Town hall meeting on graduate stipend changes scheduled

December 15, 2015
A research assistant handles bacteria samples inside an anaerobic glove bag in a lab at the Microbial Sciences Building.

A research assistant handles bacteria samples inside an anaerobic glove bag in a lab at the Microbial Sciences Building. Photo: Jeff Miller

Graduate students are invited to a town hall meeting on changes to the graduate assistantship compensation policy Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. in 2241 Chamberlin. The Graduate School has announced this session through graduate coordinators, Associated Students of Madison (ASM) and other channels, but also encourages faculty to pass word on to their graduate students.

The primary change consists of using adjustments to the rate of pay, rather than to the percentage appointment, to set the stipend amount for research assistants (RAs). This is consistent with other top research universities and will make it easier for prospective students to compare an offer from UW–Madison with an offer from another institution.

The maximum RA appointment will be changed from 75 percent to 50 percent, which is also comparable to peer institutions. These are administrative changes that will not lead to any reductions in pay for graduate assistants, including research (RAs), project (PAs) and teaching (TAs).

“Graduate students play a critical role in the university’s educational and research excellence,” says Graduate School Dean William Karpus. “This plan will keep UW–Madison competitive with our peers across the country.”