August 2, 2022
Dear IU Bloomington Faculty, Staff and Student Academic Appointees,
Following the initial set of recommendations from the Task Force on Graduate Education, we write to you today to announce that the university is moving forward immediately to address two crucial elements of the Task Force recommendations by enacting significant improvements in minimum stipend pay and relief from mandatory fees.
The actions announced today are possible thanks to the guidance of the student, faculty and staff members of the Task Force. We are grateful for their diligent and thoughtful work. Moreover, this announcement reflects direction and unwavering support from the IU Board of Trustees calling for solutions that honor the personal and professional contributions of our student academic appointees (SAAs).
Increase in Minimum SAA Stipend, Coverage of Mandatory Fees
Effective retroactively to July 1, 2022, IU will increase minimum SAA stipends to $22,000; cover the mandatory graduate student fees of $1,435 currently paid by all SAAs; as well as cover course-specific fees for SAAs in programs that charge them.
This action regarding minimum stipends meets and exceeds the targets identified by the Task Force and represents a 46% increase over the minimum SAA stipend ($15,000) offered at the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester.
With this significant pay increase, IUB moves from the bottom of BIG Ten universities in minimum graduate stipends to the top half. The mandatory graduate student fee will be covered via university funds for all graduate students with an SAA appointment; it will no longer be paid out-of-pocket by those students.
Additionally, we will charge the Dean of the IU Bloomington Graduate School with benchmarking stipends through validated data analyses to ensure that our minimum stipends and discipline-specific stipend rates remain in the top half of the BIG Ten.
Addressing Additional Task Force Recommendations
The initiatives announced today address concerns and challenges that were first identified specifically by our graduate students and faculty. They also reflect the principles of collaboration, co-creation and equity that shaped the charge to the Task Force.
As new leaders for IU, we value the voices of undergraduate and graduate students along with faculty that have shaped these improvements, and the opportunity to quickly begin to address these long-standing issues. We remain grateful to Task Force Co-Chairs Vice Provost for Graduate Education David Daleke and Past President of the Bloomington Faculty Council Marietta Simpson, and to the members of the Task Force for their timely creation of this initial set of recommendations.
We anticipate taking additional action on other elements of the Task Force’s initial recommendations and future recommendations as their work continues throughout the year. Members of the campus community who would like to offer additional ideas are encouraged to do so by reaching out to the Task Force either personally or through the Graduate Education Task Force online input portal accessible within provost.indiana.edu.
We are unwavering in our commitment to ensure our actions reflect the dignity and value we place on our graduate students.