We have received conflicting information about all of the proposed changes over the past year and a half, and have not been given clear, official details about the plan and its implementation. We acknowledge that the administration has the authority to make such decisions and we do not specifically take issue with the goals set out here, nor with the vision they express. Rather, we are deeply worried that the implementation of the new funding structure and timeline is unduly burdensome to those students who started their programs before these changes were communicated and may now find themselves under constraints they could not have reasonably foreseen when they accepted Notre Dame’s offer. Current graduate students and their advisers designed their timeline to completion based on the expectation that the funding structure would remain the same as in the past. If these students are compelled to accept the new funding structure, their work and ultimately their job prospects are likely to be adversely affected. Unfortunately, it is difficult to assess the precise impact of the new structure, since details remain unacceptably vague. For example, students currently in their fifth year have been told that they may need to apply for special funds to finish their PhD, and that they would need letters explaining why an “exception” should be made in their case. The lack of clarity and absence of reasonable prior notice about the proposed changes -- especially when combined with the looming possibility of reduced funds and the failure of any financial or other support that would offset the disadvantages facing students under the current proposal -- are among our most pressing concerns. We offer the following suggestions as a good first step toward addressing them:
Give a clear, public explanation of the changes, when they'd be implemented, and what mechanism interested parties can use to communicate questions and concerns with the dean’s office about these changes.
Guarantee students funding that, minimally, is in accord with what was the norm in their department when they were recruited and accepted their offers.
We ask the administration to see that the absence of transparency with regard to the proposed changes puts undue stress and anxiety on a population that is already heavily burdened and dependent on the support and encouragement of the institutions its members have selected as their academic home. We ask that you help minimize these pressures, and do right by the graduate students that you recruited and promised to support. We appreciate the administration’s hard work and support, and look forward to efficient discussion and collaboration on this issue.
Benjamin Rossi, PhilosophyPaul Blaschko, PhilosophyPeter Finocchiaro, PhilosophyJude Galbraith, HPSLuke Riel, PhilosophyJordan Rodgers, PhilosophyRobert McFadden, PhD in LiteratureSara Morrow, AnthropologyLiz Jackson, PhilosophyJoao Santos, MathematicsEvan Claudeanos, PhilosophyAndrew Klein, EnglishCaitlin Smith, EnglishAndrew Brenner, PhilosophyMousa Mohammadian, HPSJustin Christy, PhilosophyFr. Raphael Mary Salzillo, OP, PhilosophyRachel Jonker, PhilosophyJamee Elder, HPSTing Cho Lau, Philosophy Daniel Immerman, PhilosophyPatricia Blanchette, PhilosophyAmanda Bohne, English Courtney Smotherman, Ph.D. in LiteraturePaul Weithman, PhilosophyAnna Siebach Larsen, Medieval StudiesGraham Clay, PhilosophyMarjorie Harrington, English Mark Roosien, Theology / PhDAllison Murphy, PhilosophyHolly Levin-Aspenson, PsychologyAmy Seymour, Philosophy Department (Alum)Xavi Lanao, PhilosophyDimitris Apostolopoulos, PhilosophyHannah Zdansky, Ph.D. in LiteratureRobby Gustin, PhilosophyEric Hagedorn, Philosophy (Asst. Prof. St. Norbert's)Cesar Lopes Gemelli, PhD in LiteratureMark Puestohl, PhilosophyMae Kilker, Medieval InstituteMichael Rauschenbach, PhilosophyDeborah Forteza, LiteratureAnna de Bakker, Medieval InstituteRichard Fahey, English Jack Himelright, PhilosophyRoberto De La Noval, TheologyMichael Rea, PhilosophyDavid Squires, PhilosophyMatteo Bianchetti, PhilosophyMallika Sarma, AnthropologyJoel Schmidt, MedicineJohn Hanson, HPSWilliam Smith, PhilosophyChloe Uffenheimer, PhilosophyPablo Ruiz de Olano, HPSCallie Phillips, PhilosophyJohn Marchese, Ph.D. in LiteratureEmily Biffis, Romance Languages and LiteraturesMargaret (Pegg) Garvey, PhD in LiteratureNevin Climenhaga, PhilosophyCesar Soto, English Katie Comeau, SociologyMartin Sastri, Medieval InstituteRachel Hanks, EnglishJeff Tolly, PhilosophyMegan Welton, Medieval InstituteBrian Long, Medieval InstituteBelen Vicens, HistoryJordan Corwin, PhilosophyCatherine Brix, Ph.D. in LiteratureSarah Schramm, PhilosophyMonica Solomon, PhilosophyMargaret Schmitt, PhilosophyTobias Flattery, PhilosophyBryant Vande Kolk, PhysicsSebastián Murgueitio, HPS Mic Detlefsen, Dept of PhilosophyFred Rush, PhilosophyMette Evelyn Bjerre, SociologyBradley Rettler, Ph.D in PhilosophyKenneth Boyce, Philosophy Department (Alum)Robert Garcia, Texas A&M PhilosophyAndrew M. Bailey, PhilosophyStephanie Larew, PsychologyDana Townsend, Psychology & Peace StudiesKatherine Bermingham, Political ScienceValeria Canelas, LiteratureFernando Bizzarro, Political ScienceEmily Maiden, Political Science & Peace StudiesJohn Lindblom, TheologyAlejandro Castrillon, Political ScienceJudith Biesen, PsychologyGabriella Jiang, PsychologyAmanda Nowak, PsychologyEnmanuelle Pardilla-Delgado, PsychologySid Simpson, Political ScienceMengyu Gao, PsychologyJulaine Zenk, PsychologyEmily Vanderbleek, PsychologyTony Cunningham, PsychologyScott Hagaman, PhilosophyDavid Everson, SociologyHilary Davidson, SociologyJonathan Gondelman, Political ScienceKathryn Sawyer, HistoryStefanie Israel, Sociology Hallie Nuzum, PsychologyBry Martin, HistoryCaroline Hornburg, PsychologyMaxwell Bullard, PsychologyMaryann Kwakwa, Political ScienceMichael Rubbelke, TheologyJoseph Pauszek, PsychologyBocchia Pietro, LiteratureAshley Edewaard, TheologyXia Allen, PsychologyPatrick Miller, PsychologyBreanna Nickel, TheologyCara Aspesi, TheologyJonathan Riddle, HistoryMichele Stanbury, Medieval InstituteLorenzo Dell'Oso, LiteratureElisabetta Drudi, LiteratureChristopher Menzel, Philosophy, Texas A&M University (Notre Dame PhD)Christopher Menzel, Philosophy, Texas A&M University (Notre Dame PhD)Anuchka Ramos-Ruiz, PhD LiteratureAurelio Valarezo-Duenas, History