Loyola’s Commitment to Graduate Assistants

Guided by social justice principles, we demonstrate our tremendous respect and appreciation for graduate assistants by offering them a transformative education in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition, an exceptional overall student experience, and competitive financial, learning, and development support and resources.

Living Up to Our Commitment

Inspired by our commitment to live our social justice values and provide an exceptional student experience, Loyola offers its graduate assistants a competitive package of services and financial and learning development resources.

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Our Position on Graduate Assistant Unionization

We believe graduate students who are engaged in teaching and research as part of their academic program are fundamentally students and therefore do not qualify as “employees” within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act.

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Our Philosophy on the Role of Graduate Assistants

Our mission to serve graduate assistants is guided by our belief that they are students. Graduate assistants pursue academia in the context of Loyola’s distinct mission and values.

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Enhancements for Graduate Assistants

Loyola is committed to offering graduate assistants a competitive package of services.  To that end, the University has made a number of recent enhancements for graduate assistants, including:

  • Stipend increases; standardized stipends
  • Enhanced awards for approved conference travel
  • Eliminated the restriction on off-campus employment*
  • Updated job descriptions for all graduate assistants, including common expectations for graduate assistants in teaching or research roles
  • Added a dental coverage to the student health plan

What are the stipend increases for graduate assistants in 2017–18?

Effective in fall 2017, many graduate assistants in a University-funded full research or teaching assistantship will receive a base stipend of $18,000 ($2,000/month for 9 months), with a prorated adjustment for those in less than a full assistantship. In addition, for the 2017–18 academic year, graduate assistants will receive an additional stipend increase of $500 for each year of service within years 2–5 of a full graduate assistantship and a prorated amount for a less than full assistantship. We believe this level of support is competitive with comparable institutions. With the implementation of these enhancements, Loyola will spend an additional three-quarters of a million dollars on stipends in 2017–18.

Will stipends be increased annually?

We are committed to regularly undertaking market-based reviews to ensure that stipends and our other academic-based awards for graduate assistants are in keeping with our social justice values.

Why has Loyola refused to bargain with the graduate assistant union represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)?

We believe graduate students who are engaged in teaching and research as part of their academic program are fundamentally students and, therefore, do not qualify as “employees” within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act. Their primary role is academic. Graduate assistants are neither hired nor employed by the University. Rather, they are selected as students on the basis of their academic achievements. Their acceptance into our graduate programs and the degree awarded to them at the end of their graduate education are based on academic standards and not on labor or employment standards.

Consistent with our position, which is shared broadly within the higher education community, we are challenging graduate assistants’ eligibility for representation. Click here for more details about our philosophy on the role of graduate assistants.

Latest Updates

Welcome Back From Father Regan


As dean, let me take this opportunity to welcome all of you to the 2018-2019 academic year. With the summer months now behind us, our thoughts naturally turn to what lies ahead. Having just finished a review of the annual reports from our GPDs, I am duly impressed by the number of exciting programs and offerings in the Graduate School.

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The Graduate School Increases Travel Awards


The Graduate School Dean Thomas Regan informs students that the annual allocation for travel awards for The Graduate School will increase to $50,000 for both 2017-18 and 2018-19—a 56% increase in the travel award budget.

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Loyola Advocates for Students on Tax Reform Legislation


Loyola President Jo Ann Rooney outlines the University’s engagement in direct advocacy with congressional leadership and members of the Illinois delegation with the goal of mitigating and modifying provisions of tax reform legislation that pose a major threat to students and universities, including a provision to tax graduate tuition waivers as income.

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