The University is introducing important changes for graduate assistants, each of whom play a vital role in fostering a campus culture rich in scholarship, research, teaching, and mentorship.
First, stipends have been increased for many graduate assistants. Additionally, new travel awards, affinity groups, and engagement activities, including meetings with senior leaders, are among additional enhancements planned for academic year 2017–18.
The University’s decision to make these additional investments in our graduate assistants is the result of a multi-year review that included direct graduate assistant feedback received by Dr. Rooney during her listening sessions and conversations throughout academic year 2016–17, as well as a market comparison of our graduate assistant support. These improvements reflect our commitment to our Jesuit, Catholic values and a fair and just academic environment. We will continue to listen to and engage with our graduate students and undertake regular market-based reviews of our stipend and other academic-based awards, making further positive enhancements to their educational experience where needed.
Second, the University, after careful discernment, has decided it will not negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) based on our position that graduate assistants are students and, therefore, do not qualify as “employees” within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act.
Consistent with our decades-long constructive relationships with unions representing our employees, please know that our position does not impact ongoing negotiations with SEIU-represented part-time and full-time non-tenure track faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences and English Language Learning Program.
We encourage you to explore this website for more information about these topics and graduate assistant program and activities.