Joint Senate-Administration working group on graduate education

To: UC Santa Cruz Faculty

From: Interim Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Lori Kletzer

At the February 2020 Academic Senate meeting Chancellor Cynthia Larive announced the establishment of a working group to develop a comprehensive, realistic and actionable plan for strengthening graduate education. The idea of this working group came from conversations with Graduate Council and acting Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies Quentin Williams. I am pleased to share today the charge and membership for that working group.

Charge: As part of our campus efforts to develop a strategic, realistic and actionable plan to enhance graduate student welfare and strengthen graduate programs, the Joint Working Group on Support for Graduate Education is charged with assessing the totality of the revenues related to the graduate enterprise and the ways those revenues are currently used. Specifically, this analysis should include:
  • A revenue analysis of the graduate enterprise relative to the various expenditures on the enterprise focusing on:
    • Current Graduate Division fellowships and block funding allocations and the ways they are used by programs, including for the recruitment of students who enhance the excellence of our research enterprise, contribute to the diversity of our graduate programs, and improve our teaching mission
    • Number and distribution of teaching assistantships and graduate student instructors, particularly in relationship to the undergraduate and graduate student enrollments of the program
    • Number and distribution of research assistants and external fellowships (e.g. T32, NSF GRFP, GAANN, philanthropy)
  • Assessment of the short-term impacts of the 5-year funding guarantees for doctoral students (2-year for MFAs) on graduate programs and the institution, and possible strategies for navigating the transition period as programs adapt
  • Goals and the carrying capacity of Divisions and individual PhD and MFA graduate programs
  • Potential of alternative funding streams including cross-subsidies from MS/MA programs, including professional, self-supporting and 4+1 programs, and the role of research development and prospective Center- or graduate block grant funding. 
In addition, we ask that the working group build on the information and insights gained from this analysis to provide recommendations about near and longer-term ways to stabilize and/or enhance the graduate enterprise across disciplines on campus. Throughout this group’s work, we ask for explicit consideration of student diversity, broadly defined.

We ask the working group to submit a report by July 1, 2020.

Quentin Williams, Vice Provost/Dean Graduate Studies, co-Chair
Scott Brandt, Vice Chancellor, searchResearch
Katharyne Mitchell, Dean of Social Sciences
Jim Moore, Assistant Dean, Graduate Studies
Kimberly Register, Planning & Budget
Alexander Wolf, Dean, Baskin School of Engineering

Donald Smith, Microbiology & Environmental Toxicology, Chair, Graduate Council, co-chair
David Brundage, History, Senate Vice Chair
Gina Dent, Feminist Studies, Graduate Council
Debbie Gould, Sociology, Committee on Planning & Budget
Longzhi Lin, Mathematics, Graduate Council
Dard Neuman, Music, Committee on Planning & Budget