction opportunities as well as financial support now find themselves with uncertain plans. In many cases, this situation has only been exacerbated by a lack of communication and set guidelines for how these policies will be implemented. More than a month after departments began informing their students in piece meal fashion with only a few sentences in particular cases, the College of Liberal Arts has now released a clear statement of the policy changes on June 4, 2014.
On Campus Response
We will continue to post updated information on these changes here as they become available. Currently enrolled graduate students in the College of Liberal Arts may sign up to the following list-serve to stay on top of the latest developments.
Daily Texan Opinion on CoLA Policy June 19, 2014
American Studies Department Responds to CoLA Policy Change
English Department Responds to C0LA Policy Change
National News on Humanities & Funding
Inside Higher Ed: The push toward shorter time to completion for humanities PhD degrees