Duke Graduate School
Dear Ph.D. students,
I am writing to provide an update on the work to increase Ph.D. stipends in response to the rising cost of living.
As noted in my June 27 message, a significant stipend increase requires discussion and collaboration with the Duke schools that house Ph.D. programs because they are responsible for the bulk of the Ph.D. funding resources. Representatives from those schools, the Graduate and Professional Student Government, and The Graduate School have been working for the past couple months to develop a proposal for university leaders regarding stipend increases and related Ph.D. student issues.
Last week, that task force submitted its report to university leaders. The report drew on thorough discussions with representatives of the schools and the GPSG, examined multiple data sources, and assessed potential funding resources in the schools. It painted a clear picture of the financial concerns our students are facing and recommended actions in a number of areas of support, including a significant stipend increase.
University leaders expect to reach a decision on specific actions by the end of September. Although my term as dean of The Graduate School ends in mid-September, the incoming dean, Dr. Suzanne Barbour, will be actively involved in that process to continue The Graduate School’s advocacy for our students.
I am grateful for the collaboration of the schools and the GPSG student representatives on this important issue. I also want to thank our students for your patience while the task force conducted its work. The Graduate School and the task force will continue to push this process forward and work with university leaders to deliver the support our students need.
Paula D. McClain, Ph.D.
Dean of The Graduate School
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
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