Re: Graduate student support

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>   On Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 11:19 AM, James wrote:
>   Warren
>   It has been a while since we’ve spoken; I hope you are doing well.
>   As you can imagine we have had a busy and interesting year. The
>   University, like many others, is dealing with budget issues. It looks
>   like we will not get hit too hard this year.

Well done!

>   We finally have a chancellor and provost who work with us much more
>   cooperatively. The governor has pledged no cuts to the university in
>   exchange for no tuition increases and we hope the legislature agrees.
>   Our program is prospering. A New York Times articles ranked us as
>   one of the top three heterodox programs in the US. We now have 48
>   Ph.D. students, the largest program in the region, and have received
>   several applications for next year.


>   Several students are writing dissertations and will graduate
>   in the next year.

Are they ready for my pop quiz??? :)

>   I might add that this year we have reached another goal for the
>   program. When we started we knew we would have to go slowly
>   and hoped we could attract good students. We wanted to attract
>   international students, but we also wanted to build the program
>   around students from the US. This year our applications are
>   more than half from American students and of very high quality.

Good to hear it!

>   We will soon be renewing assistantships for those now being
>   supported and making offers to new students. We have
>   selected four for new offers and there are seven more to
>   whom we would make offers, but presently lack the funding.
>   I have been seeking additional funding from the university
>   and there are hopeful prospects in that quarter we should
>   know in the next few days. We have also received funds
>   from grants and contracts that should support two or three more.

Very good!

>   In light of the more uncertain budget for the upcoming year
>   we have been asked to secure funding before we make offers.
>   We seek your continued support, at last year’s level of $116,000,
>   in order to move on these offers. If you would be willing to raise
>   your support to fund two additional students it would be most
>   helpful both to those students and in our effort to garner more
>   support from the university-they like matches. Funding two
>   more would require an additional $33,000 for stipends and
>   waivers; a total of $149,000.

CC’d to AVM to if they want to help again and the rest of my list, and posted on my blog.

>   Another issue we face is that our stipend level has not changed
>   in over ten years and is now below that of almost all Ph.D. programs.
>   For example, Middle Tennessee State, a program not known as an
>   intellectual powerhouse, offers stipends the economics Ph.D. students
>   of $14,000, ours are $10,000. Further, international students must
>   have a minimum level of financial support before they qualify for a
>   student visa. Our total support to them, including stipend and all
>   tuition waivers, is about $2,800 below the threshold for a visa.
>   We can raise the stipend for international students to overcome
>   this, but the consequence is that make fewer offers and would
>   discriminate unfairly against American students. The university
>   is aware of the problem, but budget restraints stand in the way
>   of a solution in the near term. The official position of the
>   administration at this point is that we should offer support
>   to fewer students in order to raise the stipend for others.
>   We have resisted this as harmful to the long term interests
>   of the program, but some change will be needed before much
>   longer. I would like to discuss this with you sometime soon
>   to get your ideas.

Ok, no immediate ideas but will think about it.

>   As I’m sure you know the people in our department have invested
>   a great deal of sweat equity over the years to build what we consider
>   a highly successful program. UMKC was recognized this year as one
>   of the top six universities in the US engaged in community and urban
>   affairs progress. With your support, intellectual commitment, and
>   good spirit our department occupies an important spot in this activity.
>   For this I am deeply grateful and hope you feel our efforts have
>   warranted your support.

Glad to have been able to help!

>   To summarize our request we ask for $116,000 for continuing
>   support and if you agree $33,000 to support two additional
>   students; a total of $149,000 for nine students.

I’m good with the $116,000.

Sending this to my list to see if it fits anyone else to support the world’s only ‘in paradigm’ grad program.

I know a lot of them are supporting schools that teach it backwards so maybe they would feel good directing some of that this way.



>   Warmest regards
>   Jim