Clarification of programs offered to graduate students

To: UC Santa Cruz Graduate Students and Faculty

From: Interim Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor Lori Kletzer

Last week, acting Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies Quentin Williams and I met with graduate students, department chairs, and faculty regarding the grading and teaching strike. We came away with a strong sense of our shared commitment to supporting our graduate students. We also heard genuine confusion about the quality and scope of these programs. In an effort to find a way forward together as a community, I would like to clarify the programs and describe new details that resulted from our conversations.

We heard concerns that making the $2,500 housing supplement “needs-based” would disqualify many from eligibility, particularly international students. To address this concern, we will remove the “needs-based” condition, to allow full-time, in-residence doctoral students within their first five years, and Master of Fine Arts students in their first two years, to receive the supplement. We also heard concerns that the cost of the housing supplement would be borne by departments. That is not the case. The housing supplement will be centrally funded. In addition, we commit to regular reviews of program funding levels.

We also heard many concerns from students and faculty about the letters of warning remaining in our graduate students’ employment files as they move forward. They are concerned that the letter may impact future employment on campus and in their post-graduation careers. To address this concern, we are committed to the following:

For students who immediately resume all of their TA/GSI appointment obligations, including teaching and holding regularly scheduled sections and office hours, and for whom we have verified submission of fall, winter and spring grades, we will rescind their letter of warning at the end of this academic year.

Additionally doctoral and MFA students who resume their TA/GSI appointment obligations will receive the $2,500 housing supplement retroactive to Sept. 1, 2019, for the 2019-20 academic year. Doctoral and MFA students supported through GSR/Fellowship appointments will be included in the retroactive receipt of the housing supplement available at the end of the academic year.

I want to take this opportunity to clarify that fall-grade submission, including the removal of the temporary P grade, will be verified on Thursday, Feb. 27. This provides instructors of record and course-sponsoring units the time needed to submit final course grades once they have full grading information from fall TAs.

I am grateful for the honest conversations I have had with members of our community over the past weeks. My hope is that this message provides clarification and assurance of next steps. The opportunities described here are intended to help bring our campus community back to its teaching, learning, and research mission.