July 28, 2022
Dear IU Bloomington Faculty, Staff and Student Academic Appointees,
As we close out the month of July, I am pleased to share a few timely updates on the work of the Task Force on Graduate Education and, crucially, the status of their pending recommendations to me, President Whitten, and our campus community-at-large.
First, I want to thank the student leadership of the African American and African Diaspora Studies Graduate Society and the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition for making time during the week of July 18th to meet with James Wimbush, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs (and outgoing Dean of the University Graduate School), and David Daleke, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Co-Chair of the Task Force on Graduate Education. These conversations were in addition to previous meetings with the Latiné Graduate & Professional Student Union, the leadership of the IU Student Government Association, the School of Optometry Vision Science Program, and the Latinx Law Student Association. Direct engagement with our student leaders has been vital to ensuring that a diverse range of student voices continue to inform the work of the Task Force and its working groups.
Second, the leadership of the Bloomington Faculty Council and I received a preliminary briefing yesterday from Task Force Co-Chairs Vice Provost David Daleke and Marietta Simpson, Professor of Music, on the pending initial recommendations from the Task Force, and specifically its working group on financial support. From this briefing, the initial recommendations will directly address student stipends, fees, and appointments.
I am encouraged by and thankful for the Task Force’s work to date and appreciate their initial recommendations, which will be posted on the Task Force website no later than early next week. It is clear from the scope of our discussion that their conversations and deliberation as a Task Force so far have been robust, inclusive of many perspectives, and responsive to concerns outlined by our graduate students, SAAs, and faculty. I hope you will join me in acknowledging and thanking David, Marietta, Financial Support working group co-Chairs Michael Adams, Provost Professor of English, and Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies, and their faculty, staff, and student colleagues for their continued leadership and service to IUB.
Upon receipt of these initial recommendations, it will then be my goal to consider and act on key elements of those recommendations as quickly as is feasible. It is my expectation that some can be addressed swiftly, though I anticipate others will require further engagement with faculty leadership, deans, students, and other stakeholders. Crucially, we must continue to support the still ongoing work of the Task Force and its working groups throughout the coming academic year.
Of course, these initial recommendations will only address a portion of the total charge to the Task Force, but I Iook forward to the impact their recommendations, and associated university actions, can have on the personal and professional development of our SAAs and graduate students.
Indiana University Bloomington